Wake up and shower. It’s going to be a long day, at the end of which you’ll be grateful for clean hair (or at least the memory of a few hours of freshness).
Get dressed in something red. True, fire-engine red (not crimson, and definitely not maroon). The redder, the better.
Have some friends over for a bite to eat and pass around some Spotted Cows. You may no longer be a co-ed (and 10AM keg stands are no longer appropriate), but it’s still Saturday, and it’s still game day.
Walk down Regent Street towards Lucky’s and don’t be surprised if you pass lots of giant inflated Bucky Badgers along the way. The former game day stronghold Stadium Bar closed its doors earlier this year, and Lucky’s is poised to pick up the pieces. Post up inside and watch the game on TV, or mingle with fellow fans in the outdoor beer garden.
Strike up conversation with a stranger and proceed to become best friends. You have the Badgers in common.
Claim your seats in Camp Randall, the 80,321-capacity stadium named for the former Union Army training grounds where it was built in 1917. If you’re not checking your watch, the sound of the marching band’s pregame concert will signal it’s time to assemble.
Fix your eyes on the field as the Badgers kick off against the Purdue Boilermakers in the first Big 10 conference game of the season. Cheer wildly (and continue to do so until the final whistle).
Do the wave. The student section, considered one of the best in college football (in terms of both spirit and screaming obscenities), starts the coordinated effort of fast then slow motion rotations. Studying up the pattern pre-game isn’t a bad plan
Grab some cheese curds to recharge, and sing “Varsity” with the band in surprisingly sentimental fashion. Take your hat off and wave it reverently in the air to really look like you belong. But save your vocal cords because a stadium-wide serenade of “Sweet Caroline” will follow.
Jump around. Students stand and jump up and down to the House of Pain song as the third quarter closes. The tradition started in a 1998 game against Purdue when the song was blasted spontaneously across the field.
Walk along the pedestrian State Street and celebrate the Badger victory in one of the many restaurants lining the historic center of campus. The range of cuisines rivals NYC – and so does the energy on the street.
Head home and rest up. Next Saturday’s game is right around the corner.
Photos courtesy of: Lucky’s
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