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Posts from March 2016

Our First Tweets

Twitter is celebrating it's 10th Anniversary this week and while the world has changed a lot since March of 2006, we haven't seen too much evolution from Twitter itself. Sure, we're giving out hearts instead of stars and we no longer call it "twittering", but other than that it's still the same 140 character form of expression we fell in love with a decade ago.

I use the phrase "fell in love" with loosely, as I was pretty adamant against using Twitter when it first came out. I had a hard time understanding the point of it, I suppose. Now, it's the first thing I check when I wake up, the last thing I check before I go to bed, and it no doubt receives plenty of attention from me during the hours in between.

Nevertheless, it took me a full five years before I signed up for account, and I wanted to compare that to the rest of the FAN staff to see just how far behind the eight ball I was. With that, I bring you


Let's start with Wickett, who took the approach a lot of people took in the early stages, simply by sharing what they were doing at the time. Although I'm not too familiar with what a "Marquetee" is.
Chuck signed up not too long after Mike did, also going the route of sharing what he was doing. No surprise as to what that activity was...
The Big Unit actually shared some news with his first tweet...
...while the news Radio Joe shared on Twitter was that Radio Joe was on Twitter.

Sparky seemed to have had a problem with Twitter for awhile as well, not signing up until 2013 and needing motivation to do so.

Gary made his first tweet count, posting a very sharp picture of him and LeRoy.

As for Leap36, news of Nick Collins' injury was enough to get him to sign up for an account.

While the other Big Show contemporary decided to hit the hard hitting news of the day with his first excursion into Twitter.

Our boss went a different route, as his first tweet was in response...

As for the Fan account, we took the chance to root for our hometown team...

Looking back on these tweets, it's a good reflection on what we cover at The FAN. And there's been consistency over the years. We're still rooting on our favorite teams, we're still covering them from all angles, and Chuck is still eating. With Twitter, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Okay, maybe not everything.

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The Fond du Lac SNL sketch wasn't about Fond du Lac

Saturday Night Live is my favorite show and Fond du Lac is my hometown.

I have to address this.

And whether they watched it live or on their computer the next day, I guarantee you every one of Fond du Lac's 43,021 residents will have seen the "Fond du Lac Action News" sketch by Monday morning. Most of the state of Wisconsin will get their eyes and ears on it before then as well. Some will think it's hilarious, some will be offended, but most will be wrong. This was not a sketch about Fond du Lac. At least not wholly. I believe this sketch either came about in one of two ways, or perhaps a combination of both.

1. The idea was to do a sketch on what small town news would look like found it's perfect target in a weird sounding city in the middle of Wisconsin. 

2. The idea was to do a sketch centered around the Wisconsin accent that has become so mocked due to the popularity of Making a Murderer, but using Manitowoc as the city would be too obvious.

What the sketch wasn't - and sadly what I'm seeing way too many people think - is that the writers of SNL did a spoof on the city of Fond du Lac because that's how well-known and important Fond du Lac is. Maybe a writer is familiar with the city, maybe they threw a dart on the map and that is what came up, but Fond du Lac just happened to be a victim of circumstance here. So fellow Fond du Lacians, I'm asking that you don't take wear this sketch as a badge of honor (not to mention the fact that the sketch did nothing to paint the city in a positive light!).

But hey, this is the most exposure the City of Fond du Lac has ever received on a national level, so let's dissect this thing.

* "Southeastern Wisconsin's Award Winning News Team" - lots of people griping about the SE Wisconsin part. Milwaukee news serves Fond du Lac, and so does Green Bay. So geographically speaking it's a little unclear. I deem that CORRECT

* The fact that Fond du Lac would have it's own local TV station - INCORRECT - Although one of the radio stations there needs to steal "Top of the Hour from the Bottom of the Lake"

* The whole sketch, they pronounced it "Fond du LUCK" instead of Fond du LACK - INCORRECT

* They spelt Fond du Lac right thought! 80 percent of Wisconsin can't even do that - CORRECT

The accent, and this is what upsets me the most, that is not the accent of Wisconsin. Outside of the state, we get painted as having that upper Minnesotan, Canadian accent and I honestly get deeply offended by that. Yes, we exaggerate our vowels and say things like "dere" instead of "there", but the accent they used was the worst part about this sketch - INCORRECT

* Trish Wisnouski is a name you would find in Fond du Lac, yes CORRECT

* Someone as good-looking as Cecily Strong is not  INCORRECT

* Anchors wearing snow vests as if that's the fashion style of the day INCORRECT

Top story being something sex offender related CORRECT

"Stop and Go Light" CORRECT

* That there is a "Stop and Go Light" by the Pizza Hut and people get caught speeding there CORRECT

* Anchors consistently referring to people they know when telling the news CORRECT

* Winterfest - INCORRECT

Unpredictable weather - CORRECT

* "Talking to my friend and she goes... instead of talking to my friend and she says..." CORRECT

* A segment devoted to the lottery... Fond du Lac is home of the Miracle Mile after all! CORRECT

Sports guy having a bad haircut and wearing Badgers gear instead of something acceptable for television CORRECT

Could residents of Fond du Lac feel as if this sketch was about them in some way? Sure. But there was nothing too town specific in the sketch and anything that was would have been coincidental. The way they didn't even pronounce the town right tells you right off the bat that this was a generalized look at all of us in Wisconsin.

So Fond du Lac, enjoy your moment of national spotlight if you want, but you should be offended that they butched our accent and gave us an overall unfunny sketch.

And the rest of Wisconsin laughing at Fond du Lac, SNL was making fun of you as much as they were Fond du Lac, 

Dont cha know der hey?
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Can't We Have Fun With This Whole Hank the Dog Thing?

© Benny Sieu | USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers have held Spring Training practices for a little more than a week and the two biggest stories so far are that a guy laughs in a funny way and that a dog might be dead.


Sure, there are a lot of new faces and this is the first training camp under the David Stearns regime and Ryan Braun is changing positions and so on and so forth but the stories that are gaining national attention are about a snort and a stray.


At this point I'm not sure that the spotlight has shone brighter on any other team so far this young baseball season. And for a squad projected to have a loss total somewhere between 95 and frown emoji, I think that's pretty impressive.


Two fun, light stories coming out of Maryvale. Good old preseason hijinks, right? You would think so, but that’s not quite the case.


On one hand you have the Brett Phillips story. The Brewers prospect has an outrageous laugh which essentially sounds like the mating call of a sick goat. It sounds ridiculous and his teammates are capitalizing on every opportunity to force the noise out of him. Everyone agrees, it’s a great story.


On the other hand you have the tale of Hank the Dog. As Brew Crew Ball claims, the original Hank the Dog that came back to Milwaukee from Brewers Spring Training Camp in 2014 died later that summer. But, since the dog was already such a fan favorite and a merchandising goldmine, the team didn't want to give up on those profits or be the ones to tell thousands of adoring young Brewers fans that Hank went to go live upstate for awhile. So a new, replacement Hank was trotted out and we were none the wiser.


But after some photographical evidence came into play earlier this week, the speculation over the real identity of Hank the Dog began to be questioned. The cries quickly became so loud that the Brewers were almost forced to respond. And they did, albeit in a very cryptic way.


“The "real" Hank? What is real and what is an impostor? Is the Tooth Fairy the next target? Santa Claus? The Great Pumpkin?”


This response only made the cloud of doubt around Hank’s identity darker, and the Brewers now had no other option.


They had to call a press conference.


Now, the fact that a professional baseball team is taking the time to address a mascot conspiracy originating from a blog is upsetting to some of those that cover the sport on a regular basis. Could this be the death of journalism as we know it? Because, you see guys, um, a press conference is an event reserved only for real, true, actual news. That only reporters cover. It is a sanctity that is not to be made fun of and definitely not something that bloggers or fans are able to participate in. For the Brewers to give time to such a silly story in such a professional setting is disgraceful.


That’s the “Old Man Yells at Cloud” way of thinking, at least. I tend to take the approach that it’s early March, that there is no real baseball to be played yet for about a month, and that the on-field product may be lacking in excitement this season for the Brewers so why not have a little fun with your fans to keep up morale?


So here we are. The original Hank the Dog might be dead. That would be sad.


But the Brewers might have covered up the death of a mascot dog and lied to their fans. And that would be funny! It would be ridiculous and nonsensical and a little devious but ultimately, it’s funny.


Two major stories coming out of Maryvale so far this season and neither of them have anything to do with the product on the field. One of them is universally loved and the other is being painted by some as a waste of time and a discredit to the organization’s integrity.


I’d let the first story influence the other.


It’s an absurd situation, yes.


But it’s okay to laugh.

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