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 April 22, 2017
Jabari Parker isn't playing with his teammates in the NBA Playoffs, but he is thinking about his team, his friends and his city. On The Player's Tribune yesterday, Parker toasts our city calling it the place where he wants to "raise my own family."
Published April 18, 2017
The Women in Travel Summit '17 will be held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel from April 21 to 23 in Downtown Milwaukee. WITS is the creation of Wanderful, an international community and online resource for women who travel. Win tickets and more now.
Published April 11, 2017
It's teed up to be one of the best shows this year, and judging from the buzz, reviews and what I'm hearing from FM 106's Kerry Wolfe - Eric Church's "Holdin' My Own Tour" - that rolls into the BMO Harris Bradley Center Friday night - will rock Milwaukee's Good Friday night with nearly 40 tunes and 3+ hours of music.
Published April 5, 2017
As his company prepares to open two new locations, Darren Horndasch, Wisconsin Vision CEO, talks glasses, screen time, daily wear contacts and more.
Published March 18, 2017
I'm again calling for the creation of a new, Lake Michigan Milwaukee fountain. Milwaukee means water, and what better way to showcase our connections to fresh water than a giant fountain in Lake Michigan.
Published Feb. 19, 2017
Milwaukee's made yet another list: Thrillist Travel's "Underappreciated American Cities You Should Totally Move To." Published today, the list highlights 16 "underappreciated cities" that are "all dark-horse candidates to help you author your best move ever."
Published Feb. 13, 2017
Lists are lists, but we should all be proud to share a new one from Inc., "3 Unexpected Places That Are Actually Amazing for Startups." Because, you guessed it, Milwaukee's on it.
Published Feb. 8, 2017
The annual U.S. News & World Report city rankings are out, and Milwaukee leaped up 25 spots in just one year, from 72 in 2016 to 47 this year - placing just ahead of Kansas City and behind Honolulu.
Published Feb. 7, 2017
Basketball legend-turned-author and political activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is coming back to Milwaukee on March 2 to give a speech and take questions at The Milwaukee Theatre.
Published Feb. 6, 2017
It's media. It's all media. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Rex, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever platforms you use - you use them to read, interact, live, shop and make your life happen.