What makes the perfect Badger game day?
Ask a dozen Badgers, and you'll get two dozen answers. But there are some elements that are common to every recipe: a game day should be a feast for the senses (and evidently for the belly, as well). Your notes, drawn from seven decades, paint a scene of music and color and heaping plates of sausage. Some of you even like to watch football.
I have been a Badger fan for many of my almost 91 years. Though I am now pretty much confined to a wheel chair, I attended a Badger football game last year. I cannot tell you how excited I was as it had been many years! Unfortunately, my excitement was quickly dashed as the students started chanting a cheer that is unrepeatable or printable. The lack of respect the students showed for the rest of us was quite appalling. I was sitting next to a couple young children. I am thankful I did not have to answer their questions. I am not sure what can be done to stop such behavior, but assigned seats might go a long way.
I and 2 of my friends, Marcia Ritt and Jeanie Sawyer, donned raccoon coats and assorted cheerleader paraphernalia, and marched down on the field (uninvited ) and lead the crowd in a rousing cheer followed by screams of approval from the stands. A great memory from fall 1950!
—Betty Vogt Troller '55
Like so many UW football fans, for years we reveled in the 5th Quarter tradition after the games at Camp Randall when the band and the crowd celebrated the day, win or lose. Then, as we found ourselves growing older, we began leaving the stadium when the games ended, to head for our car and the highway.
But, by then we had another, stronger 'game day tradition.' My husband, Bob Johnson - no, not the famous and wonderful UW hockey coach - but a member of the UW Track and Field team in the late 40s and early 50s, loved W-Club Day, the last game day of the football season. On that day Bob could connect with old friends and colleagues in the W-Club Room before the game and participate in the tradition of the W-Club Tunnel which our football Badgers would run through to enter the playing field. On most game days, we might be driving into Madison through the hectic traffic just minutes before kick-off. On W-Club Day, well before the kick-off, we were in Camp Randall and Bob was out on the field helping to form the tunnel. I don't think we missed one of those games until last year when on September 5th Bob left us to join the many friends and colleagues who had gone on before him. Wisconsin fans have wonderful traditions that make our Big-Ten games extra special, but these were our favorites. On Wisconsin!!
—Joanne Coon Johnson '58
From 1946 to 1949 it was being on the field in the UW Marching Band! Men only and 4 part harmony singing on the field. On top of all that, I was not required to take ROTC and gain a Commission. Two weeks after graduation on 1950 the Korean War started and 6 months later the draft called me in to be a Private. Went to Fort Hood and, late,r used my Food Degree to inspect incoming food of all types. Back home in 2 years.
—Kenneth W. Royer '50
Oh, how we all enjoy our brats on game day. I was fortunate back in the early 90's to be on the other end of celebrating with brats. It was satisfying, back then, to work with a wonderful group of UW business alumni in the MADISON EXCHANGE CLUB FOR THE PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE. We started the first brat stand fund raiser for that worthy cause on the corner of Monroe Street and Oakland (across from the stadium).
Of course, everything happened in conjunction with the UW's (game day) athletic program, and could not have been successful without that program. And, yes, that brat stand is still generating charitable funds, only now it is located on regent street and has been re-organized under the auspices of the Family Service Center. How gratifying it is to help others just by selling or buying a beer and brat on game day and having fun at the same time.
—Jerry Welch x'54
While I worked in the Dept. of Geography for 25 years my husband and I attended UW games...rain or shine. After moving to San DIego I still see the Badgers whenever I can...Hawaii, Las Vegas and now Phoenix...
Love Bucky and our teams.
One of the most exciting events of Game Day that no longer exists was walking behind or watching the UW Band march down University Avenue to Camp Randall. "Watching" for me meant looking out of a window on the 6th floor of the old Wisconsin General Hospital along with other nurses and doctors and every mobile patient. Wonderful memories!
—Helen Macgregor Baker '53
Start about 2 hours before game time at the Brauthaus (now State Street Brats) for brats, beer and old friends. Some familiar faces are always there. Then walk to the game, watch the Badgers kick butt, stay for the 5th Quarter and then on to some post game revelry. Maybe stay in Madison for dinner or back to Chicago. That's it--- short and sweet.
—Alan Stengel ’66
As a season ticket holder during the Morton era of Wisconsin football, we all tried to do what we could to enjoy the game experience. I remember one game when we were scoreless, late in the third quarter and really no hope of winning and we kicked a field goal. We were all standing, cheering, Rose Bowl! Rose Bowl! Rose Bowl! You had to be there to really enjoy those experiences during that time in Wisconsin football history.
—George A. Morris ’65
Jeanne and I were married in 1962 at the campus Methodist Church, and have been attending football and basketball games as often as possible since, having purchased my father's season football tickets since about 1990, and missing only 1 or two games since then. What makes a perfect game day? Getting on campus a couple of hours early, parking in our reserved parking lot, walking to Union South on a sunny morning, "brunch" at the Daily Scoop, (Mad Grad Medley? Why isn't it always available?), or a brat and beer or soda, listening to the Badger Band, (they truly must be the best in the land!),walking to Camp Randal, stopping on the way for a roster from the Daily Cardinal, watching a Badger VICTORY,(we sat through the Morton years) sometimes soaking in victory's sweet satisfaction back at the Sett, followed by a leisurely drive home. The only thing that would make the game day more perfect would to have one or both of our sons, (both graduates of the UW Med School) and their spouses, and or our granddaughters enjoy the day with us.
P.S. We passed on the 1963 Rose Bowl, thinking the Badgers would go again in 4-5 years, and we were each working our way through college, but vowed to go to the next one. 31 years later, we did, and haven't missed one since. Let's have a 4-peat!
—Robert M Bell ’64 JD’67 Jeanne Bell ’67
When I was there it was in the early 1960s and I was a pre-med student. I never saw a game at Camp Randal Stadium because i had to work on Saturdays. but I did "enjoy" a unique perspective of the game.....you see I worked up on the downtown square selling women's shoes at Chandler's; and when customers would take me out to the front window to show me what they wanted.....you could actually hear quite well the cheering and commotion up on Capitol Square. Even though I was never there, I could tell when we were doing well, and especially when we made a touchdown. Footnote: years later, after moving to Los Angeles, I had two -- count them -- explosive situations in 199. Sseveral days before Wisconsin came to the Rose Bowl, I was awakened by that 7.2Richter earthquake which was the first time I had ever been in such a severe shaker; and then shortly thereafter I had the unforgettable pleasure of going to see a Badger football team at LAX to much Wisconsin-transplant hoopla and met Barry Alvarez and some of the star players; but I even went to my FIRST Badger football game. What excitement! So, you see, if you wanna be a Badger, just come along with me, and you'll hear a tale of an undying fan who was compelled to cheer from afar.
—Joel Teplinsky ’61, MD’65
I was a student at Madison in the late 50's. Winning the game that sent us to the Rose Bowl for the first time in many years will never be forgotten. The guys from the dorms tore down the old wooden goal posts, and we marched them back to the dorms with much celebration. We got season tickets soon after we graduated. Four of our kids graduated from Madison, so it was always fun to meet them on game days. Two daughters rented an apt. right across from our gate on Breeze Terrace. They had the Bloody Marys and bagels ready for our arrival, and we sat on their front porch and watched the sea of red arrive. Next generation, a grandson was in the band for 4 years, and his two sisters are still there. Always fun to connect on game day. Band pregame at Union South became a tradition. I always stand at the middle pillar when they line up to march to the stadium, so the beat of the bass drum can set off my day. 5th quarter became a must, as well as the band post game show behind the stadium, marching along the band back to Humanities, and watching their impressive cool down ritual. The whole family gathers at the Dane afterwards for a three generation celebration. Ready to start a new season.
—Charlotte Shirven ’60
Stop at Brathaus - now State Street Brats - for a beer or Bloody Mary, brat and steak about 90 minutes before kick off. Start walking University Avenue etc, saying hello to folks, stopping as we approach stadium to join them for an additional beer and then arrive at Camp Randall about 10 minutes before kickoff so not to miss any of the songs. Stay for the fifth quarter and follow the same routine in reverse ! Depending on game and walking time-8 hours of pure fun ! Sometimes you even meet old friends or make new ones !
—Charles Herf ’65, JD’68
The most recent Badger insider made me rethink my game day activities to add searching out products made by Americans.
—Jeff Hoerr ’69
No game at Lambeau!!!!
It was 1959. As a member of the UW Marching Band, we ran through our pregame show outside the Ohio State Horseshoe. This day was different, because at the end of the game, we played "California Here We Come" after defeating the Buckeyes in their own house!! What a thrill!! Going to the Rose Bowl!!! As one of three piccolo players, I was ecstatic. Couldn't have been a more perfect ending to a perfect day!!
—Larry A. Jahn ’63
What works for great game days are Saturday afternoons. What does not work are unpredictable evening starts that end at 10 pm or later with too few rooms in Madison and slow night traffic to exit the city. Once broadcast needs trumped live stadium dwellers we gave up on season tickets.
—Richard Hemmings ’69
Since graduating from UW-Madison in January, 1964, I have planned a single game series of events that my group has participated in for the past 45 years, starting in the fall of 1967. As a group of 30 people, we arrange a pool size party for Friday evening at our hotel after marching up Bascom Hill and touching the Old Abe statue, a Saturday morning gathering of the clan for a pre-game steak & brat feed at State Street brats, the Badger football game at CR Stadium followed by a victory dinner celebration at the Prime Quarter on Washington Avenue. We conclude the weekend with a farewell breakfast gathering on Sunday morning.
Some group members come in from a considerable distance for this yearly event - - from California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina. Our plan is to keep this event going for as many years as possible!
—Glen Volkman '64
We park the car and head for the book store. We then walk over to the Union and people watch on the terrace. Next we walk the lake path and stop at Babcock for ice cream. We never fail to encounter several people we know along the way. Next we walk to the game and sit in our seats in Section C sufficiently primed to cheer on our Badger players. ON WISCONSIN!
—Gretchen Solomon ’65
I have been an avid Badger basketball and football fan for more than 50 years. But, I am not a fanatic about the teams. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the fall of 1965 through June 1968. The Badgers had three horrible football teams in those years. At the first game of the season in September 1965, I can remember watching the Badgers fielding the opening kickoff. What a disappointment when the team's new, much touted kickoff returner seemed to be running in slow motion and was tackled after about a 10-yard return. I took a Speech course in the fall of 1967, and two of the Badger football players also took the course. One player told the class that the team was going to win all of its games that year. He lost all credibility after the team lost most of its games that season. The highlight of the year was when the Badgers beat an equally miserable Iowa team. The Badger football teams in those years taught me a valuable lesson: Whatever the football team does on Saturday afternoon should not make or break the rest of my weekend. It's only a game. You're not on the team. Have fun going to the game, but only be concerned about things over which you have some control.
—Larry Sussman ’67
Having attended the Badger games in the 60's, my normal game day tradition was to walk back home saddened by the loss.
—David O’Donnell ’69
Since I worked in the cafeteria I would often have to work and watch the game. I would go to work at Gordon Commons for a couple of hours and then go to near the Union South and watch the game in a Bar be side the union. I enjoyed eating brats and drinking hot apple cider as I watched the game with friends. Then often rimes I would go back to work and would know if we won the game by then or find out after work. 78
—Charlotte Chatfield ’78
During my years at Wisconsin, we were able to sneak "adult beverages" into the stadium. We'd mix-up a thermos of "Wisconsin Manhattans," complete with cherries and olives to keep us warmed during the game. Of course, brats and beer before and steak sandwiches at the old BratHaus on State Street, afterwards.
—Mike Cobb '71
Well, back in the 60's, the thing was to throw toilet paper when the Badgers did something good. I would empty the stalls an Witte and Sellery Hall, and take it to Camp Randall. Of course, the late 60's weren't our best teams. If I waited for us to score a touchdown, I met never throw it, so I ended up throwing it if we made a first down, or didn't fumble! Unfortunately, sometimes the roll didn't unroll, and as I was sitting in the top row, it made for some surprised fans sitting lower down when they were conked on the head!
—Jerry Silver '70
Usually the same each game, but may a bit depending on weather, game time, etc,:
arrive early for tail gate just off Regent street (secret location!)
do the Union South UW Band concert
walk the Arch to Camp Randall
must be in the seats for the UW Band's entrance to the field for its pregame performance
win football game
stay for fifth quarter
listen to UW Band mini concert outside Camp Randall
march with the UW Band back to (think this is correct) the Communications Building
listen as the Band "decamps"
chat with a few Band members as they are a HOOT!!
back to tailgate area for continued wind down party
get home a satisfied Badger
—William J. Rauwerdink ’72
Jeff Radder and I have season Badger Football tickets. As two native Madisonians we love the game day experience. Depending on kick-off time, we head to Madison, park in a non-profit lot near the corner of Regent and Park Streets. We tailgate at the parking lot and then walk to Camp Randall to soak in the atmosphere. His parents also tailgated before the games and we carry on their tradition. We'll stop at the same location for a beer and sandwich. It was formerly known as the Child Abuse stand. I believe it has a new name like Family Resources Center. It has been "manned" by the same Madison volunteers for years and we enjoy contributing to their cause and seeing them each season. This connection has been going on for many decades now and puts us in a game-time mood. The atmosphere in Camp Randall speaks for itself. As a former UW Varsity Cheerleader, I have seen it from the field and now seats in the alumni section. Seats Jeff inherited from his parents' and both were Badger Alumni; Josephine Pearson Radder and Howard Radder. Jeff's father played UW Varsity Baseball. We have a rich and deep tradition in our families. My parents' owned The Grotto on State Street where I worked my way through undergraduate school. Elroy Hirsch lead cheers from the roof of The Grotto after the Badgers finally won a game after a long drought in the late 60's. Many terrific memories and more to come.
—Domenica "Minnie" Schiro ’72
The late 70's and early 80's were lean times for victories on the gridiron for the Badgers but that did not stop the die hard fans from having a good time on game day. After the mandatory purchase of a pint of Wild Turkey, there was the long march down Dayton Street from Sellery Hall to the stadium. Grabbing a beer and brat at Union South and a serenade by the band, there was the final trek to the south end of the stadium to await the fifth quarter. After the game the gang would head to Rusty's on University Avenue for a recap of the teams performance, with wild celebration if there was a big win or a mild partying if there was a loss. There was never a doubt that we were going to do it all the next home game, or that our allegiance to the Badgers would be anything but devout. Win or loss they were, and still are, the team we supported with passion and fun.
—Tom Ikeman ’75
I don't think this really qualifies as a game day ritual, but being at the State Fair for UW-Madison day and listening to the band, I was reminded of the many times my friends and I went to the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show after being at the game. At the fair, Cheryl Feuling Johnson '79 and I were the two near the front doing the time warp. Thank You Varsity Band.
—Rosie Endres '78
Badger football Saturdays have been special to our family for many years, from listening intently on WTMJ to the games, probably before I was born to our current itinerary as season ticket holders. We always stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for an extra-large coffee for the two-hour ride from Kenosha. We enjoy watching the leaves change from green to red to gone by season’s end. We listen to any pre-game radio programming we can find, especially the broadcast team of Matt LePay and Mike Lucas. The walk from the parking lot is always an opportunity to enjoy fall weather and see the latest campus construction. Badgerville is always fun, especially meeting the athletes from other teams, getting autographs, enjoying snacks and drinks. We like to walk around the stadium for any vendors with giveaways. We have to find player cards and the Game Day publication by The Daily Cardinal. We really miss the availability of Wisconsin State Journals. We must have a program. Nothing makes my heart warm more than the pre-game introductions and then finally the pageantry of the Wisconsin Band making its way to the field. We love watching the Badgers score, especially on the opening drive. We want the Badgers to score a lot, so we can count while Bucky does all of his push-ups (good thing they have more than one, especially when the Badgers scored 83 points against Northwestern a few years ago). I always call my mom (Class of 1948) near the end of half-time so she can hear everyone partaking of that time-honored tradition, the singing of “Varsity.” The other sing-alongs are fun too, including “Sweet Caroline,” and “Buttercup.” And you need to get the blood flowing by the end of the third quarter with “Jump Around.” Celebrating a Badger victory is never complete without the Fifth Quarter and then a visit to one of the unions for Babcock ice cream. What makes Badger game day great? Everything! Thank you for asking!
—Jean L. Tenuta
My game day ritual is that I play my CD of "College Fight Songs" in my car from Palatine, IL to my parking spot on campus. I love it, but my wife thinks I need intervention!
—Denny Schackter ’70
When I was an undergrad our football team was struggling. Despite the lack of victories, the house fellows from various dorms would coordinate pre-game festivities often involving garbage cans and multiple kinds of "spirits". They coached us on some required knowledge like the words to varsity.
Today, we enjoy tailgating in lot 60 or at the Vilas Zoo and attending Badger games and cheering on the alma mater. I love watching the student section and all of the shenanigans that go on there and fondly remember my days at UW. I also am a proud parent of a UW student and have enjoyed watching her and her friends begin their own traditions on game days. On Wisconsin!
—Kristine Roberts Phillips ’83
I remember getting up early to start boiling brats in large grills at Union South where I worked in food service. Only for a badger game would someone be eating brats first thing in the morning!
—Judy Kramer '86
Well . . . it was Jingles (aka Stadium Bar) for the last 28 years, but never mind. Guess I will go figure now.
—Jennifer Lutz '88, JD'94
My roommates and I, a total of four, were all in the marching band. We lived on Chadbourne a block from the Stadium. We had a balcony on the back of our second floor duplex. Every game day, in full uniform, we would assemble on the balcony and play On Wisconsin for the neighborhood. Kevin on trombone, Larry and Tim on trumpet and me on Flugel. We would then walk together and meet the band at Union South for our pre-game concert. What a feeling of pride cruising the streets of Madison in full band uniform.
—Rob Tuttrup ’85 (five seasons in the marching band)
While in college having a few adult beverages of our choice, stopping at the Brat House (now State Street Brats) and a stop at Lake Street McDonald's (no longer there) were traditions before the game. After a win in a big game (1981 wins over Michigan, Ohio State and Purdue in the same season for the first time in Badger football history), meant a walk thru the library mall fountain on the way back home.
—Nick LoCicero ’82
My Game day ritual always started off at the KK for a Bucky Burger and a Bloody Mary in a Ball jar!!
—Laurie Pighini ’86
My Badger football game traditions began and started with my father and mother. From the time I was 6 years old until the year my father died. We would take a bus to Breese Terrace, either from a Madison sports bar or from Lot 60, grab a brat and beverage at the Shriners' stand on Crazylegs Drive, then proceed to go to the engineering fraternity to listen to a pregame concert held on their front porch. (Lito Vito and the Torpedoes were our favorites.) With half an hour before game time we would enter the Camp, get to our seats, and get ourselves ready for the real show (especially in the 1970s and late 1980s)--the Badger band. The game would then play itself out (usually a hard-fought loss), and then we would finish our day with the Fifth Quarter--rain, snow, or shine. To this day, my love for autumn is firmly entrenched, surely because of the Badger Saturdays I spent with my parents as a child and as an adult, along with 80,000 of my dearest friends.
—Kevin C. Attaway ’90
I was in the UW Band from 1987-1990. Our section, the Marching French Horns, had a tradition of meeting for breakfast at the former Dunk N' Dine restaurant on Regent Street game day before our final morning rehearsals. I always had corn beef hash and scrambled eggs. We got to know the staff very well and there were fan "regulars" who would come for breakfast as well that we also befriended and looked forward to seeing each Saturday. I really enjoyed the Badger camaraderie that grew over my four years and it was always a treat to go out for a special breakfast!
—Rick Wolff '91
During my days on campus we would always wake up early to BBQ on the front lawn of our fraternity house Delta Chi. From Francis, we would walk, the group would swell with other fans and students, on our way to Camp Randall to watch the game and enjoy the 5th Quarter! Now, I live in Chicago and get together with a couple of friends each week and find a Badger bar to watch the game with other local Alums. I still love when they play Varsity and other songs during the game – makes me feel a bit younger!
—Joe Campagna ’96
As a member of the marching band, I loved being a part of the whole game day experience. Starting off early in the morning at 6 am with a final practice before the game, it was a great feeling to be the first to celebrate game day. As fans gathered before the game, I loved marching with the tubas around Camp Randall to get the fans psyched for the game, and then the pregame show, being the first on the field and greeting the team as they came to the stadium. During the game, playing On Wisconsin! after every Badger touchdown was my favorite part of the game as well as performing the halftime show in front of 80,000 screaming fans. And lets not forget the Fifth Quarter after a Badger victory celebrating with the fans! Badger game days were a wonderful part of my college experience and I am so proud to have been a part of it as well.
—Ian Batterman ’09
No Badger game day would be complete without friends and family - and of course, the famous Brophy bloody (secret recipe, I might add). How's this for a badger journey? My parents went to UW and when I was a kid, they always brought me to badger games. Our family friends from Minnesota traveled to Madison each football season to see at least one game with my family and I. When it was time to choose a college, their two kids and I (I'm an only child) all went to UW. Now I'm a recent alum (shout out to the J-School!) and they're still in school. Their parents and my parents now have season tickets - we even traveled to the Rose Bowl together. No game day would be complete without them!
—Blair Brophy '12
As a student - game-day was the best day of the week. We spent our mornings getting decked out in Badger clothes and accessories, walked to Camp Randall, cheered all the way through - win or lose - and then the 5th Quarter! Now, we continue to get all decked out in Badger clothes and accessories, get the snacks ready in all Badger dishes and cheer loudly from Nevada all the way through - win or lose. We even have a Badger Christmas tree that goes up before the season starts! Looking forward to this season. Go Badgers!!
—Kristen Parker (Horzewski)