Part 2 of our Badgers fan series will focus on season-ticket holder Dennis Bonomini of Romeoville, Illinois. Last week, Badger of Honor took its first step towards finding the elite Wisconsin fans across the country. Alan Christianson took the first leap and showed us his impressive collection of all things Jim Leonhard, and now Dennis might just be more fan than us all.
Once again, if you want to contribute, please email [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.
What kind of Badgers fan are you?
I am 57 and have been going to Lake Wisconsin since I was 12 years old. At first, no one believes I did not go to school at UW-Madison and EVERYONE can’t figure out my connections with the people I know. I have been to the Badgers equipment room and met with (equipment manager) Mark Peeler. He told me in all the years he has never met anyone like me.
I have been a season ticket holder for 14 years, making the last 83 straight home games. My license plate says BDGRS, and when my son asked me to be his best man at his wedding during the month of September … he got married in August.
Where are you on Game Day?
Section HH. I will never give up my seats and these are the people that have sat next to me for the last 14 years. We are like a family. My first game was in 2000 against Virginia and that was the start of an amazing story. I am living a dream and I never want to wake up.
What is the favorite item in your collection?
My sons always say there “isn’t anything my dad can’t get,” and I have so many authentic NFL and NCAA uniforms that we would play football on Sundays and I would wear one. A couple of my son’s friends wondered if I was going to get dressed up like that every week. My son told them that if they only knew me they would understand.
A short list of what Dennis owns
- Ron Dayne Rose Bowl jersey, signed and framed
- 7 Wisconsin full-size helmets
- Authentic on-field footballs with “red motion W”
- Authentic Adidas Techfit jerseys of Jared Abbrederis (or generic UW No. 4), and yes, Shane Falco jersey
- Full-size helmets of all 32 NFL Teams, with mini counterparts
- A game room with a pool table, table tennis and air hockey tables
The pants, socks and hand warmers I own are the same the players wore. My slogan all my life is “Look good, play good.” So after you see some of these pictures does it surprise you how a grown man would stand on the field at Camp Randall in front of 83,000 people dressed in a full uniform? I will do it again if I had to.
Do you collect only Badgers?
He collects everything!
I just know people, and when they see my collection, well let’s just say that is always my ticket in to many doors. For every full size helmet I have a mini hanging downstairs in my game room. I was friends with a guy in Arizona whose brother worked for the company that made the socks for the NFL, so I have brand new socks.
More about Dennis Bonomini
I have had a great life. I was a good pitcher and the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals wanted to look at me 2 years in a row, but I was young and blew them off. In 1980 I became a Professional Bowler on the PBA tour for 7 years and bowled eight 300s.
Once again, all any other Badgers fan needs to do is send an email to [email protected] and we’ll take it from there. Part 3 of the Badgers fan series could be you.