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Matinee: 'Ode To The Rose Bowl Game' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

28 December 2019

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 324th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Ode To The Rose Bowl Game.

It's bowl season for college football and among all the bowl games, "The Grandaddy of Them All" is the Rose Bowl, played in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year's Day every year.

This short clip features words and images by photographer Scott Clarke, narrated by his friend Gene Wojciechowski. It's the second in ESPN's series of videos celebrating college football's 150th anniversary.

'The Rose Bowl never disappoints.'

Clarke is a senior staff photographer for ESPN/ABC, where he has worked since 1989. He never misses the Rose Bowl.

"For me, the Rose Bowl is sacred ground," Clarke admits. "The Rose Bowl never disappoints."

He's right on both counts.

The game itself, it strikes us, never does disappoint. It pits two league champions against each other when it isn't being usurped by the college playoff system.

The first Rose Bowl was played in 1902 when Michigan walloped Stanford by a score of 49-0. Harvard beat Oregon 7-6 in 1920. Cal and Washington & Jefferson drew to a scoreless tie in 1922 while Washington and Navy tied with two TDs each in 1924 and Stanford tied Alabama at 7 in 1927. Several schools have won back-to-back Rose Bowls, including Stanford, USC, UCLA, Texas and Washington.

You never really know what's going to happen at the Rose Bowl.

But it always begins in the winter warmth of a sunny afternoon, both teams dreaming of glory. And it always ends in the floodlit darkness of the night, dreams dashed or at last come true.

And a new year ahead of you.

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