Saturday, November 17, 2012

Victory on the field, with streamer violation

Yes, to Albug who guessed the USC vs. UCLA game! And from where we sat, it turned out the right way.

We were in attendance for both fun and business, and at the wet and cold beginning of the day, with rain pounding down on the 101 and 134 freeways, it felt like all work and no play.

But fortunately by the time our little car inched its way through the long-suffering residential neighborhood that surrounds the Rose Bowl, the rain had let up and there were even some patches of blue in the sky.

The tailgate parties were amazing to see. Huge RVs with barbecues and picnic tables, Bruins and Trojans parking side by side and partying together (cats and dogs sleeping together!).

We joined a celebration in a large tent, with buffet brunch and a bar - very welcome after an early, cold drive. Here, too, the Bruin and Trojan fans sat together in seeming harmony....although this crosstown rivalry runs very deep. Since 2000, USC has beaten UCLA 11 times, and UCLA has prevailed twice (including today!)

There was free kettle corn, too!

Kickoff was at noon, so we made our way to our seats. We were lucky to have an invitation to a private suite - this was the work part of the day, although now it was beginning to feel like real fun!

The Rose Bowl's suites have been remodeled since the last time I'd been here, and this was quite pleasant. The inner room had comfy furniture and a array of food and refreshments.There were tall stools and counters facing the window, if you wanted to watch the game from inside, and doors led to two rows of seats that were outside yet sheltered by an overhang. The suite was high above the 50 yard line, with a fantastic view of the field. 

Our hosts had provided appropriate amenities for celebrating a serious athletic competition. There were programs; printed newsletters with the team's season statistics. There were pompons in the team colors. There were binoculars provided to see the plays more closely. The refreshment menu included chili dogs, salad and fruit; soda, lemonade and cookies - each guest had a drink ticket for the outer bar, if he or she wished. And... there were streamers.

Streamers aloft!
 This is the only place I've ever encountered paper streamers, and although they are a challenge to deploy, I am proud to say I've become streamer-proficient. It takes skill and a deft touch to throw a paper streamer out of a skybox properly, and luckily for us, the opportunity came with the first play as our team scored a touchdown in the first few minutes of the game.

R.T. and her expert streamer technique
 Our group threw streamers with abandon throughout the first half, celebrating a commanding lead. Perhaps too much abandon, however, because we were visited by a City of Pasadena police officer who asked us to cease and desist with the streamers. Someone below had complained. Trojan fans, obviously.

One of the suite organizers was surprised at the intervention. Streamers had been flowing from this suite for years, she said, with no complaint. The officer apologized, but stood firm. Complaints had been made, he said, and we must cease with our streamer throwing.

Chagrined, we agreed to put away the streamers - but before the officer left, our friend told him to wait a moment. Then she held a coil of paper to her lips, and blew through it. The streamer unfurled in a festive spiral across the officer's uniform. "See? That's all it is!" she said.

He smiled, but stood firm. No more streamers. So, reluctantly, we pledged to be good

During the second half the misty rain returned, and the fans in the stands donned their plastic rain ponchos, but the crowd remained enthusiastic. USC came from behind with some great plays, and the game held our attention.

The suites were only separated by handrails, and the suite beside ours was occupied by USC fans. They watched our streamer throwing, and we watched their cheering when the Trojans scored a touchdown. But it was good to enjoy the game side by side. The fans nearest to us were young men and we talked with them and introduced ourselves. One young man was a USC alumnus, working his first job out of school. Another young man was a transfer student, in his junior year, studying linguistics.  Our side was administrators and their guests, people established and even celebrated in their fields - but the appreciation of a riveting game was shared by everyone.

Hizzoner was in attendance (texting, in the 4th quarter)
The game became as close as three points during the fourth quarter, but at the end, the Bruins won. And you know what? We threw the remaining streamers out over the stands anyway!!  Come and get us, copper, for excessive streamer violations!

Final score
It's a pretty good day when 90,000 people can have a good time together in Los Angeles, even with rain, traffic, congestion, and despite a long-standing cross-town academic athletic rivalry. Isn't that a great thing?

Who cares about paper streamers?


M. Bouffant said...

Only 90,000 showed? Hmpf.

You didn't take the Gold Line?

Enjoy the victory, next yr. will be a different story.

smalltownme said...

Love the colorful crowd!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Sounds like a good time. I haven't been to a football game in years.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

I would have posted bail for you if the coppers got your for streamer throwing.

It was a great game, huh?

Tom and I (and our two oldest girls; there was no Laura yet) used to have season tix for the Bruin home games when we lived in LA. It was always slow going to get in and out, but a willingness to arrive early with food and games made for a fun day.

Glad you had fun!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

What fun! My football games were almost always in the cold rain in Husky stadium, in the "fun zone" family section with the alumni band. My brother was very vocal about his support and dismay over the game.

And it's good to have a friend who will bail you out if you get busted for streamer violations. Such a rowdy crowd you hang with...