Welcome to a new weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's OnMilwaukee.com's first article that's truly a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors.
Every Monday, we will ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in the Thursday column. Well-known Milwaukee movers-and-shakers will contribute, too.
Last week, all-star rightfielder Ryan Braun signed his second long-term contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, assuring that the remainder of his career will be spent wearing navy blue and gold. The new contract is an extension to his first deal, signed in May 2008, which was for eight years and $45 million, which ran through the 2015 season. The new contract extends through 2020 and adds another $105 million to Braun's earnings.
Braun is a fan favorite, and this new contract cements him on the team for, most likely, the remainder of his career. The deal also triggered this week's Social Circle question, "Who is your favorite Wisconsin athlete of all time?"
No doubt about it, Braun's a great athlete, but there have been many others. So who are the best of Wisconsin's best, Milwaukee? We reached out to our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers, and asked a few famous Milwaukeeans, for their opinions. And please add yours via the Talkback feature.
From Facebook / Twitter:
Jon Adler: "Don Davey."
Dave Begel: "Johnny Blood McNally. Best nickname ever. Running back for Packers. Born in New Richmond. Better known for his off the field behavior than on, but still in the Hall of Fame. Go Blood!"
Mike Brenner: "The Bratwurst. 2011 has been a terrible year for him so far, but there's NO way the Hot Dog can keep up this pace all season!
Scott Carlson: "Bob Uecker."
Rebecca Carriere: "Rollie Fingers, of course."
Melanie Chester: "Terry Porter."
Jeff Hansen: "Dick Trickle."
Lex Jaramillo: "Jason Jaramillo. Duh. LOL."
Elizabeth Kay: "Anyone who plays for the Green Bay Packers!"
Brian Kramp: "Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch"
Trenni Kusnierek: "Robin Yount."
Lars Kvam: "The Crusher."
Adam Levin: "Bob Uecker."
Doug MacKenzie: "Eric Heiden."
Shaku Mays: "Robert Hackett."
Michele Berg Pavlovic: "Suzy Favor."
Elizabeth Reichman: "Bonnie Blair."
Laura Richard: "Cecil Cooper."
Deedee Roongtad: "It depends. If by 'Wisconsin athlete' you mean home-grown, born, raised, stayed here, played here consider these:
"Mark Tauscher. Central Wisconsin farmboy, attended UW, played his whole NFL career with the Packers. Solid. Good guy. Loved by Packers fans and his teammates and coaches.
"Suzy Favor-Hamilton. Runner extraordinaire. Grew up in Stevens Point, went to UW. I suppose Bonnie Blair is in this same category, but Suzy, in my opinion, is just cool as hell ... although lately she seems to have become a 'motivational speaker.' Yuck.
"Craig Counsell. Grew up in Whitefish Bay. Much-loved local guy who wanted to live here and play for the Brewers. His kids play in WFB Little League. He shops at Sendiks. He drinks coffee at Stone Creek. He plays in MLB at age 40 and he's a clutch hitter and player. Reliable, steady, not flashy.
"If by 'Wisconsin athlete,' you mean not necessarily home-grown but has become a Wisconsin person, it's all Nitschke, Nitschke, Nitschke.
"This is from my generation of sports fandom. I know very little about stuff before I became this weird sports freak which I seem to have become."
Ross Salchow: "Craig Counsell."
Liz Sharp: "Eric Heiden."
John Steinmiller (Brewers): "Craig Counsell and Joe Wolf."
Gary Tuma: "1980 World Sprints, outdoors in West Allis. Standing next to Wisconsin's greatest athlete, Eric Heiden. I remember that multi-colored knit cap and mega thighs in spandex."
Ajay Wadhwa: "Ryan Braun. Nobody else comes close."
Laura Eide Weber: "Dan Jansen."
Keith C. White: "Brett Favre or Prince Fielder."
Kate Wilfer: "The Heiden brother / sister speed skaters."