Monday, January 5, 2009

An Open Challenge To Milwaukee...


It wasn't all that long ago that U.S. Cellular Arena was possibly the most intimidating place to play in the Horizon League. See that sea of yellow in the upper-right corner of that picture? Yeah, they were loud. In fact this is an image from the 2006 Horizon League Tournament Championship Game between Milwaukee and Butler. I was at this game...and I remember being scared of the sheer number of kids packed into the Milwaukee student section.

Since that game, times have been tough for the Panthers. The last two seasons have both ended with overall records below the .500-mark. Needless to say, there have been several factors that have contributed to the struggles, factors that we won't get into right now. That's not the point of this message.

Milwaukee, after Monday's win over Valparaiso, matched their win total from the entire 2006-2007 season. Not to mention, they're halfway to their Horizon League win total from last season (9-9). That's a long-winded way of saying the Panthers are (9-5) overall, (5-0) in the Horizon League. See how we media-types work?

That's right Panthers're currently rooting for the top-dog ( in the Horizon League. Feels good to say that, doesn't it?

Maybe you've already seen this week's Horizon League Network Update (January 5th edition), and yes, it's true. We're coming to Milwaukee. And by "we," I'm referring to myself and fellow Horizon League fanatic, Adam Coppinger. He's only a little nuts...but I question his HLN viewing tendencies, which are extreme to say the least.

Anyway, Adam and I will be at "The Cell" this Friday, January 9th, for Milwaukee's match-up with league-rival, Green Bay. Throughout the day, Adam and I will be debuting the "live-video-blog" portion of this here site. Think of the experimental Butler vs. Bradley game last month as the soft opening. But Friday, Milwaukee vs. Green Bay...THIS is our grand opening. We're still working on the free appetizers and drink specials.

So what's the challenge? It's simple...


I'd be asking too much if I asked for the atmosphere I witnessed back in March 2006, but it's not asking too much to want to see the Milwaukee faithful support the team atop the Horizon League standings...especially against Green Bay. This means you, students, as well. I've already been hearing excuses about the student body being on winter break...but some are hopeful that they'll show up.

Adam and I will have plenty of spare time when we arrive early Friday afternoon in we want to hear from you, about where the true fans hang out before the game. Maybe you're a season-ticket holder, maybe you're one of the tens-of-thousands of students that attend UWM, or maybe you're someone that just loves the Black 'n Gold...tell us where the "place to be" is at.

You can comment below, reach us on the Horizon League Facebook page...or...oh, why can reach me, personally, on my Facebook page. "Friend" me/us...tell us where to be, and we'll do our best to be there. Communicating with us may go a long way toward us at least tracking you down before or during the game, if you so choose. We'll bring along some Horizon League bring along your Panthers (or Phoenix) gear and we'll make a trade. Our intent is to do anything we can to try and make this fun for everyone, while covering the game as well. Can't forget about the game, right?

And don't feel left out Green Bay fans...if you've got a crew coming down from Titletown, let us know! The same rules apply to you, as well.

So there it is...your fair warning. Just know, if Adam and I are left unimpressed, uninspired, or un-anything, we won't hesitate to make it known here on the 'ol HLN Blog.

You don't want that kind of embarrassment, do you?


  1. Best place to go before the game is Major Goolsby's, across the street from the Cell. It was rated as one of the top (if not #1?) sports bar by Sports Illustrated a few years ago, if I remember correctly. I've been in better places, but it is pretty nostalgic and will be full of Panther fans before the game. If you have time, take a tour at Lakefront Brewery. $5.00 very well spent IMHO.

    Have a safe trip to Milwaukee and enjoy our fine town.

  2. Major Goolsby's was rated #4 Best US Sports bar by SI a few years ago, I believe. Yes, Major's would be the place with the most UWM (and Green Bay) fans. It's a great sports bar and usualyl has access to anything on TV (great hot wings and other bar food too).

    Lakefront Brewery is awesome and super fun- I would check out the Sprecher and/or Miller(Coors) Brewery tour also if you get a chance.

    I sure wish our students would come out in flocks and droves or this one like you suggest- this really is a big game for both teams. It would indeed help if Spring semester had already gotten under way and their were more underclassmen around. Regardless (of the student section) I think it will be a good crowd of 5,000 or so. Milwaukee vs. Green Bay always makes for a lively environment (us Wisconsinites are passionate about the battle for state basketball supremacy just like anyone else!).

    Hope you have a good time. Also- Old World Third Street, Miller Park (always open for tour, etc. and the Friday's restaurant, I believe) Milwaukee Public Museum, Humphrey's IMAX, Discovery World, Milwaukee Art Museum, Historic Oriental Theater (not sure if they have matinees) might be worth checking out if you have a little more time).

  3. Fantastic info from our readers!

    I've heard many times about the sports bar right next to The Cell, but haven't been in and couldn't remember the name. Adam and I will certainly stop in and find the fans.

    Depending on time, we may just have to check out Lakefront Brewery as well...since both of you mentioned it.

    Typically we'd try to make our way to campus (at any of the schools we visit during the season) but since school isn't in session at UWM, spending $5 at a brewery sounds like an ideal alternative.

    What about YOU students? Any "gatherings" prior to the game?

  4. Well...the word on facebook is....there are some gatherings in the works as a "come back to Milwaukee" campaign builds. know the man to talk to about student gatherings!

  5. Oh yes...I know the man to talk to.