Big Ten: Bishop O\'Connor Center
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin guard Kraig Urbik and defensive tackle Jason Chapman have faced each other in practice for years, but it wasn't until last Tuesday that the fifth-year seniors bonded over some country fried ... home videos?
"It's a bunch of idiots with their home videos," Urbik said of the show on Country Music Television. "It's pretty funny."
As part of an effort to foster better team unity this season, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema is having players spend the first three Tuesday nights of training camp in an off-campus hotel. Each player is assigned a roommate who he faces in practice, so offensive players bunk with their defensive counterparts. Every roommate pair is instructed to learn new things about one another.
Urbik learned Chapman was big on CMT, especially "Country Fried Home Videos."
"He was pretty eager to watch it," Urbik said. "I didn't mind."
"Is he placing it on me?" a smiling Chapman asked. "I mean, I watch it for entertainment. If he wants to put it on me, it's on me."
Before moving preseason practice to Camp Randall Stadium in 2005, the Badgers trained at the Bishop O'Connor Center on Madison's west side. Players roomed together rather than heading to their respective apartments after practice.
Bielema hopes the Tuesday night offsites restore the type of bonding the team used to have at the O'Connor Center.
"It was a great experience for us to interact," Chapman said. "We only interact on the field, but Kraig's a great guy. He's very easy to talk with. We both watched each other grow as we came here. Same freshman class and improved in our weaknesses and got better. Last Tuesday was good for both of us."
Senior linebacker DeAndre Levy roomed with Dex Jones, a freshman running back from the Chicago suburbs.
"It's cool to learn something about a guy, especially a freshman, show him in the ins and outs," Levy said. "He's a young buck still."
Last Tuesday players met at the hotel after practice, discussed the coaches' expectations and watched a video. This week, each player will have a new roommate.
"It's good to get away from football for a little bit," Urbik said.