Rose Bowl

1916

 

Washington State 14

Brown 0

 

 

Washington State Fight Song

 

 

Today's Rose Bowl had its beginnings in 1890 in Pasadena, Calif., a growing southern California city with a population of fewer than 5,000 people, most of whom had been transplants from cities in the East and Midwest. In late 1889, one of the town's leading citizens proposed to a group of fellow Valley Hunt Club members that it would be nice to have a small parade and display of athletic competitions on New Year's Day. The Pasadena natives had long forgotten their snow-covered homes in the East and were anxious to showcase their beautiful California climate.

 

The parade was a line of flower adorned carriages, and the games consisted of foot races, tugs of war and jousts among the local citizenry. The foot races and tugs of war kept the townspeople's interest until around 1902. The suggestion then was made to invite two college football teams to compete in the post-season celebration. The two teams that played in college football's first intersectional post-season game were Michigan and Stanford in 1902. Michigan, led by head coach Fielding H. "Hurry-Up" Yost, dominated the Stanford team, 49-0, in a game that was stopped with more than nine minutes remaining. The Rose Bowl had been set back 14 years. Local residents decided that, perhaps, football's time had not yet arrived and for the next 14 years, the Rose Bowls gave way to a number of other events.

 

For many years the main attraction in Tournament Park (the predecessor of the current Rose Bowl stadium) was chariot races, although polo matches attracted equally large crowds. However, in 1912, interest in the chariot races began to decrease following an accident. So in 1913, two unusual events were scheduled. The first, a race between a camel and an elephant, was tried and was never repeated. The other idea was just as intriguing, but never seemed to catch on with the community. That idea was an ostrich race, which proved to be more exciting than originally planned when one of the jockeys was thrown from his mount. In an effort to capture his stray bird, the jockey found himself kicked across the track. The ostrich races were discontinued.

 

In 1916, the decision was made to bring back football. Until 1923, the Tournament of Roses Committee selected the two teams that would compete in the New Year's Day classic. For the 1916 game, Brown and Washinton State (then known as Washington State College) were chosen. Originally known as the Pasadena Tournament of Roses East-West game (it was 1923 when the real Rose Bowl facility was completed that the name changed), the WSU-Brown game was played at Tournament Park. The Rose Bowl has been the "Grandaddy of them all" ever since.

 

The Bruins were chosen as the Eastern representatives after posting a 5-3-1 mark. The Bruins' 3-0 win over Yale was the key accomplishment that earned the Rhode Island team an invitation to play in the Rose Bowl. Brown outscored its opponents 167-32 that year. The Bruins were led by black sensation Fritz Pollard. Pollard was the first black All-American running back and became the first to play in the Rose Bowl. Washington State was led by Coach William “Lone Star” Dietz. Deitz inherited a team that had failed to post a winning season in the previous five, he promptly led the Cougars to 17 wins, 2 losses and one tie over the next three years. He had one undefeated season and another with but one tie. During that three year stretch, his teams outscored the opposition 497 to 38. In 1915, Washington State was 6-0 on the season and had outscored its opponents 204-10

 

WSU’s preparation for the game had been, to say the least, unconventional. Coach William “Lone Star” Dietz and his Cougar squad served as extras in the football film “Tom Brown of Harvard” each morning and then practiced for the bowl game in the afternoon . Each WSU player received $100 for the 14 mornings of movie work. Brown took the whole event very lightly, attending the Rose Bowl Parade. Dietz appeared in his "classic'' coaching attire: a silk hat, Prince Albert cutaway coat, striped pants, yellow gloves, and a walking stick.

 

A crowd of 10,000 watched as Brown entered the game a two-to-one favorite, despite its modest 5-3-1 record. A cold spell, followed by a heavy rain and some snow for three days prior to the game, turned the playing field into a sea of mud that slowed both teams. Brown came close to scoring twice in the first half, but each time Washington State's defense, which had allowed just one field goal and one touchdown all season, rose to the task and halted the Bruins short of the goal line, once at the four yard line (video). Bruin star Fritz Pollard gained just 47 yards in 13 carries.

 

In the second half WSU's size advantage began to pay off as the Cougars took command, scoring once in each quarter (video). WSU used third and fourth quarter touchdown runs by Ralph Boone and Carl Dietz to shutout the Bruins 14-0. Dietz leads Cougar attack with 105 yards followed by Benton Bangs with 98 and Boone with 86. Fritz Pollard, unable to find traction on the muddy field, was shut down by the Cougar defense.

 

Nearly every newspaper in the country carried photos of Lone Star "strolling the sideline in full tuxedo, stove pipe hat, and cane," writes Bernie McCarty of the Professional Football Researchers Association. Proclaimed the Pullman Herald upon the team’s return home, "The largest and most enthusiastic athletic demonstration ever held in the Pacific Northwest was staged in Pullman ….when the returning Washington State players, conquerors of Brown university's team, were greeted by a wild, howling, cheering throng that overflowed (railroad) station grounds and extended up Grand street at least a block."

 

Yip yip you, yip yip you, how we love you, oh you Sioux.

 

It had been a game of first: the first “completed” Rose Bowl game and first in the unbroken history of the game, the first African-American to play in a bowl game and the first time and Eastern team ventured to the West Coast for the classic.

 

The principals of the 1916 Rose Bowl: Fritz Pollard and "Lone Star" Deitz.

 

Washington State practices for Rose Bowl.

 

Brown University, 1916

 

Chariot races became a thing of the past as football became king at the Rose Bowl.

 

Action from the 1916 Rose Bowl.

 

Lone Star and the Sioux got heroes welcomes back in Washington.

 

Attendance: 10,000
 

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