By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jun 24, 2021 at 5:37 PM Photography: Molly Snyder

Milwaukeeans are understandably offended by Tuesday morning’s comments from ESPN buffoons Max Kellerman, Stephen A. Smith, Damien Woody and Molly Qerim Rose on their show, “First Take.”

In their ridiculous, well-documented and very stupid exchange, they referred to Milwaukee a “terrible city.” While they were at it, they might’ve well made some comments about cows, Laverne and Shirley, and cheese, too, since they clearly know nothing about Brew City.

Well, here’s our second take.

Milwaukee is not much like Los Angeles, Atlanta or Phoenix. Those cities certainly have their strengths and weaknesses, as does Milwaukee. But if we’re being objective, let’s just take a look at how our terrible city stacks up against the remaining ones left in the NBA playoffs.

Sure, we cherry-picked these categories, but unlike these dinguses, at least we did our research.

Average temperatures in June

Milwaukee: 70/57

Los Angeles: 79/62

Atlanta: 87/65

Phoenix: 104/76

Verdict: L.A. and Milwaukee beat the pants over Hotlanta and Phoenix in the literal desert. 

Average price of NBA ticket

Milwaukee: $132

Los Angeles: $267

Atlanta: $107

Phoenix: $85

Verdict: That's a lot of money to see the Lakers' little brother and not see Jack Nicholson.

Cost of living

Milwaukee: 84.9

Los Angeles: 173.3

Atlanta: 107.5

Phoenix: 103.7

Verdict: Live cheap and live well in Milwaukee

Average commute time

Milwaukee: 22.4 minutes

Los Angeles: 32 minutes

Atlanta: 35 minutes

Phoenix: 25.4 minutes

Verdict: Despite what the numbers say, we all know Milwaukee blows away the rest of these cities in getting around town. Seriously, we all know you've got to add another hour to that L.A. number.

Price of gas

Milwaukee: $3.09

Los Angeles: $3.15

Atlanta: $2.92

Phoenix: $2.89

Verdict: Phoenix and Atlanta are the cheapest – but in the case of the latter, did you see that commute?

Average price of a case of beer (by state)

Milwaukee: $18.11 

Los Angeles: $14.87

Atlanta: $17.61

Phoenix: $19.69

Verdict: Move over, weather: We suddenly have a new reason to move out to L.A.

Number of MVPs in the market

Milwaukee: 3 (Aaron Rodgers, Christian Yelich, Giannis)

Los Angeles: 7 (Albert Pujols, Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, LeBron James, Nneka Ogwumike)

Atlanta: 2 (Matt Ryan, Freddie Freeman)

Phoenix: 1 (Diana Taurasi)

Verdict: Los Angeles did good here. As it turns out, when you've got about a dozen professional sports teams, you'll probably have some good players. (Plus, almost half of those L.A. MVPs won their honors elsewhere.)

Age of stadium

Milwaukee: Fiserv Forum (3 years)

Los Angeles: Staples Center (22 years)

Atlanta: State Farm Arena (22 years)

Phoenix: Phoenix Suns Arena (29 years)

Verdict: Gotta love that new arena smell – and best of all, unlike the other three teams, ours has a NBA Championship banner in it. (The Hawks won when they were in St. Louis, and none of the banners in the Staples Center belong to the Clips.)

Best local product

Milwaukee: Harley-Davidson and/or Miller Brewing

Los Angeles: Hollywood movies/television/music

Atlanta: Coca-Cola

Phoenix: Poore Brothers potato chips

Verdict: Those look like a lot of valuable, iconic and very not terrible American products to us (and also Poore Brothers potato chips). 

Homicides per 100,000 residents

Milwaukee: 19.83

Los Angeles: 7.01

Atlanta: 16.41

Phoenix: 9.55

Verdict: Milwaukee is pretty terrible when it comes to murder rates.

Worst insult 

Milwaukee: Milwaukeeans have little brother syndrome with Chicago.

Los Angeles: Los Angelenos are shallow and fake Insta-people.

Atlanta: The fans are bad (and your football team lost to the Patriots when we were rooting for you. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU!)

Phoenix: Whether you're a star athlete or a regular person, it’s where you retire when you can’t get into Florida.

Verdict: Yeah, we've all got our issues (not even getting into the deeper serious civic problems). 


Milwaukee: Bango

Los Angeles: Chuck the Condor

Atlanta: Harry the Hawk

Phoenix: The Suns gorilla

Verdict: It's hard to choose between Bango and the iconic Suns gorilla, but I think they're both winners – certainly compared to the horror that is Chuck the Condor.

Number of parks

Milwaukee: 158

Los Angeles: 181

Atlanta: 338

Phoenix: 185

Verdict: Atlanta showed us here. But would Milwaukee's number go up if we added beer gardens?

Craft breweries/breweries per capita (by state)

Milwaukee: 224 craft breweries and 5.2 per capita in Wisconsin

Los Angeles: 958 craft breweries and 3.3 per capita in California

Atlanta: 130 craft breweries and 1.7 per capita in Georgia

Phoenix: 124 craft breweries and 2.3 per capita in Arizona

Verdict: Who could've predicted we'd perform best in this category (at least certainly per capita). I guess we had to make up for that "price of a case of beer" one. 

In conclusion, sure, they may all have their weaknesses and oddities – but these cities are far from terrible. And, for several of them, they're close to a wonderful moment of civic pride and celebration they've rarely experienced in sports. But perhaps the best thing about all of them? They're nowhere close to the loud gaseous fumes coming from the "First Take" set.