Time to put your butt where your mouth is, Bucks fan...
...which is a physically impossible task for most of us, but you get the drift.
The future of the Bucks in Milwaukee is in doubt. No new building, no NBA here. It's that simple.
There are many who say they could care less about professional basketball remaining here, that they see no value in a sport that doesn't speak to them and that they can't afford to see in person. Even those with a passing interest have no appetite for paying for a new building, some of them who still aren't convinced that the BMO Harris Bradley Center is past-prime.
Milwaukee is a better place with an NBA team and all of the other big city attractions that separate us from the Des Moines of the world. You may not go to the ballet or the symphony, either, but we can all agree that they are quality-of-life options. Yes, Bucks tickets aren't cheap but a new building may offer less expensive options--or at least seats with better views than those from the upper bowl of the existing place. And sadly, even at a relatively young age of 25, it's outdated by NBA revenue-generating standards. It was doomed from the start, donated by the generous Pettits at a time just before arenas became 24/7 revenue streams, designed for hockey by a couple that craved an NHL team and built before they did the math, realizing hockey and hoop couldn't financially co-exist.
For those of you who are all-in on the Bucks, who hope the team stays and that a new arena materializes, now is the time to make your presence felt. Get off your couch and go to games. Sellouts every night may not be enough to turn the negative tide, but a cozy nightly "announced" crowd of nine thousand (when in fact it looks like half that many are present) will only fuel the flames of nay-sayers who'll rightly argue that the Bucks don't deserve a new house when no one comes to the old one.
I'll be there Saturday night, sitting in the front row of the upper bowl with my son. No, I won't be glammin' it up in the Courtside Lounge with season doucat holders. That's beyond my price point. Upstairs fits my wallet quite nicely and the view is fine. With a little scouring, a determined fan can find ticket bargains.
The Bucks front office wisely blew up last year's toxic roster and replaced it with new faces, including some players who left Milwaukee on favorable terms during their previous tours of duty: Luke Ridnour, Carlos Delfino, and the always-fun-to-say Zaza Pachulia. There's young talent in Larry Sanders and John Henson. There's veteran co-stars like Caron Butler and Brandon Knight. Ersan Ilyasova can contribute if he can stay on the floor. New coach Larry Drew is hitting the right pre-season notes about sharing the ball and taking good shots while playing stifling defense.
Hopefully, the fans step up--and bring along a friend. Maybe, just maybe, someone in charge will finally step up and lead the charge for a new building. We already are doing what Milwaukee does best when confronted by a pressing issue: we formed a task force, MMAC head Tim Sheehy's quest to at least keep this arena thing on the municipal front burner. We need more. Governor Walker? Mayor Barrett? County Exec Abele? Hell, I'd even settle for Sheriff Clarke about now. Someone. Anyone. Take freakin' charge.
As for you, it's time to decide. You want the Bucks here or not? If you do, show up, starting Saturday night. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you see on the floor. It won't be the same distasteful brew served up last winter, that's for sure.
See you there.