Our own John Canzano (Bald Faced Truth Weekdays 12-3pm on 750 The GAME) was live at the 106th Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day, where the Oregon Ducks edged the Wisconsin Badgers in a thrilling game, 28-27.
Canzano wrote about the game and his impressions from it in his postgame column for The Oregonian (full column here), highlighting the ‘secret sauce’ of coach Mario Cristobal and the culture he is building in Eugene.
Ducks coach Mario Cristobal was flanked by his star quarterback, Justin Herbert. The Eugene kid who grew up watching Oregon football had just carried his team to a Rose Bowl victory not with his arm, but with three rushing touchdowns.
“Things can have a funny way of working out,” Herbert said.
Next to him was Brady Breeze, the defensive player of the game. Another Oregon-born kid. The Medford native who also played at Central Catholic High, transformed in college from a defensive back who couldn’t get on the field to one you’d never want to take off it.
For all the talk about Southern California recruiting, it was two Oregonians who ruled the day. Two kids who grew up wearing Ducks jerseys and watching the Rose Bowl put the football program over the top in Pasadena.
Canzano also captured a neat moment between coach Cristobal and his sons in the celebration of victory.
“…along with Cristobal in the news conference were his two young sons, Rocco, 8, and Matteo, 9. The younger son climbed up the stairs where the table sat wearing a “Rose Bowl Champions” hat and stood to his father’s side. The older son slid into a folding chair beside dad and was carrying two short-stemmed red roses.”
“I don’t know if Matteo and Rocco are going to grow up and play major college football. Maybe they’ll play for dad and win a Rose Bowl someday, too. But it hits you at a moment like that, with Breeze and Herbert, fulfilling childhood dreams, that anything is possible.
We’re sold that notion as children.
Certainly, life hardens us. Bad things happen. Adversity hits. But here, on the postgame stage, was a real-life example of two kids who grew up pretending to score touchdowns for the Oregon Ducks … actually scoring ALL of the touchdowns for the Ducks in a Rose Bowl.”
Follow JC on twitter @JohnCanzanoBFT for more, and tune in to The GAME Weekdays 12-3pm for his thoughts on The Bald Faced Truth.