Tens of thousands of fans followed along for the Bucks NBA Championship run. Whether it was at watch parties, bars, living rooms, or at the victory parade Thursday.
“This is important for not just the city of Milwaukee, but the city of Racine, Kenosha, the whole state,” said Bucks fan Bill Waltenberger of Racine.
The fans experienced collective happiness throughout the playoffs and after the win. Kevin Polky, the executive director of Red Oak Counseling in Oak Creek said there is science behind this.
“Regardless of where you were, what your political affiliation was we could all be a Milwaukee Bucks fan together,” he told 12 News. “They had to come back, either from being down, or being two games down, or come back from our star player being injured and other people stepping up, all those things. Psychology-wise, the reason why we become so engrossed in these stories is because we want them to be our story too.”
Many fans felt it was their story, yelling out “we did it” and “Milwaukee did it.”
“Because we put all of this energy into not only watching it, but thinking about it and going through all the stuff that the analysts do before the game and all that, all those things help us as a fan to become part of a game that we actually directly don’t have anything to do with,” Polky said.
Fans said it comes down to unity.
“All these people, you could have like nothing in common with any of these people and have never met them but it’s just such a friendly environment here, everyone is just so excited,” said fan Blake Groleau.
Now the challenge is keeping the unity and happiness once the initial emotions following the win fade.
“There was high fiving, and knuckling and hugging going on and it didn’t matter where you live, how much money you made or what color your skin was,” Polky said. “If we can keep that lesson and remember that when the emotions aren’t going through us so much, that would mean that the championship really meant something.”