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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 17, 2014

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In Sports Commentary

Terrell Owens starts sports-talk fires everywhere he plays, which this season means Buffalo.

In Sports Commentary

Dennis Rodman was always good for creating headlines.

In Sports Commentary

Heck, even Eric Gagne made things interesting around these parts.

In Sports Commentary

Remember this guy? He was always good for a few controversies.

What this town needs is a good sports controversy


Those of us who write about sports and those of us who are sports fans are going through one of the toughest times I can remember.

Where, oh where, have all the controversies gone?

This is important stuff. Without controversies, the world of sports can be a pretty boring place. And writing about sports becomes something that resembles work, rather than something that resembles fun.

You need some controversy to make sports all that it can be.

Think of the excitement.

The annual Brett Favre drama. Is he playing? Where is he playing? Is he the best ever? Is he just one of the best? These questions fueled months and months of great writing, exciting talk radio and passionate debate.

Eric Gagne, Rickie Weeks and Derrick Turnbow. Big names. Big contracts. Guys who had every chance and then some. Detailed analysis of their failings and endless discussions about where they ought to be playing.

Larry Harris and the Milwaukee Bucks. Is it his fault? Do they need a taskmaster as a coach? What about a nice guy whom the players all like? Is Herb Kohl still talking to Michael Jordan? Charles Barkley hit "who" outside Rosie's? Why doesn't Kareem want to live in Milwaukee?

Ted Thompson. How come he won't sign free agents? Did he really disrespect Brett? How should he be punished? What were James Lofton and Eddie Lee Ivery doing in that strip club? Is Bart Starr any good as a head coach?

Now, that was excitement.

But there really isn't much going on now.

The Packers, with such a huge roster of players and coaches, could usually be counted on for at least some miscreants. There's not much football controversy with a roster that's all but set and a coaching staff that is filled after the post-season massacre. And it doesn't look like there's much bad behavior. The wayward nights in the taverns of Green Bay seem to be almost a thing of the past.

The main controversies involving the Brewers have usually revolved around who is the general manager, who is the manager and whether Jeff Suppan should be hung in the town square or just flogged. And there have been issues about the batting order and who gets to play. But, the brain trust seems set now that Ned Yost is gone. And they have returned all their starters from last year. That may or may not be a good thing, but it doesn't lend itself to talk radio excitement.

Controversy has surrounded the Bucks, but it has almost always had to do with winning and losing and coaching. The ownership has been stable. They've got a coach and general manager who seem like they know what they're doing. They have had players who are fairly decent citizens. Not many Bucks have been busted. The biggest issue facing them is the need for a new place to play. But unless Herb Kohl says he needs public dollars to build it, even that controversy isn't likely to get your blood boiling.

I don't think any of the college coaches are in danger, unless Bret Bielema turns in a disaster of a season. Minor-league sports, like soccer and hockey and indoor football, generate minor-league attention and interest, as well.

What we need around here is some juice. We'd don't have any disastrous dogs or surprising heroes. We've got a lot of middle-of-the-road stuff.

We need something to spice up our world. And it shouldn't be all that hard. In the world we live in now, all you've got to do is mention something and it takes off, demanding response and sparking denials. Get it in a blog, get it to go viral and there you go. It doesn't even have to be real. As long as someone with almost any kind of platform says it, that's real enough.

So, let's get on to it. Somebody start it and before too long we'll have a full blown controversy. Legs and all.

Talkbacks

Broner | April 15, 2009 at 11:59 a.m. (report)

patrickm1964 - no you're not the only one. I actually look forward to it. It's like the fascination we have of not being able to look away from an accident.

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patrickm1964 | April 15, 2009 at 9:23 a.m. (report)

I see that I'm not the only one who clicks on the Begel column just to see how ridiculous it is. Begel is to OMC what William Hung was to Idol. Hung's 15 minutes have expired. Begel . . . 13 minutes and counting.

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blurondo | April 14, 2009 at 3:25 p.m. (report)

On opening day I said to my opening day buddy of some 20 years, that there will be a real controversy this summer when Macha is faced with having to move Fielder down in the batting order due to poor performance.

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hyattff2003 | April 14, 2009 at 12:47 p.m. (report)

@hardgeminiguy- Tell you what, you enjoy your orchestras, and I'll enjoy the art of a 6-4-3 double play, and we'll stick with that. And when 40,000 people pay to see you pay your mortgage, then you can call them overpaid. when you can hit a 95 MPH fastball and a 88 MPH slider that moves in ways you've never seen, then you can call them overpaid. Until then, please just go enjoy your theater and arts.

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hyattff2003 | April 14, 2009 at 12:43 p.m. (report)

I'm not sure I've seen a lazier column. You know, we could replace the entire nausiating piece you just wrote with, "I'm bored."

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