I’m on the Rose Bowl beat this week, and Tuesday was a day at “The Happiest Place on Earth” — Disneyland. Here’s a photo of some members of the Wisconsin, on the left, and Oregon in front of the Magic Castle.
Here’s my story from Tuesday’s Arrival Press Conference at Disneyland:
ANAHEIM – For some, going to Disneyland never gets old.
You can put the Oregon and Wisconsin football teams in that group.
The Ducks and Badgers, who meet in Monday’s 98th Rose Bowl Game, kicked off festivities Tuesday with the traditional stop at Disneyland.
It’s the second trip for both teams within the past three years. Wisconsin also is playing in “The Granddaddy of Them All” for the sixth time since 1994 while Oregon is seeking its first victory in the Rose Bowl Game since beating Pennsylvania, 14-0, in 1917.
“It’s a real honor to be back here again,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “I know (Wisconsin) was here last year, and we were here two years ago.
“When you talk about a college football game and you talk about tradition, it starts with the Rose Bowl. And there’s no better place to kick it off than Disneyland.”
Both teams advanced to Pasadena after losing the Rose Bowl Game in recent years.
Oregon, 11-2 and ranked No. 6, lost 26-17 to Ohio State in 2010, with Wisconsin dropping a 21-19 decision to Texas Christian last January.
The Badgers, led by Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball at running back and quarterback Russell Wilson, didn’t have a clear path back. They lost two games during the middle of the season in the final minute but rebounded with five consecutive wins, including a 42-39 victory over Michigan State in the first Big Ten championship game.
“It’s great to be here,”
said Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, whose Badgers also are 11-2 and ranked No. 9. “We came to Disneyland last year and had a wonderful experience. We wanted to come back again and be part of it, of this whole day.
“It’s kind of fun, because as this year went along we had some trials and tribulations, and to finally get to where we are I thought our team showed some great character and faith. To be out here at Disneyland and be in `The Granddaddy of Them All’ is truly rewarding.”
The same can be said of Oregon, which is led by two-time Doak Walker Award finalist LaMichael James and quarterback Darron Thomas. The Ducks, who won the Pac-12 for the third consecutive time, rallied from a 40-27 loss to Louisiana State in the season opener to win 10 of their past 11 games to advance to a Bowl Championship Series game for the third year in a row.
But Oregon, which lost to Auburn in January’s BCS title game, also views Monday’s game as unfinished business.
“It’s nice to be here,” Oregon linebacker Josh Kaddu said. “We just hope for a different ending (to the game) this time.”
But nothing beats a trip to Disneyland.
“I was on the Tea Cup ride with Montee earlier,” said Wilson, who transferred to Wisconsin from North Carolina State in late spring and missed out last year. “That was kind of fun. It got me kind of dizzy. But it’s all been great so far.
“This is my first time to Disneyland. I’ve been to Disney World. But this is special. It’s a great moment. We’re excited to be here.”