My love affair with Camp Randall began 25 years ago. It wasn’t love at first sight – I was dragged to games as a kid. But, as I attended more games, I grew up with a Wisconsin program that experienced its own growth spurt. We attended many games in the 90s as Wisconsin developed into a championship caliber team. Becoming a student at UW-Madison further deepened the well of memories that this stadium generated for me, and it has carried on into my adulthood.
Today, I walked into Camp Randall Stadium on game day for the 100th time. Fitting that it was homecoming against Northwestern, the only other team that I spread my allegiance to – but not today.
How does one celebrate such a momentous event? I brought a pair of college football newbies to take in the scene in Madison. It’s fun to convert the pigskin-challenged into believers. All it takes is a healthy dose of Bucky and you’ll understand what has made me reach the century mark on visits to this historic venue.
Our day began with a slow moving tour of Langdon Street – a jumble of frat houses spilling over with loonies anxious to witness a homecoming triumph. The Union South pregame band pep rally accompanied by brats and beer made for the perfect pitstop on the way to the entry gates. Walking into Camp Randall never grows old. I suspect the feeling would be the same after a thousand swings through the turnstiles. The UW marching band ignited the crowd as Bucky led the way for a Wisconsin team ready to make the second half of this season a special one.
My wide-eyed football comrades for the day shared in my passion and left appreciating what makes college football so unique. The jump around routine and fifth quarter post game fell upon new eyes today giving the experience a continued rejuvenation for me.
The Badgers blasted Northwestern and kept anxiety from interrupting another perfect autumn Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin’s Capitol city. The football tour rolls on and Camp Randall will continue to be a frequent stop along the way.