The past few weeks have seen bowl game after bowl fame. You get teams playing who have no better than a .500 record battling in bowl games with sponsors many people have never heard of before. The grand total is 35 bowl games.
In all the bowl game mania, there is only one bowl that stands above the rest. It is the only game important and prestigious enough to put the sponsor after the game. It is the Rose Bowl presented by Vizio.
This year the oldest bowl game celebrated its 99th New Year’s Day treat with a game played between Wisconsin and Stanford. The weather was perfect, the game went right to the end as Stanford won 20-14 and football fans across the world saw why this is the country’s best bowl game.
The idea of a New Year’s Day celebration was started in 1890 by some Midwestern people who now lived in Pasadena. They wanted to celebrate the warm weather with a celebration the whole country could embrace. Thus the first Rose Bowl parade took place.
As the years progressed other events were added to the annual parade. They had chariot races, polo games, tug-of-war competition. In 1902, the local committee decided to host a college football game. It would match the best team of the east, Michigan, against the best of the west, Stanford.
The Wolverines won that first Rose Bowl contest 49-0 when Stanford conceded in the second half. The game was so one-sided officials decided not to play another Rose Bowl game again until 1916. This time it was a much better game with Washington
State beating Brown 14-0.
Thus began a New Year’s Day tradition that next year reaches the century mark.
A stadium for the annual contest was built in 1923, The complex could seat 57,000. Through various renovations and expansions today the complex hosted 93,000 for this year’s game.
In the early years, many teams from around the country played in the Rose Bowl. The game even was played shortly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor in 1941. The 1942 Rose Bowl game was held for the only time in a place besides Pasadena, Calif. The contest was moved to Durham, North Carolina, away from potential Aerial attacks by the Japanese. Oregon State beat the host school Duke 20-16 in that Rose Bowl contest.
In 1947, a landmark deal was reached where the best team from the Big Ten would battle the best squad from the Pacific 8 conference every year in the Rose Bowl game. That arrangement has survived except for a couple of times even in this new era of the Bowl Championship Series.
It is a wonderful arrangement played in glorious weather with a team from the east battling the best of the west. There have been 29 national championship teams play in the Rose Bowl along with 17 Heisman Trophy winners.
The game always is held on New Year’s Day rather than another time. It always follows the best parade in the world, the Rose Bowl parade presented by Honda. It has a history as storied as the World Series, Indianapolis 500, Kentucky Derby and Super Bowl. It is an American tradition that is hard to beat. That’s why its called the Grand Daddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. Next year it hit’s a magic birthday of 100 years. The Rose Bowl college football at its best. 1 comment