Madison, Wisconsin, where the Grateful Red reside. Where the Badgers live and these Badgers don't hibernate.
I'm 13-years-old and born a Badger. I was born near Madison and soon moved Costa Rica, where my parents were missionaries.
I remember asking my grandfather to tape the 1999 Rose Bowl so I could watch the game, then only four-years-old. He gladly did and sent us the tape. He did the same for the 2000 Rose Bowl, which the Badgers won, defeating UCLA.
In the fall and winter of 2000, we took a trip to visit my family in Wisconsin and Texas. I remember watching all of the football games while in Wisconsin before heading south to Texas.
My grandfather had surprised our family with tickets to the Sun Bowl. At the time of the purchase, nobody knew that Bucky would be playing in the game. I was bursting at the seems when I found out that they would be facing the UCLA Bruins in the game.
It was a tight game and Wisconsin sealed the victory on an interception by cornerback Jamar Fletcher, which I predicted would happen.
The Badgers basketball team soon reached their first Final Four since 1941. They lost, but were the darlings of the tournament as an eight seed. My grandfather sent me a Wisconsin Final Four t-shirt.
I attended my first Badger football game at Camp Randall in 2006, four years since we moved back to Milwaukee. It was a great site to see and the band thrilled me. I then declared that I would be one of the tubas on the field in eight years.
I attended my first basketball game at the Kohl Center just a month ago against the Michigan Wolverines. The tradition at the game thrilled me, as did the play. The Badgers won and I was in awe of the way that they played.
Though in Milwaukee, I follow the Badgers faithfully. I make sure to watch each and every one of their games that are on television.
The Badgers are an easy team to love; they work hard, their fans are passionate, and they win.
Bucky may not win as many National Titles as other teams, but they have taken away more than their share. The women's hockey team took home their third title in four years a few weeks ago. The men's indoor track team won a few years ago.
Men's basketball has been very successful under Bo Ryan. They have reached the NCAA tournament each and every year under Bo. This year, they shocked Florida State in the first round with a 60-59 victory that was sealed by a Trevon Hughes lay-up with :02 remaining.
I have ridden the highs and the lows with the Badgers, from their Elite Eight appearance in 2005 to their crushing defeat to Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2008. However, the Badgers remain my favorite team and always will.
Until I go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014, I'll keep cheering from in front of my TV or listening to the games from my room, complete with a "Motion 'W'". But in 2014, it'll be even better.
I'll be cheering from the Grateful Red student section and doing the Jump Around as a student. Or, even better, playing in the band, blasting the tuba throughout the Kohl Center for the National Champions to be.
When we all get paper cuts, blood the color of red shows. Mine is red, too, but it's a different shade. It's cardinal red, the color of the Badgers. The Badgers that reside in Madison, Wisconsin. But these Badgers don't hibernate.