Each Thursday preceding Brewers weekend home stands, Tyler Maas will help prepare fans for all elements of the upcoming series with the Homestander. Tyler prints Wisconsin-themed shirts at Forward Fabrics and contributes to such fine publications as Milwaukee Magazine and The A.V. Club Milwaukee. All views, naughty words and weirdo sentiments are his own. Follow him at @TylerJamesMaas.
I'm not afraid to admit it. In 2008, after a Ryan Braun home run essentially won the ever-important 162nd game of the Brewers season and FSN (as it was called at the time) stayed live to show fan reaction to the last out of the Mets collapse that landed the Brewers in the playoffs, I wept. I was 23 at the time and in (in true blogger form) in my mom's basement with my family... none of whom particularly care for the Brewers, especially when the rare feat got in the way of a week 4 Packers game. I'm sure it was an odd sight for them, but (as sad as it sounds) I'd never felt such joy in my life in relation to baseball.
I went to Game 5 of the NLDS in 2011. Vince and I shelled out $100 apiece for left field bleacher seats, and Vince quickly abandoned me to watch at Friday's out of nervous habit. When the Crew won in extra innings, I stifled a full-on man-sob as best I could, hugged and high-fived strangers as confetti rained down from the metallic heavens. A few tears cracked through my masculine veneer and rolled down my cheek as I scooped up come confetti and departed.
I swear I'm not that guy who cries over sports stuff usually. I'm aware of the invisible line in the sand that separates being a sports fan and being a sports nut. And I'm sure as hell not that guy who cries over anything. At least I wasn't. You'd think as you get older, it gets easier to hold one's emotions in check. To a certain extent, it does become more manageable to weather the constant blows of life's disappointments. But in another sense, the longer you live on Earth, the more you taken in, the more you're shaped and re-shaped, and the more your emotions are eroded and mutated in the waxing and waning of existence's high and low tides. Occasionally, something small or unexpected can just break you down. Or at least that's what I'm dealing with at 28.
If a Subaru commercial, a line from a Weakerthans song or some god damn sports moment from yet another World Series-less Milwaukee Brewers season can produce ocular moisture, I'm seriously afraid for my tear ducts when I become a father (and all subsequent dad moments), when I get married and when I lose a close friend or relative. This makes me a total wuss and I probably shouldn't have written it. But hey, I'll take the Brewers tears when I can get them. I'll just blame it on allergies or being way too drunk.
Oh, HEY! Did I mention I own a business?
You may have seen the name Forward Fabrics mentioned on this site. Maybe you "Like" Forward Fabrics on Facebook, or noticed the ad on the right side of this very page.
Regardless, my Wisconsin-themed novelty shirt business is about to celebrate its first birthday. To mark the anniversary and to help kick off another baseball season, Forward Fabrics is teaming up with the now-defunct Right Field Bleachers (which I was part of) to throw a party in Appleton this weekend.
Saturday, March 31 at the Maritime Tavern (336 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton).
Forward Fabrics will sell shirts for only $12 ($3 less than usual), and others for $5. "I Hart MKE" prints will be $3 while they last. Right Field Bleachers will sell its remaining shirts for super-low, closeout prices.
Aside from the shirt savings and Maritime's always-affordable drinks, some of our favorite Wisconsin bands will perform. Those include:
This Appleton rock 'n' roll outfit is one of my favorite bands and is comprised of some of my favorite humans. At 16 years old, Sunday Flood is showing no signs of stopping. This event will also serve as Sunday Flood's release show for a new, limited edition CD. Hear them HERE.
I've never personally met TFA, but the quintet of Milwaukee indie rockers is my favorite in the city. I fell in love with its 2011 album Leftover Monsterface and am honored they agreed to drive 100 miles to play in a place they never have because a stranger wanted them to. Before this motivated and unique group of youngsters explodes, this is your chance to say you saw them in a 95 person capacity bar. Hear more HERE.
Haunted Heads is a no-nonsense Oshkosh rock band who blindsides listeners with catchy hooks amid angular guitar parts. Haunted Heads' members come from the ranks of various noted Midwestern bands of yore, including h. Chinaski, Happy and Drop Dead Giants. Hear them HERE.
Appleton/Milwaukee act Scarlet Escape is technically not a band any more, but we're glad they deem this event worth reuniting for. The band is back together again... for one night only (until they're asked to play again!). They--like Sunday Flood--have played every Right Field Bleachers event. We're glad they agreed to play this one, and you'll be too. Hear more HERE.
The show begins at 9:30 and is FREE. Come and get shitfaced and talk baseball with us.
If you can't make it, you can always order shirts from my site. And I'm sure Miller Park Drunk and Forward Fabrics will collaborate on a Pants Party and post-Pant Party concert in Milwaukee at some point this season.
We'll now return to your regularly-schedule baseball posts.
Outside of my man-crush Mike Cameron hitting two home runs and my buddy Jeff snagging a Prince foul ball that nearly broke his hand, I don't really have much to say about yesterday's game. It was not that good of a game and there were WAY too many Cubs fans. (I guess stubhub having Loge Infield for $9, Bleachers for $1 and Terrace Reserved for $0.50 is too much for some Brewers fans.)
Whatever, I don't want to talk about it. I want to talk about beer, man. I love beer. It's so good and cold and makes you feel funny. It makes girls prettier and people think I'm funnier when I drink it. It makes $70 purchases at the team shop seem okay. I'm convinced that Ken Macha is drinking beer most of the time because I think using Corey Patterson in any situation would seem like a good idea if you were drinking beer. Beer is so cool.
The thing is I go to enough games that I know the best way to drink beer. The best places to get it and everything else. Here's a little guide about it.
Miller Park Drunk's Guide to Drinking Beer at Miller Park Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday we didn't write anything for the site. Why? We went to the game on Wednesday. I started to go through my archives and realized that for every Wednesday game I have gone to this season Thursday has suffered. I don't think that I need to spell it out for you why this happens. It's just the way it is. You can't start pre-gaming at 5 in the afternoon, watch a three hour baseball game and then stay out until bar time without some effects. For us it's not doing a whole lot of writing on Thursdays. I'll take it. The thing is this goes on a lot. It's not just a clever name. We've been down this road many, many times before. So why not give a little bit back? Why not share our vast knowledge? Why not create...(wait for it)..