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  • Steve K

The Granddaddy Of Them All

The Rose Bowl game was more than I could have anticipated. The oldest all of the bowl games (108 years old), played in the oldest stadium of all of the bowl games, it was quite a spectacle. Even if the game had been boring, it would have been boring. But it was far from that.

The Rose Bowl has been the site of some of the most dramatic games in bowl history, chief among those in my mind being the 2006 Rose Bowl when Vince Young led Texas to a come from behind victory against USC, led by not one, but two, Heisman Trophy winners, Matt Leonard and Reggie Bush (although Reggie Bush's was removed later on as the result of some violations). This game was right up there with that game.

Utah started out with an unstoppable offense and defensively held Ohio State to three and out on its first two possessions. Of course, that was about all the defense they had in them for almost all of the rest of the day. Thereafter, C.J. Stroud and Jaxon Smith Njigba were unstoppable, setting at least 8 Rose Bowl records. Stroud's passing exhibited pinpoint accuracy, and Smith Njigba was so elusive when he did catch a pass that he was hardly ever tackled. He ended up with 15 catches for 347 yards, which is a n unheard of 23 yards per reception.

Utah played extremely well offensively and on special teams, with an exciting 97 yard kickoff return (second longest play in Rose Bowl history) and an amazing run by Utah's quarterback of over 60 yards on a 4th and 1 play. However, their defense was practically non-existent after the first quarter.

On this trek, I am going to observe not only the game, but also the surroundings, and the food. With respect to the food, I am hopeful I am starting off with the worst possible expense. Being an old stadium, there are only a limited number of venues to get food. My wait in line was 50 minutes, which ultimately led to me getting chicken tenders, fries and a soft drink, which cost $29.71.. While the chicken tenders were small, at least they were tasteless.

The final observation was the fans I was surrounded by. I was in the Utah section, and they were some of the best fans I have ever been around. The y were extremely vocal and supportive of their team, constantly butchering the Ohio State fans. However, they also were extremely polite. They did not complain about calls that went against them, but were raucously supportive of their team.

My first game, and I anticipate I have already hit what will be some of the extremes I will observe over my entire trip; best offensive display, best fans, and worst food. I have an entire year to confirm or dispel those assumptions.

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