Rose Bowl Fever

By Sparrowman980 at en.wikipedia

By Pamela O’Meara

It’s Rose Bowl time again and my cousin, a Michigan State grad, is in Pasadena with a group of fellow alums for the parties, parade and game – a festive way to start the new year.

By Sparrowman980 at en.wikipedia
By Sparrowman980 at en.wikipedia

It brings back memories. When I was a student at Northwestern University in the
1960s, “my” football team was No. 1 in the nation for one week.
At that time, my parents said that if the Wildcats, better-known for
academics than sports, went to the Rose Bowl, they would pay for my trip to
Pasadena. My team didn’t make it.

By bobakat at en.wikipedia
By bobakat at en.wikipedia

But in 1996, the team was close again. This time instead of sitting
with my college friends in the football stadium in Evanston, Ill., I watched
a few televised games sitting on the edge of my chair hoping they’d win.
Amazingly, they did, ending its Big Ten season undefeated. I half-jokingly
reminded my mother of that long-ago promise. She remembered, too, and paid
for part of my trip. My sister Sue in California managed to get tickets, so I made
last-minute plane reservations.

The morning of the game, we went to the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena. Dozens of spectacular floats were covered with roses and marching bands performed. There was even a float from Minnesota, sponsored by Target. People lined the streets several rows deep for blocks on end while children sat on the curbs that sunny day.

By woo from Irvine, CA, USA
By woo from Irvine, CA, USA

And then we went to the Rose Bowl. As we climbed nearly to the top row of the stadium, I choked up at the sea of fans dressed in purple, my school color. It was called the largest number of Wildcat fans ever assembled – 50,000 to 65,000. “Northwestern” was painted in purple and white on the grass. Our marching band played at halftime. We were leading at the beginning of the fourth but in a turnaround the last few minutes, the USC Trojans won 41-32.

pink rose

I filed out of the stadium half disappointed my team lost but proud they played the game and glad we could attend that exciting event.

So I can imagine my cousin’s anticipation of the exciting Rose Bowl game, along with the alumni activities and Rose Bowl parade. I may watch it on TV.

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About Pam O'Meara 47 Articles
About Me Staff writer, Lillie Suburban newspapers Free-lance writer Member, Midwest Travel Writers Association I’ve been a writer for over 20 years at Lillie Suburban Newspapers in St. Paul. I’ve also done free-lance writing – for 3M business and health publications and for a running club and a speech therapy group. My special interest and focus for over a decade has been travel writing – about my trips and those of others in the United States and abroad, and I am a 10-year member of Midwest Travel Writers Association. I have a bachelor’s degree in English from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Michigan. I was an English teacher for almost three years before having kids. Life is good! Writing awards for Pam O’Meara 2015 Minnesota Newspaper Association -- Second place for columns on Selfridge’s in London, Missouri prison, mother’s death 2014 Midwest Travel writers Mark Twain – honorable mention for story on Hemingway in Pamplona, Spain 2013 MTWA – first place – recent travel sites – Fort Bragg and father 2008 MTWA – third place – newspaper story on Hawaii: the Big Island 2006—MTWA – second place – recent sites – South Korea – DMZ