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Documentary - The Complete History of the Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers football
Starring: Tom Wopat, Barry Alvarez, Pat Richter, Joe Panos, Billy Marek
Director: D.P. Carlson
Number of discs: 1
Rating: Not Rated
Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007

Despite it being about an NCAA team there’s surprisingly more depth in the documentary The History of Wisconsin Football compared to other “The Complete History of” previously reviewed. Universities in the United States have been playing football longer than almost any professional team and this documentary takes the time to do it justice.

The difference between a documentary about a college team and a professional team is that NCAA players can only play four years. Just as those players are reaching their NCAA peak they disappear. Where did they go? To the pros? Did they stop playing? The documentary does not address that issue, they just disappear.

The only people who last for more than four years in The History of Wisconsin Football are the coaches and athletic directors.  The feeling in the movie is that they have more to do with the team's history than the players, whereas inverse is true in the professional histories. The main reason this is a plus is because in the end it’s true, and the fact that the athletic directors were highlighted was a nice bonus and worth seeing.

The main complaint and the thing that really hurt my overall enjoyment of the movie was the fact that there simply wasn’t enough Ron Dayne. Dayne is the NCAA’s all time career rushing leader and arguably the team’s best player ever. He was included, just not as much as I was hoping and he was the main reason I decided to watch this film.All in all this was a very well thought out and well executed film, and is worth the watch as long as you’re not hoping to see a lot Ron Dayne and his great runs. As a football fan it’s a nice addition and a must see for a Wisconsin fan who wants the nice nostalgic feelings such as seeing Ron plow over the Ohio State Buckeyes, even if its only once.

James Bernicky

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