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This hallowed tradition at the UW harkens back to the Homecoming football game against Purdue on October 10, 1998. (Check it out in this video compilation of two decades of jumping.) Legend has it that, before the game, Ryan Sondrup ’99, an injured tight end for the Badgers and a UW athletics marketing intern, developed a stadium playlist with his teammate Erik Waisanen ’00. They used a jukebox at Wando’s to test out songs, including House of Pain’s 1992 hit “Jump Around.” During a scoring drought at the start of the game’s fourth quarter, the opening trumpet blasts and bouncy lyrics of “Jump Around” brought fans to their feet and sent them into the air. Kevin Kluender, assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions, and a marketing and promotions assistant at the time, likes to think that the shift in energy threw quarterback Drew Brees and the rest of the Boilermakers off their game, and rallied the Badgers to the 31–24 victory. “Jump Around” has continued to hype up fans and shake the stadium ever since, aside from one game in 2003 when administrators asked to press pause on the tradition. Camp Randall was being renovated, and they feared the bouncing crowd would cause a little too much excitement for the project. When “Jump Around” didn’t play at the season’s home opener, the crowd threw a fit. Administrators scrambled to get an engineer’s reassurance that the stadium could withstand tens of thousands of fans a-leaping, and “Jump Around” returned the very next game. The devotion to this Badger tradition is as strong as ever, if the reaction to last April’s prank article about the song is any indication. It seems “Jump Around” is here to stay.

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Do you know any amazing Badger alumni who deserve to be honored by their alma mater? Nominate them for an Alumni Award today!