Scenes from a Saturday

Biren misses very few home games and tailgates with his brother, Dustin Biren, and friends Ryan Draizin, Spencer Sloan and Daniel Fogelson. Prior to the Washington game, they were munching on a giant sandwich from Bay Cities, a renowned Italian Deli in Santa Monica.

"We've been through some crappy seasons, but UCLA fans are very loyal and we like where we're headed with [Jim Mora]," Andrew Biren said. "Still, though, the only time football really engulfs the city is when UCLA and USC are both good.

Game on the field, party in the stands

By: Edward Aschoff

MADISON, Wis. -- It's borderline sacrilege for any Southern football fan to devote attention to anything outside of the 60 minutes of football being played. 

Where football is religion, devotion hinges on the utmost concentration.

Football doesn't rest upon such conservative values in Madison. Sure, the football is important, but there's so much more to the experience of attending a Wisconsin home game.

The student section at Camp Randall Stadium, as it does in most places, fills up midway through the first quarter. For early games, like this one against Indiana on Nov. 16, it's a late-arriving crowd.

While the game takes place, one of the liveliest fan bases you'll see provides a bevy of the entertainment from the stands above. There's no question those in attendance inside rustic Camp Randall are there for the game, but there's a show going on in the stands that often rivals the one on the field.

"It's a lifestyle," Wisconsin senior Danielle Savino said. "It's a way of approaching the game where you take everything in and you experience everything that you possibly can -- the game, the people, the atmosphere, the songs. You take what the stadium gives you and it's unbelievable. You can't help but love life while you're there.

"You are the entertainment. You are the stadium, the stadium is you. The whole thing is entertainment -- the team, the band, the fans -- it's all one thing. It's not separate at all."

From the players, to the students, to the band, it's hard to know where to look but within the chaos, there's harmony. 

The songs, chants and organized movements don't serve to interrupt or distract from the action on the field -- even though they continue as play goes on -- they're simply part of the game.

Occasionally, members of the band will walk around the stadium to play for fans … while plays are going on.

"I love the atmosphere," said Cindy Alvarez, wife of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez. "I think the energy that we get from the students and the fans, the music, the band, you can't beat it."

Six minutes into the second quarter, the student section begins the vulgar, yet giddy call-and-response chant of "Eat S---/F--- You," which originated from Wisconsin's band playing Steve Miller Band's "Swingtown" back in the 1980s when the team struggled. It stood as a way to keep students involved. When the team improved under then-coach Alvarez in the 1990s, the band stopped playing it in order to eliminate the chant.

Nice try.

"It's probably a chant that shouldn't be going on, but the students embraced it," 2011 Wisconsin graduate Brandon Selner said. "It's a great chant."

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