More In Common than Just Russell Wilson…
As longtime BL Buddies & Babes know… over the past handful of years, for reasons well-often-documented here, I became College Football’s Most Legendary “Fan Without A Team”. That vacancy was resolved when TeamKid moved to Madison Wisconsin. Madison is home base to Lands End, American Girl and The University of Wisconsin Badgers. … and for one memorable year – Russell Wilson.
Kid, Pastor Danny, Twinkle and Scooter live a scant three blocks from UW’s historic Camp Randall Stadium. Most short lists of Most Best College Gamedays include “historic Camp Randall Stadium” (cap. 85,000). When UW’s 30,000+ student section break out into their 4th Quarter “Jump-around” the vibrations can be felt at CasaKid.
NOTE: Even UW is seeing a noticeable drop-off in student attendance this year. If it is happening at Camp Randall it is a National Cultural Epidemic with no solution in sight.
So anyhooo, I adopted The Badgers as “my college FB team”. It makes Madison more relevant for me and The Badgers are an every year Top Fifteen FB Juggernaut. The really cool Bucky Badger sweatshirt I received as a Christmas gift sealed the deal.
WHOA… before I get into today’s “…more than Russell in common” I just realized that…
Bucky Badger and Struttin’ Wolf AKA “Tuffy” share considerable graphic DNA.
Bucky Badger, wearing a “W” sweater and strutting forward with a fierce expression, was drawn by California-based commercial artist Art Evans in 1940. I am not qualified nor interested in arbitrating whether Bucky or Tuffy came first. Because I truly don’t care. I do believe UNCCH also had a very similar “Struttin’ Ramses” at one point.
So, obviously Wisconsin and NC State shared the college football career exploits of Russell Wilson… thanks to some Mexican stand-off feud twixt Russell and Tom O’Brien. But in addition to Russell and a Struttin’ mascot is there any other shared element between the two Power5 institutions? … Yes. There is… sort of.
In 2018 pre-season prognostications both Wisconsin and NC State were positioned to “do really well”.
Wisconsin was a solid Top 5-6 pick even a Final Four pick by some pundits. They were reputed to have perhaps The Finest Offensive Line In The Modern Era of College Football. UW’s has an unlimited supply of “really Biguns” from Wisconsin dairy farms. They grow up throwing cows and bales of hay around and eating brats and cheese curds.
NC State, of course, was predicted as a solid top 2-3 team in “whatever ACC division they’re in” and seen as a legitimate threat to TeamDabo. With yet another NFL QB under center, TeamDD and hordes of Carter-Finley-ites had ample reason for optimism.
Now… ten or so weeks later… the term “Dream Season” is not being uttered in either Madison nor Raleigh. Both bandwagons are missing a wheel and in danger of losing one or more other wheels.
The Badgers are 6-3 with (1) a blow-out loss to Michigan… (2) a peer loss to Northwestern… and an (3) OMG loss to BYU (at home!). With Penn State and Purdue still to play, it could get worse.
The Wolfpack are 6-3 with (1) a blow-out loss to Clemson… (2) a peer loss to Syracuse… and alas, last night’s (3) OMG loss to Wake Forest (at home!). The Pack’s road ahead seems easier than UW’s on paper which, after last night, has Pack faithful very uneasy.
See what I mean about “…more in common than Russell slept here too”?
Thanks to Hurricane Florence, TeamDoeren gets ECU rather than surging West Virginia which should keep them out of Christmas In Shreveport with no problem… but another year with No NY6 “real bowl” for The Pack. Just another WhataBurger Bowl . BUT one WhataBurger Bowl more than a certain Hated Rival will go to for the second year in a row.
Pack coaches all get bonuses for basically underachieving… Pack players get some trashy WhataBurger Bowl swag… … and several thousand Pack loyalists get to spend Christmas to Appalachicola or Valdosta or TexArkana or wherever. OK… Pack reserves / red shirts do get several weeks of extra pre-spring practice.
Has anyone EVER said “Hey, ya wanna see my WhataBurger Bowl watch / or ring?” NO!
For Badger faithful this season has turned every bit as bland and tasteless. BadgerNation expects to play in the Big10/14 Championship Game EVERY year and either go to the Final Four or to Pasadena as a consolation prize. Some Badger fans I chatted with were not even aware of Christmas In Shreveport. It sounded dreadful to them. I assured them it was.
The Badgers lose most of Greatest O-Line Ever to graduation and to the NFL but should reload OK to be “a factor” next season.
At 9-3 or especially at 8-4 (OMG!!) Dave Doeren likely gets to finish his Lake Gaston Mega-Mansion as his Flavor-of-the-month Hot Coach status has cooled a bit.
I noted last week that Kansas might come acalling as DD is a native Kansasan… was an Asst there when KU was pretty good… and once really wanted their HC gig. I also noted I doubted he would be interested in KU at this point in his career. Even suggesting KU might come acalling got me attacked by a platoon of roaming Wuff-loonies.
I saw a tweet Friday morning that had a sentence containing the words “Dave Doeren” and “moron” with the verb “is”. I am certain that is NOT a universal opinion although the camera pan of the Pack student section late last night looked a lot like the LSU student section last Saturday night. Tough business…
Meanwhile over in Orange County… a Reuters “Franklin Street Unpopularity” Poll has Coach K, Donald Trump, Silent Sam and Yours Truly being joined by UNCCH’s current QB – young Nathan Elliott… AKA “that little white kid”. YIKES. Young Elliott’s stock is sooo low that a former UNCCH QB got rather emotional discussing his talents (lack of) with me earlier this week. … again – Tough Business.
With UNCCH’s oft-decried QB problems… do you think any Tar Heel faithful watched that Deacon rookie QB (from Graham NC) shred the Pack last night and wonder – “Hey Larry, how’d you miss this kid just down the road?… Huh?
Unless Larry gets REALLY REALLY Blown-Out in The Wally or by State… he is 93% safe for this year. But will start 2019 standing on a banana peel for sure.