UW Health Sports Medicine 

The Voice: Reaction reveals Badgers' true character

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Before I started writing this column, I thought maybe I should move on to another topic. The old line "The horse is dead. Get off of it," comes to mind.

Then again, as an observer I have a luxury that a coach or a player does not have -- I can hang on to a topic a bit longer.

In the aftermath of last Saturday's baffling ending in Tempe, it has been amazing to see how UW head coach Gary Andersen and his players have dealt with it. Of course fans are upset. I was ticked off. Still am. 

Yet try to imagine how they feel. The players and coaches who worked all week, and all night, at Sun Devil Stadium only to have a bungled piece of officiating deny them a chance to win the game fair and square.

Leaving the stadium that night, one could not help but be impressed by how the head coach and the players handled the media session.

I was thinking about that, and about how the officiating crew simply ran off the field, with no worries about facing questions from reporters.

What is wrong with that picture?

Look, when talking about officials, a team's radio announcer is walking a tight rope. We are all homers, right? So I'll stop there and focus on other matters.

Such as the postgame interviews. On our radio broadcast, we always interview the head coach and when possible, a player. Last Saturday night we did our usual interview with Andersen, which included a few questions about the final play. He answered the questions on point, and was a complete professional.

After thanking him, I stalled for a few moments, not sure whether we would be able to talk to a player. I then went into a rather lengthy commercial break. Just as I went into the break, our sideline reporter, Patrick Herb, informed me that Chris Borland would be available. I told Patrick to relay the message that the break would last a few minutes, and with the team wanting to get home, we would understand if Chris just wanted to move on.

Nope. Borland waited out the long break, and we had our interview. 

It may be a minor thing, but to me it is just another example of what Chris Borland is about, and what this program is about. Credibility and accountability.

Every Monday, Andersen meets with the media. As you would expect, this week's session was very well attended, and everyone was eager to hear more from the coach regarding Saturday's bizarre ending.

Perhaps he was still steaming on the inside, but on the outside, he was cool, calm and collected. He made it clear that, while the outcome of the game will not change, he wants accountability. Just as he expects from himself and his players.

As he was answering question after question, I just kept thinking to myself "This guy is good."

By the nature of our jobs, Gary Andersen and I spend a fair amount of time together. We conduct various radio interviews as well as a couple of segments on his weekly TV show. Still, I can't say we really know each other that well yet. 

However, with each passing day, I am more and more convinced the Badgers football program is not in good hands. It is in great hands.

So to the fans, go ahead and be upset about how the game ended. But I would hope you are proud of how your team, led by its coach, responded after a game ended by circumstances beyond its control.

Matt Lepay is the Voice of fhe Badgers and provides play-by-play coverage of Wisconsin football and men's basketball on the Badger Sports Network. Read "The Voice" each Thursday in Varsity, the official digital magazine of Wisconsin Athletics.
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