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Wisco Sports Show host Grant Bilse bobblehead-umentary on par, right through Brewers flopping in playoffs



TOP PHOTO: (LEFT) Wisco Sports Show host Grant Bilse; (RIGHT) Paige Spiranac arrives at the ESPY Awards at Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

You could call it a mock ESPN “30 For 30” that took the premise of the movie Major League.

A cardboard cutout of the Cleveland Indians owner that rallied a team of misfits into making the MLB playoffs. But in Milwaukee. With a former golfer. And her bobblehead.

That’s precisely what Wisco Sports Show host Grant Bilse did back in June, after a somewhat strange Milwaukee Brewers bobblehead night at Am-Fam Field.

His show June 23 is called “Paige Spiranac Bobblehead night: A Promotion that Saved a Season.”

It came right after the Brewers had lost six in a row, then the bobblehead night happened, and Milwaukee rattled off three consecutive wins, as Bilse got to work on interviews, script, production — and what turned into the Major League of predictions.

From that June 16 bobblehead night win to the end of the season, the Brewers went from 34-34 to 92-70 and NL Central Division Champions.

The show went internationally viral, after Milwaukee made the playoffs and, fittingly, like Major League, the Brewers blew it in the first round — something you don’t see in the movie.

The New York Post wrote about it. The Daily Mail UK ran it. The most popular sport podcast in the country, Pardon My Take, talked about it — albeit mispronouncing Bilse’s last name.

“To hear Big Cat and PFT and Hank and those guys talk about it, that was pretty cool,” Bilse said Wednesday, before the Brewers were eliminated. “And I have a ton of friends who listen to that podcast, who just randomly text me this morning. They’re like, ‘What the hell? You’re on Pardon My Take?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah, no big deal.’”

It took Bilse — a one-man show — countless hours to produce. And it wasn’t something on his radar this past week, until someone randomly retweeted his show, reminding him that his prediction had actually come to fruition.

But was “Paige Spiranac Bobblehead night: A Promotion that Saved a Season,” a joke to fill a Friday evening on Bilse’s show — 4-6 p.m. weekdays on WKTY — when he wasn’t there live and had a wedding to go to that weekend? Or was this his not-so-subtle way of telling the Brewers they need to keep thinking out of the box?

Hours before Milwaukee was eliminated, Bilse made his feelings known.

“By the way, if the Brewers don’t bring Paige Spiranac back to the ballpark before the playoffs are done, this is on them, OK?” Bilse said. “This can weigh on their conscience because the data proves that Paige Spiranac helps this team win.”

He wouldn’t go as far as to say Spiranac should have thrown out that first pitch in Game 1 instead of Bob Uecker. But he did think Milwaukee should start thinking ahead, in case they would have gone on to win the World Series.

“At the very least name a street after her, you know, like in Green Bay, they have McCarthy Way, and they have Lombardi, that goes through Oneida,” Bilse said. “Like, if you win a Super Bowl, you get a street named after you.

“Well, why not, instead of Stadium Drive or, you know, Exit 264 or whatever, just name a street after her. Because it’s not like the Brewers have championships and championship winning managers to name streets after. So I would just go for a street.”

Looking to next year, Bilse believes the Brewers need to do more. Like Major League II and Major League: Back to the Minors. Milwaukee needs Spiranac sequels.

“Stickers, bottle openers, things like that,” Bilse said. “Just branding, really is what it comes down to. So the more stuff you can put her face on and all the different ways you can use her in promotions. I think it would prove to be a boon for the Brewers. I think it would help them win games. But what do I know? I just pour through the data.”

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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