MADISON – The Milwaukee Brewers playoff games are taking a toll on Brevin Pritzl.
“Oh I am stressed as hellllll,” the Wisconsin Badgers junior guard said Wednesday. “Like I literally have a panic attack. Like when we were in the ninth and we’re not getting hits, I’m like, ‘I should just turn this off. I am getting pissed. This is irrational.’
“I am definitely way too emotionally invested in the Brewers season right now.”
There might not be anyone in the state of Wisconsin more grateful than Pritzl, a De Pere native, that Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers is Friday. And, if the Brewers win, that Game 7 would be Saturday. At least he won’t have class the mornings after those games.
The kinesiology major struggled to get to class Wednesday morning to take a physical activity and health exam – “not an easy class” – after staying up late Tuesday night to watch almost all of the Brewers’ 13-inning loss to the Dodgers in Game 4.
“It’s was 12:15 and I tweeted, ‘OK, I’m done,’ ” Pritzl said. “And then it was like, I gotta keep watching. It’s going to end soon. Then nobody is getting runs, so I was like OK, maybe I should get some sleep. Finally at 1:10 I turned it off.”
Pritzl showed up to Badgers basketball media day Wednesday sporting the Christian Yelich jersey his mom sent to him for his 22nd birthday Oct. 9. All the while he kept a sharp eye on Game 5, which was playing live on the Kohl Center video board during UW player interviews. He spotted a media member wearing a Boston Red Sox jersey.
“Red Sox, come on, disgraceful,” he murmured.
The player Pritzl admires most is Yelich, though he hasn’t met him.
“I really like his personality,” Pritzl said. “I heard he’s a nice guy, really relatable. I think that always makes somebody more watchable.”
All of this emotional investment has allowed Pritzl to better understand his own fans and those of the Badgers basketball team. But as an athlete, there’s one distinction. Pritzl would never tear down another athlete who is just trying to do his best, no matter the performance, or outcome.
“We have a tendency to overreact. The Twittersphere – everyone is like mad at you,” Pritzl said. “They’ll tweet you: ‘Come on be better!’ And you know, I kind of feel what they’re saying; it’s like, ‘Come on do something for me.’
“My thing is, you don’t ever want to tell somebody, like, ‘Oh my God. You suck.’ You always want to be supportive because you never know how someone is going to interpret what you say.
“So I will always be like, ‘Oh man, tough game. You’ll get the next one.’ Or something like that. You don’t want to bring somebody down.
“You want to bring somebody up.”