Monday, March 25, 2019

Before I break all the bowls down for you, I have to give you more about the biggest and best college bowl of them all, and my personal favorite: The Rose Bowl!

I read the origins but I am not entirely convinced that this still isn’t a big ploy to get women to watch football. It’s roses! We are suckers for flowers!

look how pretty football can be!

look how pretty football can be!

To understand the Rose Bowl you have to first understand it’s humble beginnings:

The Parade

Then: Historic floats from the Parade of Roses

Then: Historic floats from the Parade of Roses

  • On January 1, 1890 in Pasasdena, California, the Tournament of Roses Parade began
  • The Parade was started as a way for the Valley Hunt Club to show off their nice sunny California homes to folks back East that were cold and buried in snow (how exactly, I do not know. It’s not like it was televised or put on Youtube….)

According to Wikipedia, Professor Charles F. Holder had announced:

“In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.” And so the Club organized Horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches, and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot attracted a crowd of 2000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the Professor decided to suggest the name “Tournament of Roses.”

  • The Parade began adding marching bands and motorized floats. After about 11 years, the East finally took notice. Maybe because they added ostrich races and a race between a camel and elephant. Seriously? (Wiki said the elephant one. Probably stepped on the damn camel!)
  • The first Rose Bowl football game was actually the Tournament East-West Football Game and held in 1902 and was used to generate more money and attention for the parade.
  • The Rose Bowl and Stadium were created for the celebration in 1923. At that time the stadium could hold over 43,000 people! Now, it is upward of 90,000!
  • Over the last 100+ years, the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl have become America’s New Year’s Celebration with more than a million people flocking to it every year and millions more watching it on television.
Now: Floats in recent Rose Parades

Now: Floats in recent Rose Parades

The History of the Rose Bowl & the Stadium

  • The games is always played on New Year’s Day, unless January 1 falls on a Sunday. Then the parade and festivities are moved to January 2.
  • There are three major early events: The first ever East-West Game, The first annual Tournament of Roses football game (Rose Bowl) and the first Rose Bowl played in the Rose Bowl Stadium.
  • The first Tournament East-West Football Game pitted Michigan against Stanford  on January 1, 1902
  • Michigan destroyed Stanford 49-0 and because it was so lopsided, the Tournament of Roses Association decided not to bring football back to the festivities until 1916.
  • The first annual Tournament of Roses Football Game was in 1916 with Washington State University and Brown University. Washington won 14-0.

  • The first official Rose Bowl played in the Rose Bowl Stadium was in 1923 with the USC Trojans and the Penn State Nittany Lions
  • The Rose Bowl Stadium was originally in the shape of a horseshoe. It was not expanded until 1928. It is modeled after the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Conn.
  • The Stadium was host to 5 Super Bowls. It is also the current home of NCAA’s UCLA Bruins.
  • The Rose Bowl is considered to be “the Grandaddy of Them All” and even has it’s own Hall of Fame. The Tournament of Roses website says:

“the game has showcased 18 Heisman Trophy Winners, produced 28 national champions, featured 189 consensus All-Americans and honored 89 college football legends by inducting them into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.”

  • The 2009 Rose Bowl features Penn State and USC and airs at 2:10 p.m (Pacific Time.) January 1st! Happy New Year!

up next: Girl’s Guide to the Bowls Part III

go back to A Girl’s Guide to the Bowls Part I

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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