Why You Should Visit Madison and Camp Randall Stadium
Camp Randall Stadium is widely regarded as one of the toughest stadiums in the country for an opposing team to play in.
Those claims are not unfounded as the Wisconsin Badgers are currently enjoying a 17-game home winning streak, with the last loss coming in October 2009 to the Hawkeyes of Iowa.
Under Bret Bielema, Wisconsin is a dominant 40-3 (.930%) at the Camp.
Along with being an intimidating venue for opposing teams, Camp Randall Stadium and the city of Madison itself provide unforgettable memories for Badgers fans and opposing teams' fans. Madison is consistently ranked as one of the top college towns, and Camp Randall Stadium is thought of as one of the better environments in college football.
Here is why you should visit Madison on a game day.
People use game day as an excuse to have early-morning house parties.
For those that don't know the geographical location of Camp Randall Stadium, it is located in the middle of a neighborhood near downtown Madison. It is a very unique location in that "tailgating" for students turns into early morning house parties with kegs that approach the double digits.
Regent Street shuts down on game day as businesses and bars alike turn into beer gardens. One popular destination is the Stadium Bar outside of the stadium. If you are one of the unlucky people without tickets to the game, Stadium Bar is a popular destination as you will be with hundreds of rabid Badger fans.
There are parking lots located farther away from the stadium, but the core of pregame festivities is in the immediate area around the stadium.
The Game Itself
The atmosphere inside Camp Randall Stadium is electric. The student section, among the largest in the stadium, is drunk with love for their team as well as many other things, as Scott Van Pelt would say.
It is not uncommon to hear students sing along to "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Cecilia." What is so special about these tunes is that the students continue to sing even after the music stops. Honestly, it will give you the chills.
More controversial is a certain chant between the student section that goes something like this: "(expletive) you! "Eat (expletive)!"
When you hear this chant, it is not meant for the opposing team or fans. The student section actually cuts in half and chants it back and forth at each other.
There are pleas from the athletic department for this chant to stop as there have been numerous complaints, but the results haven't gone in their favor.
During halftime is when the band plays the time-honored tradition of Varsity. The entire stadium stands, puts their arms around one another and sway back and forth as they sing the final lines of their alma mater.
One of the newer traditions in college football is Jump Around, performed by the student section and others around the stadium who join in on the action!
Between the third and fourth quarter, and after the student section race, House of Pain's "Jump Around" blares throughout the stadium. The students and band jump, and it is truly a spectacle to witness.
If you choose to take your eyes off the student section during this, you can see opposing team's players watching in awe or joining in themselves!
During the Nebraska game last season, there were reports that the upper deck was swaying during Jump Around.
The Fifth Quarter
Whether the Badgers win or lose, stay after the game and witness the fifth quarter!
No where else in college football will you see between 35,000 and 45,000 fans stay to dance and sing along with the band as they perform many different songs.
Wisconsin is also widely considered as one of the top party schools in the country. Following the conclusion of a game, you will find plenty of activities. Many parties continue at off-campus student housing and those that drove usually go back to the beer gardens to guzzle down more beers.
Nightlife in Wisconsin is extensive. Many will find themselves on State Street and up on the Capitol Square. The lower end of State Street is more college-oriented in contrast to the upper portions of State Street and the Capitol Square area, which is more laid back.
This YouTube video is a visual summary of this article.
Scott Van Pelt's Admiration for Wisconsin
Scott Van Pelt has been very vocal about his admiration for the University of Wisconsin, calling it the greatest college sports town in the country.
The above video is Van Pelt's reaction to Wisconsin's win over then-No. 1 Ohio State in 2010. Several years before that, he also called Wisconsin the greatest college sports town in the country and has stuck to that opinion.
Party on, Badgers!