Randy Quarles, ’25, Writes About the ‘Last’ Rose Bowl

Perspective: The last Rose Bowl

“Cowboys and Indians disappear, dying off or transforming themselves by tortuous degrees into something quite different. The originals are nearly gone and will soon be lost forever in the overwhelming crowd. Legendary enemies, their ghosts ride away together — buddies at last — into the mythic sunset of the West.” 

Edward Abbey wrote these words in “Desert Solitaire,” describing the final days of the American West as the world left it behind. Technology and culture and the inexorable march of time took those who were capable of adapting and made them something unrecognizable, and left those unable to change as relics of history, extinct but for myth and legend. He wrote those words late in the 1950s, a time when American society was completing its transformation from its pre-war iteration into something distinctly recognizable as our own present-day society, because he saw that a moment in history was  coming to a close, and felt the need to note down what was being lost. 

We don’t often think of history as taking place before our eyes. Even the events that seem to indicate a seismic shift are almost never singular instances, but rather the final thrust of years of life making subtle pushes that went unnoticed until the change was too far down the road to be halted. So it is with the recent announcement that the Rose Bowl has agreed to give up its 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time kickoff on New Year’s Day (or Jan. 2 if New Year’s Day fell on Sunday), a 107-year annual tradition, in exchange for inclusion in the cornucopia promised by the expanded College Football Playoff. 

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