The Camp Randall 100 honors a prestigious group of 100 people who shaped the first century of Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin Athletics will reveal a new honoree every day from May 24 until the Badgers’ 2017 opening game on Sept. 1 against Utah State.
“And at this point there are just hundreds of people in the stands who know what’s going to happen, and there’s no turning back at this point, if I was even considering turning back.”
– Tim Condon, aka the Dayne Game Streaker, on his final moments before stepping on the field for his infamous run
Badgers fans will never forget the day that Wisconsin’s star running back Ron Dayne set major college football’s career rushing record against Iowa in 1999.
On a perfect fall day for football at Camp Randall Stadium, an electrifying excitement rippled through the crowd packing the stands awaiting one of the great events in Badgers history that was about to happen.
As Dayne stormed into the record books and thousands waved their “33” towels in appreciation, fans and players alike noticed someone new stepping on to the field.
Return to November 13, 1999, with this excerpt from Justin Doherty’s The Dayne Game (published in 2009 by KCI Sports):
In the huddle, the Badger players, too, realized there was still more than half a game left to play.
“When Ron broke that record, the place just erupted,” said Casey Rabach. “I remember standing in the huddle looking at the other linemen and it was just kind of a relief for Ron to get that record. It was done and over with and now it was ‘let’s go finish and win this game.’”
There was just one problem with Rabach’s plan.
“I remember getting really excited about [the record run] and the game stopped for a couple minutes,” Nick Davis said. “Then we got back into the huddle and Brooks (Bollinger) kind of brought everybody back together and was talking about what we needed to do and Chris McIntosh said ‘We’ve got a game to play now.’ I remember breaking the huddle and Chris (Chambers) and I were going to the wide side of the field and all of a sudden the naked guy runs like three feet in front of me. I didn’t even see him and I turned around and there’s a naked guy running down the field. I remember looking at Chris Chambers and laughing and him just shaking his head and laughing.”
Thousands who were at that game remember the infamous streaker, who ran the length of the field from north to south right after Dayne’s run that broke Ricky Williams’ record.
Tim Condon was a sophomore at UW-Madison in the fall of 1999. A native of Sullivan, Wisconsin, he had begun his college career intent on studying engineering, but soon became more interested in communications-related work and, in fact, began working for Wisconsin Public Television. Condon lived with several friends in a house on Main Street. One night, as he and his friends discussed their plans for the coming school year, the subject of Dayne’s run at Williams’ record arose.
“And that’s when I came up with the idea,” Condon said. “If he’s going to do this, someone needs to do something for this game. I might as well streak across the field! And that was the end of it – it was a mere mention, we didn’t really talk about it. My friends all laughed and said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s great! If anyone’s going to do it, you should do it!’”
One of Condon’s roommates had “dressed up” as a streaker for Halloween that fall, so Condon had a trench coat if he needed one. He woke up on the morning of the Wisconsin-Iowa game and went to lunch with one of his roommates, who reminded him of his idea about running naked across the field at Camp Randall.
“I had remembered I said that, but until that day, several hours before the game, I didn’t put any thought into it,” Condon said. “We pretty much shook hands at the end of that meal – he was going to work that day at a restaurant – and he said, ‘When I leave work today, I want to know you’ve done this.’ And so then it was me just by myself walking down State Street and I’m saying, ‘Am I really going to do this?’
“Well of course, me, I call my mom just to let her know there’s a potential I might be getting into trouble and I might need to get bailed out of jail. Being the great parent that she was and still is, she just laughed. I’d been in trouble in high school – nothing serious, but pulled a lot of pranks. Anyway, she said ‘Make sure you’re not drinking because you don’t want to get a drinking ticket out of it.’ And I knew that if I was to be drinking that day, that was how the story was going to go: ‘drunk kid gets in trouble for running across the football field naked.’ I just didn’t want to add that extra trouble; I knew I was going to get in trouble anyway. All she said was don’t get in trouble for drinking; don’t get kicked out of school, and, in her words, don’t damage your manhood, if you know what I mean. My original idea was to run around on the field, do a U-turn and just jump back into the stands and be hidden underneath my trench coat. Why I thought I was going to be able to accomplish that, I don’t know.”
Condon eventually headed to a pre-game party where he began telling others what he was planning to do at the game and why he was not drinking. He was sitting in Section M in the north end of the stadium, wearing nothing but a pair of mesh shorts under the trench coat, as Dayne neared the record on the second-quarter drive that ended with Bollinger’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Chris Chambers. Condon had actually made his way down to the field level and was ready to go when Bollinger and Chambers connected. Some of the students around him knew what he was going to do.
“A few of them knew,” Condon said. “But I was already standing by the field and ready to go during that drive and, after the drive was over, I was like, ‘Okay, I can’t just continue to stand here, I have to go back up to my seat.’ So I go back up to my seat, and those who didn’t know what I was doing started asking question. ‘Hey, guy in the trench coat, what are you doing?’ Actually it really got weird when I had these mesh shorts on underneath, and I knew that my original intention was just to take them off by the field and go for it. But I knew I wasn’t going to have time, plus I was shaking at this point. Anyway I’m in the stands and I take my shorts off and these girls were sitting by me and they’re like, ‘What are you doing?!’ So then, full disclosure to not be the creeper before they call the police over, I’m like, ‘No, no, no! This is what I’m going to do!’ And that’s when everyone heard it. And at this point there are just hundreds of people in the stands who know what’s going to happen, and there’s no turning back at this point, if I was even considering turning back.”
The Badgers began to gather in their huddle after Dayne’s historic run, and that’s when Condon made his. He was wearing a red bandana, white socks, tennis shoes and nothing more. Condon had painted his face white with a red W on each cheek. A large number 33 – with Dayne’s name above it – was painted on his torso. And a pair of red Ws adorned his backside. He ran down the field, heading toward the south end zone, arms in the air and a big smile on his face. He even stopped briefly at the 20-yard line to strike a “Heisman pose.” He finished his run and then calmly walked the last few steps toward waiting police officers underneath the goal post. The officers handcuffed him, wrapped him up and took him from the playing field.
“They were pretty upset,” Condon said of the police officers. “I remember they asked me who I was, and one of them said ‘So you were a student here, huh?’ And I’m like, ‘No I AM a student here!’ And they said, ‘Well, you’re not going to be after this.’ And I got a little bit scared for a second. Still, all I could do at this point was just focus my eyes on the crowd and people were just so uproarious about it. I loved it.”
WHA-TV, the Madison affiliate of Wisconsin Public Television where Condon was employed, was doing the game for its customary tape-delay telecast later that night. Deb Piper was in the WHA production truck.
“At that time, we were on a shot of the coaches’ booth,” Piper said. “You could tell they were watching the streaker because they were looking to their right and chuckling and smiling, so you know they had seen it as well. It was funny to see on our monitor and then to find out a couple weeks later that the kid who did the streaking was actually on our production crew but was not working for us that day. He had been newly hired and was in the student section as a fan, but we found out that we had that connection and he was on our crew. It was hysterical.”
Condon was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, unlawful entry to the playing field and disorderly conduct. He had spent a couple hours in a jail cell downtown when he was informed that he had some visitors.
“It was all those roommates that I was living with in that house, along with the kid that I told I was going to do it earlier in the day, along with a couple other friends,” Condon said. “I just assumed they were going to collect money to get me out of jail because my bail was roughly $1,000. That was not at all the case. I see them and I’m like ‘So you guys got the money?’ And they said, ‘No, we just wanted to come see you in jail!’ So I had them get my wallet and I ended up charging myself out of jail that day.”
Condon, who now works for an investment company in Arizona, ended up having all charges dropped after he completed 60 community service hours working at Wisconsin Public Television. Dayne recalls Condon visiting him at his apartment the night of the Wisconsin-Iowa game, but Condon believes they first met, by chance, in the parking lot of a Madison video store. Either way, Condon’s message to Dayne was that he had not intended to upstage the running back’s big day.
“I did eventually talk to him about it, but it was in the parking lot of Blockbuster Video,” Condon said. “He was returning a video and I was like, ‘Hey, I just wanted you to know that I’m that guy.’ I was really apologetic. I said, ‘Just so you know, I wasn’t trying to take away anything that happened that day; it was just me doing my thing. It was a really awesome day.’ That’s all the words we exchanged. And he was like, ‘No, I think it’s cool! I think it’s great!’ So what more can you ask for? Really, that’s all I wanted to say. I wanted him to know that I wasn’t a weirdo, basically. I wasn’t some kind of stalking super-fan; I was just caught up in the moment.”