Over five hundred people packed into a massive tent just outside the stadium to attend the Rose Bowl Kickoff Luncheon on Tuesday, featuring an abundance of school spirit in anticipationÂ of the 100th Rose Bowl Game with PAC-12 champion Stanford Cardinal squaring off against Big 10 champion Michigan State Spartans.
These two teams will meet today a game that is expected to be a low scoring, defensive battle. The luncheon’s two co-hosts were ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein and Radio and TV personality Steve Hartman. They kept the spirited rally fun, lively, and gave each side a chance to roar for their respective team.
The Kickoff Luncheon was a dynamic mid-day pep rally featuring celebrity sportscasters as they present the university coaches, athletes, marching bands and pep squads of the teams participating in the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. Honored guests include the 2013 Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame inductees, Grand Marshall, Rose Queen and the Royal Court.
Erika Wartena of Camarillo, who is a Michigan State Alumni, is thrilled the Spartans are making their first visit to Pasadena since 1988. “I am sure MSU will pull it out in a close game,” said Wartena, dressed from head to toe in forest green.
Charles Dyson of East Lansing Michigan added, “I came out here last time they won the Rose Bowl, and this year’s team has the look,” Dyson said.
Boasting a 12-1 record, the Spartans’ path to Pasadena included a hard fought battle in the Big 10 Championship, where they defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 27-24. The upset ruined Ohio States undefeated record and cost them a chance to play in the BCS national Championship on January, 6, also at the Rose Bowl.
The highlight for many was the MSU band and cheer squad, led by the imposing and quite nimble Spartan mascot. The band sounded impressive, and Michigan State certainly sounded louder and more represented at this fun, yet competitive juices were flowing when the MSU fans would yell their famous chant, “GO GREEN, GO WHITE”. Â It made even an unbiased observer feel the passion of the friendly visitors from the Midwest.
The famous Stanford Cardinal Band would not go quietly into the night however. After the smoke cleared, it all boiled down to a Dancing Tree and a Spartan with a menacing glare.
The banda and cheer squads from bothÂ Universities mimicked their gridiron counterparts with the skill level and efficiency. A brilliant start to what should be a fantastic contest marking the 100th birthday of the Â “Grandaddy of Them of All.”