It’s the dog days of early September, and your Notre Dame friends are giving you grief for playing a junior varsity team Week 1.
Hey! Western Kentucky is a decent team that is coming off three straight bowl games!
Somehow, that didn’t help too much.
Here we are again—Wisconsin is a 34ish-point favorite against the New Mexico Lobos. So I am here to give you some of the advice I’ve learned from the Boomers who sit behind me at Camp Randall Stadium about how to be a fan when the Badgers are huge favorites. I’m also taking some inspiration from social media and friends. I’ve taken these to heart, and you should too.
Follow these steps to have a successful Saturday morning. Some are specific to those who will be in attendance on Saturday, but you can adapt them to when you’re moderately comfortably sitting on that “new” 11-year-old sofa sectional you got off of Craigslist. It doesn’t matter that it smells like dead cats and has a stain that the sellers claimed to be from a heating pad; it was originally $823,000 and you got it for $350. What a steal!
- Make sure you arrive late to your seats and complain about the student section being late. This is a tradition that’s half as old as Jump Around, and it’s near and dear to my heart. Make sure you’re slurring your sentences, too, even if you’ve only had half a wine cooler.
- Make at least six references to how you are a better play-caller than Paul Chryst. You need to combine this with a reference to your play-calling in NCAA ‘14 or coaching middle school flag football.
- For every good play, say something like, “It won’t be that easy against Ohio State!” Pro tip: Ohio State can be substituted for Alabama. Bonus points if you substitute in Purdue or Minnesota. You win if you substitute in Rutger.
- Say at least 10 times, “You can’t expect to win against Ohio State if you play like that.” This has to be done for every incomplete pass by Alex Hornibrook, every run of less than three yards, and every time the defense gives up a first down. Like the previous rule, substitute in other teams at your own discretion.
- If Hornibrook throws an interception, or if Wisconsin gives up a touchdown, you have to get unnaturally mad. Don’t hurt anybody, but it should make me think that your best friend just betrayed you.
- If Wisconsin doesn’t cover the spread, make a comment about how this team isn’t that good. Talk about how being ranked in the top 10 early in the season is a bad thing.
- If Wisconsin does cover the spread, downplay it. Your lamentation needs to include something about how New Mexico is overrated and Wisconsin isn’t even that good.
- Get really, really excited when Rafael Gaglianone kicks while also being mad that they had to settle for a field goal.
- Get the game notes from UWBadgers.com. Scroll down to page 15 to view the pronunciation guide. Intentionally ignore the guide whenever possible. Double points for mispronouncing a name that is not on the pronunciation guide.
- Be upset that Chryst isn’t starting a player who graduated last year. Tweet your frustration at your favorite sportswriter.
- Get way too excited when Jack Coan completes a seven-yard pass with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Post your excitement on social media; make sure you demand he starts against BYU.
- Speaking of BYU, complain about playing them next week! Also complain about the whole home schedule.
- Make sure you scoreboard-watch, HARD. If Alabama wins by 50, be upset that Wisconsin didn’t. Find one team that beat their opponent worse than Wisconsin, and complain that we aren’t as good as them.
- Pay no attention if Jonathan Taylor fumbles. Quietly say, “He’s got to fix that.” Anything that you have a legitimate concern about needs to be said quietly in fear.
- If the game is close for more than 15 minutes, you have to say the word, “unbelievable.” Accelerate the frequency as long as New Mexico is within 10 points. You should set a PR for times you’ve said “unbelievable” per minute if it’s close in the fourth quarter. Feel free to modify as you must, but please protect the ears of the children.
- You have to say something absolutely insane. You only get bonus points for this if everyone in earshot drops their jaw, and you have to be absolutely serious. Examples might include, but are not limited to: “They need to fire Jim Leonhard,” “The offensive line is the worst in the Big Ten,” or “I could have caught that!”
Now that my civic duty is complete, you have all the necessary tools to successfully cheer Bucky to a 30ish-point victory. Good luck out there!