MILWAUKEE — An estimated 300,000 Bucks fans from southeast Wisconsin and beyond could not pass up the chance to see Milwaukee celebrate its first pro sports championship in 50 years.
For some, the parade was a short walk or drive away from home. But many Bucks fans made special arrangements after their Game 6 win to join the celebration in the 414.
Lifelong Bucks fan Jerry Verfuerth recently moved to the south Texas coastal town of Port Aransas. He flew back to Milwaukee to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Fiserv Forum and Game 4 outside in the Deer District.
He and his wife own a flip-flop store and quickly became friends with the owner of the sports bar next door. During the NBA playoffs, the Verfuerths made it their mission to turn the bar into a Milwaukee-friendly tavern, hanging a “Fear the Deer” flag and watching a number of key playoff games in their Bucks gear.
“The energy that was brought to that restaurant was unbelievable,” Jerry Verfuerth said. “It’s beautiful. That’s Bucks Nation for life down there.”
When the Bucks captured the title in Game 6, Jerry immediately booked another flight home to join Thursday’s celebration with friends from West Bend.
“I’d hate myself if I couldn’t be here with my boys; we’ve been through thick and thin,” he said. “We’re all family today.”
He said the parade was worth every dollar spent and every hour of travel. Scenes from Thursday’s celebration will replay in fans’ minds for the rest of their lives, just like the three-word prophecy heard in hundreds of chants throughout the city.
“You could be here— I’ll be back down in Port Aransas— at the grocery store [and] you’re going to hear the chant: Bucks in Six," he said.