Here’s What You Missed in Milwaukee This Week: June 25

Milwaukee fights back against ESPN’s insults, and Wisconsin is ranked the 41st-kindest state in America, this week in MKE.

Brewers Re-Opening Day

American Family Field hits one hundred percent capacity tonight for the first time. The Brewers are making a big to-do of it with Freddy Peralta serving drinks at the bar, free T-shirts for the first 10,000 fans, $1 hot dogs and greatest of all – the racing sausages are making their return to the usual racecourse. For the first time in a year, they’ll be flying down the left field line to the Brewers dugout. And this brings us to another piece of related news. Mandy Wagner, who was racing as the Italian Sausage in 2003 when Pittsburgh Pirate Randall Simon hit her with a bat and knocked her over, spoke to MLB.com in a story published late last week. After mostly not giving interviews back in the day, she has now explained that the outrage over the incident was overblown. She’s totally fine, and Simon later sent her the autographed bat.

The Schlitz Park Mural is Finished

A few weeks ago, we told you about the biggest mural Milwaukee has ever seen being plastered across a wall in Schlitz Park. The design was a secret, but it’s a secret no more. The finished mural is now on display. Personally, I’m a little miffed that my prediction of a homoerotic Steve Buscemi and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson portrait didn’t come true, but this design is still pretty cool.

 

 

Chill on the Hill is Back

Many years ago, there was a man named Tooblius Rington, of the Bay View Ringtons, and he was known as a bit of a scallywag. “Oh that Tooblius,” the local barmaid would say. “When will he ever settle down?” But Tooblius had no desire to settle down. He was content to spend his days engaged in rugby matches and the writing of mediocre poetry, while his nights were frittered away at the bars and brothels. “Tooblius, my boy,” Father James P. Flanahanotoole would say. “The Lord wants you to marry a pious woman and take up some responsibility, not go galavanting day and night.” But Tooblius remained deaf to the calls of his elders. “Tooblius will never settle down,” Tooblius would say. “Tooblius is the cooliest.” But as we all know, youthful foolishness always meets its end, and Tooblius’ ended quite badly. One night, he emerged from the local tavern with a young lass on his arm, but this night, it happened that the lass was betrothed to another – one Timmy P. Donuts – and Timmy was a riotous and violent man. He accosted Tooblius on the steps of the bar, and demanded satisfaction. Tooblius accepted the challenge and they drew pistols on Kinnickinnic Avenue. Two shots rang out in the night. Standing amidst the gunsmoke, the screams of the children still echoing in the air, the men looked down at their uninjured bodies and slowly realized that they had both missed. Then Tooblius got run over by a horse. Unrelated, but quite unfortunate. He woke up in agonizing pain days later at the local hospital and was quickly informed by the doctor that both of his legs were broken in seven places. Tooblius wept. His recovery was long and painful, lasting an entire year during which his galavanting was physically impossible, and his hooligan acquaintances abandoned him, seeking out their fun elsewhere. When Tooblius finally emerged from his recovery bed, walking tentatively on his pained and twisted legs, he limped his way to a hillside in his beloved Bay View. The sun shone bright, the wind calm, and the grass gentle under his feet. His future was uncertain, his past buried. In that quiet, calm moment, he sat down on the hill. And he chilled. From that day forward, Bay View has been home to a live concert series in honor of Tooblius, who later went on to invent the CD-ROM. And but then the concert series was cancelled in 2020, and but now it’s back for 2021. Cool cool cool.

ESPN Hates Us

The Milwaukee internet ecosystem was all aflutter with outrage this week, after ESPN’s “First Take” hosts insulted our city. It started with former NFL player Damien Woody asked Stephen A. Smith “Do you really want to be in Milwaukee?” That bold italic underline indicates the extreme disdain, incredulousness and mockery with which he said the name of this city. Stephen A. Smith hit back with a resounding, “Hell, no,” and then another host, Molly Qerim Rose, said the final four NBA teams are in “terrible cities.” Milwaukee unleashed its fury. Click this link to witness the rage. There was obviously discontent among the tweeters, but it went way beyond that. Aldermen sent out press releases. Peter Feigin, the Bucks President responded. The Vanguard re-named its Milwaukee dog the “Terrible City” dog for the day. It was a big collective middle finger from all of Milwaukee to “First Take” (held up in all politeness and courtesy, of course, as is our way). So really, this isn’t entirely a Down for this week. Milwaukee rallied in the face of insult, and while the whole thing was a little bit silly, it was fun to see MKE defend itself so vigorously.

Bucks Lose

I’ll admit something you probably won’t like here: Before those ESPN hosts insulted Milwaukee I didn’t care very much about whether or not the Bucks win. I’m sorry. I know it’s a big deal, but I just don’t care about basketball. Too much dribbling. But now that they’ve gone and insulted Milwaukee, the wrath of the scorned is unleashed. I want the Bucks to crush everyone in their path. Show the world what a “terrible city” we are by unleashing terrible vengeance on those who insult us. All shall love us and despair. So with this new attitude, it was pretty disappointing to watch the Bucks immediately lose the first game.

Bogus Kindness Survey

Verizon Wireless dropped a little study in conjunction with Kindness.org ranking the 50 states by “kindness.” Wisconsin ranked 41. Now we just have to come out and say something. This study is just like grandma’s casserole – it’s FULL OF BOLOGNA. It’s based on self-reported survey questions, which is some hooey. I mean, if you asked me whether or not I would donate a kidney to a friend in need, I’d say, “Yeah, I would,” but just ask Brian about what happened when his kidneys … well, you can’t ask Brian anything anymore. My point is – everyone overestimates their kindness and willingness to help others when they’re just sitting comfortably answering survey questions and not actually facing a real situation in which kindness might cost them. So I don’t trust anyone’s answers on this survey, and I reject the results. They ranked Illinois above us, for God’s sake. Come on. We all know Wisconsin is one of the kindest, most compassionate, nicest states out here, and if you don’t like it, you can talk a long walk off a short pier.

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.