Have you been enjoying wisconsin Week? Good!
Are you new to OTE? Welcome! Stick around for the rest of our B1G 2019 conference previews.
One feature we’ve added this summer is “Better Know a B1G Blog,” wherein we get a chance to hear from the various schools’ own bloggers about what makes their site, their school, and their fans unique places in both the Big Ten and college football. Check out our pieces with [/deep breath] Rutgers’ On the Banks, Illinois’ The Champaign Room, Nebraska’s Corn Nation, Maryland’s Testudo Times, Purdue’s Hammer and Rails, Minnesota’s The Daily Gopher, Michigan State’s The Only Colors, and Iowa’s Black Heart Gold Pants.
This week, our friend Drew Hamm from Bucky’s 5th Quarter—your SBNation home for all things Wisconsin Badgers!—took the time to give us their thoughts on the Badgers’ chances in 2019, the rest of “Fuck wisconsin” as the latest OTE rallying cry, and all things Wisconsin beer and tailgating. Give Drew a follow @drewhamm5, and keep up with all your Wiscosnin hot takes @B5Q.
OTE: Tell us about Bucky’s 5th Quarter: Your origin story, any particular in-jokes or memes we should be aware of, or any other Wisconsin-specific quirks we should know about when we pop over to read an article!
”Your free destination for Wisconsin Badgers news, analysis and discussion. Proud member of @SBNation. Run the dang ball.”
That is what’s written in our Twitter dot come bio. When I took over as manager, by forcibly removing Jake Kocorowski and making him take a job with Rivals, I added “run the dang ball.” I think it is a true statement and also a good addition.
B5Q, as we call it, started a long time ago with Adam Hoge. Weirdly enough, Hoge and I knew each other in college, but I probably wouldn’t recognize him if he walked into my house today. Hoge works in Chicago now and covers the Bears and White Sox. I lived in Chicago for a while and both the Bears and White Sox suck. Anyways, I started writing for B5Q four (five?) or so years ago and now I’ve quit my job to be a stay-at-home dad/Wisconsin Badgers blog manager.
Our memes aren’t all that deep, but we do have a couple. If a recruit doesn’t commit to Wisconsin you’ll often see someone mention “reasons” as the, well, reason why. It’s a joke that the admissions department wouldn’t let them in due to grades or something, a common trope you’ll see in the worst parts of the Badger blogosphere. We like to call Paul Chryst “Coach Dad.” Half of us think Greg Gard should be fired into the sun and the other half thinks we should just wait and see what happens this year before firing him into the sun. We like to argue about beer a lot. Mostly pro-Spotted Cow factions vs. anti-Spotted Cow factions. If you are pro-Spotted Cow, like Jake was, I will defenestrate you. [MNW note: I love you, Drew.]
We are mostly friendly and like it when opposing fans come over and comment, just don’t come in too hot. Feel out the room, man. Most of us are probably hungover.
OTE: Give us an idea of what kind of #content, commentary, or controversy you think exemplifies the qualities of B5Q. What’s been your favorite writing assignment or experience for B5Q? (Here’s where you shamelessly include links to articles!)
There is always a quarterback controversy. People still sometimes shout about Joel Stave and he hasn’t been around in years! Depending on the season, people at B5Q also get really worked up about recruiting, usually in a negative manner like “Greg Gard can’t keep talented in-state players (who were never seriously considering Wisconsin) home!”
Some of my favorite writing assignments at B5Q have been a few of the longer form stuff we’ve done. This first one, about Wisconsin’s walk-on program, turned into a dang book! I also enjoy writing my weekly B1G Roast during football and basketball seasons.
We like to make jokes. Some of them are even funny! The previous regime at B5Q, correctly, never allowed me to attend any events in an official capacity and I will keep that tradition alive, but I did once go to Big Ten Basketball Media Day as a reporter for BT Powerhouse and ate a free box lunch.
OTE: What’s one stereotype about the B5Q commentariat and Wisconsin fanbase that Big Ten fans as a whole get wrong? (Addressing, if you’d like, that OTE has swung from a “Fuck Michigan” to a “Fuck wisconsin” blog thanks to jackasses like WSR—not me, no sir, how dare you.)
DH: Look, we get it. Everyone says “fuck [insert the best school].” When you’re at the top of the mountain, of course, people are going to come at you. Clearly, with an 8-5 record last year, the Badgers are the cream of the B1G West crop. Hell, 4-8 Nebraska is getting pretty good odds to make the fucking CFP for 2019! Wisconsin might make the NFL Playoffs if that’s true.
Wisconsin, like every school, has its fair share of jerkoff fans that will tweet at recruits and curse at your kid on game day and drink too much beer and pass out in your lawn. But for the most part, we are a welcoming, fun-loving, beer-giving, brat-chugging group of idiots.
OTE: What are you most excited about for the Wisconsin 2019 season? For the uninitiated fan of another Big Ten school, what are the storylines surrounding your program? Do you think the Badgers have finally cracked into the upper echelon of Big Ten teams, or has the program faded back to the pack of the Big Ten West?
DH: I am most excited about seeing Jonathan Taylor run the dang ball all over the field in what has to be his last season as a Badger. I’m excited to see if the defense, now healthy but somewhat green, has improved and can return to one of the better units in the conference. I’m excited/terrified to see what the quarterback (whoever it is) does.
The storylines for this season include, but are not limited to: WILL GRAHAM MERTZ END UP BEING THE STARTING QB?!?!? WILL JONATHAN TAYLOR BE A HEISMAN CANDIDATE!?!?! DOES PAUL CHRYST WEAR ANYTHING BUT THE SAME GREY SWEATSHIRT ALL SEASON!?!?!
I think this season the Badgers will be closer to the “pack of the B1G West” than the Ohio States and Michigans of the conference, but I also think that the Badgers are recruiting at a higher level than usual (still not at a national title-winning level, but better than Wisconsin normally does) and could challenge the upper echelon of the conference again in 2020. Unless Nebraska just lays claim to the B1G West crown for the next decade due to media hype.
(5) Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Anything else—tailgating advice, Madison bars to visit, Wisconsin beer takes, local cuisine, etc.—we should know about Wisconsin or B5Q?
Tailgating advice: go to a bar around the stadium and if you do park and tailgate...don’t drink on the sidewalk or the street because that’s the only time a cop will hassle you
Madison bars to visit: The Old Fashioned for dinner and Wisconsin beers on Friday night; any bar around the stadium on Saturday morning will give you a pretty similar experience (my favorite is The Library); Merchant for cocktails; Cask & Ale for whiskey; Wando’s, State Street Brats or Kollege Klub for “COLLEGE BAR!!!”; The City Bar if you want to go where I used to work AND drink in a basement; Paul’s Club for a bar with a tree in it; The Great Dane or Vintage for locally brewed beer; The Plaza for the bar your dad drank at when he went to school in Madison; probably a bunch of others that I’m missing because I’m old and don’t go out much when I’m in Madison anymore.
Wisconsin beer takes: I’ve got plenty, but I’ll spare you most of them. Drink something local while you’re there: New Glarus (Moon Man Pale Ale or Wisconsin Belgian Red are their best beers); Ale Asylum; Karben4; One Barrel; Next Door Brewing; Funk Factory Guezeria; Giant Jones Brewing; Rockhound; Central Waters; The Brewing Projekt; Third Space...the list could go on and on...
Local cuisine: eat fried cheese curds anywhere; eat at Culver’s; eat at Mickie’s Dairy Bar for breakfast; eat at Brasserie V (Belgian beer bar) after the game; A Pig In A Fur Coat or Heritage Tavern if you are looking for something a little fancier; fried fish on Friday nights is a pretty great tradition in Wisconsin (Avenue Bar does one of the best ones)
We have a whole section on this sort of thing at B5Q called Bucky’s 5th Quarter Barrel although some of the info may be a bit outdated because we haven’t done a “best bars” and “best restaurants” post in a few years.
Thanks to Drew for the time and thoughts! Be sure to follow Drew @drewhamm5, and keep up with all things Wisconsin at Bucky’s 5th Quarter and @B5Q!