Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
It’s not quite 10:00 Tuesday night and I’m watching the Boston Celtics demolish the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA FInals on their way to the NBA title.
Many thoughts are going through my mind.
I waited for the past two days for a knock down, drag ‘em out, exciting down to the wire, pressure packed, nail biter of an NBA Finals game…and I get this????
Like many other so-called “experts,” I thought the Lakers would have too many explosives to lose to the Celtics and that no one could stop Kobe Bryant. I was wrong.
I was so hoping Derek Fisher, the beyond classy Laker who has done so much for his daughter with eye cancer would win another title. It wasn’t meant to be. My guess is Fisher starts tending to his daughter even more, starting tomorrow.
The Lakers will return next year with a great chance to go back to the Finals and win. Why? Because not a single announcer has mentioned that the Lakers have played the entire playoffs without 7-foot 280-pound center Andrew Bynum who could have made a difference.
And what if (and what if is a question reserved for fans of the losing team) the Lakers had not blown that 24-point lead in Game 4?
I loved watching the Celtics as a kid in the 60’s. I stopped pulling for them when Milwaukee got the Bucks. I don’t like the Celtics.
However, I’m also thinking about their coach, former Marquette star “Doc” Rivers.
I worked for WUWM for 11 years. I did everything there except scrub the floors, and that included covering Marquette basketball.
Among a million cassettes and personal archives in my possession are taped interviews I did with “Doc” Rivers. Entrenched in my memory, and I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, is a very young freshman who had stardom written all over him.
Keep in mind, I’m a radio reporter, I need audio. I can’t put video highlights on the air of Rivers dunking on the opposition. I need sound bites. Quality sound bites. Articulate sound bites.
Rivers and I, from day one, the first day we met in the MU locker room seemed to connect. I started asking him to consent to post-game interviews very early in his freshman year.
It didn’t take long before Rivers and I just took it for granted that we’d be meeting after every home game, win or lose.
There was Rivers, even if he had already talked to a myriad of reporters while I was off talking to someone else, greeting me with a huge smile as if to say, “What do you need? How can I help? You want a great story? You want a great quote?”
This went on his entire career at MU. Oh, sure he was nice to everybody. But I’d like to think that before his folding chair in the locker room got so crowded when he became an upperclassman, that “Doc” Rivers and I developed a relationship that helped us both.
I learned, I believe before a lot of folks, that this was an intelligent, savvy, self-confident, talented individual who was going places. That’s why I’m not surprised Rivers was able to turn a rag-tag, lousy Celtics team into an NBA champion.
No way in hell “Doc,” as I was able to call him face to face for years when he was just a college student, remembers me. Rivers is one of the katrillion memories I have of my previous life and 24-7 career.
And I remember those days.
And 25-plus years later I'm grateful he was so nice to me.
And while I wish the Lakers had won the 2008 NBA Finals, I’m truly happy for “Doc” Rivers.
He deserves it.
From Matt Purple's column:
“A passage from a book by comedian and Minnesota Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken describes one prominent conservative being shot in the head and another soliciting a prostitute, among other graphic images.
The chapter, a satirical short story, portrays the cowardly and bumbling actions of several conservative commentators deployed as a squad to Vietnam. Titled “Operation Chickenhawk,” it was included in Franken’s 1996 book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations as a scathing rebuttal to conservative criticisms of then-President Bill Clinton’s draft dodging.
In the passage, Franken jokes about conservative author Bill Bennett getting shot in the head and the effect it had on columnist George Will, whom Franken calls “Stoner” and portrays as being addicted to acid.
“First day in 'Nam, Stoner saw a buddy get greased,” Franken writes. “Guy named Bill Bennett. Got it right in the eyes. Stoner tried to plug the hole, came up holding a handful of goop that used to be Bennett's brain. It was pretty grotesque, bizarre and grotesque to be honest. Stoner hasn't been the same since.”
The warm, compassionate, and I might add, clever left.
Barry Manilow turned 65 today.
Mention his name and certain thoughts, opinions, and images immediately come to mind.