Joe Franke, a senior at Shorewood High School, reached out via email last week and asked to us to publish a "letter to the editor" of sorts. OnMilwaukee.com is a place for community discussion, so below is Frankeâ€™s take on current arena discussions and the future of the Milwaukee Bucks:
Awaiting game three of the 2015 NBA Playoffs, I sat in my seat at the BMO Harris Bradley Center wondering where my profound love for the Milwaukee Bucks came from. I started following the Bucks towards the end of the Michael Redd era, but at first I did not understand why I was such a fan.
Years of bad trades, poor draft picks and missed opportunities really challenged my passion for the Bucks. However I have never given up on them. Despite a busy high school senior year, I attended 36 home games this season, and as I happily watched Milwaukee fans fill the arena last week, I thought about all the time and energy I have invested in supporting the Bucks. Not to mention my parentsâ€™ money and my own money.
I began to realize that my passion comes not only from a love of basketball, or for the Bucksâ€™ franchise itself. My passion for the Bucks is rooted in my intense love for the City of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee needs the Bucks. The fact that a new arena was looking grim for a while was quite worrisome.Â What the Bucks have to offer to this city, and this state, is much more than basketball. First of all, in a nation where the big market cities get all the media attention, cities like Milwaukee need to keep their blue collar mentality in order to survive.
After winning five games in a row earlier this season, Jared Dudley said it best, "We just grinded it out," Dudley said. "Thatâ€™s our new nickname, the Milwaukee Grinders. We are patenting it right now. Not â€˜Fear the Deer,â€™ but 'Fear the Grind.â€™"
Fear the Grind is right. When the future is finally here for this Milwaukee Bucks team, they will be consistently challenged by cities such as Chicago, Boston and or Los Angeles.Â With a winning product on the court up against markets like those, not only will Milwaukee gain national recognition as the hardworking city it is, but also the product on the court will remind us to keep that blue collar mentality.
More importantly, for the past decade Milwaukee has been consistently ranked as one of the most segregated cities in America. Our national racial tension has been highlighted by the recent events in Ferguson and Baltimore, and similar events have occurred in Milwaukee in the recent past. It is no surprise that both St. Louis and Baltimore ranked in the top 25 most segregated cities according to Business Insider.
Like St. Louis and Baltimore, Milwaukee faces some serious problems ahead. Of all the Wisconsin sports, the Bucks attract by far the most integrated fan base. Because of this, the whole city has a chance to be represented at Bucks games, allowing us to break down the physical barriers which otherwise divide us. While the Milwaukee Bucks cannot solve the problem of physical segregation in Milwaukee, the Downtown arena provides a place where all can congregate, sharing a common bond, cheering the Deer.
Win or lose, the city will come together, breaking down barriers of race as sports have done for our nation many times. By maintaining a professional sports team located in the Downtown area, this sense of community can and will always be there.
However, if the Bucks were to relocate to another city, not only would the Milwaukee economy suffer drastically but the people of this city would lose this opportunity to come together.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Nov. 21, 2017
Need an easy way to show your grateful nature this Thanksgiving week? Sure you do. So, read on to learn how to donate to Feeding America Eastern Wisonsin's Give a Gobbler campaign.
Published Oct. 30, 2017
Milwaukee is a great place, and we all must stand tall and boast our pride when and however we can. This is our collective and civic responsibility. Onward and On Milwaukee!
Published Oct. 19, 2017
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Richard Kessler, founder and president of Kesslers Diamonds. Kesslers is an OnMilwaukee partner and a fixture in the Milwaukee area since the 1980s. Kessler, who is transitioning to the role of chief executive officer, talked about the business, Milwaukee, his celebrity and more.
Published Oct. 17, 2017
One factor overrides all others when you're deciding where to dine: convenience. So, make a list, check it twice and bust out of your Milwaukee dining comfort zone.
Published Oct. 9, 2017
Just like Water Street's summer tune-up, Broadway in Downtown Milwaukee got a full refresh this past weekend, brightened with a new pavement job.
Published Oct. 6, 2017
As I always say, a city is only as good as the stories it tells. And, yesterday, the Chairman of Manpower continued to tell the Milwaukee story on a national platform with a piece titled "The Rise And Rise Of America's Best-Kept Secret." Read it here.
Published Oct. 6, 2017
Nearly one year ago today, after 45 years in Milwaukee, John Hawk's - a Downtown Milwaukee pub that sits on the Riverwalk - closed its doors and has been vacant ever since. What's next? Or, what should be next?
Published Sept. 21, 2017
Milwaukee's been a leader in community building for years. Beer gardens. Yes, beer gardens. They were built by the Miller family and others to have large family gathering spaces and, of course, to showcase their products. Today, we all use them to gather, share ideas, forge relationships and build a better city.
Published Sept. 20, 2017
Today, Chicago, reminds us to appreciate Gallery Night with reporter Lori Racki's preview of next month's event in Downtown Milwaukee.
Published Sept. 16, 2017
Two OnMilwaukee partners, Wisconsin Vision and The Corners, have come together recently. And, here's some insight on how the eye glasses company is fitting in at the new lifestyle center in Brookfield.