Former Badger Montee Ball offers alternative to game-day drinking culture with special tailgates

You probably remember former Badger Montee Ball for all his success on the field, as well as struggles with addiction and an arrest that cut his professional career short.

Now, Ball is grabbing headlines for all the right reasons. As the UW-Madison prepares for its first home game of the season Sept. 7, many of the planned, pregame parties are fueled by alcohol. Ball is working to prove you don’t need the booze to have a blast.

He’s hosting a series of game day watch parties this season at Marcus Palace Theatre in Sun Prairie. Ball will be there, watching the game with die-hard fans, during all away games this season.

He said his goal is to “create the Badger football atmosphere for a crowd who isn’t interested in bar hopping.”

This latest initiative is far from the only way Ball is giving back to the Madison community, which he says has given him so much: he started the Montee Ball Fund last year to raise money for mental health support services on campus.

RELATED: Former Wisconsin football standout raises awareness, money for UW mental health support services

His efforts are supported by dozens of his former teammates, both at the collegiate and professional levels. Many turned out for last year’s inaugural “Swing Fore Recovery” celebrity golf tournament at the Bridges golf course, which Ball is planning to bring back this fall.

Kickoff for the Badgers’ first home game of the 2019 season is at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 7. As usual, alcohol is not allowed inside the stadium, as the UW-Madison made the decision not to join the growing list of schools selling alcohol during its home games.

Former Badger Montee Ball offers alternative to game-day drinking culture with special tailgates

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