Dear Ken Macha,
The slightly greasy aroma of fried foods; the muffled rumble of motorcycles and fireworks echoing in the night; the same interchangeable headliners year after year. Do you know what this means, Ken?
In case you haven’t left the Jerry Royster Memorial Managerial Residence at Miller Park (a/k/a Royster’s Roost) in a while, Summerfest is the annual celebration of Cauc rock, deep fryers, beer and farmer tans. A lot of people wish it catered to a wider audience that was more representative of the city, but it doesn’t take a Blockbuster Video executive to realize that you make the most money by keeping things realiably tepid and catered to the area’s sizeable middle-age demographic. Oh, nevermind, apparently it does. Either way, Summerfest has reached out to area bands in a much more meaningful way than previous years, so there’s that little nugget of sunshine to be happy about while wishing they weren’t trying to ape Lollapalooza by booking even shittier 90’s bands and passing it off as quality entertainment.
You may not realize it, Ken, but the musical acts at Summerfest have a lot in common with your players. Let’s examine a few of those happy and not-so-happy similarities:
JJ Hardy & Bon Jovi
Both popular with middle-aged women, JJ and Bon Jovi come up with some big hits, then go away for long stretches at a time.
Bill Hall & Stevie Wonder
The Motown legend and the man with four L’s in his name are getting paid based on their past success. Neither can hit a baseball.
Jason Kendall & The Offspring
Our steely-eyed catcher and the California punks have both been in decline since 1999.
Craig Counsell & The Bodeans
Gotta love the hometown favorites. Whitefish Bay native Counsell is remembered mainly for his clutch performances in two World Series and teenage looks. Waukesha’s own Bodeans are remembered mainly for their two top ten Adult Contemporary songs, and their gift to 90’s teen dramas.
Ryan Braun & Asher Roth
Sure, Braun previously used Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar” as his entrance song, so making such a comparison might seem more apt. But as much as Braun wants to project Lupe’s cool, Braun and Asher Roth both represent and endear themselves to the modern fratboy lifestyle — one that makes you question it’s ultimate freshness date.
Trevor Hoffman & Bob Dylan
Zimmerman and Hoffman have both been hugely successful during their long careers. Their ability to keep playing is slightly bewildering, but nonetheless an enjoyable treat for fans.
Prince Fielder & Femi Kuti
The sons of famous performers, Femi and Prince have both gone on to become successful in their own right. Once he becomes a free agent in two years, Prince will be Expensive Shit.
Yovanni Gallardo & Elvis Costello
Elvis and Yovanni both hit the ground running with impressive rookie performances. Costello went on to a long and glorious career spanning four decades. Fans would gladly take two decades of top notch performance out of Yovanni.
Corey Hart & Whitesnake
Corey would probably prefer a comparison to George Strait, but Hart’s play as of late would seem to suggest Whitesnake. Remember when everyone thought Whitesnake was the next Led Zepplin? Remember when we thought Corey was our outfielder of the future? David Coverdale is no Robert Plant and Corey Hart is no Jeromy Burnitz.
The first full week of Summerfest coincides with a three-game series at home against the New York Mets followed by a short, relaxing train ride construction delayed bus ride to Chicago. Let’s hope the victories come a little bit easier and without the luck that was necessary to split the series against Twins and Giants at 3-3. Regardless, Ken, you may want to hop over to Summerfest after Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mets — it may be your only opportunity to see Foghat this month.