7.29.2007

The Wolf is a Brewer's fan


In 1982 I was a hardcore Milwaukee Brewers fan. There was really no other choice, I grew up in Milwaukee. Sure there may have been other teams that attracted my attention but when it came down to anyone else and my Brewers, the other guys had to go. So in 1982 I, along with my best friend and lots of other kids, collected the Brewers baseball cards that our local police department gave away for free. I watched mesmerized but not really grasping the history that was unfolding in front of my eyes as the Brewers win their division by 1 game and then proceed to beat the Angels (who had Reggie Jackson that year) in 5 games in the ALCS (there was no wild card round back then). I sat in front of my parents tv with a pencil and a notebook, rather than go outside to do 10-year old stuff, and drew up a makeshift scoreboard to keep track of every strike, ball, and out of the 1982 World Series between the Brewers and the Cards. I remember names like Teddy Higuera, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Ben Ogilvie, Jim Ganter, Gorman Thomas, Don Sutton, Ned Yost, Pete Vukovich. I was heartbroken when they fell just short against a great Cardinals team.

When they talk about teams with long suffering sports fans, the Milwaukee Brewers are rarely mentioned. I don't think there's any particular reason why not, 1982 was the only Series they've ever been to (the Braves won a pennant in Milwaukee in 1957 but that doesn't really count for Brewers fans). But people tend to forget old Milwaukee, we're just a strange little hick white town in Wisconsin (wherever that is) people figure, and other teams stories are supposedly more compelling I guess (I do wish the Cubs would win already, but do enjoy watching their fans in anguish because they are very often Bears fans also). But believe me we have suffered just as much, the Brewers haven't had a winning record in over 15 years (maybe this year?!) and we weren't exactly tradition-building before '82. This all leads me to why I'm not going to be all quick to jump on the Brewer bandwagon this year, though I feel I must say something about them because this is a sports blog among other things and I am a hardcore sports fan from Milwaukee so it's kind of mandatory. We (Brewer's fans) know the chant of 'there's always next year', we've been saying it for a while now and it looks like this might actually be the year for something to happen, what I don't know (playoffs maybe?). But something in the back of my mind has me feeling like the Wolf in 'Pulp Fiction' right now, "let's not start sucking our own dicks just yet". Yes we're leading our division but by less than 2 games and we have the second worst record of any division leader, on the other hand from looking at the standings (I'm a very casual baseball fan) there's no team that's really tearing it up this year and hey it's after the All Star break and the Brewers are still worth mentioning. That in itself is a big turnaround from past years. We are a team that other teams must deal with if they want to be on top. The talk is not just limited to whether we are finally going to trade Geoff Jenkins and what we need to do to get better. And did I actually see them make a trade last week as if they are trying to gear up for a playoff run? Awesome. Call me in September if they are still relevant, in the meantime they still got brains to pick up. Until then I will go to the occasional game with no winnng expectations as all casual but loyal Brewer's fans have been doing for longer than we care to remember. But I'll keep my fingers crossed. Until then it might be a jinx to root harder.

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