Podcast | Making Wisconsin: Being Bucky Badger
A look into the history of UW’s famous mascot.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Skits, dancing and a whole lot of pushups -- that’s only some of what it takes to be the beloved Buck Badger.
Buckingham U. Badger is a staple for the UW-Madison campus and Wisconsin as a state. But how did Bucky become the icon he is today?
Nameless before the 1940s, the mascot used to be a real, living badger kept in a cage at football games. Due to a rather ferocious personality, that Bucky was benched.
The mascot came to life in 1949, when Bill Sagal, a UW cheerleader, sported on a paper mache rendition of the mascot’s head for the Homecoming game.
Today, what does it take to become the mighty mustelid? Contenders for the mascot spot go through a rigorous three-day tryout, ensuring Bucky is up to the highest standards. Bucky’s everywhere, after all.
“Every second, someone’s eyes are on you. Whether you’re at a parade or if you’re at a basketball game, you’re always on,” former Bucky Badger Devin Deegan said.
Discover more Bucky trivia -- like what his middle initial “U” stands for -- in Making Wisconsin: A History of the Badger State.
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