Milwaukee burst at the seams as Bucks win


Deer District brings Finals excitement to the masses in Milwaukee Image: NBA

It was the ‘mill’ing crowds of fans on the Milwaukee streets. Supporters went berserk as the Milwaukee Bucks won their first National Basketball Association (NBA) (US) title in five decades on the night of July 20th. The Bucks beat its peer team Phoenix Suns 105-98 to win the series in six games in the best of seven series. The edge-of-the-seat thrilling match was held at the Fiserv Forum in the United States.

‘The Barron’s’ stated that for fans like Tom Cogdall, a 63-year-old retired Army officer who lives in Milwaukee, it was a long time coming – I remember 1971. This was 50 years, we needed it.”

Cogdall was outside of Brothers Bar & Grill, just steps from the Fiserv Forum where the Milwaukee Bucks made history after a 50-year dry spell.

The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (US). The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and play at the Fiserv Forum.

The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona (US). They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division.

The 17,341-capacity Fiserv Forum is a multipurpose arena located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is the home of the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams and is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. It is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.

‘The Barron’s’ further stated that the victory set off a wild Citywide celebration that long-suffering supporters described as mixing relief and exhilaration.

Cogdall said he arrived at the bar and waited in line five hours before game time with friends to ensure they would have a seat.

Streets across Milwaukee were packed with supporters like sardines, with 65,000 Bucks fans, more than 10 percent of the City’s population, crowded together in the Deer District near the stadium to follow the game.

One police officer requesting anonymity said there were about 1,000 officers from the City and State (Wisconsin) near the arena.

A handful of arrests were made for drunken revelry, but no violence was reported as of the end of the game.

The Water Street Bar District, also close to the stadium, was heaving with delirious fans into the night, as was Brady Street, known for its trendy shops, restaurants and bars.

Many supporters wore team colors, shirts that read ‘Bucks in Six,’ ‘Fear The Deer’ and jerseys of Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Isaiah Tyler, a 43-year-old painter who was born and raised in Milwaukee, exulted, “This is history. I grew up here and have gone to a lot of lousy games – so this is the payoff.”

Tyler, who is Black, also said the Bucks brought the City together after a tough time with the pandemic. The United States has come out of the long shadow of COVID-19 following the vaccination rollout program. Though the Delta variant of the virus is leading to cases rising in the City, but fewer deaths have been reported due to vaccination.

Added Tyler, “Milwaukee is a very segregated City, so to see us all together, all races, for one cause, this is how the world should be.”

Brian Robinson, who is 49 but born in 1971, said he couldn’t help but think of his father, a lifelong Bucks fan – “My daddy was also born and raised here and told me about the 1971 team. I’m so glad I got to see this 2021 team.”

Father and son Chris and Camron Crumble went to Water Street to soak in the atmosphere and watch the game outside Bar One.

Enthused 52-year-old Chris, “Milwaukee hasn’t had anything this big in a long time. To do this with my son, for him to experience this with me, is unbelievable.”

A few blocks from the arena before the game, Dezzie Storne, a 55-year-old Atlanta resident, was selling shirts that read ‘Bucks In Six’, a reference to the deciding game. He said he drove up with T-shirts to sell for $20 each and was confident his investment would pay off.

“I have faith,” said Storne before the game, explaining that he put all his money into game-six shirts, betting that there would not be a game seven.

Storne had the last laugh when the Bucks won ending their title drought.

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