*Originally published on January 10, 2013.
*Updated on July 23, 2014 via an email from Mr. Ken Werner. In that email, Mr. Werner informed me that:
- His name is spelled “Werner” (not Warner).
- He has, in fact, attended (to this date) 427 games (not 40). In other words, the 40 that appears in the article is a typo.
I really appreciate the email from Mr. Werner.
by Travis Normand
There is a short article and photo in this week’s ESPN The Magazine (January 7, 2013) about Ken Werner. Unfortunately, what you see in the magazine is only a teaser for what is apparently posted online at ESPN.com. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, however, in order to read this particular story one must have a subscription to ESPN’s premium content. I use to have a subscription to this service but I finally got rid of it. It simply wasn’t worth the money.
I tried using Google to find some info on Mr. Werner and I couldn’t find much. However, I was able to find one short blurb on a website called TourTheTen.com. Here is what it said: [Emphasis Added]
HALL OF FANS BOASTS TWO BIG TEN FINALISTS August 23, 2012 – By Admin
Ten finalists, three induction seats…and two Big Ten candidates. “Kilted Ken” Warner from the University of Wisconsin, and Justin Wright from Indiana University make up 20% of ESPN’s Hall of Fans finalists. . . . Decked out in his iconic red kilt and white tuxedo jacket emblazoned with Bucky Badger, Ken Warner has attended over 40 Badger football games, and was married on the 50-yard line of Camp Randall-with Bucky Badger as his ring bearer.
I think the paragraph has a typo in it, but I am not certain. [Note: See above; there is a typo, the number should be 400+]
It says that “Ken Warner has attended over 40 Badger football games.” While that is probably true, 40 games is not very many. I am not sure how many college football games I had attended before I was a college freshman, but I can bet it was close to 40 (if not more). Further, I know for a fact that I have attended twice that many games since I graduated (and I still haven’t counted the games I attended while I was actually in college).
Anyway, I just enjoyed seeing this Mr. Werner for the first time. The magazine article mentioned a few other facts about him as a Wisconsin fan, but not too much. What really appealed to me and made me want to post about it, was the way in which this guy apparently lives and breaths Wisconsin football.
While being a fan of a college football team manifests itself differently for those of us who attended the college we root for and those who did not, one thing is the same — it becomes part of who you are. College football is more than the game played out on the field. Those of us who are fans of a particular college team will be that way our entire life. While Mr. Werner appears to be the extreme, I can assure you he is not. It is true that most die-hard college football fans don’t do as Mr. Werner does, however, for each of us, the line that distinguishes between ourselves and college football, is a hard line to pinpoint.