Green Bandana Brigade supporting UW Green Bay sports

By Millaine Wells, Local 5 News

Published 03/07 2014 02:34PM

Updated 03/07 2014 06:50PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - The Horizon League Tournament gets underway tonight at 6:00 pm.

While UW  Green Bay fans will have to wait until tomorrow for their first game, team spirit is already fired up.

There will be plenty of bright lime green in the stands as part of a grassroots effort known as the "Green Bandana Brigade".

"We want to stand out, make an impact and show these athletes that we are here for them" says Ashley Baker, a Sophomore at UW Green Bay and one of the Brigades founding members.

But just one year ago the student support wasn't there.

"We showed up [at a game] and there was not any students here. We were all dressed up and had eye black on and were like oh this is embarrassing" says Marissa Michalkiewicz, another founder of the group.

More than anything the girls were embarrassed by the lack of school spirit.

"That frustrated us to see that at division one sports there is nobody supporting you" Baker says.

The five friends recruited classmates to join their effort.

"When we hit 20 people we were ecstatic" Michalkiewicz says with a laugh.

The bandanas sell for two dollars apiece. The girls have sold 500 of them and they say that number increases every day.

"At the game last night we sold 81" Michalkiewicz says.  

You do not have to be a student to sport the look.

In fact, the UW Green Bay Alumni Association just placed a big order.

"We were trying to think what could we be doing to support the university and show our Green Bay pride" says Kari Moody, UW Green Bay Director of Alumni Relations. "The bandana brigade has come up with such a fantastic idea".

More than 140 alumni are planning to attend a pre party at The Bar on Holmgren before attending Saturday's boys game.

They'll go as a group sporting their neon green.

"We always get excited when we see bandanas. We are grown women and we still get very excited" says Michalkiewicz.

The five founders maintain an active Facebook and Twitter account showcasing the unique ways people wear their bandana, including one man who made his into a tie.

"We are very thrilled that it took off the way that it did. We are athletes as well, we play softball so to see students get involved and other athletes supporting each other it really does change the atmosphere" Michalkiewicz says.

"It is really exciting and hopefully the atmosphere just keeps getting better and better" says Baker.

The Green Bandana Brigade supports all UW Green Bay sports.

In addition to the men's game on Saturday, they plan to be at the women's basketball game in the afternoon.

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