Discover the origins of Wisconsin's Badgers Nickname, Bucky Badger Mascot and UW Gameday Traditions such as the 5th Quarter, Jump Around and More!

Wisconsin Mascot: Bucky Badger

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.

Wisconsin Mascot Bucky the Badger

Wisconsin Nickname: How they became the Badgers

Wisconsin fans, let's clear the air about the school's beloved mascot, the badger. We know what you're thinking: why on earth did they choose a mole-like creature with an affinity for digging? Well, the truth is, it wasn't the badger's appearance that earned it the honor of representing our state. Rather, it was the burrowing tendencies of a group of miners who needed shelter from the harsh Wisconsin winters. They lived underground like, you guessed it, badgers.

With this history being so highly recognized, Wisconsin became known as the Badger State in the 1820s. Therefore, it was quite natural for the State University to adopt the name as their nickname.

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

Wisconsin Gameday Traditions


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

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 Between 3rd and 4th Quarter

The Wisconsin Badgers’ Jump Around gameday tradition is one of the most iconic in college football. In every game at Camp Randall Stadium since 1998, fans have been invited to Jump Around during a break between the third and fourth quarters. It all started when then-Athletic Director Pat Richter wanted to inject some energy into an otherwise typical game day atmosphere. 

So before every Badger home game, the crowd rocks out to “Jump Around” by House of Pain with no end in sight. The song is timeless, and it brings out an incredible amount of school spirit among players and fans alike. The entire sidelines shake as 80,000 people jump up and down which creates quite a unique visual that holds to this very day. 

This tradition has become so well known throughout the nation that broadcasters often use its name while calling games from other schools around the country such as Ohio State or Iowa when they want their audience to experience a moment similar to what happens at Wisconsin’s stadium each Saturday throughout fall camp season for countless years now!

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 White

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 ink.

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