The year was 2005. A young Jonathan was in college in Stevens Point. Gas cost 2 beers a gallon (everything was in beer math in school). MySpace was more popular than Facebook. You could download music for free (illegally). If I wanted to text some one 'hi,' I had to hit the number 4 twice and then three times. Hell, 'google' wasn't even an adjective yet, and professor's thought that Wikipedia was a valid source of information*.
And our Milwaukee Brewers were beginning a brand new era. One of optimism and youthful exuberance. After more than a decade of futility the promises that better days were ahead with our bumper crop of young blue chip prospects were on the verge of being fulfilled. Rickie was coming. Prince was coming. JJ was already here and Corey was on the way. Braunie was just drafted and on the fast track to being a perennial all star/MVP candidate/man crush of every Wisconsin sports fan. The old 80's Brewers logo was making a comeback and Miller Park was filling up for the first time since the inaugural season is 2001. Everyone was Brewers drunk, and latching on to the confidence and talent of these young kids who were infusing energy into a comatose franchise. Not that that's hard to do when guys like Glendon Rusch were frontline starters earlier in the decade (whoop....just threw up a little).
The reason I bring this up is because after watching an 0-6 home stand this past week, I had part of my rage assuaged on Saturday night when FSN played a Brewer's Classic game from 2005. June 25th 2005 to be exact. It was a game at Miller Park against the Twins, Weeks hit his first career bomb, Fielder hit his first career bomb, and Ryan Braun was in the broadcast booth days after he was drafted in early June. You could feel the enthusiasm for Brewers baseball oozing from the TV. It was fun to go back to a time where expectations were low, and 'fun factor' was high (and back to a time when my one responsibility every day was to wake up before noon). Like if THAT team started 15-22 like this one has, we'd all just be able to brush it off because we knew better days were ahead.
And I think that's also where a lot of the angst is coming from Brewers fans these days. In 2005 we believed that even if we had some bad days, we were on our way to annual games in October and maybe, just maybe, a championship. Now it's 2010. And a lot of the players from that team are gone. All we have is a Wild Card banner to show for it, and without a blockbuster trade we 200% don't even get that. Now before you know it Prince could be gone too, and in the span of 5 years hope and optimism have turned to disappointment with a hint of bitterness. It feels like we got a blank check in 2005 but when we went to cash it there was only $20 we could take out of the account. There's still plenty of time to get it turned around, but if this team can't start winning at home, June 25th 2010 is going to feel a lot different than June 25th did in 2005. Bonus word: past.
*The chances that I graduate without Wikipedia are -10%. My final paper in college professors were just starting to put 'Wiki' stipulations in their term paper requirements. I had to go to the library and use microfilm and everything. Took me 25 minutes to load that stuff up. And it wasn't even in HD. Brutal.
PS: You know how long ago 2005 was? I don't think Youtube even existed. I couldn't find video of that game anywhere. Like how did people blog back then? Scanners and newspaper clippings? Pfft. No thanks.