Monday, June 25, 2007

Answering Trev's Questions

The borderline ridiculous questions answered below were devised by the wily Trev Alberts over at Fire Mark May.

Give the more zealous portion of your fanbase a religion. What's this cult following? Feel free to give the splitters a derogatory nickname.

The most passionate fans in all of Badgerdom are those who fulfill all the stereotypes outsiders hold about Wisconsin. They're Wisconsin's biggest fans because they're, well, the biggest fans -- the older gentlemen who've grown obese after gorging themselves for decades on bratwurst, deep-fried cheese curds, and a whole mess of other foods and food-like substances. They drive in from the outskirts of Eau Claire and Manitowoc, find a prime parking spot, and down the LaCrosse Lager and Point like they were water (or, at least, really watery beer). To these portly, sauerkraut-scented gentlemen, I give the name Boozin' Buddhas. They're always so jolly -- are they close to enlightenment, or is that just the half dozen Korbel old-fashioneds they mixed up in the back of the truck?

Bucky dons his Boozin' Buddha gear

Your biggest rival is in town, and College Gameday is your citaaaaaaay... Create a blatant corporate sellout promotion to appeal to the mass unwashed.

Sack of gopher bait, anyone?

Sorry, not very creative. Instead, let's pass out free Hefty bags to the crowd as a tribute to the Golden Gophers' home field. This useful promotional item can be used to pick up plastic Miller Lite bottles after the game, or can aid our Gopher friends in hastening death when they realize the only thing they have to look forward to after yet another loss is a four-hour car ride to an academically-questionable campus located in a patently awful city in which to be young and irresponsible.

Add one local delicacy to your stadium's concessions. Post-tax pricing is optional.

I never buy food at Camp Randall, so I don't know whether they serve cheese curds, but if they don't then WHY GOD WHY.

But the item they really ought to be stocking is the deep-fried pickles from Ella's Deli. Honestly, dill pickles, ranch dressing, deep-frying ... what's not to love?

With an unlimited AD budget, add or subtract one thing to your school's gameday experience that has nothing to do with football.

Good thing the budget's unlimited, because we're razing the engineering buildings, most of the apartments across Breese Terrace from the stadium, and re-routing University Avenue and Campus Drive about half a mile to the north. We're paving half of it for dedicating surface tailgating lots and making the rest of it verdant splendor, perfect for tossin' around the ol' pigskin before the game. The fact is that Camp Randall Stadium is shoehorned into a weird little corner of campus, and all the congregation and mingling has to be done at private residences or establishments of wildly varying quality along Regent Street. Or if you don't want to do that, you have to take the party WAY down to State Street ... a fun place, a nice walk if you're in the mood, but this all adds up to a discontinuous fan presence. Maybe if the kids didn't have to drink their Kool-Aid and Fleischmann's at Chadbourne and instead could carouse with their friends and treasured alumni just steps from the stadium gates they'd actually get to their seats before the second quarter begins.

Coin a hilariously unrealistic stereotype that you would like to "make stick" for this upcoming season.

Bring back "three yards and a cloud of dust" for the Big Ten! No more of this wacky forward-pass flim-flam, Vegas is setting the over/under of the Purdue-Ohio State game to 15.5! When I think Big Ten football in 2007, I want 90% of the action to occur between the 35-yard lines.

Redesign your conference or independent schedule with reckless abandon. Be prepared to include compensation for jilted schools and conferences in your explanation.

This year, the Badgers play the following teams out of conference: Washington State, UNLV, the Citadel, and Northern Illinois. Compared to previous years, this isn't so bad. We'll keep our local MAC school (NIU) and weak PAC-10 opponent (WSU) for starters. We'll expunge that road game at UNLV; we all remember when the freaking power went out at their crap-ass facility, and we're pretty bitter about the whole Big Dance fiasco, so they're gone. Also, the Citadel? Please. D-IAA has no place on this schedule, and horrible D-IAA teams are just plain out of the question. Instead, we'll replace those opponents with two more major conference opponents. What we need to do is travel for one game, but we must be certain that we can win there, and we need to invite a generally-decent team to Madison and smother them at home. So, we'll play an away game at Syracuse ... after all, if that undermanned Iowa team from last season was capable of winning at the Carrier Dome, we'll have no problem. For our home foe, we'll go with a middling Big XII team ... say, Oklahoma State or Nebraska.

The conference schedule is actually very good as well; coming to Madison are Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, and Indiana, and we travel to Ohio State, Minnesota, Illinois, and Penn State. That means we miss Northwestern and Purdue, both of which register a big fat "so what" from me. The Badgers seem to do pretty decently in Columbus, so the only thing we change is making Penn State visit Camp Randall. In exchange, we play MSU on the road. That makes things a little more favorable for UW.

Following up on your new realignment, blow up the BCS and devise a national playoff system, money grabs and missed exams be damned. Using your new fantasy conferences is optional.

Well, now that (1) defense wins championships, (2) the Big Ten is the best defensive conference in the land, and (3) it's a big deal when Big Ten games feature more than 13 points between the two teams, the parts of the country with short attention spans will be paying minimal attention to college football when our conference's teams grind away national title games with paralyzing 15-play, 88-yard, 11-minute touchdown drives. (For the curious, these are the short-attention-span parts of the country: the East Coast, any region with PAC-10, ACC, or SEC representation, and Texas.) That will allow us to sneak in a twelve team playoff:

* 6 automatic berths: 1 each for the Big Ten, Big XII, SEC, ACC, Big East, and PAC-10 champions
* 6 at-large berths, no restrictions on who can fill these slots (could be a MAC team, Notre Dame, a Mountain West team, and three major conference teams, or 4 Big Ten teams and 2 SEC teams, or anything else!)

The top four teams in the RPI (details of which are not yet clear to me), regardless of whether they won their conferences, get a bye. Then #5 plays #12, #6 plays #11, #7 plays #10, and #8 plays #9. This will give the top teams a chance to let their students take exams, and after four teams are eliminated, they can take exams immediately, leaving only four schools in the whole country with exam conflicts after one week of the playoffs. SO THERE.

Anyway, then #1 plays the lowest remaining seed, #2 the next, and so forth, and this re-shuffling of seeds continues throughout. Finally, after four weeks, we have an undisputed national champ. Well, undisputed by everyone but team #13. But who cares about #13?

Elect one public figure to replace NCAA president Myles Brand. Anyone with proper name recognition is eligible.

What characteristics does the NCAA president need to have? He needs to be reasonable -- he needs to be the type of guy who realizes that providing a star player's family with a million-dollar house or giving a recruit keys to any Escalade in Columbus is a different offense altogether than buying the O-line pizza when they show up to practicing weighing 245 apiece. He needs to realize that football and men's basketball are different animals than field hockey and gymnastics, and those lame sports need to be de-emphasized. He needs to be so rich that he doesn't care who's making what kind of money. And he needs to be willing to throw himself completely into the job ... and we all know the best way to do that is to have something from which you need to escape.

For those reasons, why not former President Bill Clinton? He's been sick to death of Hillary for nearly a quarter century, he can make six figures by shaking hands for forty-five minutes in Manhattan, and he's so manipulative that nobody'll notice that he wrote Title IX out of existence ... they'll all be captivated by that swarthy Southern drawl.