Waterford’s Aiden Webb – shown here attempting to bring down Union Grove’s Kacey Spranger in a game earlier this season – and the rest of the Wolverines will be out to take down Elkhorn Friday, Oct. 1. (Photo by Michael Stefanich Jr.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantastic sports weekend stirs the hearts of state’s fans

Wisconsin has seemed to be this kind of sports wasteland when it comes to winning championships.

I was born in 1982, and in my 39 years there have been exactly THREE, yes only three, major sports championships.

Hey, it’s still two more than Cleveland and their one, but you see where I’m going with this.

We are grateful for our Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks.

The Packers have been extremely relevant ever since Brett Favre took over in 1992. It’s been an unbelievable run of 30 years, including two Super Bowl titles (1997, 2011).

The Brewers have revolutionized their franchise thanks to former General Manager Doug Melvin, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and others, and now GM David Stearns, manager Craig Counsell and some homegrown pitching.

The addition of CC Sabathia in 2008 ended a 26-year playoff drought, and now the team has advanced to six postseasons in 14 years, including four in a row.

      And finally, the Bucks are perhaps more relevant than ever thanks to the emergence of Giannis Antetounmkounpo.

Decades of futility was erased back in July when the Bucks won the city of Milwaukee’s first professional sports championship since the artist formerly known of Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Oscar Robertson won it all back in 1971.

Sure, there has been recent success from these teams, and the Packers have been the one constant, but I still feel like my lifetime has seen much more sports heartbreak than success.

The Brewers were bad in the 1990s and 2000s.

The Bucks were REALLY bad in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, minus a year or two here and there (2001 Eastern Conference Finals).

Here’s a quick list of Wisconsin sports blunders off the top of my head:

The Packers in the 80s, 4th and 26, Brandon Bostick and that onside kick, SO MANY NFC championship game losses, Brett Favre turning on us…the Brewers never developing a pitcher ever for 30-plus years, blowing it to the Cardinals in 2011, Prince Fielder leaving, Braunie cheating, Ken Macha, Clayton Kershaw killing our dreams in 2018, that devastating Trent Grisham error… the Bucks thinking Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings were the next big thing, Todd Day, Lee Mayberry, Shawn Respert, YI JIANLIAN, JOE ALEXANDER, OMG, the Bucks have made some terrible draft picks, losing to LeBron a lot, GM Larry Harris, Andrew Bogut getting hurt the one time we looked really, really good.

You get the point.

It seems we can’t have nice things.

But maybe the Bucks changed all that with their history-changing victory in Game 6 of the Finals July 20. And last weekend was a reminder of that.

On Sunday, the Brewers clinched the National League Central division title before the season was over for the first time since 2011 (they clinched in 2018 on the last day of the regular season). And they did it at home.

About three hours after the final out, the Packers’ Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard game-winning field goal to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 30-28, and Aaron Rodgers looked like his old self.

All was right with the world, and it made you think maybe, just maybe, we have legitimate shot to have the Bucks, Brewers and Packers win championships in the same year.

Whoa, what a dream.

What’s much more is the fact that Erin, Coraline and I were fortunate enough to attend Sunday’s historic Brewers game in person, thanks to Grandma Mimi, who watched Roman.

Wow, what an amazing mother-in-law I have. We really are lucky.

We just had a blast and freely walked around the stadium, grabbing drinks and food, taking photos with the racing sausage statues, waiting in line to hit in the batting cages and just relaxing without the demands of a 2-year-old.

As we were leaving we walked down to the lower level, where Coraline and I dashed all the way down the first row and overlooked the balcony as the Brewers stormed the field in celebration amid a confetti shower.

The stadium was turned up to a thousand, and we chanted, “Let’s go, Brewers” and took selfies in pure bliss.

It was a special day with my girls that I’ll never forget.

 

FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS (Last week 4-0; Season: 20-4)

 

Game of the Week

Waterford (3-3, 2-2 SLC) at Elkhorn (3-2, 2-2)

On Friday night, two grind-it-out, physical football teams will battle for the right to be the third-best team in the Southern Lakes Conference.

Both teams are coming off big road wins.

Ethan Esch and Connor Lom led the Elks to a comeback 21-17 victory after the guys trailed 17-6 at the half.

The Wolverines benefitted from a pick-6 by Casey North, along with his 11 tackles, and touchdown runs by three different players.

Despite Jakob Simmons’ 168 rushing yards, Carson Blitz ran for 120 yards to lead Waterford’s run game to 321 yards.

It seems the Wolverines are trending up, but they haven’t won on the road this season.

The teams are too close to each other to not pick the home-field advantage here.

PREDICTION: Elkhorn 24, Waterford 20

 

Other area predictions

  • Racine Lutheran 40, Catholic Central 20
  • Burlington 14, Delavan-Darien 12
  • Lake Geneva Badger 52, Westosha Central 21
  • Union Grove 38, Wilmot 7