Friday, December 7, 2012

Badgers fans partying on the road
enjoy a bit of hometown flavor

During the intermission of the Bishops performance at the University of Wisconsin pregame tailgate party Saturday afternoon at the Indiana Convention Center, Badgers fans were treated to some home-state comfort diversions.

First, UW athletic director Barry Alvarez addressed the throng in attendnace. Alvarez, who only two days later would learn he would lose his football coach, Bret Bielema, to Arkasas, was in a jolly mood and didn't hesitate to say, with enthusiasms, that the Badgers -- underdogs to Nebraska in the Big 10 Championship Game that night -- were ready to prove skeptics wrong and upend the Cornhuskers. It will be Alvarez, with Bielema gone, who will lead the Badgers in their Rose Bowl contest against Stanford on Jan. 1.

Next up on the stage was 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, a workhorse running back who in his four years at Wisconsin set the NCAA career rushing yardage record that still stands.

Following Dayne was the dynamic UW Marching Band, who shoehorned several routines -- and a hall-wide singing of the Wisconsin "Varsity" song -- in a long but narrow space between the stage and seating area before marching out. Later, the Wisconsin cheerleaders joined the band to help with intermission festivities.

The photo leading off the post is the marching band, led by the tuba section, lining up outside the hall just before marching out to begin their routine.

Above and below: Barry Alvarez addressing the Badgers tailgaters Saturday at the Indiana Convention Center.

Above and below: Ron Dayne takes his turn giving Badgers fans some chatter to help encourage a Badgers victory later against Nebraska.

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