COMMENTARY | Us Wisconsinite folks are of a different breed.
We spend hours on end in parking lots before baseball games. We concoct spreads you could only dream of, all while dumping an unreasonable amount of intoxicants down our throats. And, yes, the stereotypes are true -- we have a great love for cheese, and there is never a shortage of condiments to scatter on top of your burgers and brats.
Oh yeah. There's also the actual baseball game.
Don't think that's where the quirks halt, however. At the conclusion of the top of the sixth inning at every Milwaukee Brewers home game, five human beings dressed in life-size sausage costumes (Brat, Italian, Polish, Hot Dog, Chorizo) enter the warning track from left field, race around the stadium, and us drunk fools scream our faces off.
Especially when Randall Simon hits the Italian with a baseball bat.
What could possibly bring one to get so excited about racing sausages?
Well, alcohol, for one, but aside from the beer goggles, there are five reasons why we love us a good ole fashioned sausage race:
1. Mmmm … sausage
We love our sausage here in Wisconsin, so, naturally, we love sausage races. The race originated back in 1993 and is a nice little way to honor the heritage in Milwaukee. The racing sausages can also be rented, so to speak, for charity events and personal appearances, including my cousin's wedding.
2. Placing bets
Who doesn't love an excuse to gamble? The Sausage Race is a great time to throw some money down with your buddies with the opportunity for bragging rights. But picking the winning sausage isn't as hard as you might imagine. Just get a good look at each racer's legs and then determine who's in the best shape. You'll thank me later.
3. The sausages are actually famous
On two different occasions, the Klement's Famous Racing Sausages have appeared in a SportsCenter spot for ESPN. Former players and celebrities have participated in the race, including Dan Patrick and the "Danettes" earlier this season.
4. Imitation is flattering
Both the Pittsburgh Pirates (racing pierogies) and Washington Nationals (Presidents Race) hold their own form of in-game races. They obviously aren't as awesome as the Sausage Race, but you know what they say -- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But not when you're a jerk about it like the Philadelphia Phillies (h/t Harpo42's Flickr) and Nationals (h/t Let Teddy Win) have been in the past.
5. It takes your mind off the Brewers for a minute
By the middle of the sixth inning, it's about time to get up and stretch 'em out before the actual seventh-inning stretch anyway. It also provides some comic relief, as the Brewers have been pretty difficult to watch in 2013, and for the majority of their existence. Sorry to throw you under the bus, Brewers. You know we love you, just like we love the Sausage Race.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who is an avid follower of Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline, as a featured columnist on other sites and publications, and been a guest on multiple sports talk radio shows.
You can get the discussion going and follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_.
- Sports & Recreation
- Milwaukee Brewers
- sausage race