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Marquette-UWM feud is a complex issue

Okay, the breathlessly anticipated basketball game between Marquette and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is going to take place some time next year.

And all because two donors kicked in $10,000 apiece to make up the money UWM felt it had coming. Obviously, having money doesn't buy you good sense. Just think -- with this much money, the donors could have paid for about half a dozen kids to escape a horrible elementary school and go somewhere else. You have to wonder which thing would benefit our world more.

Last week, I wrote that I thought UWM was stepping out of its class trying to beat or humiliate or tease Marquette into a game. And what a response! I've never had quite the response as I did to that column.

First of all, some stats:

As of this writing, there were 36 responses to the column. Eleven were pro UWM, eight were pro Marquette, another dozen or so were in the middle somewhere. And then there were some who just thought I was a jerk (more about this category later).

Throughout a long, long history in journalism, I have almost never responded to readers. The way I figure it is I do my thing, they do their thing, and never the twain shall meet. But, this is one of the few occasions where I feel compelled to respond.

A lot of readers wrote with derision about my idea of the four-team state tournament, pointing out, accurately, that the NCAA wouldn't allow it because UWM and UW-Green Bay are in the same conference.

I called the NCAA on this one and got bounced around to three different extensions before hanging up without an answer. But, I don't think the readers are making this up, so I apologize. I was wrong about that.

But I will say that UW-Green Bay has even less of a profile than UWM, so if we leave them out, nobody will be hurt. And if we pushed hard enough, the NCAA might find a loophole. But, I really don't care that much about it.

Let's talk about the issue and the feelings it exposed.

Pretty clearly, Marquette fans have a complex. They don't like being called elite and rich and snobby. In fact, they are snobby about being called snobby. UWM fans think Marquette fans believe they have some kind of just due that makes them special.

Here's a sample from a Marquette fan that calls himself "Salmon Slayer."

"Bottom Line: The vast majority of the MU community could care less about UWM. It is a large commuter school, unknown to the vast majority of MU students until they arrive in Milwaukee. From what I know it is an average university in a mid-sized metro area. I had never heard of it before attending MU and I have not since given it any thought or consideration, save for the recent spate of comments surrounding what is (and always will be) a non-rivalry.

UWM fans: Give it a rest."


UWM fans pretty clearly also have a complex. They feel like they've been shunted aside for too long and ignored by almost everybody. Can it be a complex if it's true?

Here's some of what Paul wrote:

"UWM's athletics are a joke? UWM has better athletics than MU, and that's not really even debatable. The University of Wisconsin OWNS MU in every single aspect. I wonder when MU will realize that."

I'm going to stand by my contention that UWM is playing out of its class. Marquette, by tradition, experience, talent, recruiting area and history is out of class for UWM. But that doesn't mean the Panthers shouldn't play the game. They just shouldn't expect much out of it.

And to two readers:

The guy who signed his name "East of Milwaukee," I hope you stay dry. Lake Michigan is east of Milwaukee.

And to Joe, who called me "Busch League," I refuse to take your criticism seriously until you learn how to spell.

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Talkbacks

OMCreader | Nov. 7, 2006 at 12:12 p.m. (report)

Lex Luthor said: Are you serious SRT4driver? You make comments about living vicariously in the past but all of your comments are about UWM's past victories against Marquette. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to be clever.

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OMCreader | Nov. 6, 2006 at 3:56 p.m. (report)

RE RESPONDER said: RE: RESPONDER Learn your neighborhoods and look at a compass before you try and blast somebody. The eastside is part of Milwaukee, but it is not EAST of dowtown! It is NORTH of downtown, but EAST of the Milwaukee river, thus the name "eastside". The name "riverwest" is the name of the neighborhood just west of the river (clever, I know). Get it? Bayview is south of downtown (with a view of the bay, duh) Westown is just west of what would be considered "downtown". (marquette area) Are you keeping up? Brewers hill is the neighborhood on the hill above the Shlitz brewery (DUH!) There are many more, but I will stop now. Learn something about the city before you blast somebody.

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OMCreader | Nov. 6, 2006 at 3:54 p.m. (report)

Re: reponder said: RE: RESPONDER Learn your neighborhoods and look at a compass before you try and blast somebody. The eastside is part of Milwaukee, but it is not EAST of dowtown! It is NORTH of downtown, but EAST of the Milwaukee river, thus the name "eastside". The name "riverwest" is the name of the neighborhood just west of the river (clever, I know). Get it? Bayview is south of downtown (with a view of the bay, duh) Westown is just west of what would be considered "downtown". (marquette area) Are you keeping up? Brewers hill is the neighborhood on the hill above the Shlitz brewery (DUH!) There are many more, but I will stop now. Learn something about the city before you blast somebody.

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OMCreader | Nov. 3, 2006 at 10:50 a.m. (report)

responder said: by the way UWM, nice job against UW-Paarkside.

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OMCreader | Nov. 3, 2006 at 10:43 a.m. (report)

reponder said: excuse me: it is the "east side OF milwaukee." it is still PART of milwaukee and therefore cannot be east of milwaukee. it can be east of downtown.

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