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Fans in Milwaukee Reflect on Badger Season

Michelle Maternowski
Badgers fans watching the final game at Camp Bar in Wauwatosa.

It was a heartbreaking night as the Wisconsin Badgers lost to Duke in the championship game of the men’s NCAA Finals. The Blue Devils beat Wisconsin 68-63.

Despite the disappointing finale, people at a local sports bar said the Badgers’ lengthy run added activity to their lives. Jesse Weathersby admits he’s done extra indulging during the Badgers’ extended season.

“More eating, how does that sound? Not too much cooking, a little bit of drinking, but mostly more eating,” Weathersby says.

Weathersby was eating again, at Major Goolsby’s in downtown Milwaukee. He says he also spent more money than usual this year, bringing “dishes to pass” to friends’ homes to watch the games.

Corey Schooley of Oconomowoc came to Goolsby’s with a few of his buddies to watch the championship. He says they’ve been seeing a lot of each other. “Definitely more going out with friends and more excitement involved,” Schooley says.

Schooley knows that the experience of making it to the finale is a new one for most Wisconsin residents. “It’s been pretty neat and something the state hasn’t accomplished in a long time, so it’s been pretty cool,” Schooley says.

The crowds at Goolsby’s for nearly every game the Badgers played in the tournament were comparable to when the Packers were in the Super Bowl in 2011, according to Assistant Manager Marty Petricca. He’s worked here for 15 years.

“It’s a really fun atmosphere and the further they go, the more business they draw for us,” Petricca says.

Petricca says just to be sure, he ordered more beer and food Monday morning, so the bar wouldn’t run out of anything during the game.

“Not a lot extra because we had somewhat planned for it last week. We already had most of it,” Petricca says. You could tell he’d been here before, just not for the Badgers reaching the pinnacle of their college sport.

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