I had been to the Rose Bowl before, but that was for a UCLA regular season game. But to go to the Rose Bowl game itself was something that I always wanted to do.
I didn’t do it last year mainly because I didn’t really think about it. Plus I was already so excited about the parade that I just let it be. However this year, I knew that I had to go to it. Especially since I grew up a Cal fan and have a soft spot for Michigan State sports, it was a game I had to attend.
Following the parade, I decided to drive to the Rose Bowl. I didn’t have a ticket and I didn’t even know if I could go in. I was told that I could just show up to the parking lot and mingle with people and maybe someone would sell me a ticket. I should have done that.
But as I walked through the parking area, I didn’t really see anyone selling tickets. And the thing I do worry about is whether or not these tickets were real. Of course these tickets have an official hologram on it that can’t be duplicated. But the fear was that if I didn’t buy a ticket soon, then the game would begin and nobody would sell.
So I decided to do a last-minute Stubhub purchase. It was a little more expensive than what a guy offered me later in the day, but the location of my seat was right within a good crowd of Spartans fans. It was perfect.
One of the best things about going to these big games are the ceremonies beforehand. Seeing Vin Scully, Merry Clayton on the field was special. Both schools’ bands were pretty good, although Stanford wasn’t that impressive with their free-flowing style. MSU did pretty good.
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With nearly 60 percent of the stadium filled in green, it was good to be surrounded by a strong and loud fanbase. The band got the fans to sing the fight song so many times throughout the game. But nothing compared to the back and forth battle of the game itself and me sitting with some Stanford fans around.
The game was great and it was fitting that it ended on a defensive stop. The exuberance of the Spartans fans when the play happened was what made this game so special.
Even if it was a matchup of different teams, the experience was so amazing. It was the 100th Rose Bowl game, and during timeouts, they would show the history of the game. Former Rose Bowl greats like Lloyd Carr, Orlando Pace, Lynn Swann, Jim Plunkett were all present. Even Kirk Gibson made an appearance.
I like history and I got a whole lot of it during the game. Add onto the fact that the game itself was exciting, it was worth it. I left a happy man. I attended the “Granddaddy of them all” and I was given a show I would never forget.