Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages: My name is Mitch Nelles, aka "Thunder", and it is both my honor and my privilege to have this forum to connect with you.
For the past eight years, I’ve been part of "The World’s Greatest Sports Talk Show," "Homer & Mitch" and "Homer & Thunder." It was in this final incarnation that I really had the opportunity to share and to opine, to commiserate and to celebrate – all with you.
I loved my time at ESPN Wisconsin, but it’s time for me to connect in new ways.
So welcome to "Thunderstruck: Things that Struck Thunder." I am very excited to have this medium as an opportunity, and I am very thankful to all the folks here at OnMilwaukee.com for giving me this setting.
So much has happened/is happening in the sports world recently, I honestly have no idea where to start.
Locally: the Brewers’ collapse (and no, there is no other word for it), the Packers’ perceived cowardice (probably harsh, but I’m OK with it), the Badgers’ close call with destiny and the Bucks’ true opportunity. It’s all so juicy.
Nationally, no doubt, this is Ray Rice Week. Whether it’s the evils of domestic violence, a multibillion-dollar industry claiming ignorance or Rice’s own teammates turning on him. Again, SO juicy.
Today is a beginning. An opportunity for a new voice, a fresh take. I take this responsibility seriously.
Let’s address the Brew Crew for a bit. So many fans, media members, naysayers have said this collapse was "inevitable." That this is the same old Brewers.
Hogwash. I can buy these Brewers aren’t that good. But look around: No one in Major League Baseball can hit. The Brewers’ pitching is decent. So while these Brewers might never have been a 95-plus win team, they aren’t this bad. Which makes this collapse that much more perplexing.
Lack of leadership – including management, players and the lack of a star to put the team on his back – these are some of the real reasons this team has no "next gear" to kick things into in September.
But enough Brewers talk … for now.
If you want to hear about something, let me know. If you want me to research something, to interview someone or to have an opinion on something specific, let me know.
I can be reached at ThunderMKE@gmail.com. I am available and accountable. I am a member of the media, but I view the media’s role to be an extension of the fan. Because first and foremost, that’s what I am: a fan. So just because I have access doesn’t mean I am not accessible.
We are in this together.
What struck you today?
Mitch Nelles, aka Thunder, is a long-time resident of the Milwaukee area with some serious Wisconsin roots.
Born and raised in Boston himself, Mitch brings a bit of a coastie attitude to his fandom. He moved to Wisconsin in 1990, where he attended Nicolet High School and the University of Wisconsin. His grandparents and entire mother’s side of his family were born and raised in Milwaukee (yes, serious roots).
Mitch has worked for the Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Bucks and 540 ESPN in Milwaukee/100.5 ESPN in Madison, serving as the co-host of “Homer & Thunder” for the past eight years.
Also very active in the community, Mitch has emceed and auctioneered events for Make-a-Wish, Variety of Wisconsin, Russell Wilson’s personal foundation and The Guest House, just to name a few.
Mitch was in the crowd when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, when Wisconsin played in the Final Four this past April and when Ron Roenicke inexplicably pitched Shaun Marcum in Game 6 of the NLCS in 2011.