VARSITY TEAMS: 22 INTRAMURAL SPORTS: 25
FAMOUS ALUMNI: CHRIS CHELIOS, BUD SELIG
EXTRA CREDIT FOR: TRADITION-STEEPED FIELD HOUSE
This is an article from the April 28, 1997 issue
Since the fall of 1993, when Wisconsin earned its first Rose
Bowl berth in 31 years, sports enthusiasm has raged in Madison.
"Badgers fans stuck by struggling teams for ages," says junior
Scott Tappa, sports editor of the student-run Daily Cardinal.
"When we finally started winning, fans went overboard."
Football Saturdays in Madison still have a certain quaintness.
At 9:00 a.m. a bright-red, cheerleader- bedecked, antique fire
engine called the Bucky Wagon begins winding its way around
campus, roaring and honking (much to the dismay of the
hungover). Festivities continue through the "fifth quarter," a
postgame celebration in Camp Randall Stadium during which the
marching band entertains fans with old favorites played in polka
Wisconsin is the only college in the nation with two student
daily newspapers, The Daily Cardinal and The Badger Herald, and
thus the only one with dueling daily sports pages. The papers
have plenty of good news to report: Gridiron wins--an average of
almost eight per season since 1993--and consistent success in a
passel of nonrevenue sports have put the Badgers in the top 20
of the national all-sports rankings for the last three years.
The largest student organization on campus (2,800 members) is
Hoofers, which offers activities such as mountain biking, hang
gliding, horseback riding, mountaineering, sailing, skiing and
spelunking. "People who love outdoor sports are happy here
year-round," says Hoofers president Paula Bersie, a senior from
Minnetonka Beach, Minn. For the Greater Mendota Open ice golf
tournament, members drill into frozen Lake Mendota and play nine
holes. The scuba club hosts annual events in the same lake,
including underwater pumpkin carving on Halloween and naked
dives after the spring thaw.
Sports-minded students can also head for 18-hole University
Ridge, among the 10 best college courses in the nation; Nielsen
Tennis Stadium, one of the country's finest facilities; or the
200-meter indoor track. Or they can kick back with copies of the
Cardinal and the Herald and, rather than dive into the world of
Wisconsin sports, simply read all about it.