Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Turnover: Wisconsin

What really happened in Hawkeyeland Madtown this weekend?

A.J. Edds plays for God's team.


Being that this was my first real road trip to a Big 10 stadium that wasn't Kinnick ( I think we can all agree Minnesota doesn't count), I knew that the weekend was worth reviewing in every aspect.  So, we'll start with the most important part:  tailgating.

...Or lack, thereof.  I knew we weren't in Iowa City when some friends of friends from Madison asked us what time we wanted to wake up.

"So, uh, what time do you guys wanna get up?  Sometime around 9, get to the stadium around 9:45.  Sound good?"

Actually, that didn't work for us.  Sorry.  We expressed our disinterest in their plan by cracking some fan cans at their breakfast.  Social norms were chucked out the window that morning.  Anyway, we arrived by the stadium at 8:30 am, only to find a barren wasteland of tailgating.  Sure, there are some spots of diehards, fraternity row, and some bars near the stadium.  It was clear, however, that Wisconsin tailgating doesn't even come close to Iowa City's.  We're on a different level, get used to it.  Tailgating Grade:  D

After a few hours of non-tailgating, we decided to check out Camp Randall.  For as lame as the tailgating was, the stadium was very cool.  I believe it's one of the oldest in the Big 10.  It's attached to the old Wisconsin Fieldhouse, so it's got a nice, historic feel to it.

This inside was bowl-shaped and gigantic.  Stadium capacity is around 80,000, plenty of seats for those cheese-loving, brat-eating fans.  The concourse inside was pretty cool too, featuring a Wisconsin apparrel store and typical set-ups of some Wisconsin football history. Stadium Grade:  A-

One of the things I was most interested to find out during the trip was the student section.  We had tickets for some south endzone seats.  Naturally, we  mosied our way over to the middle of the student section.  Now, had some Wisconsin fan done this, I would have incessantly harrassed him to the point where he wouldn't be sure if standing in an opposing student section was a good idea.  However, the most we got were some good-hearted jabs, even when the Hawks were down 10-0.  The real insult came when some orange starbursts were chucked at us, because no one likes orange starbursts.  It probably helped that my buddy Lundt and I run about 6'5 and 6'2 respectively. 

The student section, even if it was gigantic, didn't fill up until halfway through the second quarter and were never that loud.  Even the people that managed to show up by kickoff were borderline mentally incompotent.  A balding guy who was standing in front of us and couldn't have possibly been in college, unless he was an engineer, commented after John Clay ripped off a 6-yard run on the second play, "I thought your defense was supposed to be good."  Nice sample size, buddy.

They had organized cheers:  some were alright, some were terrible.  Especially the repeat of the PA "1st and 10 Wisconsin."  I'd rather hear "That's another Cyclone, FIRST DOWN!!!!!" then hear "firstandtenwisconsin" again.  That's how bad it was. 

Of course, their one redeeming moment was Jump Around.

Naturally, I missed jump around by one second.

Student Section Grade:  C-

Or course, after the Hawks did whatever they do in the second-half and escaped Camp Randall with the W, it was time to celebrate.  We went to State Street both Friday and Saturday night, exploring a number of bars along the way:  the Kollege Klub (which I snuck into cause the bouncers sucked), Brat Haus, Brothers, Wando's, the Pub, the Red Shed, and a few others I can't remember the names of. 


Although downtown Iowa City is way better, Madison held it's own.  We spent most of nights at Brothers and Wando's and had enough fun at both places.  The real winner here is the Buffalo Wild Wings that is located downtown and open really late.  On both nights, I put down a combined 32 Honey BBQ boneless wings.  Moderation was not a theme of the weekend.  Also, there were police on horses.  Cool in it's own regard.

Nightlife Grade:  B+

One-armed tackles:  just another weapon in Adrian's arsenal

Quick Slants

  • This was Stanzi's best game by far.  He was in control, made great throws all day despite the lack of running game, and most importantly, won.  Stats:  17-32, 218 yards, 1 TD.  No INT's.  If he plays this way the rest of the season, Iowa could be a legitimate national title contender.

  • DJK is back with the program.  Thank God.  Marvin McNutt saw limited playing time because of an injured finger.  He should be back for Michigan State.

  • Daniel Murray sealed the game with a career-long 48 yard field goal.

  • Brandon Wegher averaged .1 YPG.  Mostly not his fault (looking at you offensive line), but ouch.
  • Iowa is 7-0 for the first time since 1985  The hold sole possession of first in the Big 10 for the first time since 1990.
  • The defense was getting absolutely worked in the first half by John Clay and the Wisky O-Line.  I have no idea why they went away from this in the second half.
  • Iowa's defense injured some of the most important Wisky players:  John Clay, Garrett Graham, and probably more.  This defense is too good.
  • Amari Spievey was a game-time decision.  Good thing he played because he had his best game this season with two picks.
  • Iowa Football is affecting my life:  schoolwork, free time, weekends, sleep, everything.  I'm loving this season.

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