It's officially "Badger Hate Week" on Anonymous Eagle, a Marquette basketball fan blog. "Your Marquette Golden Eagles prepare for the Rodents of Madison by watching film, practicing sets and carbo-loading," writes Rubie Q., one of the site's authors. "We do the same, except we carbo-load HATE."
The site paints Badger hoops fans as arrogant and uninformed dullards who favor a plodding style of play, and presents images comparing a scowling Bo Ryan to the Grinch as played by Jim Carrey. It's fun to read.
Curiously, I've not seen anything comparable out of Badgerland, now preoccupied with Rose Bowl preparations. In the basketball rivalry between Wisconsin and Marquette, the stronger emotions clearly reside to the east.
Marquette fans constantly feel disrespected by their Badger counterparts. In March 1997, when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gave more play to Wisconsin's upset of second-ranked Minnesota than to Marquette's clinching of the Conference USA tournament, some Marquette alums were reportedly so angry they threatened to cancel their subscriptions.
And while many Badger fans quietly pull for the Golden Eagles, the Marquette fans I know are anti-Bucky to the core. They post taunts on Wisconsin message boards when the Badgers are annually eliminated from the NCAA tournament or when a Madison Memorial star chooses to play college ball in Milwaukee, as Vander Blue, Jeronne Maymon and Wesley Matthews have done.
Maybe it's this one-way hate that keeps Wisconsin/Marquette from the lists of top hoops rivalries. In Madison, beating Marquette is nice, but games against Michigan State are usually more dramatic and important.