This afternoon, your Milwaukee Brewers will ring in their 2015 Opening Day by taking on the Colorado Rockies at Miller Park. For Brewers fans, it’s a day of joy and celebration—Baseball is back! The Brewers have a sort of decent chance at being sort of okay!—and a hell of an appetizer for tonight’s Badgers game. For the one and only Bob Uecker, it’s the start of his 45th (!) year as the voice of Brew Crew, and his 45th chance to regale radio listeners with top-shelf play calling and second-to-none anecdotes. And those anecdotes don’t get much better than the time Ueck encountered a furry convention in Pittsburgh. Let’s remember this watershed moment in broadcasting history, shall we?
Yes, on July 4, 2007, as our nation celebrated its independence, Uecker and then-sidekick Jim Powell spent roughly 15 minutes during the Pirates-Brewers game discussing the “furrier” convention that had set up shop in their hotel the night before. It was the annual Anthrocon at the Westin Hotel, and Uecker and Powell were seriously creeped out.
“The Pennsylvania Animal Society is down there to make sure none of the members of that convention are infected with anything. Licenses being issued this morning,” deadpanned Uecker. “Furriers!”
“I think I may pass on the hotel restaurant tonight,” replied Powell.
It only got better from there. When pressed by Powell about what sorts of thing happen at a convention populated by people dressed in animal costumes, Uecker opined thusly: “They kind of gather in a huge fur ball. You can’t really see the leader, he’s in the middle. You can hear him mumbling and talking, trying to talk, kind of like a—swing and a foul by Braun—kind of like a mom with a cubby, trying to keep it warm.
“That’s no big deal. That’s what they feel,” Uecker later continued. “They wear animal costumes because they feel a little animal-ish. There’s a strike. I’ve felt that way myself a couple of times. I haven’t dressed up for it. I’ve worn a fig leaf or two.”
Powell wasn’t so amused, writing in his blog:
“At first it was kind of funny to see these people wandering around the downtown streets and filing into the hotel, but after the novelty wore off it just made everyone feel creepy. The ‘furries’ seem harmless enough, but people who think they might be an animal trapped in a human body just are unnervingly odd, to say the least.”
The Brewers lost that day 3-5. They also lost the series and went on to have a rough July. According to WikiFur, this would later be dubbed the “Curse of the Furries.” We can only hope that today, nearly eight years later, that the curse has finally been lifted, and that the Brewers—and Uecker—can celebrate their 2015 season free from bad furry vibes.