Thursday, January 08, 2009

Philly Cheesehead Stakes


You're Never Too Old to Play
Originally uploaded by V'ron
Another post-Girl-Scout-meeting Bucks game, this time against Philly, and ugh, another loss. And this was a hearbreaking one, as I wasn't sure going in if the Bucks even had a chance, what with Bogut being out with back spasms an all. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to the game because, my friends, I do believe there's actually a buzz about our boys. People are starting to say their names in the same sentence as the word "playoffs" and those sentences don't have phrases in them like "probably not this year."

And what a starting lineup: Danny G, starting? Mbah a Moute starting too. And while the start of the game was slow (they were down 8-zip before they put one in), they quickly started to put Philly in their place and it was looking to be a good tight game.

Things started out with a particularly genteel anthem, delivered by the Guadet Brass Quintet. Much more elegant than, perhaps a Salvation Army brass band, this quintet gave us a veddy, veddy British sounding arrangement. Think: the trumpet solo in "Penny Lane." I didn't even cheer after that, I politely applauded by clapping my right hand into the left. It seemed, well, appropriate.

By halftime, the Bucks had a good, but not overwhelming lead, but the momentum was on their side. And halftime was just delightfully inspiring, too. They brought back those wonderfully active seniors, the guys from The Village At Manor Park. Two teams' worth of 60-80 year old guys are out there on the court, playing a game that would have given my 40something keyster a challenge. Granted, half of them are related (either children or grandchildren) to people who make their living being active, or they made their living that way in their youth. But still, I remember folks this age being discouraged from pushing it really hard on any kind of court. This is lovely to see. I have to wonder what the waiting list for The Village At Manor Park is as a retriement home. If more people see more of this, you can bet it will soon be like the waiting list for Bozo's Circus. I wouldn't mind spending my later years at a place where they encourage people to shoot hoops, dance up a storm and generally get old without having to be old.

And the Bucks should have watched carefully, because these guys did NOT let up on the D, like the Bucks did toward the end. Stella and I even waited for a full time out to get our late game treat, and when we came back they were still ahead. But it's like they pooped out. Coach Skiles delivered the ultimate insults in today's Journal-Sentinel today, comparing them to the dismal and recent Bucks teams. That would shake me out of complacency, too.

Close games have to be winning games, guys. You can not just give up. You have to take it all the way down. As I write this, I'm staring a poster they gave away a few years back -- it featured snapshots of a bunch of buzzer-beating wins and the thrill that comes from them. It was kind of like the BBQ Pork Nachos I had. I haven't had those in while, and I remember them tasting a lot better than they did last night. Maybe the onions were a little too re-conned or something.

But Bucks, if you're going to blow an 8-point lead and tease us with a comeback anyway, you need to deliver. The stakes aren't quite high yet, but if you still want people to buzz about you without using phrases like "also rans" you have to get it together.

In the meantime, weekend lineup is looking good. Everybody's starting to recover from NYE parties. I'll be heading to the Riverwest Commons on Friday to finally -- finally catch Mark E Lee and the Grand Disaster. Looks to be an entire night of punk Americana on Locust street. If they weren't playing, I'd most certainly be at Shank Hall for Chief -- because it's Milwaukee Metal Dave's birthday! Plus, Tommy from Revolush will be sitting in on a few choice Chief songs.

Plus, down at the Cactus Club, a 1956 show crept up on me -- they haven't played these parts in a while. And Saturday, it's time to relax and party with the rockabilly of Liam Ford and the Band in Black, at Smokin' Joes at 61st and Beloit in, as they say, 'Stallis.

In the meantime, mark your calendars for February 21 at Liquor Sweets. This will be a benefit for "Doc" Pfaff, who was shot during that armed robbery at Kochanski's Concertina hall. Organizer Barbara Meyer-Speidell probably says it best: "No one should be injured while giving the gift of music."

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