When the NFL season kicks off, the state of Wisconsin will host not one, but two reigning MVPs — Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Less than two hours north from Milwaukee, there is a two-time NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers, who is hungry to complete the sweep for America’s Dairyland. 75 miles to the west, a Heisman hopeful, University of Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is coming off another 2,000+ total yard season and looks to repeat as the Doak Walker Award winner. All in all, one of the nation’s smallest markets have taken over the sports world.
Yelich Wins NL MVP
It started with Yelich, in 2018. The Brewers decided to go “all in” and acquired the up-and-coming outfielder for four of the organization’s top prospects. While Yelich was impressive enough to earn a nod into the 2018 All-Star Game, it was what happened in the second half of the season that launched him into MVP contention. Post All-Star break, Yelich hit a .367 avg, 1.219 OPS and 25 home runs, while leading Milwaukee to its first postseason appearance since 2011. The offseason didn’t slow the reigning MVP down, as he is third in the league in batting average and leads the majors in home runs, with 29.
Giannis Wins NBA MVP
Just a few months later, the Greek Freak took over the city of Milwaukee, as the city went from “Fear the Beer” to “Fear the Deer.” Giannis has gone from draft pick that Bucks fans hated to being beloved by the NBA world. The stats for Giannis speak for themselves: 27.7 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 5.9 apg and a PER of 30.9. The Greek Freak led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals, which also included winning its first playoff series since 2001, which was the last time the Bucks went to the Eastern Conference Finals as well.
Rodgers Looking for Another MVP
Coming off a “down year” for his own standards, Rodgers is looking to complete the MVP sweep for the state of Wisconsin. The odds may be stacked up against him, but those challenges are why he might end up having one of the best seasons of his career. In 2019, Rodgers is coming off an injury-riddled last two seasons, he’ll have a new head coach and offense, and he must play two of the better defenses in the NFL twice a year.
That said, Rodgers has always played with a chip on his shoulder and this year will be no different. Rodgers is a legacy guy, and he knows how important this year will be. The new offense is designed to allow him to make the line of scrimmage reads that has made him one of the best in the game and get the ball out quicker. In years past, McCarthy’s offense got stale and lacked creativity. Watching the Packers offense on Sunday became predictable and it seemed like there was a lack of adjustments mid-game, or even midseason for that matter.
The state of sports in Wisconsin is at an all-time high, with the three major professional sports teams and the only Division 1 college football team in the state all being legitimate contenders and having legitimate MVP candidates. Watch for Rodgers and Taylor to be in a position to complete the sweep. On, Wisconsin!
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