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Best of Milwaukee 2013: Sports & Recreation

Best bolwing alley, favorite Green Bay Packer and more

Nov. 13, 2013
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Bowling Alley

Pool Hall

Landmark Lanes
2220 N. Farwell Ave.

Conventional wisdom has it that the drunker people are, the better they bowl. By that logic, some of the best bowling in the world must be taking place at this historic, basement-level East Side retreat, where it often feels like there are as many bars as there are lanes. Landmark may not be as up to date as some of the modern alleys—there’s no computer scoring here—but this giant underground rec room is rife with amenities. The beer selection is huge, the mixed drinks are cheap and there are plenty of dartboards, arcade games and pool tables. Billiards buffs take note: It’s almost always easy to find an open table here. (Evan Rytlewski)


Runners-up Bowling Alley:

Bay View Bowl
Koz’s Mini Bowl


Runners-up Pool Hall:

Romine’s High Pockets
Master Z’s Cue Club


Favorite Admiral

Victor Bartley

It seems a lock that this year’s favorite won’t repeat next year. And that’s because this 25-year-old defenseman is no longer an Admiral. He’s been called up by the Admiral’s parent team, the Nashville Predators of the NHL, and averaging a respectable number of minutes per game. About his talents on the ice, I defer to my friend and hockey expert Mike Juley: “Good skater, clean player, not afraid to drop the gloves or do the dirty work in the corners, although he didn’t have a lot of penalty minutes. He seemed to have a lot of lady fans.” Predators, indeed. (Art Kumbalek)



Juuso Puustinen


Favorite Brewer

Jonathan Lucroy

Catcher is an essential position on the baseball field that many teams struggle to fill yearly through the revolving-door policy. Not so for the Brewers—Jonathan Lucroy is a keeper. This past season, his fourth with the team, in 147 games played (nose-bleed heights for the injury-prone Brewers) he hit .280 and led the team in RBI. At the plate and behind it, “Luuuuc” has established himself as a cornerstone of the franchise for the foreseeable future. (A.K.)



Carlos Gomez
Ryan Braun


Favorite Buck

Larry Sanders

Hey now! Since being drafted 15th overall in 2010, this emerging star has gone from the back of the bench to the face of the franchise. In his breakout third season, No. 8 finished second in blocks per game, third for the NBA Most Improved Player Award, and first as Shepherd readers’ favorite Buck. Entering this season of transition with 11 new players on the roster, the young Bucks will be looking for leadership from its 6-11 energetic rim protector, and Sanders is ready to provide it. (A.K.)



Ersan Ilyasova
Caron Butler


Favorite Packer

Aaron Rodgers

In 2005 during the Time of Favre, when this future MVP award-winner was drafted by the Packers with their first-round pick, word on the street amongst the faithful was that they’d like to see him hit the street and not stop walking ’til he got back home to stay in Chico, Calif. And they would follow him all the way with pitchforks and torches in hand to make sure that he did. Now in 2013, word on the street amongst the faithful is that the street needs a name for crying out loud, and that name is Aaron Rodgers. It’s his time now, and what a time it is. (A.K.)



Clay Matthews
Jordy Nelson


Favorite Wave

Israel “Izzy” Sesay

The Milwaukee Wave, a member of Major Indoor Soccer League, bills itself as “the Longest Running Professional Soccer Franchise in the United States,” because it’s true. And the youngest member of North America’s oldest team is the 23-year-old forward from Sierra Leone, who at 16 became the youngest to have played in a game for the Los Angeles Galaxy of the mighty MLS. What makes fans dizzy for Izzy? New CEO and team owner Sue Black would love for you to find out for yourself at this season’s home opener, Dec. 7 at the U.S. Cellular Arena. (A.K.)



Marcelo Fontana
Ian Bennett
Luan Sales Oliveira


Wisconsin Athletic Club
Multiple locations

It started as a racquetball club in the ’70s and has grown into one of the most successful, locally owned fitness center chains in the Milwaukee area. The Wisconsin Athletic Club offers aquatics, court sports, personal training, massage and nutrition counseling, among its many services. The Wisconsin Athletic Club is conveniently located all over town. (Morton Shlabotnik)



Drench Fitness Boutique


Place for Skating

Red Arrow Park

920 N. Water St.

It just wouldn’t be winter in Milwaukee without the picturesque charm of Red Arrow Park. Located Downtown and bathed in cheery light from the surrounding buildings during the night, the skating rink is the ideal place for a romantic date or an exciting outing with family and friends. Need a break from the cold? The adjoining warming house features a Starbucks and is a great place to relax between jaunts on the ice. (Selena Milewski)



Pettit National Ice Center
Rollaero Skate Center


Public Park

Lake Park
3233 E Kenwood Blvd

Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1889, Lake Park is fashioned after Romantic-style European parks. Large areas of meadow and woodland and serpentine paths run throughout to afford city-dwellers a real taste of the wild. Nature-lover’s refuge that it is, Lake Park also features several entertainment and historical attractions of note, including a golf course, tennis courts, ice rink, the North Point Lighthouse and the city’s only intact Indian mound. (S.M.)



Grant Park
Humboldt Park


Sports Talk Radio Show

620 WTMJ

Hmm, the readers have chosen a radio station as their favorite “show”—and my favorite movie last year was Universal Studios. But there’s this: You can’t go to the game; your dog ate the tickets. You can’t watch the game; the warranty expired moments before your widescreen did the same. But you will not miss the game, ’cause you’ve got a radio tuned to 620 WTMJ for Packers, Brewers, Bucks and Badgers game coverage. No game? Dial in “Sports Central” at 6 p.m. with Greg Matzek and Jeff Falconio. Plenty of sports. Plenty of talking. And it’s on the radio. (A.K.)



The Big Show
Homer and Thunder


Urban Bike Trail

Oak Leaf Trail

Whether you bike it or walk, the Oak Leaf runs some 114 scenic miles of asphalt, city streets and parkway, twisting along three different rivers and winding through suburban Wauwatosa, West Allis, Bay View, the East Side and the Menomonee Valley. You’ll pass thickly wooded parks, pristine nature reserves and classic Brewtown factory industrial settings in a Milwaukee scenic tour de force. (M.S.)



Hank Aaron State Trail
New Berlin Recreation Trail


Wisconsin Golf Course

Whistling Straits

The rugged green shoreline may put you in mind of Scotland, birthplace of hitting balls into holes in the ground. Ranked the Number Two golf course in America by Golf Digest, the windswept terrain of this walking-only, links-style course is scenic, challenging and only a short drive from Milwaukee. (M.S.)



Brown Deer Park Golf Course
Silver Spring Golf Course
Naga-Waukee War Memorial Golf Course
The Bog Golf Course
The Legend at Brandybrook


Wisconsin Ski Hill

Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain
3605 N. Mountain Road, Wausau

Towering over Rib Mountain State Park, the Granite Peak Ski Area is as close to the Alps as the terrain of Wisconsin allows. One of North America’s oldest ski resorts, Granite Peak features lodges for skiers and beautiful, rustic scenery all around. (M.S.)



Cascade Mountain
Devil’s Head Resort
Alpine Valley Resort


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