Perhaps you're familiar with me, perhaps you're not. Maybe you listen to me on the radio during your morning commute, maybe you don't. For some, this could be one of our first interactions. But no matter your familiarity with me or your opinion of me, you've probably caught win that I'm the guy on The FAN who waves his "W" flag around with pride as often as the ghost of Harry Caray will allow. But I need one thing to come across and I need to make it very clear...
I am not a Cubs fan.
However, I do not hate the Chicago Cubs. In fact, I don't even really dislike them. There may even be times this season that I find myself rooting for them to succeed, and the World Series very well may be one of those times. BUT...
I am not a Cubs fan.
I can't believe I need to do this, but this is important for the future of how I'm perceived by you when I scream through your radio. I feel the need to proclaim that I'm a Milwaukee Brewers diehard. I have pages full of 1980's era Brewers police cards, I have boxes full of Miller Park ticket stubs. My favorite number is 19 in part because of Robin Yount. I saved the newspaper clipping of the first game I went to at County Stadium, an 8-7 Brewers win over the Orioles. I still have the Bob Uecker call of the clinching Ryan Braun home run on an old iPod I still use. I drank the bar out of what I thought was champaigne (it was cheap wine) when Plush hit home the winning run in 2011. And I think, most telling, is that I will gladly pay full price for a ticket here in 2016.
So how has it become, at a station that has an afternoon show host who will wear a Cubs hat, Cubs jersey, and Cubs shoes (!!!) all on the same day during the middle of winter!, how has it become that I am the resident Cubs fan?
Well, here's how.
1. I've admitted that I've liked the Cubs before - I have admitted this, and it is true. As a 6-year old kid thirsty for baseball in the late 80's and early 90's, the Cubs were the most accessible team. On television nearly every day, rather than just the one time a week a Sunday Brewers game was aired on Channel 12, the Cubs were there to fill my appetite of the game. My love of Paul Molitor and Robin Yount was rivaled only by Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg. One of my very first memories is sitting along the first base side at Wrigley with my parents and grandparents as we watched the Cubs take on the Mets. Remember, Milwaukee and Chicago were in different leagues - they never played each other - and it was okay to like both. And I did! But that was then, this is now. Think of all the things you liked when you were a kid. Things change.
I am not a Cubs fan. But, they were my gateway into becoming a baseball fan.
2. I predicted that the Cubs would win the World Series this season - This one drives me up a wall. I have learned quickly that if you say anything nice about a divisional rival, you suddenly become appointed a fan of that team. What is up with this way of thinking? I predicted last season that the Vikings would win at least ten games in 2015. "THAT MAKES YOU A VIKINGS FAN, BART". No, that makes me right. They won 11.
I predicted this season that the Cubs would win at least 100 games and win the World Series. "SEE, HE'S A CUBS FAN!" Well, let's take a look at the standings. My Google Search for MLB Standings is showing me that the Cubs have the best record in baseball, and that they are on pace to win 117 games.
I am not a Cubs fan. But, I can overcome being petty and admit when a division rival has talent.
3. There are players that I like and they happen to wear Cubs jerseys - Is this the lynchpin? That purely as a baseball fan, I like the makeup of the Northsiders? Yes, I like Joe Maddon. I like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber. Fantasy baseball dynasty leagues play a role in that. I like Theo Epstein. I like seeing teams that blow it all up to rebuild earn a payoff for their progress. I like that the Cubs climb back up to the top of the NL Central shows the current Brewers regime that it can be done.
I am not a Cubs fan, but I do appreciate good baseball.
4. You HATE the Cubs, I don't - Throughout all sports, there aren't too many teams that I actually Hate. For the most part, I either love them or am indifferent to them. I don't Hate any of the Yankees/Lakers/Cowboys/Duke contingency. Not worth my time. I don't Hate the Bears or the Lions. I don't like when they win, sure, but I don't Hate them.
I guess there are only two teams in sports I really truly Hate. Teams that if they were retracted I wouldn't have any remorse for, and teams that I can't really understand how you'd become and stay a fan of their particular organization. The teams that I'd say I Hate are the Vikings (who I gave credit to just moments ago, remember, because that's not forbidden) and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs are not in that class for me. I can get how you'd grow up and root for the Cubs. I can see a world in which the Brewers don't exist and I'm a Cubs fan as an adult. Yeah, it sucks when Wrigley North is a reality, but I don't Hate the Cubs because of that. Put me in the "Don't Hate the Cubs, Hate a lot of Cubs fans" camp. Most of them are harmless, really. But it's the sheer quantity of how many Cubs fans there are in your home building that can be tough to swallow.
I am not a Cubs fan. But I get why someone would be.
Are those four things enough to make me a FAN of the Cubs? No. I don't watch every game first pitch to final out like I do the Milwaukee Brewers. I can't rattle through the Cubs 40-man. I don't plan trips, outings, bachelor parties, dates, to Wrigley Field. Miller Park is that destination. I don't feel in my heart for the Cubs what I feel for the Brewers. You know the Craig Counsell commercial on Fox Sports Wisconsin where he basically says we're all the same because we're stuck rooting for the Brewers? He's talking to me in that commercial too. And I did tear up the first time I watched it! That's a fan. And the Milwaukee Brewers. That's my team.
As for the Cubbies, here's my mission statement: The Chicago Cubs are a team that I liked until I was about eight years old. I respect their organization and appreciate their rebuilding efforts. I like a lot of the guys on their team. It's annoying when Cubs fans takeover Miller Park. I picked them to win the World Series and it wouldn't ruin me if that actually happened. In fact, I'm kind of sick about hearing about how they are cursed. Just win one already. And if they are going to, it might as well be when the Brewers are this bad.
On the Thursday morning edition of "Chuck & Wickett", UW-Milwaukee Atheltic Director Amanda Braun joined the program to answer some questions that have come up regarding the men's basketball program. The following is the performance report that she shared with 105.7 FM The FAN. (Hear the full interview at the link below)
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
OUR FIRST TWEETS
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.
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.
More updates coming Monday! Hear me every weekday from 4p-10p on K107.1 FM in 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,
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.
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.
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.
Ramie - NE TE Rob Gronkowski - 28.40 pts Sparky - Car QB Cam Newton - 25.10 pts
Leroy - NE WR Julian Edelman - 12.30 pts Listener (Michael) - NE QB Tom Brady - 11.70 pts
Gary - Ari QB Carson Palmer - 7.40 pts
Leroy - NE TE Rob Gronkowski - 27.30 pts
Gary - Ari QB Carson Palmer - 26.00 pts Listener (Louis, Franklin) - Sea QB Russell Wilson - 25.25 pts Ramie - Car QB Cam Newton - 12.80 pts
Sparky - Den QB Peyton Manning - 5.00 pts