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Douglas S. Looney
September 05, 1988
Spend a week with Wisconsin lineman Don Davey and you'll understand what it means to be a true scholar-athlete
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September 05, 1988

Gee, It's Great To Be A Badger!

Spend a week with Wisconsin lineman Don Davey and you'll understand what it means to be a true scholar-athlete

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Sniffs Manner, "Typical engineer."

Davey says nothing; he seldom does. He's there to learn. But thoughts of Saturday's game are now beginning to intrude.

Soon he is back at the stadium, looking at more films. Engle is talking and praising another defensive lineman: "There, that's the angle, 60 percent. Wait, what is it? I don't know. Don Davey, figure out that angle."

Says Davey quietly, "75 degrees."

Says Engle, "O.K." There's a light practice, and afterward. Coach Morton is encouraging his players, who are feeling much better about themselves than they were Sunday: "We want everyone to just line up and compete. This could be a great day for the Red."

On this evening a light snow is falling as Davey goes out for pizza with his girlfriend, Kristen Kohls. They order a Pizza Supreme. Kristen allows as how she likes his baseball cap, and better backward than frontward: "It's cute." Davey laughs about being named Wisconsin's defensive player of the game after a 49-0 shellacking of the Badgers by Michigan early in the season. (He was similarly honored after the Illionis and Purdue games, as well.) He properly considers it a dubious honor. These are tough times for Davey; he played on a high school team that won all 24 of its games and two state championships during his junior and senior years. Says Kristen, "Don does everything until he gets it perfect." The two walk, hand in hand, along State Street in downtown Madison. Nice evening. It's great to be a Badger.

Later, Davey climbs wearily up into his bunk and says to Basten, "It kind of sucks that the season is over. But wouldn't it be great to beat Michigan State?" It is 12:43 a.m.


The windchill is—13° as Davey walks to his materials science class. The football player is overtaking the student today. Says Davey, "It's hard to concentrate on Fridays before a game. So you just go, take notes, do the best you can." Lecturer Samuel writes on the board, "Any interactions which impede dislocation motion increase the stress level required to cause further deformation." Predictably, Davey is interested. Suddenly, Lorenzo White is again on the back burner. On to statics.

Here a particularly exuberant Al-Abdulla gets quite worked up over force analysis involving friction and, in particular, the concept of impending motion. The chalk dust is flying, and Davey's mechanical pencil is smoking. Davey clearly is involved. Who the hell is Lorenzo White?

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