There are certain things every college student needs to experience in their time at the University of Wisconsin: skipping class to drink at the Terrace, getting too drunk at a pre-game and missing the game entirely and waking up on Abe’s lap after a hard night of “studying.”

For those on The Badger Herald staff, beating the Daily Cardinal in softball is on that list, right after “humiliating them in every possible drinking competition known to man,” which, of course, they’ve done time and time again.

The winning at softball part has in recent years eluded the attractive, talented staff at The Badger Herald, better known as the Gentle Clowns.

After out-chugging, out-flipping and out-doing the Dirty Birds in every drinking endeavor since 1969, the Gentle Clowns are ready to turn their attention back to the softball diamond and pick up where they left off in 2010 when they actually cared about something other than catching a moderate buzz off of two kegs.

“Establishing our dominance as drinkers was the most important thing for us during the last few years,” Editor-in-Chief Katherine Krueger said in between mouthfuls of beef jerky and Beyoncé lyrics. “Honestly, who needs to concentrate on sport when it’s so easy to crush the Dirty Bird at the two American pastimes that actually matter: drinking and making newspapers.”

The Dirty Birds tried to boast about their pointless winning streak on their “website” after last year’s game, but readers complained that the url,, was too difficult to find and carried on reading real news on the Herald’s site.

For the first time in years, the Clowns will attempt to amuse the Dirty Birds at Vilas Park as each team member will attempt to keep a BAC below .400 through the first three innings. But medical experts are concerned the sudden absence of immense amounts of liquor may cause a shock to the Clowns’ systems. As a precaution, the Herald will keep posts at each base where a teammate will have a shot of Fireball on hand should any Clown begin to feel too sober.

Herald editors are also hopeful no Madison law enforcement interrupt the traditional incoming editors-in-chief chug off, as they could be shocked by the sight of a 10-year-old, the Cardinal’s competitor, drinking beer.

The Gentle Clowns have rededicated themselves to athletics just as sport aficionados Aliya “The Original Beast Mode” Iftikhar and Katie “Harry Potter dubstep is my jam” Caron have begun holding “sport Thursdays” to teach the Clowns techniques they learned during their time as coaches in the depths of the South American baseball league.

“The key is to take as many steroids as you can without making any noticeable difference in your physical appearance,” Caron said, while petting one of the 237 cats she saved from the Amazon.

Resident Bostonian Cogan Schneier has insisted on showing the staff film of Red Sox games to teach proper fielding technique, but the only video that kept popping up was Bill Buckner’s missed grounder at first. And that was the end of that.

Schneier has still found a way to make an impact with the yearly newspaper clash, though, as meeting long-time fan Jason Clark made a strong impression.

“I’m dedicating this game to Jason,” she said. “Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today. He is truly an inspiration to me.”

Rumor has it that Schneier has promised to knock three home runs for Jason. Schneier declined to comment.

The Herald sent scouts to investigate any preparation the Dirty Birds have made for the softball game. But upon inspecting their classroom/office the scouts found nothing but graphics saved in Paint on their computers that depicted the Cardinal staff bowing down to its “Action Project.”

As a counter to the Dirty Birds’ impeccable graphics department, the Gentle Clowns are hoping to get some production on the field from their ace in the hole Sean Kirkby. The Sriracha fiend has adopted a Nicolas Cage approach at the plate, where he will flail and scream in hopes that his bat will at some point connect with the ball.

Sports Editor Spencer James Smith will complement that strategy by flailing his arms on the mound, “I’M A VAMPIRE! I’M A VAMPIRE!” before eating a live cockroach and yelling, “BOO HOO!

The Clowns are also hoping to get some real power out of the middle of their lineup with wide-eyed second year shortstop Dan “Young Pup” Corcoran swinging a big stick. Herald supporters have to hope Corcoran doesn’t get his hands on too much sugar before the game, as that typically triggers the youngster into a frantic panic that results in a spontaneous crash.

If and when Corcoran’s inevitable sugar crash takes the young pup out of the lineup, Erik “Khakis” Sateren will be ready for the call up to the big leagues from his position as “incumbent heckler of random strangers.”

“I’m so ready to take on those Bird bastards brah,” Sateren said while tightening the belt around his head. “I’ve been saving my lucky Hawaiian shirt for this game dude. I’m going to fucking crush this.”

Sateren said he does not plan on wearing shoes or pants.