Rivals on all borders of Badger State

· Jan 19, 2012 Tweet

The Sconnie vs. Coastie rivalry is a hot topic, particularly this frigid time of year, when North Face jackets, UGG boots and leggings are out in full force. However, today I am going to remain mute on this topic. There’s a simple reason why: Coasties do not exist anywhere else in the state, meaning this rivalry is limited to Madison. A true Sconnie is far too preoccupied with cross-state rivalries to be concerned about people from the coast. Accordingly, today I present a border rivalry guide to break down what Wisconsinites think of their neighboring states.


The Illinois resident is perhaps the Wisconsinite’s biggest foe. Surprisingly, this rivalry is not just about football. Despite the innate hatred for the Bears that 90 percent of Wisconsinites are born with, there is one thing Cheeseheads hate more than Ditka-worshiping super fans or even khaki-shorts-wearing Cubs fans.

Wisconsinites cannot stand Illinois drivers.

FIB, or Fucking Illinois Bastard, is a rather nasty term used by Wisconsinites to describe anyone driving a car with Illinois plates. FIBs are disliked on Wisconsin roadways because they refuse to leave their aggressive driving tactics learned on Chicago’s freeways behind, even when cruising down simple two-lane highways in Wisconsin.

The issue goes even deeper, because Wisconsin drivers worry that after an Illinois driver tailgates them, impatiently passes them on the right before cutting them off, he or she will speed off, thereby getting “up north” faster than them. Sadly, there is little even the most courteous Illinois driver can do to change a Wisconsinite’s mind.

This is because Wisconsinites take their time spent fishing, hunting and waterskiing at their cabins very seriously, and they want to hoard the north woods of Wisconsin for themselves. Like a hipster who cannot get over the fact that Vampire Weekend is now mainstream, Wisconsinites are bitter that Illinoisans discovered their happy place.

(Upper) Michigan

Speaking of up north, Yoopers are by far some of da friendliest people you’ll ever meet, hey. That does not mean they are immune from criticism. Although they spend their time in a similar fashion to those who live in northern Wisconsin or those who travel there on vacation, their speech makes them the butt of many jokes.

Most jabs at Yoopers take the form of impersonation. That means replacing the “th” sound with a “d,” adding “hey” to most sentences and eliminating key prepositions. For example, to mock a Yooper, a Wisconsinite might say “Do yous wanna go Kmart, hey? I gotta get somma dat oil fer my snowmobile.”

Ironically, many Wisconsinites are blissfully unaware of their own accent, which can be just as potent as a Yooper’s. The difference is in the vowels. Someday I will learn how to pronounce the short “a” sound, but for now I will continue to tell people I live in Maaaaadison, Wiscaaaaaansin.


In contrast to Illinois, the rivalry with our western neighbors is all about football. There is no greater joy for a Wisconsinite than to rip apart a Vikings fan or revel in a Vikings loss. To wear a purple jersey is to declare war and open oneself up to unrelenting verbal attack.

Outside of the realm of football, Wisconsinites generally do not have a problem with Minnesotans. We view them as friendly neighbors who aren’t much different than us. What many Wisconsinites don’t know is that friendliness is just a fa?ade.

You see, Minnesotans’ Scandanavian heritage prevents them from being confrontational about their disdain for others. To get the full story about how Minnesotans view Wisconsinites, you need to be part of their inner circle. That’s why I’ve been conducting a year-long investigative journalism venture that involves “dating” a Minnesotan in order to learn their secrets.

Through my covert mission, I have learned that Minnesotans think we Sconnies are overly boisterous party animals who need to find a hobby other than the Packers. They are incredulous that some University of Wisconsin parents seem more hell-bent on getting wasted on game day than their kids. To that, I say, “Mom, Dad – grab the PBR! Let’s challenge these jokers to a drinking contest and show ’em who’s boss!”


My knowledge of people from Iowa is limited to what I learned when I played the part of Zaneeta (eek gads!) in The Music Man in high school. Apparently they have an aversion to pool halls? Although I could be mistaken, in my 22 years of being a Wisconsinite, I have heard little to no criticism of Iowans. We are typically too busy griping about FIBs to fully develop another rivalry.

Where is the love?
The downside to Sconnie pride is letting our love of beer and football cloud our judgment. It’s important not to take these rivalries too seriously or you might miss the big picture. We Midwesterners are perceived as being friendly by the rest of the nation. If we cannot get over our differences, how will we ever compete with southern hospitality?

Damn. Did I just ruin my point by suggesting an end to competition for the sake of a bigger competition? Whatevs, man. Go Badgers!

Holly Hartung ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism and communication arts. If ya have ideas for future Dairyland Down-Low columns about Wiscaaansin culture, send ’em her way.


This article was published Jan 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm and last updated Jan 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm


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