Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011

Brewers getting any local respect?

By Nicole
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As the Brewers have snapped out of their slump and moved their Magic Number below five, they're competing for attention and fans with the other major sports in the state: the Packers and the Badgers.

While the Magic Number countdown has made it to the upper corner on the front page of the J-S and Miller Brewery has started projecting images supporting the team on their I-House, the tallest building on their campus, it still seems like the Brewers are on the back-burner when it comes to Wisconsin fans' allegiances.

I'll admit to watching the Packer game over the Brewer game on Sunday - but that happened after the Brewers took a 7-0 lead after two innings and the Packers were down 13-0 in the first quarter to the Panthers.

I haven't seen ratings from this past weekend, but I have no problem assuming the Packers game did incredibly better than the Brewers game.

In 2008, when the Packers finished 6-10 and the Brewers were in their first postseason since 1982, the two teams played at the same time. The Packers lost to Atlanta and the Brewers played an elimination Game 4.

From the J-S that week:

The Packers-Falcons game had a 29.6 rating, or 267,983 households. The Brewers-Phillies Game 4 had a 13.0 rating, or 117,695 households.

A total of 53% of the sets on at the time were tuned to the football game, compared with 23% for the baseball game.

There was some furor by Packers fans when a Packer PRESEASON game radio broadcast was moved from 620 WTMJ to another channel to accomodate a Brewers broadcast for a team that's a legitimate postseason contender.

The Brewers lowered their Magic Number to 4 on Sunday and swept the Reds, but were barely a story on local news that night. Coverage skewed about 15 minutes on Packers coverage to 2 minutes of Brewers coverage.

The first game of the NLDS will be played on November 1. The exact schedule won't be released until the teams are set, but the date is final.

That happens to be the day the top-10 ranked Wisconsin Badgers open the Big Ten season against newcomers Nebraska in a night game at Camp Randall.

Those of us who are fans of both are convincing ourselves that the Brewers will not draw big attention in the NLDS and will likely get a morning/early afternoon timeslot since televising them at night won't get them a lot of ratings. Maybe someone at MLB and TBS is self-aware enough to realize that scheduling the Brewers against such a huge Badgers game will not go well for the them.

If you're the praying type, I'd send a few up hoping that the scheduling Gods do Wisconsin sports fans a favor and don't make us choose.

If the Brewers are on the road, there's no doubt that there will be two TVs in my living room that night.

If they're home, I'm hoping for a game that starts by 3 pm and doesn't go into extra innings. And I'm very thankful I live 15 minutes away from Miller Park and can haul cookies home in time for the Badger game kickoff.

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