Dec. 21, 2010
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin football team still has four more days left in Madison before departing for the Rose Bowl, but preparations for the trip have already been set in motion.
Monday afternoon saw the loading of the team's equipment that will carry an estimated 18,000 pounds of equipment, supplies and luggage to Pasadena, Calif. The truck left around 7 p.m. on Monday night and is scheduled to arrive in Pasadena on the night of Dec. 22.
"It's like we're moving our entire equipment room to California," said Mark Peeler, the team's equipment manager.
He did point out though that it is not going to be that different from a normal road trip, aside from the fact that they just need more of everything. Instead of the usual travel party of 70 players for a Big Ten road trip, the team's entire 113-man roster will be making the trip west.
A normal game sees about 9,000 lbs. of equipment, but truck driver Ken Kangas thinks this trip will be about double that amount.
"There's probably about 400-450 pieces of luggage," Kangas said. "And there's probably about 300-350 pieces of football equipment."
Kangas says he gets about seven-to-seven and a half miles per gallon and will likely have to fill up about three times along the way. It's estimated the trip will take about 34 or 36 hours, though built into that is stops about every three or four hours.
The truck was first loaded with gear from Bucky's Locker Room for the pep rally. That was followed by all the practice gear that's headed to the stadium and then the excess luggage from the travel party that won't accommodate the plane trip.
The team itself departs on Christmas Day around 1 p.m. (CT) and is expected to arrive at the team hotel around 4 p.m. (PT).