Marquette will look to extend their winning streak to seven games later today when they trek into the Kohl Center to take on arch rival Wisconsin in Madison. The Badgers are reeling off a loss to in-state foe UW-Milwaukee earlier this week, showcasing that there are a little bit of growing pains as Wisconsin adjusts to life without the likes of Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky and Traevon Jackson among others.
Leading up to this matchup, we decided to reach out to fans -- or in this case, a fan - of both the Golden Eagles and Badgers. There's a catch though! We weren't looking for Badger fans who live in Madison or Golden Eagle fans who live in Milwaukee. Oh no. Instead, we decided to search for Wisconsin fans who reside in the 414 and Marquette fans who inhabit in the state capital.
We talked to three Marquette fans whose current dwellings are in Madison, Wisconsin. Their names are Casey, Craig and Lee.
On we go!
How long have you been a fan of Marquette?
Casey: Since I was 11, so '04.
Lee: Birth sounds like a bit much, but it's all I remember. So 29 years.
Craig: Since the late '90s.
How often would you say you deal with opposing fans?
Casey: I'm a student at UW-Madison, so I deal with fans every day and occasionally, I talk to some players.
Lee: Almost daily. It's worse when they have some moderate success. Living downtown, I find it impossible to maneuver on gamedays. Every dumb suburbanite is clogging traffic trying to figure out how a one-way street works. But after a few home losses things really improve. It's like clockwork during the football season - I always know when the conference schedule starts.
Craig: Each and every day.
In your opinion, what's the worst thing about the fanbase you oppose?
Casey: Every fan base has its fair share of idiots and racists, but Wisconsin's fanbase is an internet comment section come to life. The elitist idea of what it takes/means to be a Badger is comical. You would think Madison is Harvard the way they talk about the academic standards and doing things the "right way." The few times Bo Ryan has recruited a (Black) kid from Milwaukee and they've chosen to go elsewhere the response is along the lines of "Not Badger material, those kids are about the money, doubt he would have qualified anyway." No, they went somewhere else because Madison is an awful place filled with awful people.
Lee: The bandwagoning fans come out of the woodwork and get whipped into a frenzy at a moment's notice. Plus, they react in shock when you don't want to hop on the bandwagon with them. "Aren't you from this state?" is a common question. But why cheer for a school you have no affiliation with? I worked in an office where I had two of the three total college degrees among the 8 executive staff. And yet I was the only one who wasn't a huge Badger fan. The owner had box seats at the Kohl Center and Camp Randall that everyone got worked up over. Most of them had no connection to the university aside from sort of funding it. If you're really a big fan of your tax dollars at work, you could go cheer people on at the DMV too. At least they gave you a driver's license. Better return on investment, in my opinion.
Craig: So much red!!
Describe the worst experience you've ever had with opposing fans
Casey: When they lost to Kentucky in 2014 students went WILD on campus. They lit trash on fire, trashed State Street, and students were glass throwing bottles from 5+ stories above. It was ridiculous.
Lee: The lead up to the National Championship game last year was unbearable. I thought it turned out great, though. The highlight - or lowlight, depending on your point of view - was someone punching out the windows in my building's stairwells in anger. Impotent violence is always funny.
Craig: "How's your football team?"
Finally, describe your opposing fanbase in one word
Craig: Friendly :)