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Larry Sanders: Reason to Smile
How the Bucks center is giving Milwaukee a rare summer bright spot.

Word leaked out last week, and quite a fine word it was.

The Bucks and Larry Sanders would soon agree on a contract extension, news of which prompted an exceedingly rare summer sight: the smiling Milwaukee sports fan.

Because let's face facts. If you're a fan of the local sports endeavors, you know how Milwaukee's summer has felt like Siberia's winter.

The Milwaukee Brewers? Couldn't win.

Ryan Braun? So, so lost.

Aaron Rodgers? Disappointed. And probably not just in Braun.

Because Greg Jennings, after bolting the Packers for the Vikings, forgot the whole "if you can't say something nice" thing.

And Brandon Jennings, after getting his wish to bolt the Bucks, kinda followed the Jennings exit playbook, blaming all of his bad shots on his former teammates.

Well, sticks and stones and yada yada yada but words will never hurt you, right? Which is a good thing, because here's just a sampling of the summer's injury onslaught.

Corey Hart. Bryan Bulaga. Aramis Ramirez. Jordy Nelson. Yovani Gallardo. Randall Cobb. Rickie Weeks. Eddie Lacy. And that was before the Packers played a preseason game.

So yes, Milwaukee is sorely searching for a speck of happy, and Sanders is about to oblige.

But it's not just that the young Bucks center, one of the league's most promising players, is planning on sticking around. It's how he's going about doing it.

You couldn't put a microphone in front of his face without hearing how much he cared about the city. And as news of the pending contract extension broke, he tweeted things like "Buck4Life" and "I love the city of Milwaukee and I will stay as long as you'll have me." Hey, maybe he just really likes the local art scene.

Sanders isn't the first Milwaukee athlete to say such things, particularly around contract extension time. But Sanders has always had a different feel about him. He seems like a good kid, a talented kid, and more to the point, a genuine one.

These days, Milwaukee's in the mood for all of the above.

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