Welcome to the Big Ten! You may now take your seat at the back of the classroom. Given that you boast Mike Rozier and Lawrence Philips among your alumni, it seems like you’re already well acquainted with our conference’s time-honored tradition (of producing running backs that fail at the next level).
Now that you’re beyond that strange Bill Callahan era (West Coast? At
Some things you should know about those Wisconsin Badgers:
In Barry (and Pat Richter) We Trust
If in 1991 someone told me that over the next twenty years
With Pat Richter as the AD,
Public Ivy with internationally-recognized faculty? Check. Top party school in the world? Check. First-class athletics? Check. No wonder we’re held in such high regard.
In any given year, you can expect
- We don’t lose at home. Except to
- We own
- As of 2004 we have no problems with anyone in the state of
- Going to
- We’ll play poorly against one really bad team. In weaker seasons, we lose. In better years we prevail, like the game at Purdue this last year.
For these reasons and others, Wisconsinites are very proud of where they come from. So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when we take an epithet and turn it into a source of pride. And, understandably, we support our teams unconditionally. Except the Bucks. So, don’t be shocked if you see a whole bunch of cardinal and white or cheeseheads wherever this team travels.
Arguably the connection goes a little deeper. As I suspect is the case for other schools in the conference, most of the team comes from in-state. Guys who played in the same conferences we did (Southeast, Classic 8, Metro, etc.) dot the roster. So there’s a feeling they represent not just the university, but our high schools, our communities, and the entire state. As an example, until the day I die I’ll always be able to brag that in high school I did what Auburn couldn’t do: tackle #2 in white. All of which makes me more proud when another guy from my conference wins Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. For the average Wisconsinite, the team is anything but an abstraction. Which is why we want that much more for them to be successful.
Most of the fans are homegrown, as native Sconnies form by far and away the largest number of students at UW. But some of the more passionate fans are actually from
The student section is probably the only group of people in the state who aren’t nice. And it’s only for those three-hour blocks on Saturday. Dumb enough to wear opposition colors in the student section? You’ll be serenaded by a chorus of "a$$hole" chants. One of your players needs medical attention? "Shoot ‘em like a horse" will rain down from the bleachers.
On game day the team sprints out to the fight song, "On Wisconsin!" Right before the opening kick and after touchdowns the band plays "Hot Time." During the game we polka to "Bud" and tear up to "Varsity." And we do it all over again after the game.
And you might be aware that we like to get down between the third and fourth quarters.
Why You’re Losing Your Big Ten Opener
As mentioned above, Bucky doesn’t lose at home. While I respect Bo Pelini, let’s see how his defense does against a power running team.
Why You’ve Got a Chance
For some reason we like to play our cornerbacks ten yards off the ball. Even on third-and-four. Our linebackers are built to play downhill, meaning they’re not great in pass coverage, and everyone not named Chris Borland struggles at getting home on the blitz. Our best receiver, Nick Toon (son of former NY Jet Al Toon), will put on a move that shows why NFL scouts like him, and then promptly drop the ball. Like he did on the opening drive of a loss I’m still not over. And sometimes OC Paul Chryst, who has done a good job of introducing the forward pass to
More importantly, as noted we’re replacing two all-Americans on the offensive line, a senior quarterback, and a handful of playmakers on defense.
(We’ll get into specifics as we get closer to the Spring Game.)
Most of the bars on State attract the undergraduate crowd. State Street Brats is where most people gather to watch a game, and where you’re most likely to find an ESPN camera that features
Ethnic fare is a feature of the restaurant scene on State. Mediterranean Café is top-notch Middle Eastern restaurant with good prices.
Venturing off State? Amy’s Café on Gilman has a cult following. Ian’s Pizza, closer to the
If you come to
Reading My Ramblings Not Enough?
Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Times: http://host.madison.com/college/football Good coverage out of
SB Nation: http://buckys5thquarter.com Adam Hoge does football.
Official page: http://www.uwbadgers.com
Again, welcome to the Big Ten. And don’t hold it against anyone when a lineman punches you in the mouth- you’re not in