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Henson: Rose Bowl tradition unlike any other

first_imgMax HensonFour years ago, I didn’t know much about Wisconsin football.As an out-of-state kid coming to UW with an obsession for all things sports, I wanted to change that. But if I knew one thing about Big Ten football it was the significance of the Rose Bowl.You’ll notice an addition has been made to my mug photo this week. The image you see is a drawing I made during my freshman year (I used to be a bit of an artist). UW came into that 2007 season with Big Ten title hopes and a No.7 preseason ranking. So, caught up in all the excitement, I designed an image representing what every Big Ten fan one day hopes to see: Their team playing in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin ended playing in the Outback Bowl in ’07 to finish a 9-4 season.I was young(er) and na?ve but the Rose Bowl is what everyone associated with Big Ten football aspires to.Before ever stepping foot in Camp Randall Stadium, it’s clearly understood that the goal is to get to Pasadena.Those framed pictures of Ron Dayne celebrating Rose Bowl victories are hanging in numerous establishments around Madison for a reason. The intro video played at Camp Randall this season shows former players smiling with roses between their teeth for a reason. Everyone across the country knows about the Rose Bowl’s prestige and tradition. It’s what makes “The Granddaddy of them all” so special and ever since Jan. 1, 2000, UW has worked to get back to Pasadena.Now, after last night’s BCS selection show, it’s official: The Wisconsin Badgers are going back to the Rose Bowl.The die-hards out there have been waiting 11 years for this moment. And the less-experienced Badger fans are just as excited because everyone understands the magnitude of this rare opportunity.After a Big Ten championship season, the 2010 Badgers now have the chance to cap off the season with a win on one of sports’ greatest stages.And at the football awards show this past Friday, Barry Alvarez, the man with three Rose Bowl victories to his name as former coach of UW, made sure Bret Bielema’s Badgers and the fans in attendance understood how extraordinary that opportunity is.Because while all BCS bowls are great, the Rose Bowl is just on a different level.“You’re going to go to Pasadena and when you’re there take everything in. Absorb every second of it,” Alvarez said. “There is nothing like it. Just think of all the players that have ever played this game. Very few have the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl.”Joe Thomas, Brian Calhoun, Lee Evans – all Badger greats who never stepped foot on the Rose Bowl grass.And Alvarez will be the first to tell you just how majestic that sacred field is.“There is no venue in sport prettier than taking the field at the Rose Bowl. You come out of that tunnel and you’re looking at the scoreboard and three palm trees. The field is painted up prettier than you’ve ever seen,” Alvarez said.“It’s the prettiest venue you’ve ever seen in you’re life.”Alvarez’s words hit home with senior guard John Moffitt.“He got me really excited about it,” Moffitt said. “That’s the game. That’s the venue that I’ve always wanted to play on. The Rose Bowl means a lot and it’s a great opportunity.”But after all the excitement about the Rose Bowl’s unequaled environment dies down, a very important football game will be played.The Badgers have grown into a team capable of playing with anyone in the country. They’ll square off with No. 3 Texas Christian University – a team that hasn’t lost a game in two years – for the title of Rose Bowl Champion.With that, Alvarez had a final message for the players.“Now there is one other thing – playing in the Rose Bowl is not good enough,” he said. “Win that Rose Bowl and then we’ll really celebrate.”Like every other week this season, Bielema’s Badgers will take that famed “1-0” mentality to Southern California.Wisconsin has matured into a disciplined, focused machine, and the Badgers will be ready on New Year’s Day to compete at the highest level in search of their 12th win of the season. The preparation and mindset won’t change.But on this journey to Pasadena we’ve witnessed some transformations, myself included.Much like this very columnist, senior tight end Lance Kendricks used to be a bit of an artist and Kendricks even competed in national art shows during high school.But in his final collegiate game, Kendricks will display the violent art form that is the UW tight end position. Like all of us, Kendricks has changed quite a bit throughout his college career.“Lance Kendricks was a drawer, an artist and now he’s a killer tight end,” Jay Valai said with a laugh at the awards show.Four years ago I was a freshman with high hopes and a cool drawing, a kid who couldn’t yet appreciate the work that goes into earning a trip to Pasadena. But now with over a decade gone since UW’s last appearance, Badger nation isn’t just creating another Rose Bowl fantasy.We’re all living it.Max is a senior majoring in journalism. What’s your reaction to the official announcement that Wisconsin is going back to the Rose Bowl? Let him know at [email protected] or tweet @maxhenson.last_img read more

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FH : Syracuse finishes strong offensively to sweep weekend pair

first_img Published on September 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Syracuse and Princeton went scoreless for the first 54 minutes of play Sunday despite plenty of chances.Heather Susek’s diving tip-in attempt in the 40th minute saw her stick fall inches short of the ball as it rolled to the left of the goal. Amy Kee actually put one in the back of the net in the 54th minute, but the goal was called back because it was too high.But once Martina Loncarica buried a penalty stroke in the 55th minute, the floodgates opened. SU reeled off five goals in the last 15-plus minutes.‘It was hard for us to get that first goal, but once we got the first goal we got the game rolling,’ Susek said.And roll Syracuse did to the tune of a 5-0 victory over the Tigers (2-4, 0-1 Ivy League). For SU, it was the second win of the weekend. The Orange (5-2, 1-0 Big East) defeated Rutgers (1-6, 0-1 Big East) 5-1 on Friday, closing the game in a similar fashion. SU scored three second-half goals and two in the last seven minutes against the Scarlet Knights to open Big East play.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange did score two first-half goals against Rutgers. But things opened up against the Scarlet Knights in the second half on Friday in the same way they did Sunday against Princeton.Standing by the back post of the goal three minutes into the second half, Susek hovered behind a Rutgers defender, waiting for her chance. When a ball deflected to her, she seized the opportunity, knocking it in to give the Orange a 3-1 lead.‘You always want to go for the ball,’ Susek said after Friday’s game. ‘It just so happened that it hit off the girl’s foot, and I was right there for the rebound.’Freshman midfielder Jordan Page and senior midfielder Liz McInerney finished off the scoring for the Orange, outscoring the Scarlet Knights 3-1 in the second half.Loncarica, who broke SU’s all-time points record in that game, emphasized the importance of SU’s strong finish against Rutgers.‘We started off really well then went down a little bit by the end of the first half,’ Loncarica said.’ And then the second half we dominated. Obviously, we scored three very nice goals in the second half. ‘But the Orange was unable to carry that scoring barrage into the start of the Princeton game. Instead, SU used the first 35 minutes to break down the defense and further tire out a Tigers team that had lost a hard-fought game to Dartmouth a day earlier.Syracuse attacked Princeton from different angles in hopes of finding weak points to eventually exploit, head coach Ange Bradley said.‘We’re just moving the ball and changing the angles,’ Bradley said. ‘When you change the angles, you make the defense move. And ultimately it opens up a hole.’And although they were unable to score in the first half, the Orange was able to use what it learned to come out of halftime firing.SU scored five second-half goals — two more than Syracuse wanted to score coming out of the locker room, Kee said.After Loncarica ‘broke the ice,’ as Bradley put it, SU struck often, scoring three times in the next 10 minutes.Then, with 44 seconds left in regulation, freshman forward Lauren Brooks closed the game with one last goal. Brooks’ score was the first of her career and arguably the most impressive tally of the weekend.She was standing in the middle of the shooting circle when sophomore back Laura Hahnefeldt fired a ground ball toward her. Lowering her stick to the ground, Brooks redirected the ball and sent it sailing into the back of the net.‘It was an awesome deflection and like a world-class goal,’ Bradley said. ‘We always tease her that she never dives and today she dove. It was great, really fun to see.’In total, the Orange recorded eight of its 10 goals this weekend in the second half and seven of those eight in the 55th minute or later. This weekend’s success has left the Orange with an improved sense of confidence, Kee said.‘Emotionally, from the standpoint of beating Princeton like that, the team’s going to be on a real high from now on,’ Kee [email protected]last_img read more

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Premier Under 21 side named for Limerick clash

first_imgTipperary get their Munster Under 21 hurling championship campaign underway tomorrow evening.William Maher’s side travel to the Gaelic Grounds to take on Limerick – a place against Clare in the provincial semi-final awaits the winner.Andrew Coffey of Nenagh Éire Óg will captain the side. Goalkeeper Brian Hogan and midfielder Billy McCarthy have both been part of Michael Ryan’s senior panel.The team in full is:Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha)Paul Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Emmett Moloney (Drom & Inch), Kevin Hassett (Drom & Inch),Robert Byrne (Portroe), Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Enda Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore),Billy McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields), Ger Browne (Knockavilla Kickhams),Andrew Coffey (Nenagh Éire Óg, captain), Stephen Quirke (Moyle Rovers), Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash),Lyndon Fairbrother (JK Bracken’s), David Gleeson (Ballinahinch) & Willie Connors (Kiladangan).The Premier last claimed the provincial under-21 hurling title in 2010 and they’ll be hoping to take a step closer to claiming another tomorrow evening.Former Tipp Under 21 manager and Chairman of Cashel King Cormacs TJ Connolly says the winner-takes-all contest will be a tough one.Throw-in is at 7.30 and the game will be broadcast live here on Tipp FM.last_img read more

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