Ranking the Greatest All-Time Traditions in Wisconsin Badgers Football History
With age, comes tradition. It's true for family get-togethers and it's true with any long-running college football program. Traditions perfected over time, take root for either historical or team rally reasons.
Maybe your team has Ralphie the Buffalo (Colorado) or your student section does the Gator Chomp (Florida). Whatever your traditions may be, it's one of the most precious parts of college football.
Nearly all else will change over time. The city, the students, the players and coaches and the eras of the sport itself change, but classic traditions take hold with the program for the long run.
The University of Wisconsin isn't one to be left out in the dark on tradition, to be sure.
Here are the top-five football traditions of the Wisconsin Badgers.
5. "P" vs. "O" Section Vulgar Chants
For a while now, the students in attendance have gotten a little carried away with having their fun at games. Call it unabashed college living, call it "kids being kids," but however you split it, this one is controversial at the least.
Upperclassmen and underclassmen from the sections P and O chant back and forth at different times "Eat Sh--" and "F--- You!"
It definitely ups the stakes in the crowd atmosphere.
The fans of the Badgers are creative, most times, but this is pretty primal. At the end of the day though, it's fans cheering wildly, regardless of the chant's direction. I'm sure ABC/ESPN would prefer it to stop, though. It's audible on their presentations of Badger games at times.
Maybe that is the best caveat of this "tradition" though: the students are calling the shots, making the experience what they want of it and could care two shakes less what administrators or execs have to say about it. Isn't that part of the college experience, in a broader sense?
I cautiously approve of this newer tradition.
4. Welcome Week
During Welcome Week, students who attend this event can learn the proper cheers, chants and other whimsy which go along with attending a Badger home game from the student section. From the reverse clockwise Wave, to the words to "On, Wisconsin" (if they don't know it by then) and of course, Jump Around, the intermission energizer of the student section between the third and fourth quarters.
A good move by Wisconsin here. Nothing looks worse on television than your fans jumping or moving out of unison, or the cheers being led but not participated in. It looks apathetic, but might be just due to confusion or not knowing the chant. With this part of Welcome Week, students get a chance to practice all of the above and look like a student section who has their act together.
3. Bucky Badger Pushups After Touchdowns
Being Buckingham U. Badger (known more simply as "Bucky" Badger) isn't always easy.
One of the qualifications in becoming a Badger mascot, is the ability to do push-ups.
Why must one prove their push-up fitness to become a Badger mascot?
As illustrated above, one of the key elements to being Bucky Badger on Saturdays is doing a push-up for each point, cumulatively after a score.
If the Badgers are up 7-0 and score again, Bucky does seven push-ups, then seven more for the previous points scored.
This past year, one of the Badgers in rotation tore tendons in both his bicep and shoulder, after doing more than 300 push-ups during the Badgers 70-3 defeat of Austin Peay.
It's all in a day's work for the Badger mascot though. It's always entertaining to see Bucky matching the team's intensity on the field when hoisted to do push-ups on the sideline.
2. Bucky's 5th Quarter
After having lost 24 straight football games in 1969, Michael Leckrone had taken the reins of the Wisconsin Marching Band. In a coordinated effort with the school's athletic director Elroy Hirsch, he and the band began what is known as "The Fifth Quarter," during which the marching band performs fan favorites like "On, Wisconsin," "Tequila," "Hey Baby" and more as a postgame performance for the fans who remain in attendance after home games.
The tradition of the band playing after the game officially took hold as "The Fifth Quarter" in 1978 and has been a local favorite since its inception.
1. Jump Around
Was there any suspense to be built here? Of course "Jump Around" would be the No. 1 tradition of the football program and their fanbase.
For those of whom have been residing under a rock since the tradition started in 1998, between the third and fourth quarters, the Badger fans in attendance (mostly the student section, really) upon cue of House of Pain's hit song "Jump Around" do, well, exactly that. They proceed to jump around in the stands looking like a pan of pop corn seeds popping under heat.
It's one of the newer traditions in college football as far as storied history traditions go (Notre Dame repainting their helmets and removing the previous week's damages, The Trojan warrior at USC games, come to mind) but this one won't be losing its new car smell anytime soon it seems. It really gets the stadium shaking and the fanbase pumped for the fourth quarter.
Perhaps it gets the stadium too rocking. After renovations to Camp Randall Stadium, administrators and then Athletic Director Pat Richter requested that due to safety concerns, "Jump Around" not happen for a few weeks. It was later reinstated after days of protest by students.
This is one tradition that had University of Wisconsin staffers worrying it would actually bring the house down.