Battle for axe sharpens UW's focus
All the talk in Madison this week has been about The Axe.
- One of the most underrated rivalries in college football is Minnesota and Wisconsin's annual scrap for the Paul Bunyan Axe. I got a kick out of hearing the players' comments this week. It means a lot to them, winning that big axe.
The Badgers' big, nasty defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne just melts when the subject comes up. Carrying the axe "is emotional," he says. "The feeling parading it around is hard to explain."
Perhaps it has something to do with the history lecture Wisconsin offensive line coach Jim Hueber provides early in the week of the Minnesota game each year. This week, it came Monday. Hueber, who previously coached at Minnesota, tells old tales, some of them tall, about the most-played rivalry in I-A fables about guys who played with cracked skulls just to get a chance to cradle the beloved axe. Amazingly, the players buy in.
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