Sunday, December 29, 2013

Nothing Matches the Rose Bowl

When I was a kid, New Year's Day made me proud to be a Southern Californian --- especially because of the Rose Bowl. Pasadena was the center of the universe on that day, and back in the '70s, USC almost always played. Running back Anthony Davis was a household name. It's just tradition if you're from around here.

I'm reminiscing now with this excellent report at the Los Angeles Times, "For the best in bowls, the subject is Roses":
A popular national radio host, not from the West, recently wondered out loud why the Rose Bowl was so special. He should have asked Art Spander, the longtime Bay Area sports columnist, who this week will celebrate his 61st straight trip to the Rose Bowl.

Spander, 75, has attended every Rose Bowl since 1954.

The streak started innocently enough, when Spander was a boy growing up in Los Angeles and his father suggested Art could make extra money selling programs at the Rose Bowl.

Spander says he earned 10 bucks during Michigan State's victory over UCLA in the 1954 game. He kept the streak alive as a student at UCLA and then, for more than five decades, as a sportswriter in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

"I just think sitting there is the greatest thing in the world," Spander said during a recent phone interview. "Watching the sun start to set about 4 o'clock, and the shadows falling, with the game going on. It's a great place to be. "

The Rose Bowl is special, first and foremost, because it was first. In fact, it was the only bowl game for decades.
RTWT. It's great.

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