Sunday, December 4, 2022

Another Day for my Dad: Utah and Two Rose Bowls

Eleven years ago I did a post on my father and Utah football. My father and I were Utah football fans. He died on June 19, 2002 and at his funeral I sang a portion of "Utah Man," the Utah fight song, much to the embarrassment and shock of my family. My post in September 2011 was about Utah joining the PAC 12 and how happy my father would have been to see that day. Utah had just played USC in football in Los Angeles and was playing Washington in football that day in Salt Lake City. 

My father and I attended the 1997 Rose Bowl where Ohio State narrowly defeated Arizona State. It was the fulfillment of many years of talk and dreaming. By that time I was living in Redlands. 

Well, January 1st of this year I attended the Rose Bowl with my wife, Judy, and two first cousins, Bill, the son of my father's sister, Mary; and Russ, the son of my father's brother, Ted (as well as their spouses and Bill's daughter and her husband). Utah played Ohio State in one of the most exciting games I've ever seen, eventually losing in the last seconds 48 to 45. Dad would have loved that game and the fact that I was there with family. 

Earlier this weekend I drove to Las Vegas with Judy to attend the PAC 12 football championship at Allegiant Stadium where Utah played USC. There we met Bill and Russ, again, as well as Ted, Bill's brother (another first cousin), as well as Russ's wife and Bill's daughter. We also connected at the game with my brother, Matt, and his wife Carol, who came independent of us. We had marvelous seats in the front row of the third tier in a sold out stadium. Utah fell behind 17 to 3, then tied it at halftime, 17-17, and went on to win 47 to 24. 

This knocked USC out of a chance at a national championship, gave Utah its second PAC 12 football championship in a row and put Utah in the Rose Bowl for the second straight year, this time to face Penn State. 

Dad would have loved it there. I thought about him and about that wonderful connection we had with Utah football, a connection that none of my other siblings had with him. This past day I have been reading the news constantly, living in the joy of the moment. Utah was ranked no. 8. It just feels like a nice time to reminisce. I don't think I'm going to the Rose Bowl this year, but I think I might get some crab legs and some dip, sit down with Judy in front of the tv and enjoy another New Years day, this time watching Utah in the Grandaddy of all the bowl games. 


  1. I love this post, and even I have fond memories of you and your dad watching football on TV together. I remember the New Year's Day when we were dating when we sat down in the morning in front of football and basically watched until bedtime. You were two of a kind when it came to football. I'm going to print this post and send it to your mom.

  2. Your cousin Bill Barnes here. It was a great pleasure to be with you and Judy for last year’s Rose Bowl and this year’s PAC 12 Championship! Go Utes!