For Green Bay and Milwaukee Fans, Things Are Looking Bright for a Title
Green Bay is a short hundred-mile drive from Milwaukee, north along the shore of Lake Michigan. One quarter the size of Raleigh, Memphis, or Oklahoma City, it is by far the smallest North American city to host a major league franchise. But the Packers are one of the oldest NFL teams and the most successful in the league.
Originally sponsored by the Indian Packing Company, the team was founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and joined the league that would become the NFL in 1921. The Packers have played in their original city longer than any other NFL team.
Baseball in Milwaukee has a similar history to many middle-America large cities. Numerous early league and minor leagues teams played and moved in and out. By the time westward expansion in the majors took hold in the 40s and 50s, Milwaukee was a way station, as the Boston Braves moved in before departing for their new home in Atlanta. In the late 60s, the expansion Brewers were created, keeping the name and legacy of many of their defunct predecessors.
Basketball mirrors that, as the Milwaukee Hawks had moved from Buffalo to Moline through Milwaukee, then to St. Louis and then finally also to Atlanta. The region had an additional local team in the early league formation, the Sheboygan Red Skins. The Bucks were birthed in expansion as Milwaukee’s current franchise. Milwaukee has never hosted a major league hockey franchise.
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The Green Bay Packers Dominated the Early NFL, Can They do the Same in the Modern NFL?
Curly Lambeau was founder, star player, and coach of the Packers, who won back-to-back-to-back league championships in 1929-31. Passing game innovator Don Hutson joined the team and led them to additional titles in 1936, 1939, and 1944. Fifteen years later, Vince Lombardi was hired as coach, and led a talented team of stars in Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jerry Kramer, Forrest Gregg, and Ray Nitschke. Lomabrdi returned the championship pedigree to Green Bay with titles in 1961, 1962, and 1965, before completing another trifecta with victories in the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967.
The Green and Gold suffered through twenty-five years of inadequacy, making only two playoff appearances until acquiring Brett Favre and Reggie White. They broke through in the 1996 season, winning the Super Bowl XXXI. They reprised their Super Bowl appearance the following year, but could not repeat. Favre kept them on a winning trend during his Green Bay career, and Aaron Rodgers continued the victorious tradition. Rodgers won his own Super Bowl leading the Pack in 2010.
The Packers finished this season at 13-3, winning the NFC North and earning a first-round bye in the playoffs. Rodgers threw to Davante Adams and a host of unknown receivers and Aaron Jones buoyed a powerful run game. Their defense was top ten in points allowed. They are the fifth favorite to win the championship; the odds on a Green Bay Super Bowl are +850.
The Milwaukee Bucks Won a Title in Year 3, But Despite Nothing Since Then, Things Might Change Soon
The Sheboygan Red Skins won a title in 1943 in the pre-NBA National Basketball League. The Hawks spent four years in Milwaukee from 1951-1955, and most notably drafted Bob Pettit in 1954. But they moved to St. Louis where they won the franchise’s only NBA title in 1958. The Bucks played their first season in 1968-69, and like many expansion teams they failed miserably in their first season.
But fortune was with them as the prize for the worst record was the first pick in the draft, a college standout who would become an NBA legend, Lew Alcindor. He turned the team around, and a year later, the Bucks added Oscar Robertson. In their third year of existence, the Bucks were indomitable, and swept the Baltimore Bullets in the NBA Finals in 1971. They would return to the Finals in 1974, but lose to the Celtics. By 1975, Alcindor had become Kareen Abdul-Jabbar and a Laker.
The 1980s Bucks would be a perennial playoff team under Sidney Moncrief but fade into obscurity through the 90s. Ray Allen and Sam Cassel brought the team back to the postseason, and they have been a mid-tier team during the new century. Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo has progressed to a superstar and last year’s MVP.
The current season’s team has the best record in the Association and championship aspirations, led by Giannis, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Brook Lopez. The Bucks are currently the favorite to win the NBA crown with odds at +300.
Milwaukee Baseball is a Child of the 60s like the Bucks, But Without the Same Success
The Boston Braves were an old time National League club that pioneered the mid-century westward trek in search of greener pastures, landing in 1953 in Milwaukee. Spearheaded in 1957 by Hank Aaron’s MVP season, along with Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn, and Lew Burdette, the Braves took the pennant and defeated Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra’s Yankees. The Braves gave Milwaukee their only MLB championship title. They returned to the World Series in 1958 but failed to repeat. Like the Hawks, this now-former Milwaukee team landed in Atlanta.
As expansion franchise premiere season failures go, the Bucks’ story pales in comparison to the Brewers. Born in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots, the team went bankrupt after only one season. They were awarded in bankruptcy court to Bud Selig and moved to Milwaukee as the Brewers. The team name Brewers had a long minor league history in city, and the MLB team kept the local nickname alive in the majors.
The Brewers made their only World Series appearance in 1982, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. They remain one of six Major League Baseball teams never to have won a World Series trophy. The best-known Brewers’ long–time players are Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor; Hank Aaron ended his career back in Milwaukee with the Brewers.
Led by 2018 MVP Christian Yelich, Yasmani Grandal, Ryan Braun, and closer Josh Hader, the Brew Crew has made two straight postseason appearances. The Brewers face stiff competition in the NL Central from the Cards and Cubs. The odds for a 2020 Milwaukee Brewers World Series Championship are a second-tier +2500.
What are the odds for Milwaukee/Green Bay to become Title Town?
Green Bay has been a champion 13 times, but the titles of the Bucks and Braves did not coincide. With Green Bay in the thick of a run up to the Super Bowl and the Bucks an elite team, what are the chances that the area could become Title Town and hoist two or more trophies at one time?
The parlay odds for a Title Town double play of the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Bucks are +3700.
The parlay odds for a Title Town hat trick of the Packers, the Bucks, and the Brewers are +98700.