When Penn State Trained for the Rose Bowl -- At the Grand Canyon
The train was on its way west to Los Angeles when it stopped in the small Arizona town of Williams and detached a special car it had been carrying.
Twenty-two young men got out and headed north.
This was the 1922 Penn State football team. They were on their way to Pasadena to play the first-ever Rose Bowl game to actually be played in the newly built Rose Bowl stadium.
But first they had to take a hike.
A story in the Dec. 20, 1922, edition of the Long Beach Daily Telegram explained the itinerary that Penn State coach Hugo Bezdek had set for his team.
"Coach Bezdek and his 22 Nittany Lions are due to arrive in Pasadena shortly after noon on Sunday," it said. "They left their alma mater late yesterday afternoon and arrived in Chicago this morning where they will spend the day.
"This afternoon their special car will be attached to the California Limited and will remain so attached until Williams, Ariz., is reached," the story said.
"Here they will knock off for a day and see the Grand Canyon," it said.
The Penn State players were reportedly excited not only about seeing the Grand Canyon but also about the weather that awaited them in California. "The players were cheered by the prospect of warm weather in California," the story said. "For the past week they have been practicing in snow banks, and fast workouts have been impossible."
A story that ran in the Oakland Tribune on Dec. 22, 1922, focused on coach Bezdek's view about how California's weather might impact the Rose Bowl game. "Hugo Bezdek Does Not Fear Coast Climate," said the headline.
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