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Archive for January 28, 2013

Muckraking and Mud-Slinging at UW-Madison

< by Jill >

My senior year of college, I served as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Cardinal, the University of Wisconsin’s original student-run newspaper. When I accepted the job, I inherited a 200-member staff, a full-time unpaid job, and a rival: The Badger Herald, the university’s second student-run newspaper. Although we competed for readers on a daily basis, we cemented our rivalry with two staff vs. staff sporting events: a fall football game and a spring softball game.

In the football matchup that fall, the Cardinal fell to the Herald in a heartbreaking final play. In accordance with the rules, the Herald sports staff wrote an insulting game recap, and we ran it in our own pages (oh, the shame!)

After juicing on Muscle Milk for the next nine months, our staff transformed from anemic to invincible/lactose intolerant.  Nonetheless, the Herald produced a menacing game preview that projected a sound victory in the upcoming softball face-off.

“I’m not one to make bold proclamations,” [Herald Campus Editor] Ken Harris said, “but I guarantee those Cardinal chumps won’t know what hit them.”

As EIC, it was my responsibility to charge up the Cardinalistas with an unforgettable hype speech. I rehearsed it for months. When game day arrived, my body coursed with adrenaline. I climbed atop a picnic table, corralled the team, and screamed sports platitudes at the top of my lungs: YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS! VICTORY IS OUR ONLY OPTION! DO THE HUSTLE!

Following a beer chug-off, the game commenced — and so did the rain, sheets of it, crashing down like Niagara. Before long, the baseball diamond became a sludge pit teeming with mud-soaked players. In spite of the elements, the Cardinal emerged victorious. The game recap (which also ran in the Herald) is still one of my most cherished college mementos.