Game day in Camp Randall Stadium
Perhaps the most stunning difference between State College and Madison is the ease with which one drives and parks for the game.
There was little traffic, and ample parking deck options a stone’s throw away from the stadium.
Wisconsin fans did little in terms of tailgating, however. They hosted various pre-game pep rallies and events on campus, including ones that had cash bars! Imagine Penn State hosting a pre-game activity on campus and serving alcohol! (P.S. Try the Spotted Cow … best beer in Wisconsin).
Camp Randall Stadium is a historic U.S. Army site, where 70,000 recruits were trained and both a hospital and prisoner-of-war camp were established. The entrance played up that motif and provided a unique walk into the stadium facility.
Camp Randall is about 80% of Beaver Stadium, and it’s amazing what a difference that extra 20,000 or so people make.
While the stadium is entirely built up, the sound didn’t stay trapped as much as one would expect. It was loud, of course, but nothing near the almost unbearable levels we’re used to hearing.
Wisconsin did a stripe out for general fans, and the students all wore red.
I know Penn State loves wearing white on road games, but in the future, I’d encourage the athletic department to recommend wearing blue when half the home fans will also be wearing white.
This made it hard to tell how much Nittany Nation faithful made the trip, but our presence was definitely felt.
Navigating the stadium took some learning, and they had limited concessions (but promised in a pre-game e-mail that the essentials, like bratwurst, would still be served … gotta love Wisconsin).
Now … we have to talk about “Jump Around.”
This is the famous end of third quarter tradition in Camp Randall Stadium where the entire stadium jumps to the House of Pain song “Jump Around.”
It’s featured on almost every telecast from Madison and is sold on memorabilia throughout the stadium.
Was it neat to see in person? Yes. In my opinion, is it a bit oversold? Yes.
This sounds oversimplifed but … it’s just jumping?
Any turnover recovered in Beaver Stadium has far more intense jumping and is a whole lot louder. It’s unique because no one else does it and that’s worthy of some respect. But I’d put it miles behind the “Iowa Wave”, “Enter Sandman” at Virginia Tech and others.