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Strong History: Beauty of the Rose Bowl

Being an Ohio State fan, it is exciting to see the Buckeyes are going to the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl, "Granddaddy of Them All", is a special place to play full of history and atmosphere. What makes the Rose Bowl so special? It all starts with a town trying to bring tourists to the area.

In 1890 the Valley Hunt Club was trying to come up with ideas that would bring people to see the "Mediterranean of the West" and enjoy all the games and beauty Pasadena had to offer. Some of the attractions were events like chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo, and tug of war. As the club was tossing ideas around Professor Charles F. Holder really focused on California's winters saying "In New York, people are buried in 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." The statement got the wheels turning and initiated having a small parade of carriages dressed in flowers before games that happened on the town lot. So before events like Ostrich races and bronco demonstrations The Valley Hunt Club would have a few carriages decorated in flowers to parade around.

Word would spread and each year the parade

of flower-covered carriages would grab more attention. As crowds grew bigger, The Valley Hunt Club would build reviewing stands so attendees had a place to sit while they enjoyed the parade. The more people would come to see the parade the more they would add, including a marching band and motorized floats. In 1895 the parade's events became so popular the Valley Hunt Club assigned the parade to the Tournament of Roses Association. The Association had a continual challenge of what the parade and games they would provide to keep the people entertained.

By 1902 the Tournament of Roses Association decided on hosting a football game. It would be different as it would be the 1st post-season football game ever to be played in Tournament Park, formerly known as Town Lot. To keep interest, the football game would be on January 1, 1902, for a fun West Coast versus East (Standford v. Michigan). A hard played game, Michigan would defeat Standford 49-0. That would be the last of football for a few years until the demand was made to bring football back in 1916. Due to the first Standford v Michigan game, The Tournament of the Roses Association made a pact that the Rose Bowl would be played between Pac-12 and the Big Ten Conferences. It was the first bowl and first intercollegiate post-season pact created.

Since the Rose Bowl has been established, The Ohio State Buckeyes have played in 15 Rose Bowls with January 1, 2022, being the 16th. Out of the 15 games, the Buckeyes have won 8 games. Buckeyes are tied with Michigan for the most Big Ten Conference wins at the Rose Bowl. Their opponent, Utah, will be playing in the Rose Bowl for the 1st time. It is thrilling to be able to root for the Buckeyes at the Rose Bowl, which has the most history and excitement around it to date.

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