Fans face off for Paul Bunyan’s axe
UWPD arrests 33, ejects 72 during Saturday's border battle
MADISON, Wis. — The battle for Paul Bunyan’s axe is a longstanding tradition between the Badgers and the Gophers, but fans came prepared to fight Saturday.
Despite the home-field advantage it wasn’t just the Badgers fans that came out to support their team, Minnesota brought plenty of reinforcements too.
“We don’t come here to watch losing football,” Gophers fan Chris Harder said.
You can ask fans from either side of the playing field and they will tell you about the longest-running rivalry in Division 1 football.
“It’s going to be a close game, but we are going to win. We will get Paul Bunyan’s axe and we will win,” Badgers fan Ann Powers said.
The Badgers have dominated the gophers for 10 straight wins, but Minnesota fans came to Camp Randall Saturday hoping to break the winning streak.
“We’ve taken a few beatings over the years, but hopefully this is the year it all changes,” Gophers fan Andrew Lovelett said.
It’s more than just a longstanding rivalry for fans; it has turned into a friendly family feud for Lovelett and his cousin Chris Schuele, who grew up rooting for opposite teams
“This is the border battle of the cousins here,” Badgers fan Schuele said.
Despite rooting for opposite teams the cousins came with one common goal in mind.
“I guess whatever happens, happens. Hopefully someone will, whoever wins, hopefully they take down the Buckeyes,” Lovelett said.
“You know it’s that Minnesota nice, Wisconsin nice. It’s fun to have a game that means something, enjoy it and have a rivalry that means something,” Schuele said.
As for Paul Bunyan’s axe, the coveted trophy is safe for another year at Camp Randall, making this the Badgers’ 11th straight win against the Gophers, which they are hoping will continue for years to come.
“It shows us that after the tough year we had in the NCAA football this is our big win now we are going somewhere, I’m a Big 10 fan forever,” Badgers fan Francisco Chavez said.
University of Wisconsin – Madison police arrested 33 people, ejected 72 people and seven people were taken to detox during Saturday’s game. The highest blood alcohol content recorded during the axe game was 0.26 percent.