SANTA MONICA, Calif. — University of Wisconsin students who made the trip to California for the Badger’s appearance in the Rose Bowl experienced a crushing defeat, but still found worthwhile memories to take back with them.
As speakers at a Dec. 30 Santa Monica Pier pep rally asked for cheers from students, alumni, California residents, Wisconsin natives and many other categories, it became clear to the crowd that love for the Badgers is spread far beyond the campus border.
crowd sang along with the Wisconsin Marching Band, screamed in
adoration for former greats such as running back Ron Dayne and laughed
along with Chancellor Biddy Martin as she ‘Buckyd.’ All of these
actions let the crowd of California residents gathered to watch know one
thing: Wisconsin fans do not mess around.
was cool to see all the Badger fans that made the trip,” said UW sophomore
Evan Smith. “Having all the Wisconsin fans together really made it
feel like game day in Madison.”
the ending of the game produced emotions ranging from regretful to
downright distraught from students gathered at Rose Bowl Stadium,
most agree the long trip and heartbreaking loss were worth it.
Pilarski, a UW sophomore, said UW fans taking up more than half of the
immense stadium was an experience she will not soon forget.
added tailgating in the warm weather helped bring a taste of Wisconsin
tradition to California, but it was her fellow Badger fans who made the
The official Rose Bowl tailgate before the game brought another opportunity for Badger fans to show how well they travel. Only in the marked off area designated for Texas Christian University fans would someone have been hard pressed to find someone wearing red. Horned Frogs willing to travel into Badger-dominated territory did not cause any problems.
UW sophomore Jamie Black said she had cordial interactions with TCU fans both before and after the game and did not notice any major fan disturbances during the game.
In fact, the most egregious offense at the tailgate was more likely the $10 Rose Bowl Stadium employees were charging for brats.
Even with the loss, fans found things about the game to enjoy.
said the picturesque setting of being in the middle of the desert with
the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains surrounding the stadium made
for a breathtaking first impression.
day traditions like cheering for the marching band and the “Eat shit! Fuck you!” cheer lived on outside Camp Randall.
While the stadium
sound system did not blare the opening notes of Jump Around, at the end
of the third quarter students still held their four fingers in the air
and waited until Bucky came over and led them in silent jumping.
“The TCU fans had no idea what was going on,” Black said.
She added her younger brother was so enamored with the student section experience that he now wants to attend UW.
Most fans agreed that though the weather was nice and the game was fun, the Badger camaraderie was what made the trip worth it.
“The number of our fans willing to make such a far trip just shows how passionate our fans are,” Pilarski said. “They were definitely the best part of the trip.”