Watch out for the Intoxicated Badgers

Legendary Michgan Broadcaster Tom Hemingway discusses Wisconsin students inability to stand straight during Badger games, #1 ranked Michigan's defeat in 81, and a beautiful football setting for another Wolverine victory

Okay, let's see if I've got this right.   Michigan will be going to Madison, Wisconsin this Saturday in the middle of November to play the Badgers and will probably have a perfect day weatherwise. If the weather bureau can be trusted...certainly a naive undertaking...the temperature is expected to be around 60 with plenty of sunshine and a light balmy breeze.   In the name of Vince Lombardi, what kind of nonsense is this !  And Michigan fans feel this has been an unlucky year.
    Actually most of my visits to Camp Randall Stadium came in October under very acceptable mid-autumn conditions with a couple of notable exceptions.  In 1997 we played a late starting affair that began with temperatures in the high 30's but once nightfall descended had dipped into the 20's . Since we were not fortunate enough to earn a heated broadcast booth,  we needed some heavy de-icing  upon departing.  The other memorable afternoon was just the opposite and still is a highlight for the Badgers in the series.  Michigan fans still cringe when reminded of the 1981 opener in Madison that saw the pre-season #1 rated Wolverines upset 21-14, with temperatures threatening the 90 degree mark.  That was positively frigid however compared to the reading under Bo Schembechler's collar.  It might be worth mentioning that the loss was the first by Michigan to the Badgers in almost 20 years  and it would be a dozen more years before it would happen again.
    A trip to Madison however was always eagerly anticipated since it is one of the most picturesque places in the Big Ten being situated between two lakes and featuring one of the great steak houses around the conference.   It also presents some interesting challenges.  For one thing... as the Wisconsin football guide puts it so modestly... press parking is limited.  A most decided understatement.  The few parking spots in the immediate vicinity of the stadium are swallowed up by big-time contributors, high ranking media (see ABC-TV, ESPN, Wisconsin football sponsors, etc.) and athletic officials.  In my last two visits we parked respectively at an underground structure about 3/4 of a mile from the stadium and at a church parking lot about the same distance.  CPR units were available for media members upon arriving.   Camp Randall is also the only stadium in the Big 10 which is situated directly across from a row of frat houses and student rental housing.  This permits the visiting team's fans and media to be greeted by the warm and heartfelt salutations from those scholars after a morning of sipping healthful vegetable juices.  The effect is positively intoxicating.  This also leads to an interesting situation for a broadcaster once the game starts.  Since the carnival atmosphere on the streets often carries into the stands, it is a temptation to sometimes do a play-by-play of the activity there rather than on the field.  When Queen sang, "I'M STILL STANDING", they obviously weren't referring to the majority of Badger students in the third quarter.  Before Barry Alvarez arrived though,  there wasn't much  reason to stay alert into the final stages of the game. 
    So it should be a fun time Saturday on the banks of Lakes Mendota and Menona and don't worry about the clock at Camp Randall.  Everybody is always have too great of a time to pay it any mind anyway. 

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