Little Known Fact About Wisconsin #124.412
Alligator racing, also known as ‘gatorboarding’ was once a popular sport in Wisconsin and northern Illinois in the 1800s. In the larger metropolitan areas, hordes of children would be seen gatorboarding down the streets. Organized gatorboarding competitions quickly followed, and large crowds would gather to watch races and trick riding demonstrations. Itinerant surgeons often attended the races, having friendly side bets between themselves on their own races to see who could amputate mangled legs and arms the fastest while the crowd cheered them on.
The fad and sport came to an end in 1897 when the native Wisconsin alligator succumbed to heart disease caused by subsisting almost entirely on a diet of cheese, butter, lard and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
An attempt was made to continue the sport by importing the Florida alligator, but the more lethargic, dim-witted Florida gators quickly proved unsuitable. Taken out of their native habitat, where they lived primarily on oranges, kiwi fruit and small poodles, the Florida gators simply couldn’t adapt to their new diet of deep fried cheese and beer.