Squad 6 Brings Life Back to the Bradley Center
By Rod Burks
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks are on fire lately, and fans are finally coming out to see what the team is all about. But there's a group of diehards who've been faithful all year. We introduce you to Squad 6.
It's an hour and a half before tip-off, and Squad 6, the newest craze at the Bradley Center, is getting ready pre-game style! On this particular night, they stopped at Scooters Pub to get some drinks and catch up. TODAY'S TMJ4's Rod Burks had some questions for the group's leader, Zak Grim.
Rod: "Do you guys come up with a strategy before you go and start chanting this stuff?"
Zak: "We use our Facebook page, forums online, talk before the games, and we always throw out ideas: What about this, what about this chant? Can we go after him on this?"
Bucks star Andrew Bogut takes home court advantage to a whole new level. He buys 100 tickets for each home game. Squad 6 is chilling in the lower level, and they mean business.
"We want to make the Bradley center a tough place to play," Zak explains.
Rod also had a chance to catch up with Bogus. Rod says, "It's pretty cool seein these guys smirkin at the foul line, because these guys are rippin them, rippin them hard."
Bogut replies, "Definitely, you notice that a couple times."
As the game begins, the Squad comes to life, and the psych-outs begin: From covering their heads with newspaper as the opposing team is introduced, to smack-talking the competition!
Bucks Forward Luc Mbah a Moute recalled a time when Kevin Love was at the foul line and the Squad started chanting. "They were like 'Love stinks, yeah yeah,' yeah, that was funny!"
Some of the guys scream so loud, they can't even talk at work the next day. Nick Honeck is known for being the group's biggest heckler.
"I've had meetings at work where I've had to have other people read my stuff for me cuz I can't talk," he admits.
It's not just men on the squad--the ladies also know how to dish it out. Kristi Schilling is proud to represent the female fans.
"I think this shows that women can get into it and love it too, and hopefully encourages other women to get involved," she says.
Joe Woelfel even has a traditional Australian horn he brings to every game! He explains, I won this in like 4th grade, it's from Australia, and I couldn't think of a better way to represent Andrew Bogut."
Not anyone can be on Squad 6. Members have to audition, and like the players on the court, they have to 'show up' for every game. Zak warns, "If anyone slips up, they're not as enthusiastic, they're sitting down during the game and not supposed to be, we notice that, and we always have the ability to pull someone's tickets."
Enthusiasm isn't a problem for these fans, who are just happy to finally have something to cheer about at the Bradley Center. Brandon Massey admits it's been a long time coming.
"It's God-sent. You know, they're bringing a different aura, new-found glory to the B.C. It's just good to see Milwaukee striving," he exclaims.
Squad 6 will soon hold auditions for some additional members for the playoffs. You can find more information on their Facebook page. Bogut says he hopes to bring the Squad back next year.