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Kobe Bryant, apparently, is the favorite son of all Wisconsin jersey purchasers.
Kobe Bryant, apparently, is the favorite son of all Wisconsin jersey purchasers. (Photo: Mitchell & Ness)

A throwback throw up

The jersey apparel company Mitchell & Ness released an sales infographic of the most popular "throwback" jerseys by state, and there is a glaring, gold and purple mistake representing the state of Wisconsin:

Kobe Bryant’s No. 8.

I had to blink twice before that sunk in.

What? Kobe?

And while that was settling, I look over to the great plains and see "Nitschke" – yes, that Nitschke – somewhere other than Wisconsin!

Tell me why this makes sense:

Ray Nitschke – Green Bay Packers 1966 Replica Jersey
Nitschke spent his entire 15-year career with the Green Bay Packers winning the NFL Championship 5 times including 1966, a season where Ray was also a First-team All-Pro selection. Ray remained popular in Green Bay after retiring, having his phone number and address published in the phone book and appearing in local TV commercials for his auto dealership. His #66 jersey is retired by the Packers and he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

Every Packers fan in the state knows this, no? You know, on account of him being a Packers legend.

But, nah. Kobe.

And, to add salt to the wound, to try and clarify why Kobe is such a hot jersey, it says this …

Really, Mitchell & Ness? See Minnesota?


Well, let’s see what it says under Minnesota:

Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers 1996-97 Authentic Jersey
Kobe was the first guard to ever be taken out of high school as the 13th overall pick and in his first season became the youngest player ever to play in an NBA game and the youngest NBA starter ever. During All-Star weekend, Bryant became the youngest player to be named slam dunk champion at the age of 18. Although he initially played limited minutes, his playing time rose throughout the season to the point of taking crucial late shots against the Utah Jazz in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

This makes no sense to me.

But what it does say is that Packers fans are not the best in the country as some polls want you to believe, be…

In Chicago, people mark their spots with a variety of objects, calling "dibs" on it, like with these colorful chairs.
In Chicago, people mark their spots with a variety of objects, calling "dibs" on it, like with these colorful chairs.
To me, if Milwaukeeans also called dibs on a parking spot, we'd use what we had handy. Like these guys.
To me, if Milwaukeeans also called dibs on a parking spot, we'd use what we had handy. Like these guys.

I got dibs on that parking spot. Yeah, dibs, you turkey

Another handful of inches of snow fell and we’re all out shoveling out the driveways, sidewalks and garage entrances off an alley. What’s interesting though, is no one in Milwaukee shovels the street.

Yes, the street.

I’ve never shoveled a street in Milwaukee, meaning never moving the heavy white stuff out of a parking spot. Not once.

And, as such, I’ve never called dibs here.

I’m not alone. I don’t see any Milwaukeeans shoveling out angled parking spots or street parking spots and calling dibs on their handiwork.

You know, dibs.

See, this is a real thing that real people do – specifically 90 miles south of us in Chicago.

The plows tear through the streets of Chicago, often burying the cars parked on it (or the empty spaces) and then someone who lives on that block goes to work to shovel out their car.

And, for the effort, they make that spot "their own."

Because f$% you if you want to park on a public street in the winter time when I shoveled it.

A Chicagoan calls "dibs" on his or her shoveled out spot.

This doesn’t happen in the summer mind you. These same people will park around the block or down the way if need be. But in the winter. Nope. I dug it out so this is mine.

And it’s serious, too.

Like, I will punch you in the face for taking my garbage cans out of the street serious. Like, I will hose your car down so it becomes an ice cube serious.

Maybe dibs is a Chicago-only thing, and you have no idea what I’m talking about. 

But here’s one thing I know. If Milwaukeeans decided to call dibs, we’d go with this option rather than the plastic chair. 

This is what I envision a Milwaukeean using as their space saver.

The "Loving Cup" at AP Bar & Kitchen.
The "Loving Cup" at AP Bar & Kitchen.

Just say no ... to the cucumber

"Bar Month" at – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

I have two standard go-to cocktails when I go out in Milwaukee: the brandy old fashioned, and a white Russian.

Usually, any bartender in any bar in this city can make a decent brandy old fashioned. Maybe it’s part of the training for most bartenders, but I have run across a few places that either use a mix (no!) or don’t have the fruit, or just kind of mess it up.

White Russians, I’ve found, are way more hit or miss – which is largely due to my taste, but it’s hard to find a good one. Or, worse yet, a bar doesn’t have any cream.

So, basically, I don’t like to experiment with those two drinks.

That said, I will pretty much try any vodka drink, just for some variety when we’re out. To this, I have no shame. I’ve had really good ones, I’ve had some bad ones and I’ve even tried the bottled s’mores-flavored kind – do not, DO NOT, do the same. It’s the most abhorrent alcohol I’ve ever tried.

Anyway, I feel I’ve been seeing a number of cucumber infused vodka cocktails of late, and after giving it another go at the AP Bar & Kitchen with its "Loving Cup," which is made out of house infused cucumber-berry vodka, pimms, lemon and soda.

Afterwards, I’ve decided to just say no to the cucumber.

This isn’t to knock AP’s mix. No, it actually was refreshing for what it was. But having given it an honest effort at several places I came to a judgment: Cucumber is just a taste that doesn’t belong in alcohol.

It’s a benign vegetable anyway that really only adds some crunch to a salad, and while I’m all for mixologists and alcohol-makers to experiment…

Larry Sanders once got Bucks fans fired up. Now, the center was essentially fired by the organization.
Larry Sanders once got Bucks fans fired up. Now, the center was essentially fired by the organization. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

Fare thee well, Larry Sanders!

It's official.

After a hectic two days of leaks and tweets, an NBA source confirms to that the Milwaukee Bucks have parted ways with center Larry Sanders, who just two years ago seemed destined to be the long term face of the franchise. The two parties agreed to a buyout for about half of Sanders' $44 million contract.

Once Sanders left the team following a 50-minute closed door, players-only meeting following a loss to Charlotte on Dec. 23, he made only one other appearance with the team – on Jan. 8 – to say he needed to get his personal life in order. 

As of now, it's unclear as to what happened in that meeting, or what happened since, that completely changed Sanders' outlook on the game or if it fractured his relationship with first-year coach Jason Kidd, his staff and general manager John Hammond.

The details will emerge, eventually, but as for now the Bucks can move on without the center and a roster spot has opened up for the rest of this season, and going forward. 

Hammond spoke about the situation Friday morning before the buyout was finalized, saying he couldn't be surprised that a player an organization once had so much invested in did not live up to those expectations.

"You know, if you look around sports, not only in the NBA, but all over professional sports, it's kind of part of what we deal with," he said matter-of-factly.

Milwaukee is once again searching for a rim-protector inside, and will likely have to pay for it, be in the draft, via trade, or in free agency, but Sanders was the last, expensive, vestige of the old ownership and way of doing things.

While there will be "dead" money on the books while Sanders is paid out, it is substantially less than the $11 million per year he owed over the next three, and it creates the roster flexibility to continue molding the franchise in the new ownership and Kidd's vision.

As for Sanders, who knows.

He may not love the game like some others, but he never seemed (at least to …