That was a long time ago, but it is dear to my heart. Sometimes in life you hear stories so often, or are reminded of an event so often, that it becomes a memory for you even if you were too young to have lucent recollections of the event. I told the old man before the OSU game that I was looking forward to a new engraving to match the old one. (and since the DNR disallows new boathouses, I doubt any future owners of my homestead will be tearing it down any time in the next century, so let the sun shine upon it)
Thanks to the 2010 Badgers, I won't have to recall the 80s to cherish a great Badger victory over #1.
After the greatest televised Badger week ever (ESPNU weeklong special, GameDay, The Van Pelt Declaration), the Badgers then went to Kinnick stadium and gutted out a victory against an able Hawkeye team which fights with long nails and almost never loses at home. Greatest back-to-back victories in quite some time.
So how did we get here? Only weeks ago, I had to hear from alumni complaining about Bret Bielema. Now, I hear Rose Bowl chants. So why the variation? People don't like hearing opposing opinions, so they didn't want to hear about what a coach does. But let's review.
A successful coach at Wisconsin must:
1) Impress boosters (the life blood of major college athletics)
2) Get along with the AD
3) Appease the chancellor (grades, behavior)
4) Manage a staff
5) Manage the media
6) Lead young men
7) Excite recruits
8) 93 other things
101) Always make the right play call
When I hear people wanting to oust Bielema for a bad play call, I consider them to be children. How little they understand of the enterprise of running a college football program.
(This is much different than the NFL where the Head Coach is mostly responsible for play-calling and game management, with all other duties delegated. So feel free to continue to hate McCarthy for being a moron.)
Since the day that I met Beets, I have been impressed. Boosters like being around him. He's engaging. When he speaks at a podium, you want the speech to run long. He listens to Barry. He's excitable. He gets it. When you chat him up about football, you feel as though he is recruiting you, and you want to sign. He addresses weaknesses. He sees the big picture.
Granted, I may be the biggest Wisconsin football homer on the planet, but I am not playing around when I talk about our coaching and our administration. Our HC is getting the right kids. We are recruiting the hell out of south Florida. We have kept a fence around Wisconsin and have annexed Minnesota. Watch how our players respond to him on the field.
The back-to-back nationally televised big wins are great for Wisconsin, great for fans, and great for recruiting. However, they are not a surprise in Section U. We have a solid foundation, and we will continue to build.