I’m a Milwaukee guy who currently lives in Minneapolis, so I’m often presented with an odd dichotomy when it comes to my sports world. For the most part, my time here has been an often-tense balance of supporting some local teams and not others. I back the Pack, so it’s always been a little nerve-wracking to be in the land of the Vikings, especially during the epic douche-baggery that was the Brent Favre era. It helps that there’s a good number of Packers fans, and Brewers fans for that matter, living and working in the Twin Cities. As anyone who lives somewhere other than the state or city of their favorite team knows, it can be an uneasy thing showing your colors when there are hordes of the opposition around. I dig the St. Paul Saints, and who can really hate the Timberwolves? Since Wisconsin has no NHL team, I go for the Wild at the top level of pro hockey. As for baseball, I really supported the Twins during the early 00s, both because the Brewers flat-out stunk, and because the Twins were a rag-tag bunch that was easy to root for, facing contraction and long odds to reach the postseason with a team of relative unknowns.
The point is: there’s usually a combination of good and bad for a Wisconsinite in the Twin Cities sports landscape.
First the bad, and this may be more comical than bad, but the Twins invited ex-Packers wideout Greg Jennings to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Target Field on May 29, which just happens to be the first game on the Minneapolis side of the four-game Brewers-Twins series. The skeptic in me finds it really hard to believe that this series was not targeted by the Twins, or the Vikings, or both. Really? You need to introduce Greg Jennings to everyone when a bunch of Brewers/Packers fans are in the house? Really? That’s just poor hospitality: making your guests feel awkward. Sometimes Minnesota revels in a chance to stick it to Wisconsin, and it appears this is another little jab. I expect Jennings will receive an appropriate mixture of boos and cheers. Welcome Jennings, get ready for some vitriol.
On the plus side, the Twins have expanded their use of local music at Target Field into something called the Midwest Music Series, and I was at the game on Wednesday versus the White Sox when the 4onthefloor [sic] played the first of many games where a local band rips it up during ‘pregame warm-ups, between innings and during pitching changes’. I quote Chris Riemenschneider of the Minneapolis Star Tribune because when I was at the game I did notice that the band was playing but with the chaos of being at the stadium, it wasn’t simple to chart exactly when they were performing. The band is sometimes shown on the video boards.
Apparently the Midwest Music Series also allows the bands to do a couple short pregame sets for early arrivers. The Twin Cities have a vibrant music scene and if you’re a baseball fan who’s into music, this is a really dynamic concept. I truly enjoyed hearing 4onthefloor rock out instead of some cheesy blaring pop music. There’s also the intriguing live aspect that forces bands to be on their toes, should any sudden break occur. Or, say, should a break be elongated. Improvisation is a big part of it as the need arises to go off script. The Brewers could, nay should, rip this idea off from the Twins. It would support local Milwaukee bands and it would bring a festive, organic vibe to the music at Miller Park. The Twins have a great spot to house a band in the upper area of left field at Target Field, but I’m sure the folks at Miller Park could find a place for this to happen. I really like this idea…nice job, Twins.
The next installment of the Midwest Music Series is….well what do ya know, May 29 versus the Milwaukee Brewers. Greg Jennings will be there. Will you?
By the way: head over to Voodoo Inspector for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the ultra-mega Riot Fest in Chicago!