'Half Pint Brawlers' draw a crowd to Bartlett tavern
Beers were chugged. Probably at least one or two unflattering jokes were made. And a couple hundred people last week left Bannerman's Sports Grill in Bartlett knowing they could cross "see midgets wrestle" off their lives' "to do" lists. Who knows if the "Half Pint Brawlers" meet will be shown on television? It might make MTV2, but that's not a done deal.
But locally, given all the controversy leading up to the event, what's changed?
"Bartlett is the same today as it was the day before the show," Bannerman's owner Murray Friedman wrote me over the weekend in an e-mail.
Some residents didn't care for this form of entertainment and were worried Bartlett's image would be tainted. They gathered petitions, and they walked into village hall playing by all the established rules. Many of their objections were the same ones brought up last year when Bannerman's wanted to host mixed-martial arts fights.
Like his opposition, Friedman played by the rules as he did before. He presented his own petition and reacted to his neighbors' concerns. While the Bartlett village board nixed the MMA plan last year, this time they approved Friedman's request. He said the brawlers brought in the best crowd ever at Bannerman's.
One thing is for sure: No matter the outcome, both sides should be praised for how they presented their opinions. And I apologize for any puns made while writing these stories.