Wisconsin - Sports

Sports

Wisconsin is represented by major league teams in three sports: football, baseball, and basketball. Lambeau Field, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is home to the National Football League's Green Bay Packers. The Packers have been part of the NFL since the league's second season in 1921 and hold the record for the most NFL titles, earning the city of Green Bay the nickname "Titletown USA". The Packers are the smallest city franchise in the NFL, and is the only one owned by shareholders statewide. The franchise was founded by "Curly" Lambeau who played and coached for them. The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful small-market professional sports franchises in the world and have won 13 NFL championships, including the first two AFL-NFL Championship games (Super Bowls I and II), Super Bowl XXXI and Super Bowl XLV. The state's support of the team is evidenced by the 81,000-person waiting list for season tickets to Lambeau Field.

The Milwaukee Brewers, the state's only major league baseball team, play in Miller Park in Milwaukee, the successor to Milwaukee County Stadium since 2001. In 1982, the Brewers won the American League Championship, marking their most successful season. The team switched from the American League to the National League starting with the 1998 season.

The Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association play home games at the Bradley Center. The Bucks won the NBA Championship in 1971.

The state also has minor league teams in hockey (Milwaukee Admirals) and baseball (the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, based in Appleton and the Beloit Snappers of the Class A minor leagues). Wisconsin is also home to the Madison Mallards, the La Crosse Loggers, the Eau Claire Express, the Green Bay Bullfrogs, the Wisconsin Woodchucks, and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwoods League, a collegiate all-star summer league. In arena football Wisconsin is represented by three teams: the Wisconsin Wolfpack in Madison in the CIFL; the Green Bay Blizzard of the IFL, and the Milwaukee Mustangs of the AFL. The state is also home to the 6 Time Major Indoor Soccer League Champion Milwaukee Wave.

Wisconsin also has many college sports programs, including the Wisconsin Badgers, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Panthers of University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. The Wisconsin Badgers football former head coach Barry Alvarez led the Badgers to three Rose Bowl championships, including back-to-back victories in 1999 and 2000. The Badger men's basketball team won the national title in 1941 and made a second trip to college basketball's Final Four in 2000. The Badgers claimed a historic dual championship in 2006 when both the women's and men's hockey teams won national titles.

The Marquette Golden Eagles of the Big East Conference, the state's other major collegiate program, is known for its men's basketball team, which, under the direction of Al McGuire, won the NCAA National Championship in 1977. The team returned to the Final Four in 2003.

Many other schools in the University of Wisconsin system compete in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at the Division III level. The conference is one of the most successful in the nation, claiming 92 NCAA national championships in 15 different sports as of the 2011–12 academic year.

The Semi-Professional Northern Elite Football League consists of many teams from Wisconsin. The league is made up of former professional, collegiate, and high school players. Teams from Wisconsin include: The Green Bay Gladiators from Green Bay, WI, The Fox Valley Force in Appleton, WI, The Kimberly Storm in Kimberly, WI, The Central Wisconsin Spartans in Wausau, WI, The Eau Claire Crush and the Chippewa Valley Predators from Eau Claire, WI, and the Lake Superior Rage from Superior, WI. The league also has teams in Michigan and Minnesota. Teams play from May until August.

Wisconsin is home to the world's oldest operational racetrack. The Milwaukee Mile, located in Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, held races there long before the Indy 500.

Wisconsin is home to the nation's oldest operating velodrome in Kenosha where races have been held every year since 1927.

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Famous quotes containing the word sports:

    It is usual for a Man who loves Country Sports to preserve the Game in his own Grounds, and divert himself upon those that belong to his Neighbour.
    Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

    Even from their infancy we frame them to the sports of love: their instruction, behaviour, attire, grace, learning and all their words aimeth only at love, respects only affection. Their nurses and their keepers imprint no other thing in them.
    Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592)

    In the past, it seemed to make sense for a sportswriter on sabbatical from the playpen to attend the quadrennial hawgkilling when Presidential candidates are chosen, to observe and report upon politicians at play. After all, national conventions are games of a sort, and sports offers few spectacles richer in low comedy.
    Walter Wellesley (Red)