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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    January 01, 2017

    Final Thought
    A Packer Backer in Maroon(ish) Purpletown

    Move to a different state to practice law? Maybe. Adopt that state’s football teams? Never!

    David J. Zubke

    David Zubke and his shrine to Wisconsin sports

    According to my calculations, I have spent more than half my life as a Minnesotan, after deducting a little more than three decades of fall weekend afternoons and weeknights cheering for my home state’s beloved Badgers and Packers (or any other NFL team playing the locals).

    While growing up, I saw plenty of bad Wisconsin and Green Bay football, while the purple team kept winning games – or at least games that didn’t contain the word “Super.” That trend continued into the 80s and my move to Minneapolis, where I’ve always been in the high-spirited company of many Wisconsin natives, who frequently filled much of a drab concrete stadium with familiar headgear, humorous signs, and prideful cheers for our teams.

    David ZubkeDavid Zubke, U.W. 1984, practices with Best & Flanagan LLP in Minneapolis. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Business Law Section, Nonresident Lawyers Division, and Senior Lawyers Division.

    It was even more fun to be in that group in the 90s, and the last decade and a half have been very satisfying to us cheeseheads, the term often muttered with both glaring disdain and jealous envy. We had Favre, then Rodgers and their combined five MVP seasons, while the local purples have had nearly two dozen quarterbacks start during those years (yes, even counting one outstanding quarterback who made a horrific, but now forgiven, career decision for the 2009 and 2010 seasons).

    And down in Madison, a superhero named Barry set new heights for Badger fans, taking us out of the Little 8 and into that New Year’s Day bowl game in 1994 that couldn’t possibly be won – until it was. We have the Axe for another year, and hope to never give it back – something we haven’t had to do since 2003.

    A tiny confession (admission against interest, as the litigators would say). On Jan. 24, 2010, I involuntarily cheered for that team for about an hour, during the late stages of the NFC Championship game. Many of you will recall who got them there, and how we always enjoyed and respected Favre’s love of football and ability to scratch out many wins on sheer talent and guts and gunslinger moves.

    Both teams sit tied at 7-6 as I write this, so there is hope for another holiday-season- ending march or a Christmas Eve Lambeau win over the lavender locals.

    I’m not going to lie to you. This season has been tough so far, especially the first month or so, including a pancake-flat nationally televised night game in a mega glass palace sitting next to my nervous, but still vocal, Viking pal. Late in the game, it looked like good green might triumph again over evil violet with another Aaron Rodgers game-ending drive and dagger, but a devastating interception led to one of the five wins (in a row!) that the purple team managed to cobble together, before losing five of their next six.

    Both teams sit tied at 7-6 as I write this, so there is hope for another holiday-season-ending march or at the very least, a Christmas Eve Lambeau win over the lavender locals, to put under those glorious green trees sparkling with golden garland and ornaments up here and behind the lines. That would bring some much needed “ya, hey der” karma to the part of the football universe I now call home.

    Meet Our Contributors

    What legal memory will still bring a smile to your face 20 years from now?

    David ZubkeI had some very early first-year classes, and shared the highest reaches of the U.W. Law School’s largest lecture hall with a sociable band of fellow 1Ls, where rapt attention to the lectures did occur from time to time.

    My fond, warm memories of that giant room stem from our spirited and collaborative creative effort to create a fresh new visual supplement to that stodgy blue leather Black’s Law Dictionary. Think Pictionary for law students, but years before that copycat game was invented and launched to worldwide success.

    Anyone could start a new game by creating and passing a visual depiction of a legal term – often the term our professor may just have been talking about way down there in the front. A stick figure lying in the middle of an intersection? Injunction. Outlines of South Carolina and South Dakota? (E)s-states. I still occasionally see a flashback of a crudely drawn submarine next to a “For Rent” sign, whenever a sublease crosses my desk, or an empty banana skin when discussing prospective appeals.

    Was this dictionary the best use of my formative legal career? Of course not. Was it a warm, fun, and memorable connection to a group of well-rounded law students who I still see or talk to every now and then? Just picture an Absolut bottle and plus sign, standing next to a crudely drawn Lee Majors.

    David Zubke, Best & Flanagan LLP, Minneapolis.

    Become a contributor! Are you working on an interesting case? Have a practice tip to share? There are several ways to contribute to Wisconsin Lawyer. To discuss a topic idea, contact Managing Editor Karlé Lester at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6127, or email Check out our writing and submission guidelines.

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