College Video of the Week

Video of the Week: University of Wisconsin Rowing, 1929

I saw this on Twitter a few months ago and thought it was really interesting. A few other facts about Wisco are…

The first boat house was completed in 1893, with building supported by the sale of $5 shares.

In 1893, Fred Pabst made a large donation to help secure the University’s first eight-oared paper shell. Pabst, a former Great Lakes steamboat captain, eventually took over ownership of his father-in-law’s brewery, changing the name to the Pabst Brewery.

An 1899 race became legendary when Wisconsin, which had been leading Penn for 3.5 of the 4 miles of the race course, was forced at the end of the race to swerve off-course to avoid hitting a strawberry crate that had floated into its path. Wisconsin ended up losing the race by about five feet. They lost to Penn in the same race the following year as well and were greeted at the end by the victors, who were wearing strawberry crates on their heads.

During the summer of 1914, UW’s medical faculty and athletic council banned crew, declaring its four-mile races dangerous to the athletes’ health. Discussion continued in the following years, with a three-mile race proposed as a compromise. After World War I, when all athletics were discontinued, the athletic council lifted the ban in 1921 and crew resumed.

Wisconsin crew coaches have been both the youngest and oldest in the nation – Ralph Hunn, in 1934, was the youngest, and legendary Harry “Dad” Vail, at age 69, was the oldest in 1928.

The crew team flew to Annapolis for a race in 1946, representing the first time a Badger athletic team had flown by plane.

And yes, the video is supposed to be silent. Raise your hand if you, like me, thought there was something wrong with your laptop when no sound was playing.

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