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Ope! A WSU fan’s guide to the midwest for a weekend

Want to know how to annoy your local Badgers fan? Look no further.

NCAA Football: Idaho at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Coug fans!

Since a good chunk of us are headed to the Midwest this weekend to cheer on our Washington State Cougars as they attempt to defeat our fellow cheese lovers, the University of Wisconsin Badgers, I figured, as the resident Midwest transplant on this staff, I would give you guys some helpful tips on Midwest slang — and also some helpful insults to really piss off your local Badgers fan.

The first, and most important piece of Midwestern dialogue: Ope, sorry, didn’t see ya there! Followed immediately by: let me just sneak past ya real quick! It’s cliche, but it’s true. Everyone says this. Also, I put exclamation points at the end of both of those phrases because everyone in the Midwest speaks like a woman with anxiety writing an email (I say this as a woman with anxiety who writes many emails).

As some of you may be aware of, there’s a widespread debate on what people call “soda” here. In my five years of living in Chicago, I have heard a medley of terms. Most commonly, people ask what kind of pop do ya have? I rarely experience people asking for a “coke” when they want a Sprite for example. So in my opinion, this phrase is sort of irrelevant, but I wanted to address it since so many people assume it’s a bigger issue than it is!

This isn’t a phrase, but an attitude: people here do not like ketchup. Specifically Chicago, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it spread throughout the Midwest. I personally think this is sick and wrong.

I should also just give Ope! it’s own special category, since it can also be used as an expression of joy, shock, sadness, a way to catch someone’s attention, or to say excuse me. When used on its own, the ‘e’ is often dropped slightly, and your hands are often tossed lightly into the air, as an act of submission. Use ‘ope’ whenever you can, it’s usually always applicable.

Now for the fun stuff!!

In my experience of going out to bars and upsetting Big Ten fans (a favorite hobby of mine), it’s pretty easy. Granted, I have a regional advantage since every single student from a Big Ten university eventually makes their way to Chicago. It’s like shooting fish in a very metropolitan barrel. However, I usually run across the local Indiana, Iowa, or Iowa State fans, but fear not, because in preparation for this weekend I have done my research on annoying things to say to Wisconsin fans!

I would begin by confusing them with Minnesota. Mainly because this is their rival school, and we all know how it feels to get confused and have people assume we’re the purple evil. Additionally, they’re right next door to each other, so really — what’s the difference? Plus, the logos are similar (just flipped), and in my mind a badger and a gopher go hand in hand. Except the gopher is cooler in terms of media portrayal (Caddyshack, mainly).

The next thing I would do to piss off a Wisconsin fan is ask them if they went to Wisconsin because they couldn’t get into Michigan. “Because you couldn’t get into Michigan?” is a favorite insult of mine because I assume most people can’t get into Michigan, and those who do make you very very aware of the fact that they went to UM. Go Blue?

And finally, the last thing I would do to upset a Wisconsin fan is ask if they had fun going to school in Milwaukee. If you’re looking to upset just about any person from the Midwest, confuse their cities. All the cities here are so specific and surrounded by miles and miles of nothing, so it’s a safe bet that everyone will get upset about pointless geography.

As always, I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend, and if you’re also heading up to the game on Saturday (like me), I hope you employ some of these tactics to really get under the skin of our upcoming opponents! Go Cougs!


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