So I thought I did a good job of preparing for the Rose Bowl shoot a few days ago, but apparently I forgot to charge my digital camera battery. Because of that, the only real pictures you get to see are on the front page and the above shot of the College Football Tour Guy police escort through Pasadena. This type of protection is just what happens when you take over the Interweb, trust me. Anyway, I've decided to throw some bullet points at you and you'll just have to use your imagination to picture what I saw on New Years Day while navigating the golf course/public lot outside of the stadium.
• Like I just said four seconds ago, public parking is on a golf course, which makes it fun to hang out (shade, space to run around) and horrific to depart after the game is over. Somebody may need to go check to see if missing loved ones are still jammed up on the 10th fairway.
• For having been horrific for the past five years and pretty good this year, Illinois fans are surprisingly passionate and loyal. For good reason, no Illini fans took the trip to see the Grandaddy for granted. When you're around so many SC fans (for better or worse), it's always nice to have some friendly Midwestern personalities and accents around.
• USC fans are an interesting breed. You've got your legit superfans, students who show up because everyone else does and the team is good (but didn't when they weren't, which wasn't too long ago), and a hearty group of leftover Raider fans and random LA sports fans who became intrigued when the Trojans got good. It makes for an interesting fanbase that somehow manages to be both underrated and horribly obnoxious at the same time, if that makes any sense.
Anyway, I met more superfans than I thought I would, with the worst group being the group of USC girls (by far). For the record, I'm a phony and lied about USC girls being better than anywhere else, I just wanted an excuse to yell out, "West-siiiiiiide!!!" In the future, I promise to always come clean about my phoniness in this space.
• We were offered food by precisely one USC tailgate. I don't expect to be offered grub at every tailgate, but I've come to notice that tailgaters are generally kind enough to offer up samples of their food everywhere other than the LA schools. That said, near the end of the shoot, we had some excellent carne asada.
• I could probably stand a few weeks off from hearing "I-L-L.....I-N-I" for a few weeks.
• I had some good Illinois corn with Indian seasoning (East Indian, or so I was repeatedly told). If you're an Illini fan and coming out to LA for the Rose Bowl and have access to all that LA has to offer food-wise, you're really grilling up the crop that surrounds you 364 days a year? That's some corn-commitment right there, folks.
• The Illini had an enormous alumni tailgate with what could've been the worst cover band EVER headlining the area. Sure, entering Illini lyrics into songs is somewhat cute, but when you yell everything in some nonexistant key, you lose some of the charm. Just saying.
• In the end, it would've been nice if the Illini kept the game respectful. USC fans seem to have grown bored of The Rose Bowl, but the Trojans certainly had plenty to abuse a team that probably should've been playing elsewhere. I guess I'm a playoff guy, but I can certainly see the appeal of playing at least the known bowl games. No matter the outcome of the game, Illinois fans seemed to be having a genuinely great Rose Bowl experience, so there's something to be said for traveling across the country to a warm city while having a grand ol' time with thousands of like-minded college football fans.
Who knows, at least I had some asada.
Blog Note: Camera Guy Casey wasn't man enough to put together the blog that threatened to expose me. Psh.
Tour Guy Road Notes (permanent link)
The College Football Tour Guide (last season's episodes from the Pac-10)
Windows Media Player 9 (for Mac)
Flip4Mac (for Mac)