Enjoying Badger sports does not require athletic fanaticism

If you would’ve asked me a year ago where I would place myself on a scale of 1-to-10 regarding my viewpoint of sports, I probably would’ve placed myself very low (low meaning that even though I enjoy attending sporting events, I don’t really have a passion for them).

I grew up in a competitive suburb in Minnesota where sports were second nature, but I never really found myself cheering for my high school’s championship-winning team. Being from Minnesota, I also had no experience of winning football championships when it came to the Vikings.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good brat at a tailgating party and cannot hide my excitement when my team is winning, but I never grew up in a sports-fanatic household. I always knew which teams were winning and losing, and who played who, but there was never any passion behind my knowledge. I suppose the stigma placed on a girl who likes sports was too much for me to find my spot at the nearest sporting event.

In society there is a common conception that people who like sports are stupid, or uneducated. The countless puns and jokes of clueless fans and dumb blondes at sports games seems to follow me wherever I go.

Why is it that people are expected to follow sports religiously or not at all, with no in between? I chose the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the pursuit of excellence in academics, but also for the fact that this school is good at sports.

Becoming a Badger, have I grown to love sports more? Perhaps. But I think the bigger point is that I have grown to accept the fact that I will never be a fully committed sports fan, and my fellow Badgers accept me for that.

Fast forward to my freshman year of college and you find me in section P of Camp Randall, cheering for the Badgers. Did I know any of the cheers? No. Did I look a bit out of place? A bit. None of that mattered though, because the second you walk through the arches of the stadium, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been tailgating for the past four hours, or if you just put on your only red T-shirt. Because the second you enter Camp Randall, you become part of something bigger than yourself and it feels pretty amazing.

Looking back on this weekend’s game versus Hawaii, my first night game at Camp Randall, there is no place I would have rather been. I love every aspect of Badger game days, the face tattoos that never come off and the person behind you in the student section who always yells at the refs a little too much. Everything from the helmet shuffle to the acapella singing of “Build Me Up Buttercup,” is what makes being a Badger so great.

Whether you are going to the games for the soft pretzels or to pay attention to the actual game, I salute you fellow Badger. On Wisconsin.

Does Lilly make a good point here? Let us know. Send comments to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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