Baseball Toaster The Griddle
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote
The Rose Bowl and me: Part one
2006-12-26 19:01
by Bob Timmermann

(First of a six-part series)

Despite being a big baseball fan, for me, the single best one-day sporting event is the Rose Bowl, aka the Grandaddy of Them All®. (Note, don't mess with the Tournament of Roses people and their intellectual property rights!) Before it became all BCS-ized, it was the event to watch every New Year's Day. And now with the addition of an extra BCS bowl, the Rose Bowl will still be played on New Year's Day or January 2 (never on a Sunday!) in the venerable old stadium in the Arroyo Seco of Pasadena.

The game starts around 2 pm on New Year's Day. Normally, January 1 in Pasadena is sunny with pleasant temperatures and the San Gabriel Mountains make a dramatic backdrop. By the time game ends, the sun has set, the weather has become cooler and the lights of the Rose Bowl seem to put the players on the field into sharper relief. (Or in this this case, just plain dark.) The Rose Bowl even makes me want to watch marching bands perform. And I never want to watch marching bands. Then again, it's also really hard to get in and out of your seats and go to the bathroom at halftime, so you better want to watch the bands perform.

I've been fortunate to attend six Rose Bowls in my lifetime. And I have a ticket for the 2007 game.

So today, I will start a series of posts about the Rose Bowls I've been to. I hope you find them interesting.

And no, they won't all involve UCLA, although four of them do. But they are all Pac-10 vs. Big 10 matchups.

January 1, 1983, UCLA vs. Michigan - The first Rose Bowl I attended came during my senior year in high school. But since I had two brothers attending UCLA at the time, they were able to score me a ticket. They sold for the princely sum of $30 each that year. The 2007 ticket has a face value of $135.

After years of sharing the Coliseum with USC, UCLA had moved its regular season games to the Rose Bowl, which is actually not particularly close to the UCLA campus. But at least it wasn't across the street from USC. And the Bruins had a great year, going 9-1-1 and winning the Pac-10. The Bruins won the Pac-10 with a 20-19 win over USC in the season finale with Karl Morgan sacking Scott Tinsley on a potential game-winning 2-point conversion with no time left on the clock. The same day, Washington lost to Washington State in an upset and the Bruins won the conference for the first time since the 1975 season.

The Bruins would face Michigan, whom they had beaten in a thriller in Ann Arbor in late September. The Wolverines had jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but UCLA quarterback Tom Ramsey led the Bruins to a dramatic 31-27 win. Michigan was deep inside UCLA territory when the game ended. Michigan was 8-3 in the regular season with losses to Notre Dame and Ohio State as well.

The game was going to be a matchup of two seemingly irresistible forces. It was supposed to be impossible for one team to beat a quality opponent twice in one season. On the other hand, it was supposed to be impossible for a Bo Schembechler-coached Michigan team to ever win a Rose Bowl game.

Tom Ramsey was one of our favorite players on the UCLA team because he went to the same high school as us: John F. Kennedy High in Granada Hills. Kennedy's archrival was Granada Hills High, which was quarterbacked by John Elway. Elway had gotten the better of Ramsey during high school, but in college, Ramsey had the upper hand. In their final meeting as collegians, UCLA beat Stanford 38-35 at the Rose Bowl.

No tears in the Timmermann household were shed when Stanford lost out on a bowl bid after losing to Cal on a last second, multiple lateral, trombone-related kickoff return for a touchdown.

As usual, it was a gorgeous day at the Rose Bowl. 104,991 fans were shoehorned into the stadium (its capacity has been lowered through subsequent renovations).

UCLA led 10-0 on at halftime and Michigan had lost its starting quarterback, Steve Smith, to a separated shoulder after a nasty hit from Don Rogers after scrambling out of the pocket. Michigan had also lost starting offensive tackle Rich Strenger early in the game and the Bruins defensive line feasted on Strenger's backups.

Despite these handicaps, Michigan managed to pull to within 3 points at 10-7 in the third quarter when backup quarterback David Hall threw a touchdown pass to Eddie Garrett.

After UCLA took over on its 20 after the kickoff, the Bruins faced a third and 10 when Ramsey found receiver Jojo Townsell for a 12-yard gain. Two plays later, it was third and five, and Ramsey again found Townsell for a 12-yard gain. After a short gain by Danny Andrews, Ramsey scrambled for a 15 yard gain. Two plays later, Ramsey connected with Cormac Carney for an 11-yard gain. Five plays later, Andrews scored from the 9 and the Bruins had a 17-7 lead.

On Michigan's next possession, Hall went back to pass, but was picked off by Blanchard Montgomery and run back 11 yards for a TD to make it 24-7. Montgomery, along with UCLA's tight end Paul Bergmann, had played against Ramsey at Granada Hills High. Michigan would get a late touchdown to make it a 24-14 final. It was the first Rose Bowl win for UCLA coach Terry Donahue, who finally learned to love the forward pass. Helping out was offensive coordinator Homer Smith, whom my mother always thought was one of the best in the game. Remember when it comes to getting your favorite team to drop the veer and start passing more, Mom knows best.

Ramsey and Rogers were named co-MVPs. Ramsey was 18 of 25 passing for 162 yards while Rogers had an interception and led a UCLA secondary that made Michigan star receiver Anthony Carter a non-factor.

Coming up in part two: The Land of Lincoln takes one on the chin.

2006-12-27 07:45:37
1.   Sam DC
This is great stuff, Bob. Though it has me re-irked at the BCS system for fooling with the Rose Bowl.
2006-12-27 09:54:17
2.   Linkmeister
At least the Rose Bowl people have managed to (mostly) resist corporate naming. Can you imagine the "In-N-Out Burger Rose Bowl?"

This is fun to read, Bob.

2006-12-27 10:12:40
3.   Bob Timmermann
It is presently "The Rose Bowl presented by Citi"
2006-12-27 10:58:22
4.   bhsportsguy
Bob, just wondering if you read the article about the university library systems and their plans about storing and retreiving books in this digital age.

What are municipal libraries doing in this regard?

2006-12-27 11:02:56
5.   Bob Timmermann
I suggest you get a subscription to Library Journal or ask your local library to let you read a copy.

Then wait for the librarian to give you a strange look.

Your question has a very, very, very, very long answer.

2006-12-27 11:13:38
6.   dianagramr
Short article from current "Wired" on the "digital library"

2006-12-27 13:04:17
7.   capdodger
I could deal with "The In-N-Out Burger Rose Bowl" so long as the In-N-Out Trailer is on-site.
2006-12-27 13:10:06
8.   Bob Timmermann
There is always an In-N-Out Trailer at the Rose Bowl before UCLA games. I'm not sure about New Year's Day.
2006-12-27 13:54:40
9.   Monterey Chris
I was also at that game. I was a junior in High School. I was later accepted to UCLA, Cal and Michigan and I chose to go to Michigan. I have been to a number of Rose Bowl games but I haven't gone home happy all too often.
2006-12-27 15:16:19
10.   Bob Timmermann
If you had gone. to Cal, you would never have to worry about going home from the Rose Bowl unhappy.
2006-12-27 16:01:50
11.   Monterey Chris
I remember a pre-season game at the Rose Bowl. Also Michigan and UCLA. I beleive that Michigan came from behind to win that game, thanks to some off-side kicks. Were you at that game, Bob?
2006-12-27 16:07:56
12.   Bob Timmermann
Yep, I went to that one. That was a night game.

I also went to one a little more recently where UCLA beat Michigan when it was well over 100 degrees for the entire game. It was a brutal day. Michigan's kicker missed a couple short field goals.

But it was hot.

So very, very, very hot.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.