“I don’t want to play in a Rose Bowl unless I’m playing for a national championship.” – Oregon wide receiver, Josh Huff

“It’s not a big deal at all … We already won a Rose Bowl, so I feel like it’s whatever.” – Oregon running back/receiver/athlete De’Anthony Thomas

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Wisconsin vs Oregon

The 100th Anniversary Rose Bowl … “Whatever”?

Former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was shaking his head reflecting on DAT’s Rose Bowl whatever  dismissal during the latest installment of Comcast’s “Talking Ducks.”

Harrington grew up in Portland, Oregon dreaming of playing in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

He took the Ducks to three consecutive bowl game wins: The Sun over Minnesota in 1999; the Holiday over Texas in 2000; and the Fiesta on New Year’s Day 2002 over Colorado. Three-for-three for “Captain Comeback,” but no Rose Bowl.

An awful Civil War game against Oregon State on a frigid November Saturday in 2000, and a nightmare fourth quarter against Stanford in October, 2001, kept Harrington out of Pasadena for the final two years of his college career. His ultimate dream was not realized, and it obviously still hurts to this day.

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Josh Huff and De’Anthony Thomas are good guys and their comments are understandable, considering that Stanford pretty much put the kibosh on Oregon competing for the national championship.

To some the Rose Bowl has become a consolation prize, largely because of the BCS. Similar sentiments are being heard in Columbus, Ohio, where an undefeated Ohio State team may be relegated to…the Rose Bowl.

“I don’t mind playing in the Rose Bowl, playing for the fans and my teammates,” Huff said. “But deep down I don’t wanna be a prep game for the national championship game.”

It hasn’t always been this way, and it really shouldn’t be this way.

Growing up I didn’t want to die without seeing the Rolling Stones live, and the Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

I achieved Satisfaction (even hearing the song played live three times), doing my best Jumpin’ Jack Flash with the Stones six times, proving that you can get what you want.

The first Oregon Rose Bowl in the modern era came in 1994 from an Oregon team forecasted to finish 10th in the Pacific 10 conference. Tears were rolling down collective faces as the band played “Mighty Oregon” on the floor of the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

There was no place else I was going to be on Planet Earth for those four hours on January 2, 1995 (Never on Sunday for the Tournament of Roses).

Since that time, the Ducks have been back to Pasadena twice, losing to Ohio State in the 2010 game and beating Wisconsin two years later. And now the Ducks sit on the precipice of their third trip to the Rose Bowl in five years.

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As Ronald Reagan would say, “Not bad, not bad at all.”

Almost DailyBrett generally refrains from making categorical, unequivocal statements but will state for the record that Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day is gorgeous on the most beautiful day of the year. The Los Angeles smog takes the day off. The skies are blue. The air is warm. The tailgate parties on Brookside Golf Course are rocking and rolling by 8:30 am, about five hours before kickoff.

My childhood home was literally next door in Glendale, The Bedroom of Los Angeles (dubbed out of the sheer boredom of the LA suburb, not for rampant sexual activity). You could almost hit the Rose Bowl with a rock from the balcony of my high school, St. Francis, in adjacent La Cañada.

I always dreamed of going to the Rose Bowl game.

My first time was as a junior manager for the USC Trojans, right on the sideline, on New Year’s Day 1977. We beat Michigan that day, 14-6. I still treasure my Rose Bowl ring and watch. Since that day, I have been to eight more Rose Bowls including the three aforementioned Oregon Rose Bowls.

As Gary Horowitz of USA Today wrote there was a time that Oregon even making the Rose Bowl would be relished, and not seen as the warm-up act before the headliner: The BSC National Championship Game.

Part of the reason for the lack of overall excitement by Oregon player’s lies in the fact that the program played in the “Natty” in 2011. That was the dream this year. The Bristol, Connecticut network Pharisees (e.g., former Florida QB Jesse Palmer or former Georgia LB David Pollack) at ES(SEC)PN have already discarded any chance of one loss Oregon playing in the Natty, so the Rose Bowl is now the realistic goal.

Keep in mind that five nationally ranked Pac-12 universities are still in the hunt for Pasadena on New Year’s Day: Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, USC and UCLA. The latter four do not see the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize.

The precious nature of the Rose Bowl is magnified if one makes a visit to Corvallis, Oregon, Berkeley, California or Tucson, Arizona. The Beavers have not been to the Rose Bowl since 1965 (48 years); the Cal Bears have been shut out of Pasadena since 1959 (54 years); and the Arizona Wildcats have never made it to Pasadena.

And these three schools are not making it this year either.

If Bear Down Arizona or the Old Blues of Cal or the Beaver Nation ever makes it to Pasadena there will be tears shed in Tucson, (even) Berkeley or Corvallis.

No one would be dismissing the Rose Bowl as, “Whatever.”

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10011543/oregon-ducks-unhappy-prospect-rose-bowl-trip

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/dbMv4?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=oregon-ducks-football

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2013/11/20/oregon-ducks-rose-bowl-pac-12-marcus-mariota/3659641/

http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2013/11/oregon_ducks_football_deanthon_8.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/lifelong-search-for-satisfaction/

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