Several members of the Homebrew Hawks made the trip East to Madison last weekend. Here are a few impressions from the town, the stadium, the parking lots and from the game.
Camp Randall Stadium. Very beautiful stadium, but since it is under renovation, it is hard to get a feel for this. We were seated in the upper deck in the end zone and I could barely see the FB field. By far the worst seats I have ever sat in!
A couple complaints from my game-time eyes and ears:
Every third down play when Iowa was in the huddle, the stadium PA system would blare some bad music, very loud. It seems like they forgot this when Wisconsin had the ball. Someone told me that this is a violation of league policy, but I am not sure about that. Anyway, if your fans can make enough noise to disrupt the opponent, great. But using Junior High tactics of blaring AC/DC selectively to disadvantage the opponent is bush league, IMHO.
Second, although the student section was having a great time, and I am all for letting the hometown "kids" have fun, the obscene cheers got old fast. Many of these obscene chants were to songs played by the band. I felt sorry for several Badger fans that had young kids with them. Whether it was by design or not, Wisconsin officials split Iowa fans up into about 3 sections, so that it was almost impossible to get any coordinated noise going.
The Tailgate Scene: We had a GREAT time with a group from Janesville…mature tailgaters and not a beer-bong to be seen. The Grey's Honey Ale and Kevin's famous chili were outstanding. Overall, the tailgate scene in Madison was spread out over many smaller lots and yards in many different regions around the stadium. This is much less centralized than the tailgate scene around Kinnick and not nearly as attractive. Tailgating around Kinnick ROCKS!
Madison: Madison is a cool college town and has a very active nightlife. Since the Homebrew Hawks are fans of unusual beers, we visited several Brew pubs. Kudos to the Great Dane brew pub- Great food and a nice selection of quality brews.
Nathan Chandler has taken a lot of crap for the way he started that game and no question, he was awful in the first quarter. He has started slowly in a couple games and that has hurt the team. However, he stepped up big in the second half and showed incredibly toughness. His "numbers" look ugly, but you consider about 4 dropped passes, two nice completions called back by penalty and simply awful conditions for passing...and the bottom line is that he has lead us to a 9 win season and a huge road win in the last game. On a side note, and I know no one keeps this statistic, but Chandler has to have the NCAA record for a QB causing injury to opponents. Chandler is what he is...not a great QB and w/o great accuracy...but has done enough to get us 9 (or 10) wins and put us in a New Years bowl. Great game by Freddie and I thought our OL was solid. Our WRs had an off night, IMHO.
Defense was solid in the game and made the big plays when they had to. Roth and Hodges had solid games, considering they were getting held constantly. Our LBs, once again, played like the best group in the B10! And what a job our STAFF and players did with Lee Evans. Quite a few times, Evans was in the slot with Steen on him. I like Grant, but that is a mismatch. However, with Bob or Sean over the top, the play(s) almost never went Lee's way and save for one long late pass, we held him almost completely in check.
Next man in player of the game: Tyler Luebke. For the second straight week, Tyler played like a veteran and really helped a thin DL out!