Sept. 1, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department, in conjunction with Oscar Mayer, is pleased to announce Russ Zarling of Waukesha, Wis., as today’s Wisconsin Football Season Ticket Holder of the Game.
Badger games for Russ have always been about family, creating a great memory, and being able to come together to celebrate one common goal, cheering on the Badgers. Celebrating his 44th year of owning season tickets, Russ attends games with his wife and three children, all UW graduates.
Giving his family and friends the Badger experience has always been a priority for Russ. When the Badgers secured their first Rose Bowl bid in more than 30 years in 1994, Russ unselfishly secured and gave away his Rose Bowl tickets to his niece, a UW student at the time. Finally, in 2011, Russ made the trip out to Pasadena himself to cheer on his beloved Badgers.
Russ’s favorite tradition begins well before kickoff with his famous Badger tailgates. His typical pregame involves meticulously planning an extensive menu days, even weeks, prior to game day, everything from main courses, to sauces, condiments and Badger décor.
A significant part for Russ also includes the process of packing his “Badger Tahoe” with not a cubic inch of wasted space, bringing with him among other things, a sound system, that week’s playlist, tailgating equipment, and his own Badger bobble-heads. On game day, Russ plays host to his family as well as a dozen fellow alum fraternity brothers every Saturday during the season. According to anyone who has attended, Russ has mastered and perfected the art of tailgating, including his five star Badger chili, Badger beef sandwiches, Badger sloppy Joes, and much more. This tradition has been building every year since he set foot on the UW campus and attended his first UW football game as a freshman in 1968.
The walk to the stadium builds excitement as an undeniable rush fills the Zarling family as they hear the band inside the stadium. The introduction of the team to the best college fight song and the playing of Varsity are two of Russ’s favorite experiences on game day. His heart beats to the drum of “On, Wisconsin” and truly bleeds Badger red.
As part of being named the Season Ticket Holder of the Game, Russ will receive a reserved parking space and tailgate spread courtesy of Oscar Mayer. In addition he will be recognized on the field during today’s game vs. Northern Iowa.
The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department is pleased to join Oscar Mayer in saluting Russ Zarling as this week’s Season Ticket Holder of the Game.