This is the first autumn Saturday morning that I can remember when I wasn’t going to a football game, or embarking on a day filled with other activities.

It’s a day when I can just hunker down in front of the TV and watch football. And as I wait for the first kickoff on what is a perfect autumn morning, a flood of memories are popping up—of Saturday mornings during football season when I was an undergrad at Wisconsin.

I shared the first floor of an old frame house on Langdon Street with three or four other guys—and who knows how many others would end up on flopping on the couches? It was a big apartment.

We would wake up to the sound of the bells and hollering from an antique fire engine. And yet, there was no emergency. The vehicle was simply picking up the cheerleaders before the Badger game. Yeah, we lived on Fraternity Row, although the only things we had in common with frat boys was beer, and checking out the girls, sorority or not.

There was no tailgating in those days. But there was the front lawn of a friend’s apartment near Camp Randall Stadium, where someone had fired up a pot of Sloppy Joe’s and plenty of good, cheap Wisconsin beer. Leinie’s when it was still Leinie’s. Huber, which was two cases for $5, when it wasn’t on sale. And of course, Walter’s—which had my favorite slogan: “The beer that is beer.’’

You read that right.

Badger games were not big in those days. They just were. In my four years, the Badgers won a machine-like four games every fall. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.