Thursday, October 28, 2010

Badgers vs Packers: A Great Football Weekend

It’s not often a sports viewing weekend is so rewarding. Last weekend saw great wins by the Badgers and Packers, two greatly important and meaningful wins, and both super exciting to watch. But with all the factors weighed it’d have to say that for me, the Badger’s victory over Iowa more exciting and more satisfying. Lets take a look at the two games and the factors that make me produce that statement

- coming off the huge win against #1 ranked Ohio State, if Wisconsin lost against Iowa, the Ohio State game would have much less meaning. Then it would just be another typical Wisconsin season, with the Ohio State winning being a great memory, but not too meaningful aside an Aflac trivia question answer

- Iowa, I don’t like them. They beat us last year at home, prevented us from going to the Rose bowl in a 2004 loss in the last game, and beat us in Barry Alvarez’s final game in Madison.

- BCS – if we lost this game, our BCS hopes are gone. I think the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl would love having Badger fans there

- The game itself was great, an awesome back and forth game. I actually had to take a friend to a wedding, so I missed most of the 3rd quarter, so I was sober for the end, which might be part of why I enjoyed it more.

- I feel like lots of pieces had to come together for Wisconsin to win this one, and they did. Blocked extra point, bad Iowa field goal, fake punt, 4th and 5, Monte Ball, TD with a minute left, and my favorite, the shovel pass with the time running out. Great, that’s the way to save the game. So tense.

- Oh, and being on the road made it all better. Lots of shots of pained Iowa fans. I’ve felt that before many times. Those Hawkeye fans looked pretty stupid. Glad they got there’s. And, there were lots of Badger fans. On rewatching it, I saw Sorenson jump in the Badger crowd. Yes!

- Venue – Anyone watching any Badger sporting events in Milwaukee should definitely go to Replay Sport Bar (North and Farwell.) It was Madison 2.0. Awesome atmosphere! Lots of TV, lots of Red, lots of good looking Badger girls, just enough Iowa fans to make fun of. You can hear the bar outside from a block away. On TV shots of sad Iowa fans nice sarcastic “Awws” came from the entire crowd. People were jumping and chairs and tables. My crew gave a rousing rendition of Varsity after the game in which a good number of other patrons joined in. Good food, and $5 liters of Miller Lite or Schlitz all day Saturday. Definitely added to the experience.

- Overall, best game watching experience since USA/Algeria. I was on the edge of my seat with each play, living and dying with every play. I don’t totally know how to react when things like this happen to teams I root for because they so rarely do. Maybe I’m just an elitist Wisconsin grad.


- I think this one all comes down to Favre. Without Favre, it is just a normal midseason win against the hated Vikings. It puts us at 4-3 and is nice after some tough close loses. But in the end, the enjoyment will come down to how much you hate Favre. If you deeply hate Favre, this definitely trumps the Badger win.

- The game itself did have some pretty awesome points – Favre to Hawk, Favre to Bishop, Favre to Collins, Favre’s premature celebration, Favre getting booed off the field. So you get the picture, all about Favre.

- The Pack had some chances to put it away, but the game did lack a little flow. Rodgers looked a little off. I don’t really remember too many huge plays except for the fake punt and Shiancoe TD reversal.

- Venue – I watched his with my buddies as part of our Fantasy Football League. It’s a pretty cool league idea – every week you lose head to head you pay $5 and the money is collected for a Packer parties in weeks 7 and 15, which correspond with the two Packer Sunday night games. Winner gets to choose the venue, last place collects all the money and buys the food. Not a bad idea. I was 2-4 and paid $20 for lots beer and BBQ and a big Packers win. A good atmosphere, with about half the people down to get wasted and half leaving directly after the game due to Monday morning work. I was in the former half.

- What does this mean to the season? Well, a lot of that depends on what happens this weekend at NY. It could be the push we need to get back on track, or it could be the high point in an 8-8 season. Big win. Satisfying win. But a long way to go.

All and all, no matter which way you look at it, an amazing football weekend for the state of Wisconsin. We exorcise the Favre demon/jinx/bs/some of the hatred. Wisconsin wins an incredible game in the final minute to keep BCS bowl dreams alive. Sports are fun.


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