Four seasons. One game.
There is no better way to describe the weather at this Badger homecoming game. A chilly spring like rain fell just before kickoff, which led to dry, cool, gray autumnal skies. An unexpected torrent of wintry snow then whipped wildly around Camp Randall, which gave way to a sunny summery sky. Actually, that was just the first half, and it unleashed havoc on both offenses. Illinois struggled most miserably as Wisconsin forced five turnovers in four seasons.
I spent the entire game documenting from the sidelines. All photography ceased as winter arrived. Folks could barely see twenty yards in front of themselves. But, somehow, it energized the crowd. The maniacal wind whipped snow vaulted the fans into a frenzy. Regarding the thirty minute brush with winter, Coach Paul Chryst’s commented, “It was real. I thought the kids embraced it.” Wisconsin sure did – both on the field and in the stands.
Despite injuries for the Badgers, Illinois just couldn’t keep up with the powerhouse of the Big Ten West. The sun reappeared, melted the snow and fans kept singing along with band and “jumping around.” The day would continue to be sports filled for Wisconsin fans as the Brewers were one win away from the World Series and playing shortly after the Badgers finished routing Illinois. Even Bucky dressed as Bernie Brewer. The Badgers would hope that a little of that championship spirit would come their way as the Big Ten season barrels ahead.