Last Friday I decided to make my first trip to happy hour at the Viking Room, or at least what’s left of it anyway, and imbibe some beverages to enjoy my night off from making pizzas for the boss – not Bruce Springsteen. I was going to go with my usual Miller Lite or Spotted Cow, but I made the decision to have my taste buds experience something new. I made the selection of Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest, took a swig, and then immediately asked for a replacement as it tasted quite awful. It almost interfered with my enjoyment of watching ESPN on the little television hoisted up in the back corner of the VR. I got a replacement and then became confused as to why a brewing company would manufacture such as awful tasting brew, but then the optimist in me realized they do it to make their drinkers remember how a great the month of October truly is. Baseball playoffs begin. By the time this hits print, the playoffs will have already begun and some teams’ whole season – spring training and regular season – will be nearing an end. Some series may be 2-1, but others may see a team win three straight and shut the door on an opponent’s season. We’ll see and remember plays for a long time to come. Plays like Jeter tossing the ball to throw out Jeremy Giambi at home to secure the Yankees chances, Kirby Puckett snagging balls and belting game-winners, or David Ortiz smacking game-winners across the field. Usually, this time of year means Brewers’ players are out playing golf, so I don’t usually have an interest in one team, but this usually leads to me watching as many games as I can so that I do not miss any magical moments. Football seasons are getting into full swing. We’re beginning to see what teams will and will not play into the whole playoff picture and big bowl games. Teams in the NFL that are starting 0-4 have very slim chances of making the postseason, and teams are starting to figure out their identity and problems. College teams that start strong are not always the strongest, as many teams schedule cupcake games to begin the year. Now that conference play is beginning, we’re starting to see teams play opponents that actually match up or have the same ability. Some things that were bound to happen already have, as USC lost to a weaker conference foe and some of the highly ranked teams from non-BCS conferences, Houston for example, went from ranked in the top 15 to unranked in one week. I never understood how one game could take a team from that high to that low, but that’s another column for another time. Professional basketball seasons are starting up. I get text updates from Badgers, Packers, Brewers, Cornhusker and Bucks, so it is not unusual for my text inbox to get absolutely slammed during the weekend with a full slate of games. Whenever my phone goes off I half expect to get an update, but much to my surprise this past weekend, I see a Bucks score recording a defeat. The surprise was not that the Bucks lost, but rather that the team played. I did not even realize preseason hoops had begun! Soon enough, we’ll see LeBron throwing down monstrous jams, Devin Harris running circles around defenders, Baron Davis jacking up threes, and Mark Cuban being the best owner in sports. A cousin of mine hosts an Oktoberfest-themed party, and she needed a design to put on the t-shirts she was going to supply her invitees. Being the obvious sportsman that I am, I obviously mentioned the idea of putting a sweet graphic of Reggie Jackson on the front or back – because what is more appropriate than Mr. October on an Oktoberfest tee? I could not think of anything better. She decided to go with another idea on her shirts, understandably. The only other mistake she could have made at her party would be to actually serve people either the Leinenkugel or Sam Adams seasonal beverages.