With the sports world on hold, we gave you the 50 greatest moments in Wisconsin sports history over the past 50 years (plus 10 more). Let’s take the list all the way to 100. Here are moments 91-100.
91. Andy North wins U.S. Open again
June 16, 1985
Madison native Andy North caught a break when U.S. Open leader T.C. Chen carded an 8 on the fifth hole in the final round, and Chen’s four-stroke lead evaporated at Oakland Hills in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
“We’ve all done it, make some big, big numbers,” North said. “It’s the sickest feeling in the world.”
But not for North, who held off his own late collapse to secure his second U.S. Open title. After winning the title in 1978, North hadn’t won another individual event, but that changed at age 35 when he became a two-time Open champ.
North shot 1-under over the four days, one stroke ahead of second-place Dave Barr and Denis Watson.
“If I had to characterize my round, I’d say guts, determination, just finishing,” North said. “Maybe this will get those guys off my back who say, ‘What have I done lately?'”
Barr finished bogey-bogey after holding the lead, and Watson was assessed a two-stroke penalty in his final round.
Today, North is an ESPN golf commentator and frequently makes appearances at University of Wisconsin basketball games.
92. Whitewater football breaks through en route to dynasty
Dec. 15, 2007
The UW-Whitewater football program had become an NCAA Division III standout already, having appeared in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl the two previous years, but onlookers surely anticipated that powerhouse Mount Union would win a third straight national championship.
Instead, Whitewater pulled off a 31-21 win under first-year coach Lance Leipold. Justin Beaver ran for 249 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries in Salem, Virginia.
“Somewhere along the line this will sink in,” Leipold said. “But as I’ve said. … It’s not about me. It’s been about a program and these (players). I’m just the one that was given a great privilege to be in charge of it at this particular time.”
It was just the beginning. Mount Union won again in 2008, but Whitewater won the next three D3 titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011, then added titles in 2013 and 2014. Every win came against Mount Union.
93. Brett Favre sets touchdown record
Sept. 30, 1997
Brett Favre broke numerous records in his career, though many were quickly bypassed by other top quarterbacks. His iron man record, while not a true “moment,” is the one that will endure; it’s hard to imagine anyone playing in 297 consecutive games again.
Breaking the career touchdown record was perhaps the most thrilling, when he threw touchdown pass No. 421 to Greg Jennings in a 23-16 win in Minneapolis that put the Packers at 4-0 and came at the front end of a season in which Green Bay went 13-3 and reached the NFC title game.
Favre passed Dan Marino with a 16-yard pass in the first quarter.
“Dan was a hero as well as a lot of other guys that I played with earlier in my career and even didn’t get a chance to play against,” Favre said. “To be mentioned in the same breath as Dan and other guys is quite an honor. To me, that is more important than the actual record.”
“I think the team may be more excited about it than Brett,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He has been a very big part of the success of the Green Bay Packers for 17 years. It will be a big part of the history as we move forward. We are thrilled to death that Brett Favre represents the Packers.”
Later that year, Favre also set the passing yardage record, again topping Marino, and he finished with 508 touchdown passes, currently fourth all time. Drew Brees (547) has the most.
94. A bid farewell
Sept. 28, 2000
“So long, old friend,” Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker said into the microphone as the lights were turned out for the final time at Milwaukee County Stadium, which had been the Brewers’ home for 30 years and the Braves’ home before that, opened in 1953 to bring professional baseball to Milwaukee.
The emotions of the moment had been heightened by a crane accident that delayed Miller Park’s construction by a year and killed three workers, and the largest regular-season gathering in franchise history (56,354) came to witness the passing of the torch. The Brewers lost to the Reds, 8-1, but several Wisconsin sports luminaries were on hand, including Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Hank Aaron, Willie Davis and Warren Spahn.
“As much as I have looked forward to this day, it is almost impossible to comprehend,” said baseball commissioner Bud Selig, the Brewers’ founding owner.
“It is truly a privilege to stand on this field with these legendary players, and to share this moment with you, the great fans of Milwaukee,” Brewers infielder Mark Loretta said into the microphone. “But, oh, will it be sweet across the street.”
95. Marquette takes down Kentucky in 1994 tourney
March 20, 1994
Buoyed by Tony Miller’s ability to carve up Kentucky’s pressure defense and dish out nine assists, sixth-seeded Marquette toppled No. 3-seeded (and No. 7-ranked) Kentucky, 75-63. It was the first time MU had won two NCAA tournament games since the 1977 championship.
“I’m going to give credit where credit is due,” Marquette coach Kevin O’Neill said. “I talked to Lute (Olson, Arizona coach) yesterday. He said, ‘Kevin, there is one thing you need to do against their pressure and that is dribble through it and have your point guard dribble at their big guys.'”
Miller played all 40 minutes. Along the way, he held Kentucky standout Travis Ford to 2 of 11 shooting. Damon Key scored 25 points with six rebounds in 37 minutes.
“They outplayed us,” Kentucky coach Rick Pitino said. “We couldn’t shoot a good enough percentage to make our press and our quickness a factor. So their style of play won.”
96. Jerryd Bayless beats the buzzer
April 25, 2015
Sure, it came in the context of a playoff series loss, but Milwaukee briefly staved off elimination with a thrilling finish to Game 4 of an Eastern Conference first-round game.
Jared Dudley inbounded with 1.3 seconds left to Jerryd Bayless cutting toward the basket, and his layup at the buzzer gave the Bucks a 92-90 win over the second-seed Bulls. The Bucks won the next night, as well, to pull within 3-2 in the series before Chicago closed it down.
“I just saw (Derrick) Rose on the top side – I was kind of shocked,” Dudley said.
“I thought he’d be behind him. I made the good pass but Bayless made the play and scored. I knew there was not going to be anyone help side because (Joakim) Noah is always on the ball. There’s only one other big and that’s Taj (Gibson) and he was up top.”
Rose said he wasn’t paying attention to the ball.
“He spun out great – a great call from (coach Jason) Kidd – but if anything, this is a learning experience. I feel bad for myself, I feel bad for my teammates knowing that we could have forced an overtime and I messed things up.”
97. Wisconsin women contribute to hockey triumph
Feb. 22, 2018
It was a victory on multiple fronts for the United States women’s hockey team at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, and the 3-2 win over Canada in a sudden-death shootout was just part of the equation.
When overtime ended in a 2-2 tie, the first penalty shootout likewise ended as such, leading to a sudden-death shootout.
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored, and goalie Maddie Rooney’s save on the other end gave the U.S. the gold for the first time in 20 years.
The national team had threatened to sit out the 2017 Women’s World Championships in Michigan as part of a fight for fair wages and equitable support from USA Hockey. An agreement was reached just before the tournament, and the U.S. went out to win the world championships, too.
Numerous players with Wisconsin ties were part of the equation. Amanda Kessel of Madison scored in the initial shootout in the gold-medal game.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” Kessel said. “I kind of read the goalie and saw that she was sinking back and just went top shelf. Sometimes I’ve got a plan. This time I just reacted.”
Dousman’s Brianna Decker had an assist in the gold-medal game and posted three in the Olympics. Alex Rigsby of Delafield and Decker were two of four former Badgers on the team, along with Meghan Duggan and Hilary Knight.
“You come to the Olympics and obviously you set out to win a gold medal but when you take a step back and you think about who you’re representing, everyone behind you back home, people that you don’t even know that are just Americans and they love that you’re representing them,” Duggan said. “There’s so much pride in that.”
98. Original Bernie Brewer descends from his perch
Aug. 16, 1970
For 40 days, 69-year-old fan Milt Mason lived in a camping trailer parked atop the County Stadium scoreboard, vowing not to come down until the Brewers drew 40,000 fans to a game.
With a 4-3 win over Cleveland before 44,387 fans, Mason finally descended. “Bernie Brewer,” an iconic component of Brewers games today, had been born.
“It was a great experience, but I wouldn’t do it again,” Mason said. “I have no complaints. It’s just that I don’t like to do anything twice. I like to try new things.”
The Brewers held a Bat Day promotion in which more than 25,000 Little League bats were distributed to fans aged 14 or under. The allotment of 15,000 bats on hand (with the rest getting rain checks) were gone an hour before first pitch.
Bernie, clad in German get-up that became a central part of the mascot’s identity, slid down a rope that extended the height of the scoreboard, picking up rope burns that required treatment.
A couple of years later, Bernie’s Chalet was built at County Stadium, and the mascot version of Bernie slid into a mug of beer to celebrate Brewers home runs.
99. The first ‘Jump Around’
Oct. 10, 1998
Much like the Lambeau Leap, this isn’t a true “moment” in the sense that it was recognized at the time for its greatness. But it certainly became an enduring component of the Wisconsin athletics experience.
For a game against Purdue, Wisconsin game operations staff experimented with some new musical choices, including playing House of Pain’s “Jump Around” before the start of the fourth quarter. It quickly became a staple at home games, and nearly led to civic unrest when UW officials elected not to play the song anymore in 2003 after the stadium underwent renovations.
Defensive lineman Erik Waisanen was on the field that first night. “It was just crazy. We looked over and saw the student section. It was unreal — it was more than goosebumps. It was more than a confidence builder and I really wish I could come up with a better way to describe it.”
The 2003 decision was quickly amended. It’s now regarded as one of the foremost traditions in college football.
“That’s what makes it so special. It wasn’t started by five football players or Kevin (Kluender) in the booth pushing a button. It was started by 70,000 people,” said Waisanen.
100. The Kimberly-Arrowhead epic
Nov. 20, 2015
Kimberly High School racked up 70 consecutive wins in football, a run that led the nation and marked the 13th-longest in U.S. history, before Fond du Lac finally broke through in the 2018 season opener.
The streak really looked to be in jeopardy when Arrowhead took a 42-21 lead with 5:42 left in the third quarter of the 2015 Division 1 title game. But Kimberly scored 28 unanswered points, capped by Blair Mulholland’s touchdown with 11 seconds left for a stunning triumph.
“Surreal,” Kimberly coach Steve Jones said when asked to sum up evening. “You look around Camp Randall with the snowflakes dropping and what just happened. Surreal. I’m happy for our kids. I love them to death. They left everything they had at Camp Randall today.”
Arrowhead, a powerhouse that had won D1 titles in 2012 and 2013 and lost in the final to Kimberly in 2014, defeated Kimberly in the 2012 state quarterfinal that marked the program’s final loss for more than five years.
The Papermakers won five straight state titles in the run, one in Division 2 and four in D1.