Don’t suffer from bracket remorse, join the #WIGOAT Bracket Challenge! The argument has raged on in living rooms, sports radio, man caves and bars for decades. From Milwaukee to Madison, Green Bay to Eau Claire, sports fans have sought to answer the age-old question: who is Wisconsin’s favorite sports icon of all time?
This April, the historic Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is giving Wisconsin sports fans the chance to settle the argument once and for all with a bracket-style competition that will pit members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame from football, baseball, basketball, the Olympics and more against each other with the winner determined by popular vote. Legends like Bart Starr, Oscar Robertson, Warren Spahn and Bonnie Blair will go one on one, round by round, until one person stands alone as the ultimate fan favorite for 2016. All fans who submit a vote will be entered to win two free tickets to the April 30 Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame induction event hosted at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the site of the first Hall of Fame induction in 1951.
Starting today, fans can go to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wihof) to vote on their favorite Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Famer. The first round will be broken up into four days: Region 1 (4/7)- Football; Region 2 (4/8)- Baseball ; Region 3 (4/9)- Basketball; Region 4 (4/10)- Olympics and More. Each subsequent round will be structured the same way until only four final members, one from each region, remain. The final members will then go head to head until a single champion is decided upon by the fans.
Each round will only last 24 hours and fans are encouraged to vote in each matchup, each day, and lobby for their favorite Hall of Famers on social media using #WIGOAT.
At the 2016 Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame event, Green Bay Packers all-time leading wide receiver Donald Driver and record-setting Badgers basketball coach Bo Ryan will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame next to 135 of the state’s greatest athletic icons. Members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame include Vince Lombardi, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Barry Alvarez, Al McGuire, Bud Selig, Junior Bridgeman, Willie Davis, Herb Kohl, Bart Starr, Ab Nicholas, Bob Harlan, Fred Miller, Alan Kulwicki, Robin Yount, Bonnie Blair and Bob Uecker.
In addition to Driver and Ryan, a number of other prominent athletic icons will also be recognized at the Hall of Fame event, including: Packers great Jerry Kramer with a Legendary Team Award celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Packers victory in Super Bowl I; former Milwaukee Bucks owner, retired United States Senator and current philanthropist Herb Kohl with a Community Leadership Award; and two local high school athletes with male and female High School Athlete of the Year Awards.
Fans interested in attending the event and celebrating the accomplishments of these Wisconsin athletic icons can purchase tickets at http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/07004F539410276E, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or by visiting the Milwaukee Theatre Box Office, the Wisconsin Center Rotunda or select Walmart stores. For a limited time only, fans who purchase a special $55 tickets will receive a collector’s edition Donald Driver Hall of Fame bobblehead. Select tickets are also available for 50% off through a special buy-one-get-one offer, allowing a family of four to attend the event for under $40.
The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is maintained through the support of community partners Associated Bank, the Official Bank of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Hupy & Abraham, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, West Bend Insurance, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame, located on 4th Street in Milwaukee’s downtown sports and entertainment district, contains bronze plaques commemorating the 135 members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. The Walk of Fame is free and open to the public 365 days a year.