The Sporting Moments That Define Wisconsin

Lambeau Field | © Jeramey Jannene / Flickr
Lambeau Field | © Jeramey Jannene / Flickr
Photo of Victoria Borisch
Freelance Writer26 February 2018

Home to Titletown USA, Wisconsin has had its fair share of sporting triumphs. From professional to collegiate sports, Wisconsinites love to cheer on their favorite team. With so many memorable moments, it’s difficult to narrow it down to the greatest, so here are just a few of the sporting moments that define Wisconsin.

October 2–10, 1957: Milwaukee Braves Win World Series

Playing against the defending champions, the New York Yankees, the Milwaukee Braves won four out of seven games, clinching the World Series victory. To date, this is the only World Series win for the Braves. The team included a number of future Hall of Famers, including Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn, and Hank Aaron.

January 15, 1967: Super Bowl I

Though for the most part only known retroactively as Super Bowl I, the Green Bay Packers can claim the bragging rights of winning the very first one. On January 15, 1967, in Los Angeles, the Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Packers 10–35. Today’s Super Bowl trophy is named after the coach who led the Packers to victory in that game, Vince Lombardi.

Super Bowl I | © Jimberg13/Wikimedia Commons

December 26, 1993: Creation of Lambeau Leap

Green Bay Packers’ safety LeRoy Butler took one giant leap for football fans in a 1993 game against the L.A. Raiders. After scoring a touchdown following a fumble recovery by Reggie White, Butler leapt into the stands at Lambeau Field, and the Lambeau Leap was born. The Lambeau Leap is no easy feat—the wall is six feet four inches high!

August 29, 1996: Tiger Woods professional debut at Greater Milwaukee Open

Golf legend Tiger Woods got his professional start in the Greater Milwaukee Open at the Brown Deer Park Golf Course. He sank a hole-in-one on the 14th hole and tied for 60th place. Following the tournament in Milwaukee, Tiger Woods would go on to become one of the world’s highest-paid athletes and one of the most successful golfers of all time.

January 26, 1997: Super Bowl XXXI

There is perhaps no moment in Wisconsin sports fans’ minds more iconic than Brett Favre running with his helmet in his hands after a touchdown play, leading the Green Bay Packers to victory in Super Bowl XXXI. Coach Mike Holmgren led the team to a 35–12 victory over the New England Patriots, extending the Packers’ record of most overall NFL championships.

January 8, 2011: B.J. Raji’s Pick 6 in 2010 NFC Championship Game

Defensive tackle B.J. Raji’s Pick 6 in the 2010 NFC Championship Game not only helped the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chicago Bears and advance to the Super Bowl, but his touchdown dance started a bit of a dance craze among football fans in Wisconsin.

October 7, 2011: Nyjer Morgan’s walk-off base hit in the NLDS in 2011

In the bottom of the 10th inning in game 5 of the National League Division Series (NLDS) 2011, Nyjer Morgan hit a walk-off RBI that secured victory for the Milwaukee Brewers over the California Angels and advanced the team to the National League Championship Series (NLCS). It was the first playoff series win for the Brewers since 1982.

University of Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Season 2014–2015

While not a particular date, the University of Wisconsin Men’s Basketball 2014–2015 season, in general, was a memorable one. Bo Ryan’s last season as head coach led the UW Badgers through a winning season in the Big Ten Conference, a win in the Big Ten Tournament, and the team clinched a spot in the National Championship Game for the first time in 74 years.

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