By Mitch Nelles Special to Published Dec 03, 2014 at 5:04 PM Photography: David Bernacchi

It’s almost too much.

The Packers – a win over the Patriots and a share of the best record in the NFL – check.

Badgers football – a win over Minnesota, and a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game for the third time in four years – check.

Subset of Badgers football: MELVIN GORDON III – check.

The Bucks – a winning record and playing competitive basketball every night – check.

Badgers basketball – a tournament win, and a nationally-recognized matchup at home against Duke – check.

Marquette – wins over Georgia Tech and Tennessee – check.

Badgers and Marquette – on national television Saturday – check.

It’s almost too much.

The success is great.

But it’s more than that. It’s FUN. It’s HAPPY. As Wisconsin-based fans, we are seeing our teams have both local and national relevance. And it cannot be ignored.

We’ve had successful periods in Wisconsin sports over the past few years. The recent Packers’ 15-1 season, coinciding with the Brewers’ playoffs run to the NLCS and the Badgers’ football team decimating Nebraska in the Huskers’ Big Ten debut come to mind.

That run even inspired a logo for state sports teams.

But we’ve had bad times as well. The Brewers’ struggles since then. The Badgers’ losses in the Rose Bowl. The Packers’ playoffs struggles.

So when a period of success befalls us, we HAVE to take advantage of it.

We need to soak it all in and appreciate what we are seeing.

We don’t know how long it will last, and sure, we can poke holes in pretty much every success we’re discussing. But let’s not question it. At least let’s not question it today. Let’s appreciate it.

As sports fans, it’s our nature to be fanatical. In both positive and negative situations and circumstances. And because of the nature of sports, we’ll get our answers.

Can the Packers win the Super Bowl?

Can the Badgers win the Big Ten Championship and/or a bowl game?

Can the Badgers get back to the Final Four?

Can the Bucks continue with their winning record and/or their high level of play, especially on the defensive end?

Can Marquette be competitive in the Big (well, Medium) East?

That’s what’s so great about sports – we’ll get these answers, and more!

But for now – let’s ENJOY it. It’s ok, sports fans, to enjoy when things are going well.


Mitch Nelles Special to

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.