first_imgWhen the University of Wisconsin football team heads to Iowa City on Saturday to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten finale, the team will face an unusual and unique challenge: The team will have to fight off pacifism.Now, in case you’re wondering why UW would possibly be passive about playing a team that has made a living off of spoiling Badger seasons recently — dashing a Rose Bowl bid in 2004 and souring Barry Alvarez’s final home game last year — it is because not one member of the 2005 team has ever beaten Iowa.So why will they need to fight the urge to go out and pay more attention to the turf artwork than the action on the turf? Because they are going to have to prepare themselves in the infamous pink visitor’s locker room at Kinnick Stadium.Regardless of the official stance of Iowa, this is obviously a tactic aimed to give the Hawkeyes some sort of benefit on the field, making it even tougher than it already is to play at Kinnick.But why stop there? Why not even go to further lengths to ensure the strongest home-field advantage possible? With that in mind, here are some of the other techniques to help create the ultimate home field.Wet paintHaving a pink locker room might be calming, but if the locker room were freshly painted, it would be nauseating. What team would be ready to play after having to dress in a room with more fumes than a Port-o-Potty just vacated by Mo Vaughn?If you wanted to take it a step further, you could even add some paint thinner to the paint. That way, it will not only become a brain-cell cocktail, but also won’t dry, leaving open the possibility for some very messy uniforms.Crowd controlIt’s a given fact that a crowd can have a positive effect as to the outcome of a game (and occasionally a negative one, if Philly fans are throwing batteries at their own team again), and manipulating the crowd is an art that should be focused on.A strong, emotional pre-game montage can make the difference between a fast start and a lackadaisical opening to a game for a team. Having game time be at 7 p.m. and not 11 a.m. is a start.Also, playing the right songs at the right time can be beneficial. The UW game-day staff finally got it right this weekend by playing the true “We Will Rock You” following “Jump Around,” instead of the fake MIDI file-thingy. The result was a full student section alerting Penn State that they were about to be rocked, in unison. Very cool. In Wisconsin’s case, all songs that the students know and sing should purposefully be cut off early so the student version can be heard loud and clear.The Name GameIf you want to get under the skin of an opposing team — and get their heads out of the game — there is no better way of doing so than to have the public address announcer purposefully get the name over every single opposing player wrong. We are talking about being as accurate as a Rex Grossman pass.Even the levelheaded John Stocco would have to get flustered after being referred to as “Johnny Stucco.” P.J. Hill would not appreciate being called O.J. and I doubt Luke Swan would approve of being called Lynn all night long — or all day long, in the case of UW which just scheduled its 10 millionth brutal 11 a.m. start.Ant farmFire ants are not the most popular creatures on the planet. Planting several anthills on the opponents sideline would very likely be distracting to an opponent, especially if they literally had ants in their pants. Coaches would be forced to stand away from the sideline, causing faulty play-calling.Subs would be too busy washing themselves down with medicated ointment and looking for Band-Aids to worry about such a little thing as, I don’t know, getting in the game. Or even worse, the players could all try and get onto the field, which is ant-free, resulting in countless too-many-men-on-the-field penalties.Giveaway DayIf you want to make life miserable for the opposition, you need to properly equip the fans that are closest to them. Fun, free giveaways for the sections that are directly behind the opposing team’s bench would be a fantastic way to make sure the opposing team is constantly on its toes, plus there are plenty of options as to what to give out.Super Soakers would be ideal and could even be beneficial toward the players if they needed to wash off some ants.Another option would be to hand out leftovers from the morning’s farmers’ market. I don’t know how difficult it is to throw a kohlrabi, but I do know tomatoes can really stain a uniform well. Handing out megaphones would be fun too, just to help the fans root their team on louder and prouder than ever and ensuring that all verbal barbs thrown the way of the opponent would be heard loud and clear, like a Bob Knight mandate.All of these measures would help to create the ultimate home field advantage, would put Iowa’s pink locker room to shame and could help create the perfect atmosphere for game day … that is, for the home team.Dave McGrath is a senior majoring in English and journalism. If you have any other reasonable options as to how to create a more perfect home field advantage, write him at [email protected]last_img read more