The Granddaddy of Them All®
Every January, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, Calif., home of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. It’s a celebration more than a century old – a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere in the world. The Tournament of Roses is more than just a parade and football game. It’s America’s New Year Celebration, a greeting to the world on the first day of the year, and a salute to the community spirit and love of pageantry that has thrived in Pasadena since 1902.
The 124th Rose Parade presented by Honda takes place on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, at 8 a.m. (PST), featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands from throughout the nation. At 2:10 p.m. (PST), the 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO showcases the Big Ten Conference champion and the champion from the Pac-12 Conference.
Known as the oldest of bowls, the Rose Bowl Game kicked off a myriad of college football legacies in 1902. Since then, the game has been home to 17 Heisman Trophy winners, produced 29 national champions, featured 195 consensus All-Americans and honored 104 college football legends by inducting them into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
The first Tournament of Roses football game, which was the first of its kind in the nation, was staged at Tournament Park on January 1, 1902. The game matched a West Coast Stanford team and a Midwestern team, Michigan, both of whom were later to become members of today’s Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. Michigan routed Stanford 49-0, prompting the football contest to be replaced with Roman-style chariot races, inspired by the literary classic Ben Hur, until 1916 when football was permanently reinstated.
The Rose Bowl Game agreement between the powerful Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences required a long courtship before today’s exclusive pact was signed. Initially, the Tournament of Roses Association invited teams to compete on the gridiron. In 1924, the Tournament invited only the Western team who then in turn selected its Eastern opponent. Then in 1935, the Pacific Coast Conference began choosing one of its own teams to compete on New Year’s Day and continued to select opposition.
The present exclusive agreement among the Tournament of Roses Association, the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference was born in 1947. The pact is the oldest intercollegiate postseason bowl agreement between two major conferences in the United States. Since 1947, both conferences have undergone various transformations. Today’s Pac-12 Conference originated as the Pacific Coast Conference and changed to the Athletic Association of Western Universities from 1959-68, then to the Pacific-8 Conference in 1968, the Pac-10 in 1978 and finally the Pac-12 in 2011. The Big Ten Conference has also altered its composition. With the addition of Nebraska in 2011, the Big Ten now comprises 12 teams.
The Rose Bowl Game has rightfully earned its designated title The Granddaddy of Them All. This collegiate classic has been the occasion of many other firsts. The Rose Bowl Game was the first local radio broadcast of an East-West bowl game in 1926, the first transcontinental radio broadcast of a sporting event in 1927, the first local telecast of a college football game in 1948, the first national telecast of a college football game in 1952 and the first coast-to-coast color telecast of a collegiate football match in 1962.
Over the past 98 games, the history and excitement of the Rose Bowl Game have produced scores of fantastic adventures for players, coaches and fans around the globe. If the first 10 decades were any indication, The Granddaddy of Them All is sure to carry the incredible exhibition of gridiron glory through the next century.