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Why your mascot sucks: University of Wisconsin

Apparently a live Badger is less cuddly than the Bucky Badger we know and love...

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Ope, sorry. It’s a bye week, what do you want from me?

OK, calm down. Obviously Buckingham U. Badger does not suck. He is THE best mascot, ever, and not just because he and I share a birthday…I mean, he’s in the Mascot Hall of Fame.

Bucky is one of eight collegiate mascots to be inducted – Aubie the Tiger (Auburn), YoUDee (Delaware), Big Red (Western Kentucky), Smokey (Tennessee) and fellow Big Ten mascots – Lil’ Red (Nebraska), Brutus Buckeye (Ohio State) and Nittany Lion (Penn State).

Obviously, the other Big Ten mascot inductees are a joke, but we’ll get to them later this season…

Bucky first appeared in 1940, when Art Evans of Garden Grove, California drew him in his iconic cardinal and white sweater.

While most Badgers are born in the spring, Bucky’s birthday was determined to be Oct. 2, 1940 by the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

The University of Wisconsin started using the Badger as its official mascot when the Badger football team started out in 1889. The Badger, which is also the state of Wisconsin’s nickname, was coined by the association with lead miners in the 1820s. The miners would live like badgers in the winter, when they burrowed into the hillside due to a lack of shelter. One could say they had to Sett-le for a burrow…(Editor’s note: SMH)

Originally, Wisconsin used a live badger as its mascot. And as you can imagine, it didn’t give a $hit.

Turns out, a live Badger is a bit too vicious to control…ya think?!?!

But I have to admit, I kind of like the thought of an opposing team cowering in fear on the sideline, too focused on a vicious wild animal to focus on the game. You would think that the NCAA would have an issue with that...

But then again, they allow teams like Texas A&M, Washington, UC Davis and others to have live dog mascots and there is no way those dogs aren’t distracting.


And you can probably guess that the live badger made a break for it on multiple occasions and had to be caught on the sideline. Could you imagine having to be the person to have to catch a live badger?

I bet the school put a want ad in the paper:

Wanted: Adventurous person, to catch wild animal when it ultimately escapes (and it will). Needs to have quick reactions, must not be a fan of giving a thumbs up or high fives, because they will almost surely lose a finger or hand. Serious/insane applicants only.”

Eventually the UW decided that it was time to retire the live badger mascot, for safety reasons and sent him to the Madison Zoo. The Badger Yearbook then replaced the live badger with a small raccoon named Regdab and passed it off as a...badger in a raccoon coat?

I mean, if you got a trash panda as a mascot lean into it.

In 1949 Connie Conrad, a student in the UW’s art department made a papier-mâché badger head, which was worn by a gymnast and cheerleader, Bill Sagal, to the homecoming game.

Wisconsin’s mascot originally went by Benny, Buddy, Bernie, Bobby and Bouncey. Thankfully a contest was held and Buckingham U. Badger was officially named.

Why your Assistant Attorney General Sucks: Wisconsin, circa 1973

Assistant Attorney General, Howard Koop, tried to oust Bucky as the school’s mascot in 1973. Koop suggested that Henrietta Holstein replace Bucky.

Holstein, a lovable and productive cow, was pitched as the new mascot because “kids love cows. A generation could grow up supporting the university and Henrietta Holstein.”

Luckily, Koop’s opinion, much like that of a cow’s did not matter and was determined a moo point.

Why your train sucks: Milwaukee

Wisconsin did have a bulldog named Pat as their mascot at one point. Wisconsin’s “Kangaroo Kicker,” Pat O’Dea and his teammates immortalized Pat as the team’s mascot.

He would roam the sidelines during games, but lost some street cred among O’Dea and the team when another chased him down the street and back to his home, the Phi Delt House.

However, Pat’s run as mascot was short-lived…as he was run over by a Milwaukee train in 1899, after one year as the team’s mascot.

If Boiler Pete hadn’t been introduced until 1940, I for sure would have thought he was behind this.

Bucky is an anthropomorphic badger, who wears a cardinal and white striped sweater, that features the motion W. He can be seen wandering the sideline, the basketball court and even the ice on skates.

He has been known to dress up for Halloween as Superman, a pirate and many other things. He also even wore a giant baseball mitt to throw out a first pitch at a Brewer game.

On the football field, Bucky and the visiting mascot usually have beef and when they do, it goes Bucky’s way.

Why your cheerleader sucks: Michigan State

However, one game against Michigan State, Bucky’s sideline antics put him in harms way. He stole one of the Spartan’s flags and ran around with it, but was then attacked by a Spartan cheerleader.

The cheerleader felt bad for his spur of the moment antics and both sides agreed not to press charges and agreed to let the issue go. He then spent the rest of the game in the stands and Bucky got the last laugh, when Wisconsin beat MSU, 40-10

Bucky also has quite the social media presence and uses it to troll Goldy Gopher, who rightfully deserves it.

Bucky has it all: a strong backstory, he’s overcome adversity (such as nearly being replaced by a cow, of all animals), he’s got strong fashion sense and a sick sweater game and understands that lateral stripes are slimming. He, much like his cousins in the animal kingdom, destroys ground squirrels.

And not to mention, much like Dirty Dancing, nobody puts Bucky in the corner. I mean, nobody keeps Bucky out of the pool. Not even B5Q writer, Bob “my favorite bars are living rooms and basements” Wiedenhoeft.

Wiedenhoeft, who is a self-proclaimed “Bucky Wrangler,” usually gives out grades following Badger football games, but I have to say, Bob gets an F- in Bucky Wrangling.

Although, to his credit, he was fighting a losing battle, you can’t control the wind, so how could you control Bucky?