Brett Favre's retirement on March 4, 2008, was just the start, actually, of a very bad stretch for the gunslinger and the Packers.
This week, Wisconsin professional sports fans got the not-so-stunning news that Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun had been suspended for the rest of the season for his part in baseball's investigation into the Florida-based Biogenesis labs.
Braun had tested positive in 2011 for elevated testosterone levels during the playoffs, but beat Major League Baseball's punishment because of a technicality, although he always claimed his innocence.
That got us to thinking: What are the 10 most disappointing days in the past 60 or so years for Wisconsin sports fan?
1. March 4, 2008
Packers legendary quarterback Brett Favre did the unthinkable. He announced his retirement from the Packers and the NFL. Unfortunately, it didn't end there. Favre tried to come back, but the Packers were going forward with Aaron Rodgers as their QB. Favre eventually was traded to the New York Jets and later, after another retirement, landed with the hated Minnesota Vikings.
2. July 22, 2013
Although many knew this day could come, the announcement of Braun's 65-game suspension caught most Brewers fans and the team off guard. Braun had steadfastly denied doing anything wrong, but MLB's evidence was too much and he accepted what appears to be a plea-bargained suspension for violating the league's drug policy. Milwaukee's Mr. Clean was just the opposite.
3. Jan. 25, 1998
What was supposed to be the second of back-to-back championships, turned into a John Elway lovefest. The Denver Broncos defeated the heavily favored Green Bay Packers 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII, giving the future Hall of Famer his elusive first title. After ending a 29-year championship drought the year before, the Packers had no answers for Denver's offense.
4. Oct. 20, 1982
The day the St. Louis Cardinals scored three times in the sixth and twice in the eighth to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 in Game 7 of the World Series. This was Milwaukee's year. They finished as American League East champions, rallied to defeat the California Angels in the ALCS and appeared to be destiny's child. After a 10-0 Game 1 victory in St. Louis, it was the Brewers' series for the taking.
5. June 16, 1975
That was the day the Milwaukee Bucks traded away Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers and forever have ceased to be a championship-caliber NBA franchise. The disgruntled star was never really happy in Milwaukee and the Bucks were forced into a trade to either New York or L.A.
6. April 23, 1989
After a dismal 1988 season, the Green Bay Packers had a chance to take a player in the NFL Draft who could help change more than a decade of futility. After Dallas selected Troy Aikman with the first pick, Green Bay could have chosen Barry Sanders with the next pick. Instead, it chose offensive lineman Tony Mandarich, a beast in college. Little did the Packers know, all the hype was just that. It was all built on steroids. As Mandarich flopped, Sanders went forward with a Hall of Fame career.
7. Oct. 16, 2011
Again, it looked like this was the Brewers' year. They won the National League Central with a 96-66 record and had a clear shot to make their first World Series in 29 years. Unfortunately, the Cardinals blocked their way. After a Game 1 triumph, pitching proved to be the Brewers' downfall as Milwaukee lost the series in six games.
8. Sept. 22, 1965
The Braves' last game in Milwaukee, a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although fans knew the team was headed for Atlanta as early as 1964, the city and state tried to block the team's move until the very end. Braves ownership was looking for a bigger television market and believed the team could better succeed in Atlanta. The void left by the Braves was not filled until the spring of 1970, when the Seattle Pilots relocated to Milwaukee.
9. Dec. 26, 1960
In what turned out to be Vince Lombardi's only loss in a championship game, the Green Bay Packers fell 17-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles as Jim Taylor caught a short pass from Bart Starr, but was stopped a few yards shy of the goal line by Chuck Bednarik as time expired. Green Bay had passed on a couple of scoring chances early in the game and it proved costly.
10. Oct. 9, 1958
The Milwaukee Braves were gunning for a second straight World Series title and led the series three games to one. But the New York Yankees rallied to tie the series and then rode the arm of Don Larsen to a 6-2 Game 7 victory at Milwaukee County Stadium.
- Dan Kohn: 920-993-1000, ext. 305, or firstname.lastname@example.org; On Twitter @PCDanKohn