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Badger Bits: Gary Andersen Wants Players to Actually Sing 'On, Wisconsin'

Gary Andersen wants players to sing "On, Wisconsin" on gamedays. Fans should do the same.

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Jonathan Daniel

Gary Andersen wants his players to actually sing "On, Wisconsin" after every game. Not just clap their hands. Not just hum and maybe sway, kinda. Like, form their lips and throat and tongue into the proper embouchure to sing and say words in a synchronized, melodious fashion. It's brilliant.

"We will do it, regardless of the outcome and whether we're on the road or at home," Andersen said after practice Wednesday. "I think the kids have wrapped their arms around it. We sang it again today in the team meeting to make sure we're getting the hang of it and it's coming around.

"I want to start that tradition. The kids are excited about it."

"On, Wisconsin" has been an awkward gameday tradition at Camp Randall and the Kohl Center for years. The tune is fine, in fact perhaps even better than that. The international rights of the song are owned by Paul McCartney OR Michael Jackson, as Wikipedia notes with a fat [citation needed] tacked on. The problem is that nobody knows the dang words. Instead, students clap lazily until they can throw their head back and forth to "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight." A college fight song shouldn't have to be suffered through, ideally.

I'm not sure why nobody has ever bothered to learn the lyrics. The best answer I've been able to come up with is that the words really aren't that interesting. They are antiquated ("Fight! Fellows! - fight, fight, fight!"), nonsensical ("U rah rah") and only really work during football games ("Plunge right through that line!"). Singing the words seems like a better way to spend 40 seconds than doing nothing, however. My hope is that fans will adopt the tradition along with the players.

(Yes, this is the most offseason thing to worry about ever. Shut up.)


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