Saturday, October 2, 2010

University of Wisconsin Badgers Are The New Cubs -- Loveable Losers

Two little Chicago vignettes about the University of Wisconsin Badgers.

Yesterday, while at the outdoor cafe of the Dominicks/Starbucks at Ridge and Pratt, I saw a yuppiesque fellow in a Mustang ragtop which sported Illinois plates, "ON WI 1."

Obviously, despite his transplantation to Chicago, he was still a die-hard UW Badgers fan, (On Wi, being an abbreviation of the opening words to the University of Wisconsin fight song, "On Wisconsin.")

Later on Saturday, I ran into a recent UW grad in Wrigleyville, who gave me a plastic Bucky Badger beer mug and who expressed great optimism over the Badgers Big 10 opener against Michigan State which was about to commence in several hours.

I told him, that as UW alum, (I did my undergraduate work there) I was a veteran of many more Badger seasons than he. Consequently, I was a bit less sanguine about the Badger's prospects for the coming season.

"The Badgers are always overranked," I said. "Just watch, they'll squeak out 5 or 6 Big 10 wins, creep up in the national rankings and then fall to pieces against some pissant team, like Northwestern or Illinois," I said.

Besides, I have been a Cub fan all my life. I am accustomed to high hopes culminating in massive betrayal.

Well, I hate to say, I told him so, but a mere 4 hours later, the vaunted UW Badgers, ranked # 11 in the nation, were blown away by #24 ranked Michigan State 34-24.

We Cub fans know about great expectations resulting in dashed hopes.

It's something that the cheesehead kids are slowly beginning to fathom in Brett Bielema's 4th season of ambivalent teeter tawter leadership.

Let's face it.

The University of Wisconsin Badgers are the Chicago Cubs of the Big 10.

Oh, well.


(And if the season proceeds any further like this, it will definitely be a a case of Wisconsin Big-10 ennui.)


  1. I suspect the players are spending too much time watching the cheerleaders and less time actually playing, during the games. ;)

    Those young ladies are lovely - surely their fathers have earned every single gray hair they have now. :)

  2. Those girls are young enough to be my ---- younger sisters.

    Well, OK --- young enough to be my daughters.

    But at the checkout line in the Dominick's I recently saw the COSMOPOLITAN magazine had a cover story on why younger woman would find older men to be better lovers.

    One can always hope.

    What is the Latin maxim in that regard: DUM SPERO SPIRO!

  3. Time to write a new post about how RAD it is to be a Badger!
    The only correlation I can draw between the Cubs and the Badgers is that they both have outstandingly gregarious and friendly fan bases!
    Last year was a banner year based on a rebuilt program. As a Badger fan for many more seasons than you, +20 years... count 'em. I remember when our program was like that. Then Pat Richter brought in a man named Barry Alvarez and that changed everything. We won 3 Rose Bowls in 7 years. We consistently go to a bowl game year after year. Albeit, Coach Bret Bielema took a couple of years to get his program together, but he did it based off of a strong offensive line. We lost some scholarships because some players got discounts on shoes that they shouldn't have taken in the earlier part of last decade. Maybe that was before your time, but it takes time to rebuild a program from setbacks like that. Just look at Ohio State.
    Last year's success that brought us back to the Rose Bowl was not unexpected and was the reason why we are in the coaches poll and the AP Poll year after year.
    Finally, there are more Badgers in Chicago than almost anywhere outside of Madison. Many of them come from Wisconsin, but not all of them. The University does a great job at extending the offer to Illinois and those alumni are in every way just as committed to Bucky Badger and the Wisconsin Way as someone who was born in the state.
    Regardless, Michigan State has a solid program of their own. In fact, this year we play them on their own turf again. The Big Ten Conference is full of challenges. Nebraska was our biggest one so far and we just blew them out of the water... now comes the Spartans. Let's not admonish their achievements. They will give us a great fight! ON WISCONSIN!

  4. Well you're right in a lot of regards. The trouncing of Nebraska made a believer out of me -- tenatively.

    I did however write a later post comparing the Badgers to the '27 Yankees -- murderers row.

    BTW, I have more than 30 years as a Badger fan. Flew to Meadowlands in NJ in '81 for Badgers 1st bowl game in ages -- "The Garden State Bowl" where they were trounced By Willie Galt and Tennessee.

    Still, don't discount the possibility of UW getting upset by some marginal team. I've seen it too often and don't really believe in Bielema.


Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.