I wish some of Agent Zero's postings would self-destruct
I like Gilbert Arenas, and I definitely like the Bullets bloggers I've gotten to know (they've always been good to this little blog). But I'm just getting sick of all the gratuitous Milwaukee bashing, and Gilbert recently lowered himself far enough to take part.
What I'm referring to is the posting on his otherwise interesting blog, oh around the time RJ was traded to the Bucks, where Agent Zero wrote (I'm not gonna link to the actual post if you don't mind) that basically "Milwaukee was the worst city in the NBA" and that he felt "sorry" for RJ for having been traded from New York (essentially) to a dive town like Milwaukee.
Ok, Gil buddy. Enough. This Milwaukee bashing is getting a little annoying, and its certainly overblown. First of all, I've lived in both Washington, DC and in Milwaukee. DC was better, that's true, but not by much (and mostly it was the historic value that put it over the top for me). And even so, I'll tell you this much... I never walked home from work fearing for my life in Milwaukee, whereas I did several times in DC (I lived and worked on Capitol Hill, if anyone is familiar with the area... just north of Union Station... and I could hear LIVE gun fire from my flat... FREQUENTLY!!).
But, in fairness to Arenas, here's what I think is going on. First, the Bucks don't win, and haven't won for quite some time, so that fact exacerbates everything bad about the city. If they did win, my guess is no one would care much about playing in Beer City because it really isn't that bad a city (witness the distinct lack of complaining about relocating from CC Sabathia or Ray Durham when they were traded to the Brewers from Cleveland and San Francisco recently).
Second, in every geographic or group breakdown, it has been my experience that there always has to be one area that everyone looks down upon -- mostly just because everyone wants to have an area to look down upon -- and in the NBA that area (at the moment) happens to be Milwaukee. (Note: The scorned areas are almost invariably areas that are popularly perceived as lower middle class white or blue collar white areas; infrequently they can be agricultural or urban poor areas as well. The phenomenon kind of goes along with the essay Bill James once wrote about how much Americans miss the so-called " country rubes" who once were a staple of our "agricultural to industrial" population change, and how the abscence of the Rube in everyday life explained the wild popularity of some 1960s shows like "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Petticoat Junction", "The Andy Griffith Show", and shows like that. I think the essay is in his last "Bill James Abstract" edition, but I could be wrong. Very good and very perceptive, as always.).
For instance, when I grew up in Green Bay, everyone looked down on Pulaski (yah, der, hey... that's what they would say). When I moved to Minneapolis, everyone looked down on the northern suburbs, Blaine and whatnot else (the area where the Vikings are thinking about moving to, actually), when I lived in Washington, it was the Southeast area of the city, Anacostia, or anywhere the "Orange Line" ran (for good reason... riding the Orange Line reminded me of "Warriors, come out to playyyeayyy"), in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, it was Omro, Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, its anything that can be labeled "Southside" -- same exact deal in Chicago (I need to study that phenomenon closer -- I think its rooted in ethnic prejudice, but I'm not sure). The point is, every group dynamic has to have within itself some subdynamic that all can look down up as "trashy". Its sad... but pretty much true. And in the NBA, the subdynamic of scorn at the moment is Milwaukee.
Again, that should change soon... but not fast enough for this writer's liking.