Badger faithful descend on southern California
Numbers, not excitement, down
The song says that "It Never Rains in Southern California."
The song proved false on Saturday.
But the wet weather didn't dampen the spirits of Badger fans who landed in Los Angeles over the weekend ready to cheer on their team in Tuesday's Rose Bowl.
Approximately 600 members of Badger Nation invaded the City of Angels on Saturday.
Their excitement shook the earth and parted the skies, as the rain stopped falling just as one of the first charter buses pulled up to the hotel were they were staying.
Inside the Hyatt Regency, the burgeoning line of Badger fans shone brighter than the sun with an energy that was white hot.
Some have been before, others, like Madison flower shop owners Mia and George, are making their first pilgrimage to "The Granddaddy of Them All."
"We're doing the rose parade, we're doing everything," they exclaimed.
The couple is counting on Barry Alvarez to lead the team to an upset victory over the higher-ranked Stanford Cardinal.
"He's going to be stimulating for the team and it's going to make a big difference and he's going to be the glue and inspiration," they confidently declared.
Meanwhile, Ricky and Ted are Richfield natives whose loyalties lie deep with Wisconsin.
"We just wanted to see Montee Ball play his last game, and Barry Alvarez," they said.
A bizarre season full of ups and downs didn't keep Vicki Mogil from making the trip.
And she shares a sentiment felt by so many of others who bleed Badger red.
"The game itself, I don't think, it'll ever be a different feeling," said Mogil. "It's a great game and it's a wonderful opportunity. My mom is right: You have to go to the Rose Bowl."
The UW Alumni Association says that the number of fans who flew to Los Angeles for the game is down from years past.
But for the ones who made the trip, their excitement level hasn't wavered a bit.
Potential good news for Wisconsin: The Badgers won Friday night's Lawry's Beef Bowl.
The team put down 619 pounds of beef, compared to Stanford's 602 pounds.
And that's not including the mashed potatoes, corn, and salad that the staff at Lawry's restaurant also served.
Statistics show that 70 percent of the time the Beef Bowl winner goes on to win the Rose Bowl.
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