On Wisconsin!!! [Stay-at-Home Nerd]
When asked where I’m from I usually say “Wisconsin” with full accent intact. If pressed about my home state I often say, “It’s a great place to be from.” The implication is that I loved growing up there, but wouldn’t want to live there now. I’m not sure either of those sentiments is true.
Although I didn’t know it growing up, I know now that I hate the snow. I hate the cold. I hate humidity (unless I’m on vacation). I hate flies. I really fucking hate mosquitoes. I hate not having breakfast burritos or avocados readily available. I hate that sushi is a foreign concept, that parking is guaranteed, that…
I ran out of steam. There really isn’t that much to dislike about Wisconsin, and I’d be happy to raise my children there, but if I try to list what I liked, what I really liked, about growing up there I can only come up with the following:
I liked my friends, many of who still live there, although others have gone off to Seattle or San Diego or even joined me in L.A. I use the term friend loosely – not as loosely as Facebook – but loose enough to say that if I liked someone in high school and they needed their tire changed I would help out if called upon.
The second, and really only other, thing I really liked about Wisconsin were their sports teams. I lived and died with the Green Bay Packers, followed every pitch of the 1982 World Series against the Cardinals, and loved that the Bucks were, back then, a perennial playoff team in a small market. I also followed the University of Wisconsin basketball and football teams especially after Barry Alvarez made them relevant winning the 1994 Rose Bowl against UCLA, while Dick Bennet took the basketball team to the Final Four in 1999.
Things didn’t go my way and I never attended UW-Madison. Instead I made my way to Los Angeles, California via a sidetrack to sunny San Diego. It always seemed like a forgone conclusion in my mind that I would end up here. Movies are here. Beaches are here. Rivers are here (well, north of here). Mountains are here. Sunshine is here. There is nothing in Wisconsin that I cannot get here.
Until now. As a Wisconsin sports fan I’m proud to say that the Badgers football team is undefeated after crushing Nebraska 48-17 on national television. The defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers (the best sports franchise in the history of the world) are also undefeated at 5-0. The Milwaukee Brewers are the deepest they’ve been in the playoffs since 1982 and are playing the St. Louis Cardinals to determine who represents the National League in the World Series. This is the greatest couple of weeks in Wisconsin sports history.
So, if you were to meet me today and ask me where I’m from I would say, “Wisconsin”. If you were to press me, I would smile and say, “It’s a great place to be.” I miss my mother loving cheese heads. My brats and my beers. My fifty cent tappers, my foosball, my home field advantage. You can take the kid out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take the Wisconsin out of the kid.
Go Packers! Go Badgers! Go Brewers! Ah hell, go Bucks!
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