Recently in Brian Mason Category

Which teams are Badgers' NFL favorites?

Varsity_130905_Cover_Image.jpgWith the NFL season kicking off Thursday, this week's edition of Varsity magazine posed the question to a number of UW student-athletes: Which NFL team is your favorite?

You can read the responses in Varsity, but here are a couple from members of the UW football team that didn't make the magazine. Also be sure to check out our Badgers in the NFL page for updates on all 30 former UW players that made NFL rosters.

Bart Houston - Redshirt Freshman QB (Dublin, Calif.)
"Even though I'm from California, I'm a Green Bay Packers fan. My dad is a lifelong Packers fan and actually named me after Bryan Bartlett 'Bart' Starr. My full name is Bartlett, but I've always chosen to go by Bart."

Rob Havenstein - Junior RT (Mount Airy, Md.)
"The NFL was never really my thing. My brother really liked the Baltimore Ravens, so I cheered for anyone who was playing the Ravens. Then I came to UW and didn't have anyone to root for, so I started cheering for the Ravens again because they were winning. But don't tell anyone that. I've been telling everyone I'm a lifelong, diehard Ravens fan."

Corey Clement - Freshman RB (Glassboro, N.J.)
"It was the Philadelphia Eagles, but once my man Terrell Owens left I went with the Dallas Cowboys. But then they fell off and T.O. left, and after that my NFL fandom fell off. So, I really don't have a favorite NFL team right now."

Archived Gameday Blog: Football vs. UMass

The UWBadgers.com Gameday Blog had all the coverage of Wisconsin's 45-0 season-opening win over UMass on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Recap the action as it happened here: Gameday Blog: Wisconsin Football vs. UMass

Gary Andersen's day in Bristol for #ESPNB1G

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Wisconsin football head coach Gary Andersen spent Wednesday in Bristol, Conn., spreading the word about the Badgers across a number of ESPN platforms. Re-live the sights and sounds of Andersen's day at the Worldwide Leader in Sports:

Ball's big day named 'Most Dominating Performance' in Big Ten

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- Video: Ball earns 'Most Dominating Performance' award

Montee Ball dominated plenty of defenses in his three seasons as a running back for the Wisconsin football team, but his effort in the Badgers' win at Purdue last season has earned special attention.

The career-high 247 yards and three touchdowns Ball racked up against the Boilermakers earned him the "Most Dominating Performance" award as part of the sixth-annual BTN Awards Show on Wednesday.

Ball's 247 yards were a career high on the ground, and his third touchdown of the day marked the 72nd of his career. That made him the Big Ten's all-time leader in TDs, surpassing Badgers great Ron Dayne's career total of 71 scores. According to NCAA statistics (which did not include bowl games until 2002), Ball became just the third player in FBS history to score 70 or more touchdowns in a career.

The individual effort was part of an overall domination by the Badgers' offense, which gained 645 total yards, the second-highest tally in school history.

Ball finished his Badgers career as the NCAA's all-time leader in touchdowns, with 83, and career record-holder for rushing touchdowns, with 77.

Lihrman's UW debut comes on big stage

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Michael Lihrman's journey to the Badgers has not been a traditional one. But Wisconsin is sure happy to have him.

Lihrman, a junior transfer from Division III UW-Stout, will compete in the weight throw at the 2013 USA Indoor Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. (CT).

The competition, held at the Albuquerque Convention Center, features many of the nation's elite track and field athletes as they compete in the world's oldest indoor track championship.

The event also will mark Lihrman's first official competition wearing the Badgers' uniform, meaning UW's school record is likely in jeopardy.

Lihrman got a late start in track and field, joining the sport his junior year at Rice Lake High School. After being named conference field athlete of the year as a senior, Lihrman enrolled at UW-Stout to compete as a collegiate thrower.

Last season at UW-Stout, Lihrman finished 11th in the weight throw at the 2012 NCAA Division III indoor Championships and finished fourth in the hammer throw at the outdoor championships.

After his sophomore year, however, he transferred to Wisconsin and has been throwing like a Division I athlete ever since.

Although Lihrman is redshirting this season and competes unattached, he has won the weight throw in each of the four meets he has competed in.

The junior had displayed remarkable consistency, winning each meet with marks that would have broken the Badgers school record of 64 feet, 4 1/2 inches if he had been competing in a UW uniform.

Lihrman's best throw came at the Red & White Open on Feb. 15, when he threw a personal-best and Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center (The Shell) facility-record toss of 70 feet, 10 3/4 inches.

Despite the victories and record heaves, Lihrman is comfortable redshirting his first season at Wisconsin.

"It actually hasn't been that different because I pretty much competed with the team the entire year," Lihrman said. "I know next year, and the year after that, I will have even bigger opportunities."

Lihrman is thrilled about the chance to compete at a prestigious event like the USA indoor championships during a redshirt year.

"I actually had no idea that I could do that," he said. "I wasn't really sure what the boundaries are for a redshirt so I'm extremely excited."

Not only will Lihrman get to compete against some of the country's premier athletes, he will also get a feel for the facility that will host the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. But the junior is taking things one step at a time.

"There will be some pretty big competitors there," Lihrman said. "My expectations are to just have fun."

2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships - Day 2 Updates

Follow along for regular updates throughout the final day of competition at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships, live from the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Brian Mason of UW Athletic Communications will offer updates during both days of competition while also taking your comments and questions.



- Men's Preview  |  Women's Preview  |  Live Results

Big Ten Indoor Track & Field - Day 1 Updates

Follow along for regular updates throughout the first day of competition at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships, live from the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Brian Mason of UW Athletic Communications will offer updates during both days of competition while also taking your comments and questions.



- Men's Preview  |  Women's Preview  |  Live Results

Path to Pasadena: Episode 4

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The fourth episode of "Path to Pasadena" takes you along for the Badgers' final run-up to the 99th Rose Bowl Game, from practice to the Lawry's Beef Bowl to their pep rally at LA Live.

Rallying the troops

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Photo Gallery: LA Live Pep Rally

The Badgers put in their penultimate practice for the Rose Bowl on Sunday, but not before being energized by thousands of fans who have descended on Los Angeles for the game.

Prior to heading back to The Home Depot Center for drills, the team made an appearance at LA Live for a special Rose Bowl Pep Rally. Around 3,000 UW fans showed up for the event, which included a performance from the UW Marching Band and remarks from special guests like UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward and Badgers legend Ron Dayne.

The biggest cheer, however, came when the team emerged from the Staples Center onto a balcony overlooking the plaza at LA Live, tossing T-shirts and autographed footballs into the crowd. Following some words from interim head coach Barry Alvarez, defensive captains Chris Borland, Shelton Johnson and Mike Taylor spoke to the fans, as did Travis Frederick, Curt Phillips, and finally, Montee Ball.

For Alvarez, the event followed one last media availability leading up to game day, a morning press conference for both head coaches at the Rose Bowl media hotel in downtown L.A.

Monday's schedule has the Badgers heading to Pasadena to take a team photo outside the Rose Bowl, followed by one final practice session and a screening of the movie "Jack Reacher."

Taking time to give back

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Photo Gallery: Media Day & AbilityFirst Visit

A rainy morning in Los Angeles made it an easy decision for the Wisconsin coaching staff to call of practice for the day, but the inclement weather brought with it a silver lining.

The Badgers called an audible and held a walk-through at the team hotel instead of busing to The Home Depot Center for what was scheduled to be a quick 12-period practice. Interim head coach Barry Alvarez told the team that the staff's focus for Saturday was aimed at mental preparation anyway, so the hotel walk-through fit in well with the schedule.

After the offensive and defensive units finished their walk-throughs in adjacent ballrooms at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the Badgers had the opportunity to host guests from AbilityFirst, an L.A.-area charity aimed at "expanding possibilities" for children and adults with special needs.

The group had originally planned to join the team on the practice field, but the change in venue brought an opportunity for the Badgers to bring their guests into the players' game room and lounge at the hotel.

No one from either side was complaining when a pool table, ping pong and video games were thrown into the mix, as evidenced by junior LB Chris Borland's tweet:

The Badgers' walk-through and time with the guests from AbilityFirst came after the entire squad bused to The L.A. Hotel Downtown for the Rose Bowl's annual media day. Players and coaches spent 30 minutes being interviewed, including some who took time to join an onsite crew from BTN captained by Rick Pizzo, Glen Mason and fromer Badger Brandon Williams.

ON WISCONSIN