Over the weekend, a legion of University of Wisconsin football fans violated a sacrosanct recess code recognized by everyone accept the mean kid no one likes. Presumably bored with the low-scoring battle against Northwestern last Saturday, students started a snowball fight in the stands, rekindling memories of a Northern childhood.
However, not everyone adhered to playground law when crafting their snowy spheres.
“These were packed snow and ice balls,” says Marc Lovicott, a spokesman for the UW-Madison Police Department.
While the snowball tossing started innocently enough, the situation escalated when fans started classily chucking them on the field and at their own cheerleaders.
Holy smokes. Students look like they're now aiming all their snowballs at the UW cheerleaders behind the end zone. What's wrong with people?
Wisconsin cheerleaders leaving the field after being pelted with snowballs by their own fans. pic.twitter.com/vyUJkj9TsB— Jesse Temple (@jessetemple) November 21, 2015
“That’s when we got really concerned,” Lovicott says. “We had to move the spirit squad off the field. Players got close to getting hit. Referees got close to getting hit.”
Security cracked down on those throwing those not-so-powdery spheres on the field, but a healthy snowfall and an apparent dearth of shovels meant there was no shortage of ammo in the stands. In total, 110 fans were ejected — more than double the 50 or so typically booted from Camp Randall Stadium games — largely for snowball-related offenses.
While there were no serious injuries, first aid staffers received 25 calls, treating people with bloody noses and minor facial injuries after being pelted. Some fans left the game early to avoid the snow-flinging fiasco, Lovicott says.
Targeting the home team’s cheerleaders is an odd choice. Less shocking was the blizzard of snowballs aimed at the refs — who made several controversial calls against the Badgers — as they exited the field following Wisconsin’s 13-7 loss.
Refs mobbed after Wisconsin-Northwestern by snowballs. pic.twitter.com/eaqsjBuRnE— Sconnie Sports Talk (@SconSportsTalk) November 21, 2015
With the Gophers hosting the Badgers this Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium, we’re now praying for snow.