Skip to main content

Wisconsin linebacker claims Gophers 'disrespected' the Axe

No word from the Axe on if it was offended.

The border rivalry between the Gophers and Badgers is only getting stronger after Wisconsin's dominating victory at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, and a huge part of its growing strength is how the Badgers handled the trophy – Paul Bunyan's Axe – after the victory. 

Senior linebacker Chris Orr was among the Badgers who took the Axe to midfield and pretended to use it as an oar while chanting "Row! Row! Row!" It was an intentional mocking of the "Row the Boat" culture Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck has established. 

Why the disrespectful gesture?

"We just felt like they disrespected the Axe by renting it out to people, having it where anybody and everybody can touch it. It means more than that. To people who have played in this game for a very long time, it means more than that. It's not just a little commodity that you can just rent out for money or try to make a profit off of it. I feel like that was disrespectful. They didn't honor the players that came before,” Orr said.

“We felt like it was disrespectful for them to do that, so it was a little disrespect back."

Minnesota had lost 14 straight border battles to Wisconsin before winning the inanimate object back with a 37-15 victory in Madison last year. 

“They didn't know what it looked like with their own two eyes, unless they Googled it or something," Orr continued. "I understand why they were doing so much, but that was definitely disrespectful to the people that played in the games before."

Next year's border battle is going to be another level up, and based on the trajectory Minnesota is on, the Axe stands a good chance of returning to the U of M. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-29 at 1.54.31 PM

Missing: Minnesota man last seen in Sioux Falls area

Aaron Pearson, 41, was reported missing on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.


Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.


Gophers whip Wisconsin, bring the axe back to the better state

Minnesota became eligible for a bowl game with the win.

10 things to consider for Gophers-Badgers border battle

From the weather to turnovers and top-shelf passing defenses, this game could be wild.

Gophers upset No. 22 Wisconsin with suffocating defense

Wisconsin made just 7-of-17 free throws in the game.

Pitino aims to snap 8-game losing streak against Wisconsin

The Gophers are 0-8 against the Badgers under Richard Pitino.