So I've been off the blog for the last few days - and for good reason! I went on another Michigan football pilgrimage with Dad, and Madison is a hike to say the least. Getting to Madison involved a train, a plain, and a lemony-fresh rental car. It was an extremely enjoyable road trip when you forget about the part where the team I traveled halfway across the country played one of their least coordinated games of the year.
The trip started off with great promise. After arriving in Madison, Dad and I went to State Street Brats, Madison's premiere place to have a few beers, eat more meat than you should, and watch football. I noticed something on the menu called "The Brat Burger." A brat and a burger at the same time? The possibility of eating two animals simultaneously? SOLD! It was the greatest thing I ate all week. The greasy brat and the juicy burger were a combination were so perfect together I now know why God created pigs and cows. I'll be serving these delicacies at next week's pre-game tailgate for the OSU game, but that's another post altogether.
After a lazy Friday night of lounging in Madison and having dinner with Dad and one of his colleagues (coincidently, the gentleman who hooked us up with SWEET tickets on the 50!) Saturday soon rolled around. Gameday at last! After breakfast, we went to Camp Randall. The fact that The Badgers wanted it more than The Wolverines was apparent before the game even began. The Wisconsin cheerleaders were ready to go in full uniform and miniskirts in the despite the freezing weather, while the Michigan cheerleaders phoned it in by wearing unflattering track suits. No wonder our boys were so unmotivated.
After playing for a short while in the first quarter, Chad Henne left the game. I knew that was bad news. Badger fans squealed with delight when Ryan Mallett came in and threw aimless pass after pass, and got sacked so many times I stopped counting. I saw Hart patrolling the sidelines and foolishly got my hopes up that he would play.
"Pleeeeeeeeeeease go in! Save us from this awful performance!" I thought to Hart. No such luck. Minor and Brown blahed their way through an unremarkable game save an exciting play or two sprinkled throughout.
Whenever anything positive happened for Michigan, even as minor as benefiting from a Wisconsin penalty, I joyously rang my cowbell as loud as I could. Apparently, even though Wisconsin is the dairy state and cowbells should be a familiar sound, the noise was unwelcome. Badger fans chastised me and said I was being too loud. I after the fourth-down turnover which clinched Wisconsin's victory, I put the cowbell away. No amount of banging would bring the Wolverines back into the game at that point.
As the seconds ticked towards the end of the game, The Badger fans began to taunt me. "Where's your cowbell now!" "DING-DING-DING-DING-DING! HAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHA!" So much for that "Big 10: Sportsmanship isn't just for players" hoo-hah we see on TV every week. But I guess it's all part of the experience of being in enemy territory. All in good fun, I suppose.
I won't lie - watching the loss was a heartbreaker. Even trying to console myself with the fact that OSU would get past Illinois (whoops!) and the Wolverines could technically lose their way into the Rose Bowl didn't comfort me.
Win or lose, road trips with Dad are always cool. Many thanks to Mr. W for the awesome tickets and for being a more gracious host than I ever thought possible.