Unique friendship among men who are huge Milw. Bucks fans

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Faithful Milwaukee Bucks fans are hard to come by this season -- but one man will never give up on the team, in part because he's had to deal with far greater adversity in his life.

There hasn't been much for Bucks fans to cheer about lately, but don't tell that to Tom Calvano. He's been a season ticket holder at their games for almost 50 years.

Calvano stands strong in the face of opposition from fair weather fans.

"I tell them I'm going to go to a game. They tell me I'm crazy. I say 'no.' I say 'I'm a true fan. I'm a true Milwaukee Bucks fan,'" Calvano said.

For the past 10 years, Calvano has been joined at Bucks games by his good friend, Mike Previte. The two men feel their meeting was heaven-sent.

"Believe it or not -- in church of all places. And that's probably the last place you want to see this guy is in church!" Previte said.


Over the past decade, the two have formed a strong bond.

"We have a lot of laughs together. For instance, tonight I pulled into the garage, and the guy greeted us and he said, you know, 'oh, good to see you guys,' and Tom said 'don't worry, I'll have a prettier blonde on Wednesday when I come,'" Previte said.

Calvano's sense of humor has served him well. As a young man with a college degree from Carroll University, his life changed in an instant.

"Tommy was injured in an industrial accident many, many years ago. One side of Tommy is paralyzed -- so for him to come, you know, I think it's gutsy anyway," Previte said.

"My favorite story about him overcoming his disability is even though he's visually impaired, he still yells at the refs!" Previte said.

It's no wonder Calvano has been popular with everybody from Ray Allen to Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson -- his favorite all-time Bucks player.

Calvano inspires everybody he meets -- including his close friend.

"It's a privilege for me because I have a handicapped son of my own, and I understand the challenges, and he beats them hands down. I mean, how many guys, you know, would come for 46 years? He's just a true fan," Previte said.

That appreciation runs both ways.

"Mike takes real good care of me. He makes sure I get my chair, takes off my jacket -- that's a real friend," Calvano said.

"I love being with him because even when I'm having a bad day, he makes me laugh. He's got a great sense of humor. I figure if he can come to the game -- overcoming all of his adversity, then whatever I do should be easy," Previte said.

Calvano might have a bad day or two -- but you'll never hear him complain. His message resonates with anyone facing a challenge in life.

"I'd tell them to keep the faith and just keep working every day. Have a good sense of humor, and a good hope. Trust in God," Calvano said.


Calvano is optimistic that the Bucks will get a good player from the college ranks in this year's NBA Draft lottery and become a winning franchise again in the not too distant future.