Wisconsin’s glory season was underway as they entered this contest 4-0 and nationally ranked for the first season in years. A crazy Camp Randall made things difficult for the Wildcats and they lost 53-14. Quarterback Darrell Bevell completed his first 14 passes, and Wisconsin accumulated more points than they had in a single game in ten years – all this in front of a sellout crowd of over 77,000, a number that included a few bowl scouts.
Badger crowds are known to provide a chorus of creative and sometimes profane chants, but this warm Saturday afternoon, a chant that I guarantee never filled the Camp Randall air had its inauguration: “We want sixty” rang from the rafters. Sixty? As in…points? The light bulbs on the scoreboard under “HOME” rarely needed replacing so this kind of activity caused new excitement for the program as they cruised into 5-0 for the first time since 1977. This was the first game that I can really remember having fun from beginning to end. There were no dramatics, no downpours, and no stupid rules to learn…just a good sound beating with no anxiety attached.
In addition, this is where my love affair with Northwestern began. I remember asking my dad the location of Northwestern. He informed me that they were near Chicago, which had me puzzled having always viewed Illinois like a foreign country. Now knowing their close proximity to home, and being somewhat infatuated with a team cloaked in purple, I began to feel my interest in other teams begin to creep beyond the borders of Madison.