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Did you know that the tradition of slapping a "high five" as a celebration of success goes way back to the 1931  Rose Bowl?  The game was Alabama University vs. Washington University.  A player for the Alabama team named Fogerty, carried the ball 25 times.  Each time he carried it, he would gain 5 yards exactly!  To show their support and joy, his teammates would slap each other's palms.  This soon caught on to the fans and then to the public and became known as  exchanging or giving a "high five."
Fogerty also got the nickname as "Five-Yard" Fogerty.  He went on to play professional football until his career ended due to breaking his leg in a skiing accident.  That didn't defeat him.  He went on to become the president of a bank in Wichita, Kansas until he died.

The Rose Bowl has been around for over 100 years.  There's a lot of history. This page can't possibly cover it all.  I've tried to present the most interesting information for my visitors rather than a lot of  football game & players tidbits through the years.  I'll leave that up to the sports stats guys.

Back in 1901, the President of The Tournament of Roses Association was James Wagner.  He wasn't a hometown boy and was fairly new to the city.  He had lived in the East.  But, he was made president because of his reputation for having great business skills.  It was also felt that he would know what would attract Easterners to the area (to bring in money).  

So, when Wagner guaranteed $3,500 to cover the expenses of bringing the University of Michigan and Stanford University's footballs teams to Pasadena to play, people gasped!  He said that they would charge 50 cents to $1 to see the game.  And, an additional $1 would be charged to admit a family's horse and buggy to the grounds.  This incensed the public because it meant that the game would be for the moneyed classes only.

And, even if it was.... Wagner's opposition really didn't think that the public would come to a silly football game even if it was free!

People did come.   The first game in 1902 had 8,000 in attendance.  Needless to say, Wagner grossed $7,500 and  made more than his promised $3,500. 

 Eventually, the proceeds soon grew because of  radio and television broadcasts income.   And, Wagner's persistence resulted in making New Year's Day have an entirely new significance.  Ironically, only a few months prior, the Tournament of Roses Association board wanted to change the date to Washington's Birthday.

The answer is simple: Money!  

James Wagner was expanding on Dr. Charles Frederick Holder's (Founder of the Tournament of Roses Parade) idea of coming up with something distinctive for Pasadena to not only unite it's citizens, but to bring in visitors and tourist money.

 Dr. Charles Holder's reason for The Tournament of Roses Parade was to attract visitors to the Pasadena area and raise money.  *James Wagner had said, "For twelve years the Tournament has lived with nothing to show after holding each program but the memory of a successful day. The present plan not only assures a financial success, it does more.  It brings together two football teams of national reputation, Stanford and Michigan, which will generate an item of news on the morning of January 2."

His statement was a bit modest. If only he knew that years later television broadcasts, sports news and newspapers would be running the results of the Rose Bowl parade following the game.  But, they also would be talking about it weeks before the game to predict the winner!


 Believe it or not, back in 1902 getting players wasn't as easy as you would think.  The California "Golden Bears" were invited, but declined.  (The reasons are debatable but President Wagner accused them of having cold feet.)   So, Wagner looked at the Michigan "Wolverines" who had a fantastic winning record that year under their coach, Fielding Harris Yost.  Coach Yost cockily accepted.  He also had a private score to settle because he had also been a coach at Stanford the previous year (with an undefeated season).  He was irked by a recent rule making it mandatory for Stanford to hire only coaches who had graduated from Stanford.  This rule is the one that cost Yost his coaching job there because he didn't go to Stanford. So, to have a chance for his Michigan team  to play against his ex-employer,  the Stanford U team, was a bit of an ego challenge and matter of pride to him.

And, so we all know the outcome of that very first game in 1902.  Michigan literally trounced over Stanford by a score of 49 to 0.

But, then there seemed to be a bit of "sore loser" tone in the presses after this win. Why? First,  Stanford's linesman  was a second cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt (in office  at the time) but,  also a lot of the newspapers were giving a lot of criticism to Michigan's win.  (Well, I'm sure it wasn't exciting to watch for the losing team.)  Even though this football game made enough money to put a down payment on some permanent land to build a stadium, the Tournament Association dumped the idea of having a football game after the parade.  As a result, they decided to  go back to their standard sports competition that they had  been doing = chariot racing.  

The inspiration for these were from the book, Ben Hur.

From 1904 to 1915 they had chariot races after the parade.  Actually some debate the authenticity of the races from 1908 to 1915.  Why? Because in 1907 there was a bad accident. Tournament President, Ed T. Off was driving one of the chariots, when the noise of crowd and some vehicles frightened his horses causing them to suddenly bolt off madly.  When mounted rescuers closed in around the chariot, the horses fell, throwing Mr. Off under their wild legs and hooves.  Fortunately, Mr. Off managed to get free and wasn't seriously injured.  But, that ended "genuine" chariot races. From then on the races were staged by professionals and some say that the results were even "fixed."  Slowly the crowds lacked interest in going to them. What to do? By this time football was growing in popularity among the common man and not just college kids.  So, Tournament manager, A.J. Bertonneu was the first to suggest an East vs. West football game on New Year's Day.  And, so, in 1916 football returned to Pasadena on New Year's Day

In 1897 ten acres of land in an area of Pasadena, CA known as the Arroyo Seco were purchased by the city.  Arroyo Seco in Spanish means dry wash. And, the land back then wasn't what we know it today.  It was unattractive and full of tangled debris and boulders.  Long before Pasadena became a city, the Arroyo Seco was popular with the Spanish for sporting events like bullfighting, hunting wildcats and boar. Therefore, many felt this location was fitting for sports.

The name "tournament" came from the previous competitions of the chariot races. The title of "Rose Bowl" was given by  Dusty (Harlan) F. Hall, a publicist of the Tournament of Roses.  The word "bowl" sort of stirs up the imagination of the fans regardless of the fact that the Rose Bowl stadium isn't even round.  It's shaped more like a horseshoe.   When it was originally built, it was called "The Stadium on Stilts" and held 52,000 people.  And, contrary to what people might assume, there wasn't a rosebush to be found at first.  Today, there are 20,000 or more bushes on the stadium's grounds.

First: How do we pay for this? The plan was to finance the building of this stadium from the money made in future games to pay off the loan and offering subscription tickets for $100 each. As with all building plans, nothing costs as you originally figure on. Right? Well, in the beginning they had stated it would cost $10 a seat. Later on, that figure ended up being $90 a seat!  The final cost was $272,198.26  Later on, the 52,000 capacity was increased to 76,000. As the Rose Bowl grew popular, so grew the stadium. In 1932 it was increased to hold 83,677, then in 1949 to 100,807 and in 1972 to 104,696.  Today, the seating capacity is 92,542 with a record crowd in 1973 of 106,869.

Second: How to build on this rocky land? Tournament President, William L. Leishman pictured the stadium like the Yale Bowl. Myron Hunt was the architect hired to design the stadium and William A. Taylor was the man hired to build it. But, as I said above, the land was full of boulders.   All those rocks blocked attempts to reach the planned depths of the stadium floor for the engineers.  Because of this, the crown of the playing field is higher that that of the lowest box seats.  This requires those seated there to look up to see the game.  These rocks also presented a little problem  for several years afterwards, --- all those rocks caused hassles with the automobiles for parking. 

The official Rose Bowl stadium dedication was on New Years Day, 1923.
And, in 1987 it was designated to the National Register of Historic Places.

The game was played in Tournament Park.  (The stadium wasn't built yet) The teams were Washington State vs. Brown.  And, the Washington State players were in California for two reasons:  One was to play in the Rose Bowl game. Two was to be in the movies!  Their coach, William H. Dietz  had gotten them a movie deal on the side. In the movie, "Tom Brown of Harvard" his team was suppose to supply the football action as movie extras.  Each player made approximately $100 for 14 days of work.  Even after the Rose Bowl game, Coach Dietz continued to be a movie fan all of his life.  Forty-five years after the Rose Bowl game, he became a drama critic in Pittsburgh.

World War I practically put an end to football! Why? Most players signed up to serve in the military rather than stay and play football in college. And, the general population was rather against public fun.  But then, George Creel, President Woodrow Wilson's publicity man saved the Rose Bowl game of 1918!  When the Tournament officials offered to cancel, it was Creel who put the official approval on the game by stating,* "I don't know how such a celebration would interfere with the government's war activities."  Then on November 23, 1917 President Wilson sent a telegram to the Tournament President, B.O. Kendall stating,* "I think the normal life of the country should be continued in every way possible."  So the Association agreed to have the game. But, they also agreed that the net receipts from it would be turned over to the Red Cross.

Then came December 7, 1941.  The Rose Bowl suddenly was secondary to Pearl Harbor and the shadow of war. Many on the West Coast had wartime nervousness.  A lot of cities had blackout regulations.  General John L. DeWitt, who was in command of the Sixth Army Headquarters in San Francisco ordered that all Pacific Coast sports events be cancelled.  His reasoning was that the large gathering of people made excellent targets.  He wasn't going to take any chances!  Unlike the Rose Bowl game during WWI, this time no one felt having it would be good for citizen moral.  As a result, the entire Tournament of Roses events were all off--- even the parade.   The Santa Anita horse track was also shut down.   Because the East-West Shrine game got moved to New Orleans (from San Francisco), this gave the Tournament Association an idea!  Let's move the Rose Bowl!

So, the 1942 Rose Bowl game was moved across the country to Durham, North Carolina due to the attack on Pearl Harbor just a few weeks prior to the game. 

The teams were Oregon State vs. Duke U.  It was Coach Wallace Wade of Duke University that suggested the Rose Bowl game be played at Duke Stadium in North Carolina.  Duke Stadium had a seating capacity of 35,000 but for the game they increased seating to 56,000 by installing temporary bleachers. Even though the game was on Duke's home turf, they lost.  Oregon won 20 to 16.

So, who's played in the Rose Bowl? Who's won? Who's lost?
Below is a listing from current to past years of the college teams and the scores:

2020 Oregon 28 vs. Wisconsin 27
2019 Ohio 28, Washington 23
2018 Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48
2017 USC 52, Penn State 49
2016 Stanford 45, Iowa 16
2015 Oregon 59, Florida 20
2014 Michigan State 24, Stanford 20
2013 Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14
2012 Oregon 45, Wisconsin 38
2011 Texas Christian U 21, Wisconsin 19
2010 Ohio State 26, Oregon 17
2009 USC38, Penn State 14
2008 USC 49, Illinois 17
2007 USC 32, Michigan 18
2006 Texas 41, Southern Cal 38
2005 Texas 38, Michigan 37
2004 Southern Cal 28, Michigan 14
2003 Oklahoma 34, Washington State 14
2002 Washington 34, Purdue 24
2001 Washington 34, Purdue 24
2000 Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9
1999 Wisconsin 38, UCLA 31
1998 Michigan 21, Washington State 16
1997 Ohio State 20, Arizona State 17
1996 USC 41, Northwestern 32
1995 Penn State 38, Oregon 20
1994 Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16
1993 Michigan 38, Washington 31
1992 Washington 34, Michigan 14
1991 Washington 46, Iowa 34
1990 USC 17, Michigan 10
1989 Michigan 22, USC 14
1988 Michigan State 20, USC 17
1987 Arizona State 22, Michigan 15
1986 UCLA 45, Iowa 28
1985 USC 20, Ohio State 17
1984 UCLA 45, Illinois 9
1983 UCLA 24, Michigan 14
1982 Washington 28, Iowa 0
1981 Michigan 23, Washington 6
1980 USC 17, Ohio State 16
1979 USC 17, Michigan 10
1978 Washington 27, Michigan 20
1977 USC 14, Michigan 6
1976 UCLA 23, Ohio State 10
1975 USC 18, Ohio State 17
1974 Ohio State 42, USC 21
1973 USC 42, Ohio State 17
1972 Stanford 13, Michigan 12
1971 Stanford 27, Ohio State 17
1970 USC 10, Michigan 3
1969 Ohio State 27, USC 16
1968 USC 14, Indiana 3
1967 Purdue 14, USC 13
1966 UCLA 14, Michigan State 12
1965 Michigan 34, Oregon State 7
1964 Illinois 17, Washington 7
1963 USC 42, Wisconsin 37
1962 Minnesota 21, UCLA 3
1961 Washington 17, Minnesota 7
1960 Washington 44, Wisconsin 8
1959 Iowa 38, California 12
1958 Ohio State 10, Oregon 7
1957 Iowa 35, Oregon State 19
1956 Michigan State 17, UCLA 14
1955 Ohio State 20, USC 7
1954 Michigan State 28, UCLA 20
1953 USC 7, Wisconsin 0
1952 Illinois 40, Stanford 7
1951 Michigan 14, California 6
1950 Ohio State 17, California 14
1949 Northwestern 20, California 14
1948 Michigan 49, USC 0
1947 Illinois 45, UCLA 14
1946 Alabama 34, USC 14
1945 USC 25, Tennessee 0
1944 USC 29, Washington 0
1943 Georgia 9, UCLA 0
1942 Oregon State 20, Duke 16 (at Durham, N.C.)
1941 Stanford 21, Nebraska 13
1940 USC 14, Tennessee 0
1939 USC 7, Duke 3
1938 California 13, Alabama 0
1937 Pittsburgh 21, Washington 0
1936 Stanford 7, SMU 0
1935 Alabama 29, Stanford 13
1934 Columbia 7, Stanford 0
1933 USC 35, Pittsburgh 0
1932 USC 21, Tulane 12
1931 Alabama 24, Washington State 0
1930 USC 47, Pittsburgh 14
1929 Georgia Tech 8, California 7
1928 Stanford 7, Pittsburgh 6
1927 Alabama 7, Stanford 7
1926 Alabama 20, Washington 19
1925 Notre Dame 27, Stanford 10
1924 Navy 14, Washington 14
1923 USC 14, Penn State 3
1922 California 0, Washington & Jefferson 0
1921 California 28, Ohio State 0
1920 Harvard 7, Oregon 6
1919 Great Lakes 17, Mare Island 0
1918 Mare Island 19, Camp Lewis 7
1917 Oregon 14, Pennsylvania 0
1916 Washington State 14, Brown 0
1902 Michigan 49, Stanford 0

The first football game played in the stadium was between the U of Calif. (Golden Bears) and the U of Southern California (Trojans) on October 28, 1922.
The stadium wasn't "officially" the Rose Bowl Stadium yet. 
The Rose Bowl Stadium was used for a practice area for athletes in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games.
The Rose Bowl Stadium has hosted 5 NFL Super Bowl games.

  In 1925 it became the site of the first wire photo transmission of a bowl game.

  In 1926, the first local radio broadcast of the Rose Bowl game was on Pasadena station KPSN. The radio announcer was Charles Paddock.

  In 1927 NBC did a transcontinental radio broadcast of the Rose Bowl game, which was a first. Later in 1952, NBC broadcast the game on television in B&W. Then in 1962 NBC was the first to broadcast a football game in color. 

  In 1948, Los Angeles television station KTLA  telecast the first broadcast of a college football game, which was the Rose Bowl.

 The first Spanish translation of a game was the Rose Bowl in 1988.

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This page gives the origins of the game of Football from it's ancient beginnings.

Return to our Month of Listings

Source of Information:
 "America's New Year Celebration.  The Rose Parade & Rose Bowl Game"
Albion Publishing Group,  Santa Barbara, CA © 1999
Note: Sentences with an * before them are direct quotes from the book.

 "The Rose Bowl Game" by Rube Samuelsen 
Doubleday Company and Inc. © 1951

"Useless Knowledge" by Joe Edelman and David Samson
St. Martin's Press, NY, NY  © 2002

ESPN.com for the game stats through the years.

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