An extraordinary amount of quality Milwaukee Brewers merchandise exists out there for all of a fan’s compulsory collecting needs, but there’s also a lot of contrived crap that frankly, no one needs. Heavily inspired by this hilarious post by “Phil Coke’s Brain” at Bless You Boys (SB Nation Detroit Tigers) from back in November, I used a bit of my seemingly endless time not covering Brewers news during this uneventful, morbid offseason to survey the superfluous Brewers stuff on the Internet and nitpick about its utter uselessness.
In my mind, money spent on team collectibles should return equity from the purchase and ultimately be a durable, somewhat useful item that lasts for a while. Whether the item is a quality wall-hanging or just a pair of winter gloves with the Brewers logo on them, I seek out collectibles that will stand the test of (at least some amount of) time. Sure, we’ve all blown money on stupid stuff now and then, but ultimately my criticism of the following items is mostly qualified by a bitter lack of return on the investment.
1. Milwaukee Brewers Cookies by 1-800-Bakery
Sold by 1-800-Bakery, these “butter shortbread cookies with light sugar icing” are more lovable than the pathetic Detroit Tigers cookies mentioned in the Bless You Boys post, because they feature the Brewers logo “imprinted using internally built machinery giving you unsurpassed quality of imprint!” per the product description. If the cookies truly look like the image provided, they’re certainly stamped well. Whatever “internally built machinery” is, it does a good job. Still, at $107.85 for three dozen via Amazon, you are probably better off just buying some plain cookies at the store and carving Brewers logos on them with a butter knife or just imagining that they are connected to the Brewers. A total waste of money here, obviously.
2. Milwaukee Brewers Slip-On Classic Clog Style Shoes by Crocs
On Amazon you can get these stylish Crocs for only $25.49-$36.72. I guess if you’re a huge Brewers fan who likes Crocs enough to go all out for Brewers Crocs, more power to you, but I agree with Tim Gunn, a fashion consultant, who told Time magazine that Crocs look like a “plastic hoof”. The shoes have their fans and perhaps some medical benefits, but count me in the group that doesn’t need the Brewers logo on my shoes. I also don’t disagree with the Facebook group “I Don’t Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like a Dumbass”.
3. Milwaukee Brewers Pacifiers, 2-Pack by Baby Fanatic
These can actually be had for under $10 on Amazon, so perhaps they’re not THAT horrible/horrifying but really, does your child need MLB-sanctioned orthodontic pacifiers? I suppose they’d work well in photos, and then years later the kid can be reminded that he or she was pictured in not only his or her first Brewers T-shirt but also sucking on his first Brewers-themed silicone nipple.
4. Milwaukee Brewers 25’ Black Tape Measure by Great American Products and Brewers Toothbrush by SISKIYOU
I’m sure there’s someone out there that must have the Brewers logo on as many things in the house as possible. That said, these items are a tad absurd. You could always slap a Brewers sticker on your item rather than, say, shed nearly $20 for the Brewers tape measure. Perhaps if one is a tradesperson or something and wants to flaunt love for the Brewers when measuring things…I could see that. Personally, I pull my tape measure out of the drawer a few times a year, maybe. I couldn’t care less if it were a My Little Pony tape measure, as long as it gets the job done.
The Brewers toothbrush: yeah, cool, you’ve got a Brewers toothbrush. But it will inevitably get all crudded up and you’re not going to want to keep it after it’s been used up, unless perhaps you like to do some amateur excavation in the backyard or something. File the toothbrush under: Cool, But I’m Not That Big a Sucker.
5. Milwaukee Brewers Logo Duct Tape by Duck and Brewers Tall Kitchen Trash Bags (Pack of 10) by Spectrum
Amazon is a gold mine for crazy Brewers stuff. I’ll readily admit I almost bought a roll of Green Bay Packers Duck tape at Home Depot a couple weeks ago, even though I have no use for it. I have plenty of tape of virtually all kinds, but the power of a team’s logo is so strong that the magnetism draws you in and exposes the vulnerability of fanhood, regardless of how idiotic the impulse may be. But tape is pretty fleeting and you don’t even get that much of it. The price point isn’t terrible, at around $7 before shipping. However, ten yards sounds like a lot of tape but doesn’t last forever, especially if you have a lot of taping to do.
The worst, perhaps, of the disposable items we’ll discuss, beyond the moronic Brewers cookies thing, is the Brewers trash bags. Personally I find simple, plain, unadorned trash bags do the job quite nicely. To achieve the status of “Most Insane Brewers Fan in a 50-Mile Radius”, the title may require a purchase of these trash bags for completionists, but with that mint-condition trash bag comes the notoriety of having spent more than $5 on ten trash bags simply because the Brewers logo is stamped on them. Their 13-gallon capacity may be encouraging, and I do like the ‘M” logo in simple blue (no gold) on the white background of the bags. Nevertheless, the cost of the product and the vision of dumping week-old chili onto the Brewers logo are very unappetizing propositions.
6. Brewers-Themed Wedding Cake Topper w/ Garter, Display Box by WedSet
The Bless You Boys post mentioned above turned me on to the Etsy.com site, which is truly fascinating and bizarre. As you might expect, WedSet offers nearly identical wedding cake toppers for other teams, along with some different scenes. No offense to their creative output, but this could literally be anything put on top of a cake with a little collectible Brewers helmet thrown along with it. Recommended for only the most deranged superfan who must be publicly shamed into renouncing his or her Brewers fandom for civilized domesticity. Per the listing, “there are even fingernail marks on the figurine base noting that the groom is being dragged away. Too cute!” As an added bonus, it’s only $60 plus shipping!!
7. Milwaukee Brewers Adult Bib, by PeggysBibs
Also courtesy of Etsy, “the adult bib has arrived! Ideal for those protecting their nice clothes, in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities”. I love how the description jumps instantly from some guy trying to preserve his suit while eating chicken wings to a totally incapacitated Brewers fan still keepin’ it real. This product doesn’t appear to be MLB-approved, but it certainly is unique, and reportedly “handmade, interchangeable and waterproof”. There’s a thoughtfulness that’s gone into the making of Brewers-themed adult bibs, but to me, I’ve probably lost any sense of style points by the time I need a bib. At that point, I won’t worry about reppin’ the Brew Crew and just try to eat solid foods. $27 plus shipping.
8. Milwaukee Brewers Subway Sign Wall Art with Miller Park Authentic Dirt by Steiner Sports
Found on MLB shop, the worst part about this “wall art” piece is that there’s not too much “art” to it. You could literally save $59.99 to $119.99 (not to mention shipping) by printing out something similar on your computer and framing it. Yes, this piece comes with a little medallion of Miller Park dirt, but is that worth $100 or so? The dirt is the kind of hook that they put out for these kinds of items to bait folks into purchases. Well, it looks pretty generic, but….wait! It has Miller Park authenticated dirt, sign me up! This “subway” sign is further degraded by the fact that the greatest accomplishment that can be listed is an AL Championship 30-plus years ago, and there are no subways in Milwaukee.
9. Milwaukee Brewers-Themed M&Ms (5lb. bag) by My Team M&Ms
I like M&Ms as much as the next person (especially peanut) but five pounds of these Brewers-colored/logoed M&Ms will run you $140 plus shipping! I mean, for real? Who has money for this kind of stuff? Don’t answer that. But still, I’m sure these have to be custom-made and all, but how on earth can this product cost around $150? At least package it in a collectors’ tin or something. The photo suggests they throw them in a plastic bag surrounded by styrofoam. This sad sack may be the most egregious waste of money seen yet. Plus they cheat you on the third M&M; it should be the ball n’ glove logo but is apparently just a regular ol’ M&M, which, now that I think of it, kind of looks like the Minnesota Twins logo.
10. Rare Large Mr. 3000 Movie Home Plate (eBay)
There is probably worse Brewers stuff on eBay than this gem from the forgettable Bernie Mac film Mr. 3000. I am a fan of Bernie Mac, and he was taken from us too soon, but this movie pretty much sucked. The Brewers and Milwaukee were “featured” in the 2004 movie but mostly as an afterthought/sideshow, and the seller listing this item on eBay wants $90 plus another $30 for shipping. Just say no.
So there’s my list. In compiling it, I have realized that much more research and contemplation would be required to assemble a definitive list of the worst, most useless and crass Brewers merchandise available. I might have to literally spend days scouring the Internet to cover all the bases of the terribleness that is out there. For now I’ll just roll with this bunch. Perhaps one of these days I’ll nominate a Top 10 Best Brewers Merch List, just to illustrate that there is some really cool and affordable stuff out there amongst all the stuff no one should buy, ever.
I will leave you with the runners up:
Anything involving Ryan Braun, like this “photo collage” (eBay):
Official 2011 World Series Film by MLB Productions
Cruelly, a search on Amazon for Brewers stuff brings up the 2011 World Series film, the description of which includes the following statements of admiration for the bravery of those Cardinals: “They believed. They wanted it.” as well as “They then conquered the Philadelphia Phillies and prevailed against the Milwaukee Brewers”. Burn it.
Honorable mention for oddity’s sake:
Brew Crew Ball (Milwaukee Brewers) [Kindle Edition]
This listing is just kind of weird. It’s listed as 99 cents per month, and you all probably know of Brew Crew Ball, but the description for this item on Amazon is the following muck: “Frustrated walk conversation and walk occasional cursing walk about the walk Milwaukee Brewers”.
Sounds about right. It’s quite an apt and poetic interpretation of this offseason, even.