Maybe I'm a bit biased because I love sports, but I feel like it is pretty big on campus. The football games are always a blast, because this is something you can go to with a bunch of your friends, whether or not you are a sports enthusiast. Sitting in the Dawg Pack is very exciting, as everyone around you gets into the game.
Basketball is harder to get tickets for, given the smaller student section and the frequent Thursday night games. In order to get into the student section, you will have to line up hours before the game. I suppose this is a combination of the limited seating for Dawg Pack members and the popularity of the basketball games.
UW is good at sports in general, so I would recommend getting out to some events. Volleyball, soccer, and baseball/softball get pretty decent turnouts and are worth going to. Other sports may not get the same publicity or are as easy to attend (e.g. golf), but I would make an effort to go to at least one game/match/etc.
Many students are involved in football games, on which days you'll see plenty of purple clothing on campus. Smaller groups root for our other sports teams, many of which have a better track record than our football team. Many other students don't follow the sports at all. For those who want to play but aren't on the teams, there are plenty of great clubs and intramural sports available. I've played on the women's club ultimate frisbee team, along with intramural frisbee and softball in the spring. The IMA offers martial arts classes, among many others, and archery sessions are free on Friday nights!
Football and basketball games are very important to us. As a Division 1 school, we do have great sports programs. Our football program is growing rapidly. We even made it to a bowl game last year! The basketball team is also doing a great job, and we continue to make it to the March Madness tournament (last year we made it through the Sweet 16!). The crew team is awesome and one of the best in the country, but no one really attends their events.
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