Congratulations to the Wisconsin Badgers.
The University of Wisconsin is going back to the Final Four (it last reached the Final Four in 2000, losing to Michigan State). But now the Badgers are the first men's basketball team in our state since the 2003 Marquette Golden Eagles to make the NCAA's version of its men's basketball championship.
It's an amazing feat and one that should be embraced, loved and cherished. If you're a UW grad, go to Dallas. You'll love it and it's sure to create amazing memories no matter the outcome of the game(s).
I won't be going, but I'll be watching, as I'm sure you will be. It's great for our state when any of our teams rise the ranks and battle for a title. Nothing brings us together like sports championships.
Yet as a Marquette graduate, many like to rib me and other MU grads for our non-tournament season and UW's success. It's all in good fun and it's what makes sports and rivals great.
True story. I watched the end of the Wisconsin-Arizona game in the Court Side Club at the BMO Harris Bradley Center after the Bucks-Heat game. It was awesome to experience the win in a collective, shared environment.
Beautifully, Marquette legend and current star of the 30 for 30 documentary "Untucked," Bo Ellis, was in the crowd. He's a huge Bo Ryan fan.
"The guy's great and shares my name," he told those around him.
But, he's also a loyal Marquette guy as he and his teammates won the school's only title in 1977. Dignified gentleman that he is, Ellis cheered the UW win but when fans (including my lovely wife) wanted to high five him after the Badgers win he respectfully declined saying, "I'm a Marquette guy."
He didn't, as he shared with me later on a shuttle ride, cheer against UW (and never does) but he seemed to still respect the in-state rivalry between UW and MU. Both sides do, and that's what being "fanatic" is all about.
Side note, wouldn't it be great if UWM and UW had a Michigan vs. Michigan State type of rivalry? Totally different topic and subject, though.
I grew up a Marquette fan, so Bucky's always been a basketball rival. I can, like many of my MU brethen, endorse the rise in state basketball tides lifts all team boats theory. But, I don't have to totally enthusiastically cheer their success. It's what fan loyalty is all about.
Biggest picture thought for this year's Final Four? Friendly sports rivals or not, our state's commitment to higher education needs to be stronger and unwavering. For Wisconsin as a state to get better, we need UW, UWM, Marquette and all of our other institutions to win both on and off the court.
Onward, On Wisconsin and we are Marquette!
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published March 26, 2015
Courtesy of our friends at the Hunger Task Force, we have a meet and greet opportunity for you. Just read on to bid on a chance to win two great seats for Hunt's show on April 4 at The Rave and you'll also score a meet and greet with this rising country star.
Published March 21, 2015
This interview was a real treat. It was an opportunity for me to sit down with not only a former boss, Joe Sweeney, but a friend, adviser and mentor who's helped motivate, guide and inspire me.
Published March 9, 2015
Verlo and its recently-renovated flagship store at 6501 W. Layton Ave. wants to change how your shop for sleep. The Milwaukee-maker of mattresses isn't alone in wanting to solve our sleep challenges or change our minds about what we want and need in a mattress. It is, though, unique in its transparent, modern and comfortable approach.
Published March 3, 2015
Dwight Hopfauf is a former Milwaukee resident and the former assistant general manger at Milwaukee's Hilton City Center in Downtown. These days he's basking in "The Bachelor" limelight at Hotel Julien Dubuque.
Published Feb. 27, 2015
The Celebrities section of GQ (digital and print in March) features a story with Swedish Canadian actress Malin Akerman. The photos showcase the actress with the Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Published Feb. 24, 2015
The first phase of construction officially begins today on an 85,000-square foot, two-level flagship Roundy's Metro Market in the Village of Shorewood. Completion is estimated for January 2016.
Published Feb. 23, 2015
Out for a few beers. Boom. Killed a young woman, and the driver's off to jail. It's a sad story that should have an impact.
Published Feb. 18, 2015
Cold doesn't bother us. We wear hats. And, these days, Bucks hats seem to be everywhere,
Published Feb. 12, 2015
Amazon Prime's "Mozart in the Jungle" is the exact reason why today's news from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announcing that music director Edo de Waart will step down is so very interesting.
Published Feb. 10, 2015
A new, international and insanely cool bars list includes a Milwaukee favorite. And, it's one of only three U.S. stops on the list.