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Badger Booster Days surrounded with history
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MONROE - A card shark with a passion for the Badgers weaved his way around the bar with an amazing trick for each UW backer.

Red clad partygoers sipped drinks and sampled cheese.

It wasn't a cheese tasting social, it was just a snapshot of the annual Monroe Badger Days, which started in 1954.

Friendship and eventually golf brought Ray Kubly and his friends from the University of Wisconsin together more than a half century ago in Monroe.

Monroe Badger Days was started by Pat Kubly's father, Ray in 1954. Ray would invite friends and coaches to town for drinks and golf. Pat Kubly took over as Badger Days host in 1967 after his father died.

Kubly said Badger Days really took off when former UW athletic director Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch came to an event. Hirsch was drafted by Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference, where he played from 1946 to 1948. After the Rockets and the AAFC merged with the NFL, he joined the Los Angeles Rams through 1957. Coach Clark Shaughnessy made Hirsch the first full-time "flanker" in NFL history. He served as the Director of Athletics for UW from 1969 to 1987.

"He ("Crazy Legs" Hirsch) was like a class A movie star to people who were athletic supporters," Kubly said. "I think people like meeting with the higher ups in the athletic department and the coaches."

The two-day Badgers bash wrapped up Tuesday night at the Ludlow Mansion as Mike Muranyi was lauded for his work as the golf professional at the Monroe Country Club. It was Muranyi's last year working for Monroe Badger Days.

Last year Monroe Badger Days raised $81,452.32 for the UW athletic department. Wisconsin Athletics Director Barry Alvarez said UW ranks fifth in total revenue generated nationwide.

Matt Lepay, the voice of the Badgers knows how much the Monroe Badger Days is rooted in tradition.

"You live up to the hype and then some," Lepay said.

Alvarez said that he couldn't thank the Kubly's and Swiss Colony enough for their support.

Several years ago when the university was scaling back on golf outings, Monroe's Badger Days wasn't in jeopardy.

"That's one outing we certainly wouldn't eliminate," Alvarez said.