Discover the University of Wisconsin's Nickname and Mascot Story, Gameday Traditions and More!

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Hospitality? Opposing players and fans might realize that they may be in for a tough day when they see the bronzed Badger statue outside Camp Randall Stadium

Opposing players and fans might realize that they may be in for a tough day when
they see the bronzed Badger statue outside Camp Randall Stadium

University Nickname: Badgers

Don’t badger Wisconsin fans with questions about why they picked what is described as a sturdy
burrowing mammal with long claws, to represent their school. In fact, the furry critter wasn’t even
responsible for the Wisconsin territory being dubbed the “Badger State” in the 1820s.

Instead the burrowing habits of a lead mining group prompted the nickname. It seems that without
shelter in the winter, the miners had to burrow tunnels into the Wisconsin hillsides and “live like badgers.” With the Madison university being the state university, it was a natural for the school later to assume the state’s identity.

Wisconsin Mascot: Bucky Badger

Bucky Badger is a fan favorite

Bucky Badger is a fan favorite

After being confined to an artist’s drawings for nearly a decade, Wisconsin’s mascot was brought to life for
the school’s 1949 homecoming game. Quickly a contest was held to name the paper-mache headed badger.
The winner was Buckingham U. Badger or Bucky. A song with lyrics that encouraged the football team to
“buck right through that line,” provided the inspiration for Bucky’s naming.

As Bucky matured, he gained sophistication by acquiring his current suit that features a cardinal and white letter sweater. Though Bucky is an accepted part of Wisconsin tradition, he has faced adversity by having to fight off a form of mad cow disease.

The life or death situation developed in 1973 when then assistant attorney
general Howard Koop recommended that Bucky be replaced by Henrietta
Holstein, a loveable cow. In a failing effort, Koop suggested that kids love
cows and that Henrietta would be more lovable school symbol.

At one time, university officials experimented with a live badger on the team’s
sideline. The mascot quickly developed a reputation for viciousness and
escaping from its handlers. Therefore, in a move to promote the safety of
players and fans, the live badgers were retired to the Madison Zoo.

University of Wisconsin Gameday Traditions

Gamedays hit a high-note in the Fifth Quarter

Gamedays hit a high-note in the
Fifth Quarter


One sound guaranteed to resonate through Camp Randall Stadium is the crowd favorite known as the “Bud
Song.” In the takeoff on the “You’ve Said it All” jingle originally written for Budweiser, the song substitutes the word Wisconsin for Budweiser.

The Bud song tradition began at a 1975 Badger hockey game, but joined the football ranks during a 1978
come-from-behind victory over Oregon. The Badgers were three touchdowns behind the Ducks when the Wisconsin band played the song in an effort to generate excitement. Suddenly the home team scored a touchdown and then added another after another playing of the Bud song. Few fans probably remember that
Wisconsin escaped with a three-point victory that afternoon, but instead the lasting impression has been their love for the Bud song.

The Fifth Quarter

Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium opened in 1917 and is the Big 10's oldest stadium. The venue's capacity is 80,321

Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium
opened in 1917 and is the Big 10’s oldest
stadium. The venue’s capacity is 80,321

Much like the 19th hole seems to perfectly cap off a round of golf, Wisconsin’s Fifth Quarter celebration provides proper closure to a
Badger football game. Win or lose, the school’s band performs a nationally famous postgame performance by playing crowd pleasers
such as “on, Wisconsin” and the Bud song.

The original intent for the Fifth Quarter, was to give fans something to listen to as they exited the stadium. However, the event has evolved
into a postgame party that includes fan participation activities.

A Very Unusual Wave

The stadium also hosts what is described as a nontraditional wave that originates from the student filled section P.  This once a game event has the wave go counter-clockwise, once in slow-motion and then again but at twice as fast as the original wave.  The wave is then reversed to a clockwise motion before it is
finally split into two counter-rotational waves.

Jump Around

wisconsin5This Wisconsin tradition fills Camp Randall Stadium
with excitement between the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Fans
stand up and dance to the House of Pain song of the
same name.  The tradition began in 1998.

The Chant

Wisconsin fans perform a call-and-response chant that
is staged between upper classmen sections and the O
section that is usually filled with lower classmen.  With
Steve Miller Band’s Swingtown playing and starting with
a long “Oooooh” other sections voice a loud and quick
“Suck”.  Section O responds with a vulgar F*** You and
then the rest of the stadium sections respond with an
“Eat S**t.”

University of Wisconsin Fight Song:  “On, Wisconsin!”

This famous fight song was regarded by John Philip Sousa as the “finest of college marching songs.”
Although it is beloved by people throughout the state, the song came very close to being a song for the citizens in Minnesota.

William T. Purdy originally composed the song in 1909 for the University of Minnesota.  However, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student convinced Purdy to allow his school to use it.  It was just in the nick of time, becaus Purdy had written the song for a Minnesota song selection competition.

“On, Wisconsin!” became so popular that the state adopted it as its official song and changed some of the lyrics that were state instead of school specific.    The university’s version starts out like this: On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down that field,
A touchdown sure this time. (U rah rah)

University of Wisconsin School Colors: Cardinal and
The Cardinal and White colors fashioned by the Wisconsin-Madison
athletic teams first took hold in the 1880s.  There is speculation that red
may have been used even earlier since the school considered using a
Tiger or Cardinal for team names.

An early historical note regarding the school wear red in their uniform
dates back to a 6-0 victory over Minnesota in 1894.  With excitement
high on campus, the school newspaper was printed completely in red