The view from the Camp Randall luxury suite is spectacular, but removed from the much-trumpeted Badger game atmosphere. One of my fellow guests gazes out the window and says, "It's like watching a really sweet high-def TV."
That aptly sums up the luxury suite experience. The barbecued rib meat falls off the bone; the succulent shrimp is wrapped in savory bacon, and the jumbo refrigerator is stocked with cold beer (prohibited elsewhere in the stadium). And the suite's windows open and close with the touch of a button. "I like to hear the band," notes our host as she demonstrates how they work.
You're at the game, but you're not of the game. If attending a sporting event is about participating in a shared experience, ensconcing yourself in a suite means not having to share. The suite makes you separate, and not necessarily equal.
Our hosts are business associates of a friend, so my little group is sharing the 20-seat suite with strangers, including some guys so blotto they're no longer able to communicate in English. Others are casual fans, who seem uncomfortable when someone cheers a first down or defensive stop.
As the third quarter ends and "Jump Around" moves the fans below us to, you know, jump around, I take a few pictures and then turn to my friends to snap a shot. They're seated, pumping their arms in a "raise the roof" gesture.
"That's not jumping!" I scold. "It'll look like jumping in the picture!" they reply.