Nail's Tales — the controversial tower o' footballs statue outside of Camp Randall — has some company.
A new, snarling 600-pound bronze badger statue now guards the stadium on the southeast side near the Shell.
"The badger you will see here today is not Bucky," said Terry Murawski, executive director of the W Club, at the statue's unveiling before the Sept. 1 football game against UNLV. "It's not friendly. It's not huggable. It's not lovable."
It's true. The badger bares its teeth in a menacing manner (one bystander noted that it looked like the badger "needed some dental work").
Murawski got the idea for the statue about a year ago after seeing that other schools had statues of their mascots in front of the stadiums.
The badger has been the University of Wisconsin's mascot since 1889. Murawski said a handler brought a live badger to the football games in the early years, but that practice ended after it got loose on more than one occasion.
"I think this will be a photo opportunity for Badger fans for a long, long time," said Barry Alvarez, athletic director.
People were taking photos with the fierce animal shortly after the ceremony and — perhaps starting a new tradition — rubbing its nose for luck.