Today would be a memorable day in the career of Wisconsin head coach, Barry Alvarez. I didn’t care. I don’t even think I knew why this Berry Alcatraz was so special. Once again, I was being handcuffed to the car and dragged to another football game. Not interested. I remember the last game I attended. Dreary. Boring. Low attendance. But, there was something different about today. Camp Randall Stadium was PACKED with a vibrant red that stretched to every curve and corner.
My brother got me into the student section and I received a first class view of the mayhem. When the Buckeyes emerged from the tunnel (right beneath the Badger students), they were greeted with not only a shower of boos, but a storm of ice cubs, beer bottles, marshmallows, and rotten fruit. It was a ticker tape parade of garbage, and Buckeye quarterback Kirk Herbstreit got a slushy tomato square on his backside. Welcome, Ohio State. In a nailbiter all the way, Wisconsin managed to record it’s first victory over a ranked opponent under Alvarez sending the crowd to spill out onto the turf in celebration. I had never seen a crowd rush like that before. I never saw such enthusiasm for a team, a town – the color red. One set of students even tore out a bleacher from the top row and heaved it over the edge of the stadium. This was not exactly an intelligent move, but it introduced me to the wild nature of these fans. Suddenly, I was hooked, and I didn’t mind so badly being asked to come to a Badger game the next time around.