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     The 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade and 2007 Rose Bowl
    Sports: Athletic Contests
    It was a beautiful day for the 2007 Tournament of Roses parade yesterday in Pasadena. This is the type of weather we normally expect on New Years Day, when we watch from the frozen wasteland. The parade last year was a fluke, with torrents of water pouring down on Teri Hatcher. Luckily, the Rose Bowl game was played a few days later in relatively good weather, and the 2006 Rose Bowl game was a classic for the ages and already a candidate for the Game of the Century. The 2007 Rose Bowl game had its moments too.


    A battalion of the 501st appeared in the parade. They were led by Darth Vader. George Lucas was the Grand Marshal of the parade. He wore his USC letter jacket during the parade and for the coin flip for the game. The Grambling band appeared in black Star Wars officer uniforms. (Nice touch!) The best float in the parade had to be the Oklahoma Centennial float. It featured a man wearing a rocket pack who made a flyover of Colorado Boulevard. It was probably the coolest feat of the whole parade.

    Every year, local station KTLA (Channel 5) does a broadcast for the Los Angeles market. They make a whole day of it, with the pre-parade countdown, the whole parade without commercials, and then they re-run the parade afterwards. The ABC and NBC coverage is weak in comparison. KTLA also has the best camera position, south of the Norton Simon museum. The parade participants are backlit by the morning sun just perfectly. The networks have to slouch on Orange Grove Boulevard just before the turn onto Colorado Boulevard. Last year they lost Stephanie Edwards when her contract expired. Bob Eubanks still did his gig, but it was not the same without Stephanie. They have a great website with Rose Parade coverage and streaming video. Way to go on the streaming KTLA.

    In the actual 2007 Rose Bowl game, Michigan continued a tradition of futility by losing to USC. The Wolverines have been blasted since the 1970s for not winning the game after being ranked so highly and winning through the Big Ten conference. It would seem that nothing they can do works. Over the years, Bo Schembechler made them skip the Disneyland trip and parties and concentrate on football. It never seemed to help. All the poll voters can rest easy now that they do not have to make a decision if Ohio State were to lose to Florida and Michigan were to beat USC. The Trojans beat the Wolverines soundly. It was a 3-3 tie in the first half, as the defenses held tight. But in the second half Michigan came out flat. Lloyd Carr’s assistant was caught on camera yawning, and that pretty much summed up the Wolverine offense. The one bright moment came when Chad Henne drove the Wolverines within 8 in the fourth quarter. But USC responded and nailed them down.

    Wolverine Mike Hart reported that the USC offense was the best they faced all year. After the Ohio State game, Michigan players were talking trash and being wishful about a rematch. Putting Central Michigan on your schedule does not bode well when deciding who the best team in the country is. My feeling is that the Ohio State / Michigan game was the big game for the year, and all else falls behind it. It was not as close as it seemed. Also, no one but Michigan fans wanted to see a rematch. USC also did not have what it takes this year to play for the national championship. Radio show callers claimed that USC beats UCLA 99 times out of 100. But that is why those games are played. In 2004, in similar circumstances, USC had the horsepower to beat UCLA. In the 2006 UCLA-USC game, the Trojans did not. My take is that 99 times out of 100, UCLA beats USC at that moment. The Trojans fell down in every aspect against the Bruins. They were out-coached and outplayed. However, UCLA could not have hung that victory on any other team. USC should have beat Oregon State. But they were caught looking stupid. The 2006 USC Trojans are still a great team and Rose Bowl champions to boot.

    ABC did a great job with High definition coverage of both the parade and the game. I really like that suspended camera that puts you right above the field. Brent Musberger settled down for this game and did a good job. Bob Davie is a good color commentator. Kirk Herbstreit was not in the UCLA/USC game, but was in the Michigan/Ohio State game and stood between Brent and Bob. In my mind three is a crowd in that situation. The ABC halftime crew was there at the Northeast corner of the field. They had a bad camera angle with the sun right in the camera. Also, the ESPN camera is not a high definition camera. So it really looks bad when they switch. Bonnie Bernstein covered the Michigan bench and Lisa Salters covered the USC bench. Lisa had been emotionally invested in USC and was in tears at the end of the UCLA/USC game while interviewing Pete Carroll.

    The Rose Bowl on New Years day really is the best of all the bowl games. The BCS would be dead if the Rose Bowl folks had not agreed. I still think they should pull the plug, go back to Big Ten/Pac Ten for the big money, and split polling. Have the Pacific Ten conference pick up two more teams, and get Notre Dame into the Big Ten. Go to a playoff on December 2nd and have the champions play in the Rose Bowl.

      
    Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 @ 14:38:52 UTC by BB
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