Watching Wisconsin beat Marquette Saturday brought back to the surface the lengthy history I have of hating Marquette basketball. This whole thing is kind of odd because two of my very closest friends are very closely identified with Marquette.
I know lots of Marquette alumni and I like them. I think I can fairly say I was friends with both Al McGuire and Rick Majerus. I’ve tried to think this through and come up just why I feel this way. And here are my top eight reasons to hate Marquette basketball.
1. The Golden Eagles
Twenty years ago, with almost no prodding from outside forces, Marquette changed its nickname from Warriors to Golden Eagles. The president at the time, Father Al DiUlio, decided that Warriors was offensive to Native Americans. It may well have been, but there was no hubbub from any tribes about this issue. This may have been a preemptive strike, but little did DiUlio know what kind of protest he set in motion. Instead of having a few Native Americans mad at him he got legions of Marquette fans and students growling at him. The growling continues to this day.
I don’t get the connection but plaid pants has been an apparel staple for Marquette men fans over the decades. I can remember being a news conferences with McGuire and being nearly blinded by the plaid pants. The TV cameras didn’t have to test the color ratios. All they had to do was focus on the pants. The plaid not be around as much today, but the memory remains. Strangers to
No matter what kind of a team they had, Marquette fans always thought they were a lot better than they were. I have never heard the backers of any team in any sports complain more about "being robbed." This also applies to a lot of the coaches Marquette has had over the last couple of decades.
4. That damn AHoya
Marquette has a song called "Ring Out AHoya." Nobody knows what it means. A long time ago I set out to find out. It was a tortuous road, but I finally found a professor of Greek language at Boston College. I think her name was Dr. Pamela (something). Anyhow she finally got back to me and said as close as she could figure it meant "what rocks." I asked her if that was a question. She said she thought it was an exclamation. And this is a fight song?
5. The Carousel
Ever since the triad of McGuire/Hank Raymonds and Rick Majerus, Marquette has had a succession of coaches with different motives. Fans always think that MU is the dream of a lifetime job. In fact, it’s either a place to get fired or a stepping stone to something better. Dukiet, O’Neill, Deane, Crean, Williams. Enough said.
6. The perpetual smile
I used to play golf with the guy whose wife was the cheerleader coach. One day on the way to the course we had to stop at cheerleader camp, or whatever they called it. While there I heard her tell the troupe, or group or whatever that no matter what was happening on the court they had to keep smiling. I’ve seen cheerleaders of other teams clasp their hands in prayer and struggle with the worry lines on their faces. At MU it’s all smiles all the time. The tradition continues.
I won’t pretend that my dislike of the program doesn’t have to do with any jealousy. The legacy that started with George Thompson includes Jimmy Butler, Jim Chones, Butch Lee, Wesley Matthews, Maurice Lucas, Jim McIlvaine, Dean Meminger, Doc Rivers, Tony Smith and Dwyane Wade is unmatched in the state. So yeah, as a Badger fan, I’m jealous.
One of the things I don’t particularly like about Green Bay Packers fans is how they still talk about Vince Lombardi as if he exited stage left last week and his time was the greatest in the history of man. I understand reverence for history. But Marquette fans still talk about Al and his NCAA title and that picture of him after the game with his head in his hands. I loved Al, but it’s way past time to move on. This all may seem irrational, but then again, in both love and hate, rational just flies out the window.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.