The Rose Bowl delayed the painful evolvement of college football’s postseason more than any other, and for that you should be mad at this game. And you would be until you attended the actual game and, at least in that moment, all is forgiven.
The people who run the Rose Bowl are blissfully aware what they have is better than everybody else, combined. The arrogance to this game and this event reeks of uppity pretentiousness, and I love it.
The college football postseason is a giant scam, and with all due respect to the people who run and operate these bogus exhibition games there is one that is still totally worth it. Nothing the Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl or Bahamas Bowl can, or could, ever do captures the greatness of the Rose Bowl.
If you have a Sports Bucket list, attending the Rose Bowl should on it even if you have zero rooting interest in the participating teams or the outcome (BTW – if you don’t care about the game, betting really helps).
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For decades, this game was reserved for the champions of the Big 10 and the Pac 10, but it worked because we are suckers for tradition.
“I still look at it as ‘It’s the Rose Bowl,’” former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN heart throb analyst Kirk Herbstreit said on Tuesday to a handful of us media nerds. “I still miss seeing that Big 10/Pac 12 matchup. Some of us accepting this four-team playoff, to get to that playoff you had to give a little bit. Whether it’s the Sugar Bowl with their tradition, or here, it is what it is. It takes away from it a little bit, but on the other hand it opens it up. When you talk to the Florida State people who had never been to the Rose Bowl, they were blown away by seeing it. The appreciation they have for it.
“You lose something in tradition but you open it up for others to appreciate what that bowl game is.”
Every sports fan should have access to this great game. The creation of the BCS eventually opened the game up to teams such as Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Nebraska, TCU, etc. As a result, more people are enjoying this event than ever before.
The location of the venerable stadium in a nice neighborhood in Pasadena, Calif. is full of 1930s charm. The tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s morning, if you can force yourself to wake up early enough to get a seat, is a must if that’s your thing. Fans park on the golf course that surrounds the stadium before the game. The weather is always (usually) fantastic. The San Gabriel Mountains are a drop back unlike any other. The stadium is big, but quaint. Fans feel on top of the game.
And the city of Los Angeles offers everything a tourist could want.
Yes, attending the Rose Bowl is expensive. Yes, L.A. traffic is a headache no pain reliever can cure. Yes, the Rose Bowl did delay the natural progression of college football’s postseason. Yes, the Rose Bowl is pretentious.
And yet I can’t help but loving it, and you will, too.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760
Twitter: @macengelprof And The Big Mac Blog