I’m still in Wisconsin at the moment, hanging out at my friend’s place where I’ve been staying. I came out here mostly to see my beloved Arizona State Sun Devils football team play against the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday. The game was a close 20-19 loss which was on one hand heartbreaking but on the other encouraging. A one point loss against the #11 team in the country, on the road, is not a bad showing for a team picked to finish 9th in the Pac 10. ASU struggled to run the ball against NAU, so going in, this game was very scary. Fortunately, the Devils looked faster than the Badgers and used that to stay in the game the whole way. Threet looked pretty solid and that gave me hope that the team might not be as hopeless as I originally thought.
More than a recap of the game, which you can get anywhere, I wanted to mention how impressed I was with Camp Randall Stadium and the fans it contained. My friends and I showed up to the game, wearing our best Sun Devil gear, shouting and cheering for ASU. There were no confrontational responses. Nobody shouted at us, harassed us, or threw things at us. We were frequently welcomed with polite greetings and handshakes by Badger fans who generally said something like “Welcome to Wisconsin, I hope you enjoy the game.” It’s sad, but that is not at all the greeting that I see at Sun Devil Stadium where people are more frequently rude and vulgar. Since that’s where I’ve experienced most of my live college football, I expected a hostile response as I showed up to Camp Randall in the opposing team’s colors. I was very impressed when I found that I was completely wrong.
Following the initial pleasant entrance, the fans continued to demonstrate how much better they are at being fans for the rest of the game. The stadium was full. It was nearly solid red (unattractive to me, but impressive). The Wisconsin students sang, clapped, and danced with fantastic enthusiasm. Several amusing variations of the wave went around the stadium. The upper deck shook noticeably when House of Pain’s “Jump Around” was played over the PA and the entire building did exactly what the song suggested. Late in the game, when Sun Devil Stadium bleeds “fans” regardless of score, Camp Randall was still full. During the game, a part of Wisconsin’s band came up into the ASU section. They were initially greeted with boo’s, until Sun Devil fans figured out they were playing “Maroon and Gold.” That’s very cool.
After the game we stuck around for the 5th Quarter. It featured an extra twenty minutes of the band playing and dancing on the field and fans singing and dancing in the stands. They again played ASU’s fight song. I was reminded on several occasions that this post-game party happens after every game whether the Badgers win or lose. It was very fun, and I’m totally jealous. When we made our way out of the stadium and began walking down the road towards State Street we ended up walking parallel to the marching band. The band was still playing and dancing as they marched with police escort down the road. It was entertaining the whole way.
When all was said and done, it was the most fun I think I could ever have during and after an ASU loss. Wisconsin fans made me feel welcome at their big football themed party and I really hope that they are treated appropriately when they come to Tempe.
Freaky Metal Kid