Let Football Season Begin, FINALLY!

The long summer may be coming to an end but Madison is starting to come alive for another Badger Football season. The students are coming back and returning with them is an air of enthusiasm for what could be a banner year for the UW Badgers. If you are one of the lucky ones to get your tickets early at Camp Randall Stadium then you can already feel the Bucky magic rhythm in your bones. Actually, that feeling is all over Madison because the University of Wisconsin has an overwhelming love for their football team, as well as the students and fans that support them. Heck, the staff here at Sleep Inn & Suites is already geared up with their Badgers attire.

Head coach Gary Anderson is entering his second year leading the Badgers. He has his work cut out for him because the majority of the starting lineup graduated and he will have a fresh, new team to lead. This is where the fighting spirit of the UW Badgers comes in. They have a team spirit that has a long standing tradition to give it all they’ve got to win. They know that support from the fans is paramount to their success and they thrive on that enthusiasm every time they take the field.

Being a Badger fan is an honor, and it has some responsibilities too. You must learn the Varsity song. You don’t have to have a voice like Pavarotti, but you, as a true Badger fan, must attempt to sing! This song has been sung for close to a century and is a mainstay at Badger football games. You also have to understand “Jump Around”. Now, this is a newer tradition that made its debut in 1998. “Jump Around” is a song by the band House of Pain (actually, it’s their ONLY song!). It is played between the third and fourth quarters at all home games at Camp Randall Stadium. The student section notoriously will jump up and down on the bleachers for the entire three plus minutes of the song. All others in attendance are encouraged to do so as well. True Badger fans know what it means when they see the song title on T-shirts and just about everything else you can print on, even credit cards!

The most important tradition a true Badger fan must know is the history of Paul Bunyan’s Axe. This was the honorary trophy passed between the staunch football arch rivals of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The original trophy was called the “Slab of Bacon”. Although it was actually a plank of wood with a “W” engraved on one side, it was passed between the two teams starting in 1930 up to 1943. Whichever team won would be able to display the trophy with either the “W”, or turned upside down, the “M”. The scores were also engraved on the back. It mysteriously disappeared in 1943 and the trophy was replaced by Paul Bunyan’s Axe. It surprisingly resurfaced in 1994 during a renovation of Camp Randall Stadium. Even more mysterious was the fact that each score from each year since its disappearance to 1970 was engraved on the slab. It is on display in the UW Badger Football Office so check it out for yourself when you attend your next game.

So, dust off your cardinal red sweaters and get ready for another exciting UW Badger football season. Head down to State Street Brats or the Stadium Bar and meet up with other fans that are just as ready as you are for the end of summer and the start of the season. See if they are true Badger fans and make them sing the Varsity song. If they can, raise your glass and toast to Bucky and a winning season.

Sleep Inn & Suites Madison are seeing red and are ready for the Badger Football season. We are here to make your stay as comfortable as possible and look forward to serving you this season.