Brewing Greatness

March 1, 2010
More than 45,000 people packed every seat in marvelous Miller Park on September 28, 2008. I was one of them. The roof was closed, restricting the immense volume generated by the animated fans to reverberate off the walls and blare into my ears. “Yeah!” I encouraged, along with the rest of the exuberant home crowd, welcoming our beloved Brewers to the field. “Let’s get this one! Bring it home!” Oh, how I longed for the advent of this franchise, the chance to play in Major League Baseball’s most hallowed ground, the playoffs.

The all-or-nothing game was soon underway, much to my dismay. The Brewers’ arch nemesis, the Chicago Cubs, darted out to an early lead, one to nothing. Though it was a minimal margin, it was obvious the Brewers’ hitters were flat, as they were consistently denied any scoring opportunities-- much like a persistent dog shunned each time he begged for table scraps. It would take a miraculous late-game comeback to overcome what seemed an insurmountable cause. Conveniently, that’s exactly what was to come.
A tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning, we members of the anxiety-filled crowd did our best to encourage the Brewers hitters to deliver the potential winning run. The first batter led off with a single to left field; the rally had begun. Two outs were then

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recorded faster than it took me to glance at the scoreboard to see that the hated Mets were losing. Sensing one last desperate attempt for victory, my fellow spectators and I rose as
one as the organization’s most prominent player, Ryan Braun, stepped up to the plate. He swung his bat back and forth like a pendulum, no doubt taking in the moment. I saw the entire raucous crowd cheering in one way or another for our team: Some were waving towels, some were clapping, some were screaming incomprehensible words of excitement, and most, like myself, were a little bit of all these categories.
Then, with one pitch and one swing of the bat, Miller Park, myself, and possibly all of Milwaukee, erupted. I knew the ball was gone when it left the bat, before the thousands of fans shouted effusively for joy. Its trajectory to left-center field was similar to a never-ending rainbow. I proclaimed to the group of fans around me, “We’re going to do it! We’re going to make the playoffs!” The smile draped across my face at that moment, I though, would never be replaced. I elatedly burst into shouts of happiness multiple times, not caring that my voice couldn’t reach the pitch I wanted it to.
My vivacity remained at this peak for several minutes while I anxiously anticipated the final out to be recorded. I remained standing the whole time, unable to sit in fear my heart would jump up and out of my mouth. The first out was recorded, and I cheered boisterously. The second out, and my exhilarated scream matched the deafening volume of the rest of the crowd.
At last, on the first pitch of his at-bat, the final Cubs player grounded out to second base, ending the game. What happened next is a series of events I will never be able to replace.
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“Yes!” I exclaimed over and over again, not to anyone in particular, but to alleviate my joy at this climactic moment of my life as a Brewers fan. I glanced around me, and though it seemed a blur, I recall complete strangers hugging and high-fiving each other as though they’d been the best of friends since early childhood. A profusion of hats, hands, and unfinished snacks were triumphantly thrown into the air. The fans with fragile emotions were drawn to tears of joy, while others raised their beverages in a toast to their winning team. The whole while I held a homemade sign above my head, which boldly read, “Smile Milwaukee!” These magnificent images, in my mind, say it all.
Despite the annoying, sickening years of mediocrity this team has infamously displayed and the frustration fans have felt in their anticipation of excellence, I’ve learned the beneficial skill of patience that I will remember to value for the remainder of my life by waiting for the Brewers to succeed. This fortitude is something that cannot be replaced. Ask any diehard Brewers follower, for that matter, and they’ll truthfully answer: Patience is a virtue.

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