With the city currently in the throes of local awards fever, Milwaukee Record presents The Randoms, a series of highly specific and delightfully arbitrary “best of” awards that do away with pesky voting and feigned attempts at impartiality. Throughout the week, we’ll be recognizing the people, organizations, and places that help elevate life in Milwaukee. This week is sponsored by Boone & Crockett, 2016’s Best Bar With A Taco Truck Out Back (Bay View).
There are a lot of bad athlete endorsements out there. Whether it’s Jordy Nelson selling Wisconsin tourism opportunities, Jordy Nelson hocking breakfast cereal, or Aaron Rodgers selling, well, pretty much anything he’s asked to (IS COMMERCIAL WORK A DISTRACTION?!), players affixing their namesakes, semi-celebrity, and limited acting skills to products rarely seems to benefit the company, the player or the consumer. Every now and then, though, a player who’s just obscure enough signs on to sell a product just unlikely enough and everyone wins in the process. And sometimes that player catches a Hail Mary touchdown.
Last season, Packers backup wide receiver and first-string scrapper Jeff Janis signed on to be the celebrity spokesperson for Refuge Cafe. Even if, you know, the Milwaukee-based franchise has no locations anywhere close to Green Bay, that didn’t stop the late-round draft pick and unlikely playoff phenom from cashing in. The Janis-inspired “Earn The Dream” smoothie is gold…in the form of green. Rife with kale, apple, grape, and banana, it’s an unlikely kind of beverage that was created to fuel an unlikely Packers player, who only got the opportunity to be on the field to make such an unforgettable catch as result of sheer determination.
How bad does Jeff Janis want it? Well, in order to “Earn The Dream” at Refuge, he needs to travel about 120 miles from Lambeau Field. If that isn’t the definition of drive (both literally and figuratively), what is? Hopefully Janis doesn’t let this award go to his head. Everything’s off if Richard Rodgers partners up with Urban Beets between now and December 31.