Thursday, November 19, 2009

Observations from Camp Randall: UW v. Michigan 11/14/09

Last Saturday's game against Michigan (a 45-24 throttling of the Wolverines) was the Badger's final home game of the season, and just like that another Fall of good times, not to mention interesting adventures going to and from my seats on game days, comes to a close. I will be taking a trip down to Madison to see the Hockey Classic at Camp Randall in February, but I won't be sitting in my stadium seats again until Fall 2010. The season always seems so long at the onset, but then when I leave the stadium for the very last time near Thanksgiving I always wonder how it seemed to pass by so quickly. Sigh. Onto the final 2009 installment of Observation from Camp Randall:

Observation #1: The tailgate is in full swing. I took my good buddy Ryan. My rehab nurse from 1996, who I've stayed in contact with over the years, was in town for the game and her and her husband had just stopped by. Another good buddy and fellow Badger superfan John, who I hadn't seen in over a year, had just stopped by. Cold beverages and friendly conversation was in high gear. Then out of the blue a gentleman in his mid-sixties butts in, explains that he and his sick wife, who he points out is sitting across the street on a bus stop bench taking a rest, are on the way into the game, and he was wondering if he couldn't score a few beers from us if we had any to spare. As he started to pull out his wallet to pay for them we all did a collective "Huh?" Ryan grabbed one, told him it would be no cost, and that since his wife was sick she probably didn't need one herself. He thanked us, muttered something about if we ever stopped by his station that we were good in his book, then disappeared. Only outside Camp Randall Stadium on a Badger football game day would something like that happen. And that in such an atmosphere your only true reaction is to just shrug and carry on with the tailgate action.

Observation #2: I took the picture below to further take people along my path into the stadium and up the elevator. In a previous post I took a picture of the line out the door and noted that the room with the elevator was up to the right. This is that room. The elevator is to the left below that TV. One person in a wheelchair was in front of me at this point.

Observation #3: The guy to the right in the picture below is the guy who manned the elevator all season long. I call him "The Captain" because he always wore that silly looking captain-esque hat. As I was snapping this pic an able-bodied couple behind me asked The Captain which elevator level they get off on to get to their seats. There's always a bit of confusion about that because nothing inside or outside the elevator clearly marks which seat sections coincide with what elevator level. Heck, it took me until this season to know with confidence that I was going to Section 5. Anyway, the following exchange occurred:

Able-bodied guy: What level do these seats go to?
The Captain: What section?
Able-bodied guy: WC.
The Captain: WC? Yeah, that's the wheelchair section, Level 5.
Able-bodied guy: Thanks.

Apparently, it was lost on everyone but me that the able-bodied couple who planned to sit in the wheelchair section but didn't use a wheelchair probably didn't need to ride on the elevator. That was pretty much a succinct anecdotal summation on the way the whole elevator thing went this year: seemingly everyone was allowed to use the elevator despite it technically being reserved for patrons with disabilities. That said, as far as I'm concerned The Captain needs to get himself a Tennille, a piano keyboard, and change professions because he was not very good at properly managing an elevator designed to give priority to people with disabilities. I still shake my head about when he told me there was no more room on the cart for a wheelchair earlier in the season. Hello?

Observation #4: This guy. That's all that needs to be said I think. He was wearing a head to toe plaid leisure suit and matching corduroy hat. To a Badger football game. Fantastic. He stood next to me for the better part of the third quarter and finally I just couldn't help but snap a pic because I was so blown away by his threads: easily the craziest looking outfit (student section aside) that I've ever seen anyone wear to a game in eleven years of having season tickets. And I live in a state where people wear blaze orange hunting garb to the stadium when it gets cold out.

Occasional access and frequent elevator woes aside, it was still another fine season of Wisconsin Badger football at Camp Randall Stadium this year. Lot's of awesome football was played, lot's of big team wins, and lot's of fun was had. I already can't wait until the first game next year!

1 comment:

  1. Never realized Section 5 was WC. Please ignore earlier comments about not getting tickets as student.