ANAHEIM, CA- Weather reports for Dec. 26 in Columbus, Ohio and Seattle, Washington both registered temperatures south of 50 degrees. For Pasadena-bound No. 6 Ohio State and No. 9 Washington, hometown shivering weather is a thing of the past. The teams soaked in 70-degree California sunshine at Disneyland’s annual California Adventure Welcome Press Conference after arriving in Southern California on Christmas night.
“I love Seattle. But, it’s sunny here and not raining so I can’t be mad about that,” Washington senior running back Myles Gaskin said. Ohio State sophomore outside linebacker Tuf Borland added, “It is the Rose Bowl and we are in southern California, so it’s fun.”
Rose Bowl festivities officially kicked off at Disneyland Resort’s California Adventure theme park with an opening press conference. Disneyland Resort President Josh D’Amaro took the stage with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible from Disney Pixar’s hit film, “The Incredibles,” and emphasized the importance of student athletes from both Universities enjoying themselves for the day.
D’Amaro said, “We are so excited today to be celebrating this Rose Bowl Game with you. We’ve got a ton of traditions here at the Disneyland Resort but this is one of the most special.”
Gerald Freeny, president of the 2019 Tournament of Roses, also took to the podium.
Freeny said, “I know we’re going to see a great matchup on New Year’s Day. We hope both universities have a great time while they’re here in Southern California.”
The Tournament of Roses produces both the Rose Bowl game and Rose Parade, now in its 130th year. Freeny described the theme of this year’s parade as “The Melody of Life,” which celebrates the universal language of music.
“I imagine that there are plenty of Disney songs that may have had an impact on many of our lives,” Freeny said.
Ohio State senior receivers Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin, junior safety Jordan Fuller and head coach Urban Meyer joined Washington head coach Chris Petersen, senior quarterback Jake Browning, senior defensive back Jojo McIntosh, senior linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven and Gaskin on stage to be recognized.
Meyer said, “First of all, we’re honored here to represent the Big Ten Conference.” Petersen added, “It’s been 18 long years since the University of Washington has been here and we’re excited to be back. We’ve been practicing hard, but I know today (the players) are extremely focused on getting on one of these rollercoasters and not throwing up.”
Washington returns to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2001, while Ohio State plays their 15th game in the 105th edition of “The Granddaddy of Them All,” to be played in Pasadena at 2 p.m. on New Year’s Day.