Ask Abe: Fifth Quarter

Gerald S. ’71

When and how did the Fifth Quarter start?

Abe

The history of the Fifth Quarter is actually pretty well documented, thanks to the UW Band. Its website dates the beginning of Fifth Quarter to 1977, though that name came later. The tradition was one of many inventions of Mike Leckrone, who sought to inspire a sense of showmanship and esprit de corps in the band, particularly in the 1970s, when lousy football teams and countercultural malaise had drained excitement from Camp Randall Stadium. The title of “Fifth Quarter” was initially an informal nickname bestowed by sports reporters, but it eventually became official. The playlist for Fifth Quarter is continually changing, but it always includes “On, Wisconsin,” “You’ve Said It All (the Bud Song),” and “Varsity.”