Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Milwaukee IV

Just returned from Milwaukee IV, my annual baseball and buddies trip with Mark Baden, Ryan Lund, and the ghost of Todd Bailey. If you're a guy (or gal) and you do something similar, you know how much fun a weekend like this is, and how necessary. Few things recharge the batteries like good times with old friends. These days, it takes me a little longer to recover, but it's still worth it.

Some random thoughts from the trip:

-The folks at the Des Moines Airport are nice and make an unpleasant experience about as tolerable as possible. Going through security, the nice guy behind me from Iowa Falls forgot he'd have to take his shoes off, so he was walking around barefoot on that carpet of foot fungus. Yuck.

-Nothing beats a direct flight these days, and with gas prices, it's not much more expensive to fly if you drive a guzzler like I do. I don't recommend the seat directly across from the blue urinal. I was stuck with it on Midwest and let's just say someone had a long flight. Well, two people if you count me.

-When in Milwaukee, I highly recommend touring the Sprecher Brewery, although it's a good idea to have a designated driver. $3 buys you a tour from a condescending guide who's trying out ill fated material for Night at the Improv, but it's all good when you hit the finish line with tickets for four micro brews. Full disclosure, we didn't finish the tour (but we did finish the beer).

-When in Wisconsin, don't order gumbo. (Maybe that's what happened to the passenger on Midwest.)

-The NBA doesn't compare to the college game. Oh sure, the players are more skilled, even when watching the Bucks, but they don't care as much, and neither do the fans. The cheerleaders do bring energy, if not clothes, but there's only so much $9 cocktails and $7 beers can overcome when watching multi-millionaires go through the motions.

-Go see U2Zoo if you get the chance. Cover bands scare me too, but this one was worth the $30 cab ride from the Indian-American driver who had a crush on Mark's WISN colleague, Shelby Croft. I digress. U2Zoo sounded great. Then again, we were at an Irish pub drinking Guinness. U2Zoo may have sounded like drunk leprechauns playing spoons and kazoos.

-If you're a guy, and you miss "guys weekend", expect a lot of obnoxious late night phone calls, even if you have an excused absence. (Todd, congratulations on the baby girl. Next year, try to think ahead.)

-Tailgating is not just for football. Those Wisconsin people know how to eat and drink. That's probably why they make us look thin. Anyway, Miller Park is a great place to park early, break out the grill, and chill. Unlike last year, it wasn't 15 degrees, which was nice.

-I hate baseball indoors, but I'm warming up to it in places like Milwaukee in early April. Good luck to the Twins not having a roof. That should be fun in April and October (if they're able to play in October again. I hope they are.)

-I could go on and on about the mindless things fans do at Major League games, but Andy and I cover much of this in "Pick a Side": Baseball Etiquette. If you missed it, it's in the whotv.com sports video player.

-If you're at Miller Park, do not run onto the field. We saw two guys get clotheslined by security and then beaten on the ground. Those guys walked off the field like a Cyclone quarterback in the mid-nineties (i.e. dazed and confused).

-How can the Milwaukee Brewers superstar be a vegetarian? We're talking land of sausage! Prince Fielder read his wife's copy of Skinny Bitch and decided he was done with meat. As I write this, he's still looking for his first home run (after hitting 50 last year). Coincidence?

-The Brewers have a good young team that's fun to watch. They're in dire need of another pennant. The outfield wall looks pretty bare, save for ads, and the one shining moment in 1982. I do love that old school logo. My friend, Ryan, says it's cheesy. Ryan's wrong again.

-The one thing that beats pregame tailgating? Post-game tailgating.

-You don't feel any older until you're winded by throwing a Frisbee. You also have to put up with the looks from people who wonder why in the world you're throwing a Frisbee.

-iPod improves a tailgate more than anything this side of the Dick Butkus Quick Cook Grill. (Actually, I can't vouch for the Butkus grill, but I once watched all 30 minutes of the infomercial when it ran on WOI. I think the remote was broken.)

-There's nothing worse at a crowded bar or restaurant than the stealth gas bomber. Sure you can get away with it, but man up and go outside, dude.

-There is no better investment when you've been drinking than a taxi.

-Pizza always tastes better when ordered after 11 p.m. I had one friend who looked like Hasselhoff eating a burger. Not pretty. (Okay, that was Ryan too.)

-What is it about $12 movies in a hotel room that makes you order them when you think $4 is a lot for a rental? (No, I'm not talking about porn. If there's one thing less appealing to me than watching porn alone in a hotel room, it's watching porn in a hotel room with two dudes.) Nevertheless, Superbad is really crude, and really funny.

Evan: McLovin? What kind of a stupid name is that, Fogell? What, are you trying to be an Irish R&B singer? Fogell: Naw, they let you pick any name you want when you get down there. Seth: And you landed on McLovin?... Fogell: Yeah. It was between that or Muhammed.

-I returned from the trip to find a "McLovin" T-shirt courtesy of Shawn Terrell (He mistakenly thinks my birthday is in April). Complete coincidence, but more appreciated than ever.

-I'm fortunate to have such good friends.

Back with sports soon.


Anonymous said...

Why did you go to Milwaukee when you could have gone on a spring football practice tour of the IIAC? I hear Storm Lake is lovely this time of year.

Anonymous said...

Keith-it never fails, your blogs leave me laughing out loud (in a good way). Thanks for writing!

Shane - Marshalltown said...

I notice you didn't once mention Wartburg's D-III Wrestling National Championship during your stay in Milwaukee...seriously, what the hell!?!? Watch your back Murphy...watch your back!!!

You couldn't see it, but I just did that thing where I point at my eyes, then I point at yours, to indicate that I'm watching you...it was quite intimidating if not downright scary...