GREEN BAY – Some of Lance Kendricks’ fondest childhood memories consist of him and his grandmother pulling up to Milwaukee County Stadium to watch the Brewers play.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, the Packers’ eighth-year tight end has been a Brewers fan his entire life. Kendricks still has his 2011 playoff hat from the National League Championship Series game he attended with his brother during the franchise’s most recent postseason appearance.
While there aren’t many breaks during the hustle and bustle of an NFL season, Kendricks has kept an eye on his hometown team throughout the Brewers’ run to this year’s NLCS.
“I try to catch every game whether it’s on TV or whether it’s just on my phone,” said Kendricks on the eve of the top-seeded Brewers hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 at Miller Park on Friday.
“I used to love going to the games, the playoff games especially, because the atmosphere is just ridiculous. They’re fun to watch.”
The Packers’ full attention is centered on Monday night’s matchup with the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field, but several players took a moment to recognize the monumental run that has the Brewers on the doorstep of their first World Series appearance in 36 years.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been active on the Wisconsin sports scene over his 14 years in Green Bay, most recently becoming a part-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason.
After watching the Brewers go through a few lean years while in the rebuilding process, Rodgers has enjoyed watching their resurgence behind manager Craig Counsell and MVP candidate Christian Yelich.
To Rodgers, Milwaukee is the perfect example of how once a team gets rolling, “that momentum is contagious.”
“I love living here and pulling for our teams,” Rodgers said. “They’ve got a great owner and great management, and Craig has done a great job with the squad. I think there’s a good mix. With any great team, a good mix of veteran leadership and then you find that right piece – Yelich, who’s had an MVP-type season, and it all just comes together. … I’m sure, especially us old heads, we’ll be paying attention to the series.”
No player on the Packers’ roster was alive the last time the Brewers advanced to the World Series in 1982. As someone who has cheered for Wisconsin sports teams since he was a kid, Kendricks can’t wait to see how the third Brewers playoff appearance of his lifetime plays out.
Kendricks, who has a home in California, doesn’t know how much he’ll be able to watch the first two games of the series due to the Packers’ preparation for the 49ers, but he hopes to attend Game 4 in Los Angeles next Wednesday during the Packers’ bye.
“They’re an outstanding team,” Kendricks said. “It’s crazy to see they have so much talent and young talent at that. I’m just excited for them to even make it this far.”