Well, the time had to come. I'm done with the south for the season. I'll miss the sun dresses, amazing southern cooking, and the well-intentioned, yet still vaguely-racist slang. Luckily, though, I went to Madison this weekend, which is up there with any southern school as a great place to visit before and for a game. Wisconsin fans are generally a knowledgeable folk, and enjoy their beer, brats, and cheese. You probably didn't need to read that sentence to know those things, but if you were at all skeptical, I can confirm the presence of said items. The only unfortunate thing about Saturday was that it was an 11 am kickoff, meaning it was a very early morning (esp. after driving in from Chicago the night before). Please excuse any pictures in which I appear to be more zombie-ish than usual. On, Wisconsin:
The entrance. Camp Randall was an actual Civil War base, not the kind of camp like Camp Anawanna, although I can still say with certainty that I hold the latter in my heart.
Camera Guy Kevin with his freshly-ordered Baconator from Wendy's during the drive from Chicago on Friday night. I know that there can't be anybody reading this that's at all interested in this picture, but if you have the courage to order something called "The Baconator" in front of me, I'll do everything I can to publish the evidence as widely as possible. Just a personal rule I live by.
Madison - 8 am. It was pretty cold, not too much was going on, so we took the opportunity to park two blocks from the stadium FOR FREE. Big ups to Randall Court. I can't stress enough how much I enjoy free parking.
The stadium. Probably the most modern, well-maintained stadium I've been to this season, which still isn't saying much, considering the number of times I circumnavigated the grounds looking for my tickets that kept getting shuttled back and forth between will-call windows. I now consider my calves to be "of steel."
Brats. There's something special about the smell of meat casings being grilled at 8:22 am that just doesn't get old.
This guy is Tom. I know this because when I asked him who would win (while interviewing him on camera) he told me his name was Tom. He claims to have misheard the question as "Who's here today?" but I'm pretty sure he's just very proud of his name.
There were roughly nine different cheeses in the dip on the right (including of the cream variety). Needless to say, trying to break the top layer of cheese with only one ordinary Scoop proved to be near-impossible. Through unparalleled physical determination, I was able to eventually get a good Scoop scoop out of it because I lifted weights literally three years ago.
Chili. Apparently, I got some chili on my face (not a surprise), but it proved to be impossible enough to remove that I found myself in the uncomfortable situation of having a strange dude pour beer on a rag and start vigorously wiping my face. Luckily, I control the camera and there is zero photographic record of this.
Get back to work. Kevin's a lollygagger.
A tent with "Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds." I'm on my feet for a long time on Saturdays and decided it would be best not to play with fire, especially when my only safety net was an Andy Gump. Maybe next time.
I don't know if I met Kristi or not, but she had a hell of a cake waiting for her. This is obviously modeled after Camp Randall Stadium. Not pictured: Michigan looking awful.
Wisconsin ladies. This week, I felt like bringing a hand sign to the table. This is actually the Weezer "W," but I can only imagine that the exposure it's getting on this blog will catapult the sign into massive Madison popularity.
Eventually, we figured out that people just sort of spill into the streets around the stadium to tailgate, as there's no central public parking lot. This was actually pretty awesome, especially because there appeared to be nobody enforcing the law anywhere. Personally, I was impressed with the number of couches I saw on fire (zero).
And you thought the only one-sy of the season would be that Oregon girl at Washington. Wrong-o. This girl may have topped the Oregon girl with her lethal combo of one-sy + Crocs. Don't step to that.
Madison Cornhole. Wow, as I just typed that, I realized that could also be the name of the least subtle porn star ever.
Very clearly a competition of fans racing to see who can drink Sunny Delight the fastest. What else could it possibly be?
I have no idea what this is, maybe somebody can tell me in the comments. It appears to be an ear of corn that may or may not have a face carved into it on the bottom. I'll call it Corny McStatueGuy until I'm otherwise corrected.
I'm not sure when during the game this was taken, but I will say this - watching Wisconsin fans (mainly the student section) was incredible. They play "Build Me Up Buttercup" over the PA at some point, and when they fade it out, the students keep singing for a good 20 seconds. And, of course, "Jump Around" after the third quarter quite literally shook the stadium. Awesome.
After the game, Badger fans wandered into the streets like zombies, forgoing all pedestrian laws. Running on not that much sleep at around 2:30 in the afternoon and wanting to get back to the hotel for a nap, I just said "screw it," closed my eyes, and went for it. Ok, that's a lie, but I was close.
Kevin took this shot as quick as he could before we could drive by, and I have no idea why. My best guess is that he desperately wants to make sure southern Wisconsin knows that rib-shaped sandwiches are back with a vengeance.
Back to Chi-City. You should go to Madison, I miss it already and wish I did more there.
Next week: more cold, less Corny McStatueGuy.
The College Football Tour Guide (last season's episodes)
Windows Media Player 9 (for Mac)
Flip4Mac (for Mac)