The email below says it all. First "Bucks Party" can't arrive soon enough! Oh, and speaking of can't arrive soon enough, (steve ordering luke ridnour t-shirt at nba.com ...)
And to anyone who thinks you can't have fun in Milwaukee, scroll down to the July posts and choose the "old: a weekend in milwaukee" post and read it. Three words pal: Lake. Front. Brewery. Three more words: Rock. Bottom. Brewery.
And the best words of all: "cause we'll do it our way! yes our way! make all our dreams ... come true ... for me and you ..."
to: dusty, damien
cc: brent, gregg, steve
date: tuesday, october 28, 4:04pm
subject: a special nba invite ...
Brent heard about a great idea during his trip to The Great Outdoors this past weekend. As with all great ideas, alcohol was involved. And when someone's drinkin', there's usually some rock solid thinkin' going on. As is the case here. And the idea is this:
As sports fans, we all root for different teams. Some of us are die-hard KU, some MU, some (gag) Duke. Some love the Chiefs, some love other teams. Some love the Royals, some worship at the feet of Fredbird and his Cardinals. Even the NHL we have divided loyalties; I love the Stars, Brent loves the Hurricanes.
But there's one sport where none of us (save for me) has a rooting interest.
So, since we don't have a pro team in Kansas City ... let's adopt an NBA team!!!
Brent's pals decided to find a common NFL team (they're from Kentucky). They'd each buy a t-shirt or something to denote their new loyalty, and jump on the bandwagon. They decided to pick the Tennessee Titans. Damned good pick so far.
So ... Brent, Gregg and I have decided steal their fun idea, and "adopt" an NBA team to root for. And we'd like to invite you all to "join" us in that adoption and become a fan of a NBA team!
The rules for picking the team were simple:
1. They have to suck ass recently, or be blatant underachievers, so we can't ever be accused of being bandwagon fans.
2. They have to have at least one player worth rooting for.
3. They have to be within doable driving distance, so we can (hopefully) schedule a weekend getaway to catch some professional hoops this winter.
4. The city has to be fun to visit.
5. They have to be someone none of us have a rooting interest in prior to this, and
6. You have to set aside any prior loyalties and jump in with the new team. (I believe I am the only person getting this email that this rule affects).
With the ground rules set, we narrowed down the search to 6 teams initially:
Memphis, Dallas, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, and denver.
Gregg ruled out denver on principle, and I seconded that motion. Brent ruled out Memphis because "i hate the city and i hate oj mayo". OK then. Dallas might be declining and may have underachieved, but they're still too good for this. Plus, I can't claim I wouldn't have entered that without a rooting interest, given my ties to the Metroplex. The Bulls, I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to do it. That part of the Knicks fan in me will never let go of 1991 ... or 1992 ... or especially 1993 ... or 1996 ... or what would have been 1998 had Miami not induced the melee in game 5 ...
Minnesota is intriguing, because they have a decent past (Western Finals as recently as 4 years ago), and Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Kevin Love, and Mike Miller is a solid building foundation ... but as long as Kevin McHale calls the shots, its a lost cause. Note the ground rules say a team that has "sucked recently", not a team with "no hope or future".
And Oklahoma City, I argued, is out. You can't root for a team stolen from Seattle by shady, sleazy ownership like the Thunder were. Even if they do have Durant.
And then, it hit me.
The perfect team.
Let's run through the checklist.
* they have to suck recently, or be blatant underachievers, so we can't ever be accused of being bandwagon fans. The last time this team won a playoff series was 2001. The last time this team was relevant, was 2001. Since then, they have been the very definition of "sucky". (check).
* they have to have at least someone worth rooting for. I argue they have 5 guys at least "worth watching", 6 if you count this year's first round pick (and I do). (check).
* they have to be within doable driving distance. I've made this trip in 8 hours (albeit going 85 plus most of the way). Plus they have two awesome weekend games -- they host the Cavaliers on Friday February 20th, and host the Celtics on Selection Sunday (March 15th). There's other "less attractive" weekend games to pick from too, but I would kill to see LBJ in person. I'm just saying. (check).
* a fun place to visit. Believe me, it is. Even in the middle of the winter, its an awesome city to visit. And if I'm giving props to someplace cold, you know it kicks ass, because (all together now) Steve f*cking hates the cold!!!
* they have to be someone none of us have a rooting interest in. Seeing as how Brent and I are two of the only 3 NBA die hards in this city (along with my brother), this one is easy. (check).
* and setting aside any prior loyalties. I don't know of any one team Brent is a "die hard" for. I will always have a soft spot for the Knicks ... but I do for the Jets as well, and you two know I was rooting like holy hell for a Chiefs win on Sunday. So I think I can do this. Done and done. All six criteria checked off.
So ... this is your formal invite to hop on the bandwagon with me, Gregg and Brent, and become a fan of YOUR ... Milwaukee Bucks!!!
Look over the roster at nba.com, there's some talent there. Redd, Villanueva, Bogut, Jefferson, and Ridnour is a solid starting 5. Local kid Tyronn Lue off the bench. First rounder Joe Alexander ready to step in once Charlie gets hurt loafing down the floor. A solid coach now in Scotty Skiles.
And ... it gives us all an excuse to get together a couple times a month, fire up my favorite winter time splurge (aka "The NBA League Pass"), order up some pizza, deep fry some wings, drink some beer, and watch OUR team play! (And drink a lot of beer, like a true Milwaukee citizen would ... and yes, in case you were wondering, this idea did originate in a bar ...)
Anyways, we picked you two to open the "fandom" up to first, because well, we like you. We think this would be fun.
We're looking at 3 potential dates for the first "Bucks Watching Party": Friday November 7th (Bucks at Celtics), Tuesday November 11th (Bucks at Cavaliers) and depending on when KU / Texas kicks off, Saturday November 15th (Celtics at Bucks). We'll have to get together at Dusty's obviously, since we're the ones with the League Pass.
As I noted on the blog in my NBA Preview post:
Milwaukee hired a solid coach in Skiles, added a solid presence in Richard Jefferson, and still have Bogut, Villanueva, and Michael Redd on the floor. Someone in the East is getting into the postseason at 38-44, why not the Bucks?
Why not the Bucks! Especially with a KC Chapter of their fanbase on board!!!
The three of us are in. Hope you two want on board. If you know anyone else who likes hoops and would find this at least entertaining, feel free to send this on to them, the more the merrier. (da da, da da da da!) Go Bucks Go! (da da, da da da da!) Go Bucks Go!