The sideline was filled with dignitaries, including Ron Dayne, Travis Beckum, Owen Daniels, Suzy Favor-Hamilton, the 1999 Rose Bowl champion team, and Charissa Thompson dressed in a not-so-sideline-reporterish outfit. The Badger sideline had its usual 100-member red and white clad football squad that has performed well in 2009. On the visitor sideline was…well, the team from Ann Arbor, Michigan that wears maize and blue. Rumor has it they were the Michigan Wolverines.

Wisconsin defeated Michigan 45-24 on Saturday before a rather quiet crowd of 84,000. To be honest, aside from the tuba player proposing to his trumpet- playing girlfriend in the 4th quarter (she said yes), the stadium had the ambience of an early-September non-conference game. Don’t get me wrong…the Badgers played well over the final 2 ½ quarters and there were a number of entertaining plays. However, I found myself reflecting on past powerhouse Wolverine teams that came into Camp Randall in games that turned into giant taffy pulls. This Michigan team will be better next year, but they just aren’t very good this year.

Nick Toon looked great, as did O’Brien Schofield. This team has heart, something missing from last year’s Wisconsin Badger football squad. Next week’s Northwestern game has major bowl implications, and Wisconsin may well find themselves playing on New Year’s Day with a win.

Perhaps most notable about our Saturday Badger experience was our parking spot. Arriving relatively late in Madison, a gentleman waived us in to park on his property. He had us park in his garage, told us he would shut the garage door for the game, and instructed us how to get back in the garage if we needed to leave early…all for $20. No, I did not help myself to anything in his garage refrigerator. I need to find this guy next year.

 

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  • http://PocketDoppler Carol

    Ah yes….it’s those seemingly unimportant things on Game Day that you can really appreciate!

  • http://www.retaggr.com/page/crichar3 Chris

    The Camp is not a terribly hostile setting for opposing teams. So I wasn’t surprised to hear your description of the rather sedate home crowd. Not sure what to make of that: For all the praise UW gets for the “atmosphere” on a Football Saturday, there is often a decided lack of electricity in the stadium during the games.

  • http://mike BigSnakeMan

    It would probably help if the student section showed up before halftime.

  • Jon

    This past week the student section arrived even later than normal…it looks awful on TV but probably helps the local economy.

  • http://www.retaggr.com/page/crichar3 Chris

    Late student arrival is a sore spot on campus. But, like the weather, everyone talks a lot about it but no one does much about it. There is really not much that can be done as attendance is not mandatory and the beer is outside The Camp. Hey, maybe that’s it: Make graduation dependent on timely game attendance and use MGD as a sweetener!

    Sadly, short of that, I think the most we can expect is a late arriving student population that thins out after Jump Around.