Throughout the 2019 football season, the sports world will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of college football. The Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl Game will be joining in on the celebration by bringing you the stories of how the Rose Bowl Game has helped shape college football over the last century and a half. This is the fourth of those stories, “The Granddaddy of Them All and Media Firsts.”
The Rose Bowl Game has been on the leading edge of bringing football to the masses.
The 1925 Rose Bowl Game was the site of the first wirephoto transmission of a bowl game.
In 1926, the Rose Bowl Game became the first bowl game to be broadcast on local radio. The announcer, Pasadena sportswriter and Olympic track star Charley Paddock, called the game as Alabama defeated Washington, 20-19, in the “Game That Changed the South.”
The popularity of the Rose Bowl Game grew by 1927 when the Granddaddy of Them All became the first national radio broadcast of a sporting event. Stanford and Alabama met in a No. 1 vs No. 1 game, with Stanford ranked No. 1 in the Dickinson System, while Alabama was the top ranked team in the Helms System. The game ended 7-7 and is the last Rose Bowl Game to end in a tie.
The Rose Bowl Game became the first bowl game to be broadcast on television was in 1948. Local station KTLA carried the game for the Greater Los Angeles area. It also marked the first time a U.S. motion picture newsreel was taken in color. In the game, Michigan defeated USC, 49-0.
By the 1952 Rose Bowl Game, the broadcast went nationwide and became the first nationally televised college football game on NBC. Illinois trailed Stanford 7-6 after the first quarter of the game, then rattled off 34 straight points to win, 40-7.
Ten years later, the Rose Bowl Game was the first coast-to-coast color telecast of a college football game. Famous Yankees play-by-play announcer Mel Allen brought the full-color action of Minnesota defeating UCLA, 21-3.
The Rose Bowl Game was the first college football game to expand outside the United States. In 1968, The Granddaddy of Them All was the first satellite television broadcast to Europe of a college football game, followed by the first satellite broadcast to the Far East in 1978.
The Rose Bowl Game may be well known as the first bowl game, but now you know it as the first of much, much more.