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In the water bottle’s defense, calling this event the “water bottle incident” is like calling the American Revolution the “tea tiff.” It was January 30, 1982, and the Badgers were leading the University of North Dakota 3–0 in the third period at the Dane County Coliseum when, to the best of our knowledge, the water bottle in question was deployed only twice: when John Newberry x’84 squirted North Dakota’s Cary Eades in the face with his water bottle, and then when he did it again. Eades entered the Badgers’ bench to have a word with Newberry, and within seconds, the two-man beef turned into an all-team brawl. The above picture is from a different incident (a common occurrence in hockey), but you can see the fight go down in this video. Fans got a front-row seat to the action that spilled into the Coliseum’s beer garden and up the aisles. An honorable mention goes to the Badgers’ longtime color commentator and assistant coach Bill Howard, who seamlessly transitioned from hockey coverage to live-reporting the pandemonium playing out below the press box: “They’re down in the aisles, they’re fighting with fans, they’re fighting with police … and here they go again!” We probably can’t say who won the fight, but the Badgers won the game, and the rest — including the incendiary water bottle — went down in history. Photo courtesy of Badger yearbook, UW Archives.

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