Despite COVID surge, analysts say Rose Bowl is still on schedule

Dec 28, 2021, 7:16 PM
utah utes win Pac-12 championship and head to rose bowl...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 03: Wide receiver Britain Covey #18 of the Utah Utes celebrates the team's 38-10 victory over the Oregon Ducks to win the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Allegiant Stadium on December 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The win cleared the way for the Utes to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time in school history. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PASADENA, Calif. – Another big bowl game is cancelled because of COVID-19.  The Holiday Bowl was called off Tuesday just hours before kick-off was supposed to happen after a surge in cases among the UCLA team.  This has a lot of people speculating about the fate of the Rose Bowl, but some insiders say Ute fans shouldn’t be worried, yet. 

Even though cases of COVID-19 are surging, Rose Bowl organizers are still reporting that everything is still on track for the game on Saturday, Jan. 1.  However, some of the events that traditionally go along with the Rose Bowl have been called off.  For instance, Media Day was cancelled to prevent the players from being exposed to the virus.

What’s being done to make sure the Rose Bowl gets played?

KSL’s Unrivaled host Scott Mitchell said, “There are things being cancelled.  There is a lot being considered to make sure these teams get to play ‘The Granddaddy of them All.’”

Another event that got the axe was the traditional Lawry’s Beef Bowl, which is a beef-eating contest between opposing players at the famous Lawry’s restaurant in Beverly Hills.  The players will still get their meals, but the food will reportedly be delivered to their hotel rooms.

“They actually cancelled that event because it was one that could, potentially, be a ‘super-spreading’ type of event,” Mitchell said.

(The head football coaches and select players from The Ohio State University Buckeyes and the Utah Utes pose for a photo with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Park, in Anaheim, Calif., Dec. 27, 2021.
Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

Keeping the game in the spotlight

So, if the bowl organizers want to keep the players insulated against COVID-19, why did so many of them go to Disneyland this week, where there are thousands of visitors?  KSL Sports Utes Insider Trevor Allen believes organizers still needed to hype up the game. However, they decided to keep only the coaches and the team captains in the spotlight.

“I really think that was, kind of, the focus.  [They said] let’s just get the captains and let’s just get the coach out here to show them that ‘We’re here!  The Rose Bowl!’” Allen said.

He’s also hearing park officials kept the players away from the rest of the crowds as much as possible.  Allen confirms not every player went to Disneyland, since many of them want to focus on the Rose Bowl.  He says the team is very excited to play.

He said, “They don’t want to be here just to be here.  They want to win.”

Allen isn’t sure Ohio State players feel the same way.  He believes the Buckeyes see this game as a consolation prize, and several players have opted out to enter the NFL draft.


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Holiday Bowl scrapped as virus issues hit UCLA before kick


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Despite COVID surge, analysts say Rose Bowl is still on schedule