The 2014 Green Bay Packers and Great Expectations

With Packers season set to kick off in Seattle, Milwaukee Magazine‘s Howie Magner and Dan Shafer exchanged thoughts on tonight’s game and expectations for the season ahead.    Howie Magner: You’re dressed quite professionally today. But now that Thursday is here and the Packers season starts tonight, shouldn’t you be toasting it with your Tramon Williams plastic cup while wearing a Clay Matthews jersey, and perhaps even a Clay Matthews wig? Dan Shafer: You don’t see it now, but I am wearing my Clay Matthews jersey-shirt, and my brain is playing this video on repeat. I’m pretty excited the season…

Q&A- Brandon Knight

Bucks guard Brandon Knight at Urban Day School 12th Street Campus. Photo courtesy Milwaukee Bucks It’s now been more than a year since the Milwaukee Bucks acquired Brandon Knight in a trade with the Detroit Pistons. Knight emerged as one of the few bright spots in the Bucks’ dreadful 2013-14 season, leading the team in points (17.9 per game) and assists (4.9 per game). He also led the team in shot attempts by a wide margin despite missing 10 games due to injury. Now, in this first full summer as a Milwaukee Buck, the 22-year-old guard has been active in…

Bernie Brewer’s Sliding Scale

#170543063 / gettyimages.com Ever since it debuted at Milwaukee County Stadium, Bernie Brewer’s slide has been one of the Brewers’ most notable stadium features. The slide was modernized a bit when the Brewers moved to Miller Park in 2001 and no longer features a mug of beer at the bottom, but for many fans, seeing Bernie go down his slide is one of the highlights of the ballpark experience. The procedures have changed a bit over the years, but currently the Brewers’ mascot goes down his curved, yellow chute to mark three occasions at Miller Park: The middle of the…

Kidd In Drew Out In Bucks Coaching Circus

Better times for Larry Drew last Friday, who has been fired as Bucks head coach this morning. Photo: Howie Magner. Jason Kidd will be the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.  That sentence looks weird because it is weird. According to several reports, the Bucks and Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement that sends two second-round picks to Brooklyn in return for the coaching rights to Jason Kidd. Coach trades are uncommon, but they do happen — the Clippers dealt a first-round pick to the Boston Celtics for Doc Rivers just last year. But this one is pretty strange. …

So Much for Hammond’s Day Off

We were just about done with today’s lunch at the Lake Forest Oasis, the one that sits above I-94 on the northern outskirts of Chicago. My wife and two young children were seated at the window-facing counter, entranced by the traffic that whizzed by underneath them. I’d gone to grab a cup of coffee, a caffeinated boost for what promised to be a long afternoon at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. Then, off to the side of the Starbucks kiosk, I noticed somebody who looked familiar. I called out his first name to see if my hunch was true, and John turned…

Parker and the Bucks- Soulmates

With their first major decision as owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens made Jabari Parker the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. This was the most likely outcome for the Bucks’ draft night, and the pick was met with a wave of positive reaction both here in Milwaukee and throughout the NBA universe. And that excitement – perhaps most importantly – has been matched by Parker himself.  Jabari Parker exchanging fist bumps with people at his table. This was what he wanted all along. — Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 26, 2014 It’s clear now…

Bucks’ Future Gets Its Face

Photo courtesy of Bucks.com If this works as well as everyone thinks it will, if Jabari Parker is the player and person everyone thinks he is, if he follows through on the old-school one-team loyalty goal he says he desires, then you can almost picture the future memories. You can conjure up a cold March Friday night in 2019, a moment after Parker has just scored his 40th point. He looks to the courtside seats, where father Sonny sits, because the train ride from Chicago is an easy commute. He looks further up into the stands, and sees precious few empty…

New Bucks Era Starts Now

#480076367 / gettyimages.com “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” said Herb Kohl, quoting the great Yogi Berra when announcing the sale of the Bucks to Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens in April. Less than three months later, Lasry and Edens now stand at their first fork in the road as new owners: the NBA Draft, where the new owners and GM John Hammond will soon be on the clock with the second overall pick. The Bucks’ next path is still unknown, but here’s what we do know: It’s going to be some time before the…

Has Soccer Arrived? Who Cares?

The World Cup soccer parties are everywhere, which could be a report from Brazil or England or even Kathmandu, but is quite true in the good ol’ US of A, too. Whenever ESPN shows highlights of Team USA, they are spliced with scenes from massive viewing venues in Chicago and Kansas City and New York. But ESPN could just as easily turn its cameras on Milwaukee and see much the same thing. On Brady Street, Sunday’s U.S. vs. Portugal viewing party was supposed to be at the Nomad, but it ended up encompassing a massive swath of the street. So…

Klinsmann’s World Cup Gambit

#450446866 / gettyimages.com Jurgen Klinsmann was wrong, of course, but maybe it’s because he’s right. A little while back, Team USA’s manager told the New York Times magazine that the United States “cannot win this World Cup.” Which is silly. Anybody can win this World Cup, from Algeria to Uruguay and all the letters in between. Now you might be far safer putting your money on Argentina and Brazil than Iran, or on Germany and Spain instead of Costa Rica. But the only countries who “cannot win this World Cup” are the teams who are not in this World Cup.…