Monday, October 17, 2011

A Random Meeting, Questions, and the Milwaukee Brewers

Bedtime comes before prime time TV games end, and as I type this morning my son is still asleep. He doesn't know yet that the answer to the question at the end of this article - despite our prayer for the affirmative - is most certainly negative. For this season anyway.

My deadline for this article was last Tuesday. Our Milwaukee Brewers were tied 1-1 with the Cardinals in the NLCS, and despite a Game 2 loss, we all were confident the Brewers' season would be extended. At the very least there would be a Game 7 tonight, giving the article a feel of hopeful anticipation.

I really didn't think the season would be over.

Nevertheless, thanks for reading. Here is the article on the newspaper's website.

It’s a proverbial butterfly flapping its wings question. What happened on that April day in 2009 that led our family to Milwaukee for back-to-back Brewers’ postseason victories in 2011? What if our bus to Milwaukee that day had been delayed? What if the grill had taken two matches instead of one? What if some tailgater had wanted another bratwurst? What if...?

Who cares?

Whether a butterfly wanted a bratwurst or not, our family ended up in the right place at the right time when, shortly after entering Miller Park, we were asked one simple question. “Where are you sitting?”

When you attend a Milwaukee Brewers’ game on a church bus trip, there are limited possible answers. Most include words like “deep left field” or “upper deck” and all include the phrase “family section.”

I answered appropriately.

“Well, here,” the inquisitive young lady responded while holding out tickets. “We have some extras people couldn't use. Front row, right field bleachers. Bring the kids down if you want.”

Over the past two years, that random meeting and simple question has led our family to numerous Brewers’ games right back in the front row of the right field bleachers.

And that one question has led to more questions, all of which have given our family amazing experiences and a wealth of new knowledge.

For example, my son chose to wear a hat that he felt was unquestionably awesome. My daughter, however, felt that the hat was unarguably hideous. This hat, a mid-eighties gem from the days of Harvey’s Wallbangers, was formally worn by me and recently found stored safely away at Grandma’s house.

This led to a question: Is this hat awesome or hideous? We asked the people walking into the ballpark.

My daughter learned a nearly unanimous lesson. Anything that conjures memories of the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers is awesome. She did take solace in one guy’s vote. “That hat,” he said, “is hideously awesome.”

My son learned that a question is sometimes all that’s needed. See, when you’re a nine-year-old Wisconsin boy, and the people parked next to you have a genuine championship belt on display, you want to wear that belt.

That twenty pounds of sparkling metal and black leather blessed my son with valuable lifelong knowledge. He now knows that if a man wants to wear a championship belt, he’s got three choices: A. Win a cage match. B. Win a Super Bowl. C. Ask nicely and say please.

He wore the belt.

My wife, planner extraordinaire, takes great pride in her organizational skills. But even the best tailgating list-makers can misplace the paper plates.

The solution was simple. Ask. “Excuse me, would you have any extra plates?” When enjoying a grilled meal with 45,000 of your closest friends, neighbors are more than willing to share plates.

Of course, similar questions occasionally came our direction. People around us have asked for buns, matches, and even charcoal. Makes paper plates seem insignificant.

And now, with games to be played after the author’s deadline but before the article’s publication, one question (and one prayer for the affirmative) remains: Will our family’s adventures continue to more Brewers’ postseason games?

Update: For the record, we had tickets to Game 6 of the World Series. 


  1. sorry your tickets will go unused.

  2. My dad, Al, shared your links with me...just wanted to say we really enjoyed celebrating one of their post-season wins with you at Miller Park! It was fun to see your kids having so much fun! Reminded me of days at County Stadium with my dad! Kathy (Al's daughter)

  3. Peggy - I wouldn't say the tickets are going completely unused. They are going in the scrapbook.

  4. Kathy, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Our family has been to a lot of Brewers games these past few years, but none were as electric as the postseason games. It was good meeting you too, and hopefully our paths cross again at Miller Park.

    In October.

    With the same result as game we attended together.


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