What It’s Like Being a Milwaukee Sports Fan

The city of Milwaukee is one of if not the most tortured sports cities in America.  If you take away the Packers (who play in Green Bay), the city has 2 teams that have combined for a single championship.  The Bucks won that championship in 1971.  In 1982 the Brewers made the World Series, but lost.  The Cream City has gone 46 years without a league championship.

What’s interesting is despite the drought, Milwaukee fans are among the best in sports.  They are very knowledgeable about the games the teams play, they are incredibly friendly, and they are committed to their teams.  You can get into an hour-long conversation about basketball at a Bucks game.  Even Cubs fans will get invited to a tailgate at Miller Park during the I-94 Rivalry series.  Above all, the love the people of Milwaukee have for their teams is unmatched.

You would expect fans to either not care or switch to more successful teams after decades of losing, but that is not the case in Milwaukee.  Even when the Bucks were the NBA’s punchline the players were showered with affection.  That stays true today with a rising team.  Giannis Antetokounmpo is becoming one of the most loved athletes in Wisconsin.  As for the Brewers, ever since they came into existence they have had great attendance.  Going to a Brewers game is almost a sacred tradition in Milwaukee.  In 2008 and 2011 the entire state was going crazy about the Brewers.  The 2011 Brewers had some of the most lovable and fun players ever.  I can clearly remember one day at school in 2008.  We had over an hour until the final bell, but the teachers decided the learning could wait.  We watched the beginning of the Brewers game vs the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Brewers had been losing for years, but for a few days in the fall of 2008, nothing was more important than cheering on the Crew.  I was so excited when they won a game in that series.  Even though they lost the series, that will always be one of my favorite memories of the Brewers.  My favorite is the Nyjer Morgan walk off that got the Brewers into the NLCS.

Another major part of being a Milwaukee sports fan is realizing that your teams get no coverage in the national media.  If you watch Sportscenter or any other national sports show, you can easily go a couple of weeks without seeing the Bucks or Brewers be discussed on there.  Even now with a very exciting Brewers team and a rising star on the Bucks, very little attention is being paid to Milwaukee’s teams.  Believe it or not, I’m fine with that.  I don’t want a media circus distracting our players.  We saw what happened with Ryan Braun a few years ago.  I don’t want that to ever happen again.

Being a fan of Milwaukee sports is not easy.  We haven’t seen a championship in 46 years.  Our teams get no respect anywhere outside of Wisconsin.  Even with the history of losing that has been synonymous with “Milwaukee sports”, now is a very exciting time to be a fan.  The Bucks are on the rise.  The playoff series against Toronto showed that the Bucks can win, they just need a little more experience.  Once they get that, the NBA better watch out.  The Brewers have promising young players like Orlando Arcia.  They are still rebuilding, but this year they are in 1st place in the NL Central and are looking like more than just a rebuilding team.  In a couple of years, we could see them not just compete for the playoffs, but possibly the division and beyond.  For years now both teams have talked about the future.  It’s clear the future is coming soon, and when it does we could see a new era of Milwaukee sports.  It will be a fun ride, and I’m ready for it.


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