Meet Wisconsin’s top Badger fans, the Manitowoc Mafia

August 14, 2013

manitowoc mafia ss badger ludington manitowocBy Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

MANITOWOC, Wis. — For the past 14 years a group of people have gathered at the Manitowoc carferry dock pretty much every day the S.S. Badger sails. The group size varies depending on the day. On this particular day, Monday, Aug. 12, there are six guys, hanging out in the chairs in the passenger staging area.

Pat Bates, Dick Hermann, Dave “Tiny” Haefs, Don Manlick and Ben Geimer, are part of the Manitowoc Mafia, a name given to the group by Todd “Scoop” Hansen, the Badger’s entertainment director.

“We like to watch people and talk,” Tiny says. “We also know quite a bit about the Badger and people ask us questions. We’ve studied the book a little.”

Tiny lives in Appleton, an hour’s drive from Manitowoc. He makes the trip three times a week during the Badger’s season. He says he enjoys talking about the Badger and enjoys the company of his fellow “mafioso.”

The gang knows many of the carferry employees. They make small talk with Capt. Jeff Curtiss as he disembarks for a few hours of shore time. They joke around with Terri Brown, director of marketing and media relations.

Brown says the group members make great ambassadors for the city of Manitowoc and for the Badger. “We are really appreciate that they care enough about the Badger to come here everyday. It lets us know how much people love this ship.”

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