Badger Hockey’s Super Fan
It all began years ago when Phil Dzick started a cheer at a hockey game, and the Badgers won. He’s been doing it ever since.
For four decades, fans of UW athletics have been accustomed to seeing the same man at almost every major sporting event. Phil Dzick ’69, also known as “The Sweater Guy” or simply as “Phil,” has made following the Badgers a key part of his life since graduation.
Typically dressed in a white sweater and wearing glasses, Dzick has become one of the most recognized faces among fans. Although he started by following football and branched out from there, he’s best known for his enthusiasm for hockey. A few years ago, he appeared on the official UW men’s hockey poster, but he loves attending women’s hockey matches, too, noting that the tickets are cheaper and the team is really good. (The women’s team won the national championship in 2011, its fourth in six years.)
At the men’s games, Dzick pairs his signature cheer with each Badger goal. After the crowd yells “Sieve!” to suggest that the opposing goalie can’t stop a shot from the Badgers, Dzick rises from his seat near the student section, turns to the students, and leads them in cheering, “One! We want more!”
It all started, Dzick says, back in 1981, when he attended a playoff game at Clarkson University in New York. “There were probably somewhere between twenty-five and fifty of us Badgers fans,” he recalls. “The Clarkson fans were pretty loud … and there was a point where I thought, ‘Our guys need to know that we’re here.’ ”
Dzick started a cheer, the Badgers ended up winning the series (eventually going on to win the national title), and he’s been doing it ever since. Shying away from being viewed as a Badger sports icon, he says he thinks of himself simply as an enthusiastic fan who is dedicated to the UW.
“I just tell people I’m a fan like anyone else,” he says. “Some people are quiet, but put money into the program. Other people are more vocal. I guess I’m in the latter category.”
Published in the Winter 2011 issue