The Rose Bowl: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Liz Soteros-McNamaraContributor IDecember 31, 2008

With all the winter holidays coming drawing to another year’s end, I await the final holiday to share with family and friends.

I’m not just talking about New Year’s Day. I’m talking about the Rose Bowl.

The Rose Bowl was as memorable event in my teen years as even Christmas Day itself.

The Rose Bowl got me talking to my then-college aged brother during high school. We didn’t have much in common except our ears (it’s true!) but every year from the time he was in college we could come together on Jan. 1 and have something to discuss.

I was amazed at how my brother could explain a game to me that I never played and didn’t bother to understand before. He was always good to explain the teams and the expected outcome.

During my brother’s time as a UCLA Bruin, the stadium was turf for home games. I was always kind of jealous when I went to a smaller college that we didn’t have the same kind of iconic structure for our sporting events.

He attended USC for graduate school, our mother’s alma mater. And that gave the games some extra fun for us while the university competed twice during his time there. USC’s four continued years at the Rose Bowl have been a bonding experience for my brother and I.

Last year’s game against the Fighting Illini lacked a punch, but my brother and I still had talking points to exchange. This year’s game, USC-Penn State promises more.

My brother is out of grad school now and moved to another state a couple of years ago. Time changes and work schedules leave a great deal of our communication to social networking, but one thing remains the same.

I know where I will be on Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. ET. Which will be 2 p.m. for me and 3 p.m. for my big brother. And even with out being able to sit on the same couch, we’ll have something to celebrate as a family.

Happy New Year!