Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Great Play: Where Is The 'Milwaukee' In The Bucks?

I normally like to keep things positive here - talk only about what good men are doing  versus what they should do or aren't doing. In fact I think this is my first ever negative post. But the more I hear about local professional sports teams the more I ask myself the question "Where are the Bucks?" And I don't mean in the standings, but in the community.

Where is the 'Milwaukee' in the Bucks?
What's Missing Here?
There may be nothing I like more here at Well-Met than the chance to praise athletes and teams for their charitable efforts. When someone that people consider a hero truly acts as one, the world is all right. And as you can see right here, it happens very often with members of the Brewers and Packers, even the smaller teams like the Admirals (involved in Movember and more) and the Wave with their Wave of Hope program are involved in the community and take ownership of the  communities in their names whether Milwaukee or Green Bay or whatever.


It's no coincidence each of those teams has a fanatic following and seems at one with their community while the Bucks struggle for attendance (perpetually at the bottom of the league) while their top tier counterparts the Packers and Brewers sell out games. People can say - as in the previously linked article - that it's about lack talent, or team direction, but I think it has to do with a lack of investment in Milwaukee, the city in their name. Take a look at the press, calendar, or community pages of each team and compare the number of stories they have on their own teams and players helping out. Sometimes the Bucks seem like one of those limbo teams owned by a league, not one with an owner let alone a local one.

I am sure if you asked the team there would be some excuses like 'we have less players so even with the same percentage of community oriented players we have less opportunities', or 'our schedule is so busy during the season its hard to fit in appearances and they leave in the off-season'. But baseball's season is just as busy, and the Admirals and Wave don't have expansive rosters.


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To be fair, since Brandon Jennings has stepped up as a star player he has done things for the community. He participated in the Bucks' Sam's Hope program early in 2012. But once the lockout started and finally ended and the shortened season started he has been amiss. I get that during the lockout the players and teams couldn't work together, but couldn't Jennings have done some on his own and in turn garnered support for the players?

I don't place blame on the players though. The team ownership and management are the ones who need to make them the 'Milwaukee' Bucks. The Brewers aren't even owned by a local owner yet I seem to be able to sing their praises at least monthly if not weekly at times while the Bucks are owned by a born and bred Milwaukeean in Herb Kohl. Even if the players can't be convinced or contracted to be involved where are the charity games that can be organized from a team level?

Maybe its the same around the NBA and the league and sport is that way. But that's no excuse. Maybe they do more than I know about. I don't go to games so I wouldn't know if they are doing anything special at them. But isn't that a problem? For all that I know about what the other teams do, and I am not a sport maniac, why don't we see what the Bucks do if they are doing more?

Back to the Milwaukee teams. I used to like basketball a lot more, I followed the Bucks just less than the Packers, but at some point I lost interest. And it wasn't from quality of play. I have never liked baseball much and am not a fan of Brewers baseball, but I am a huge fan of the Brewers organization and what they do in the Milwaukee community. The Bucks could win my heart at least in the way of the Brewers, respect of the organization as a community leader, and possibly even from the actual sport aspect if they were a leader in that other word in their team name: Milwaukee. I would love to be able to cheer the deer, but until they put the 'Milwaukee' back in their team I just can't.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.