Utes make their own history in ‘America’s greatest stadium’



About 90 minutes before kick-off on Saturday, the sun began to set over the San Gabriel Mountains, bringing the range alive with color.
It was at this moment that I fully appreciated where I was.
This is the place where Brian Griese quarterbacked the Michigan Wolverines to a 21-16 victory over Washington State, capping an undefeated season, all with an emotional father calling the game from the booth. This is where Brandi Chastain buried a penalty kick to give the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team the World Cup and leave the world one of its most iconic sports images. This is where Texas quarterback Vince Young slew a giant, defeating a once-thought unbeatable USC team.
It’s a stadium reserved for the greats, for the Olympians, for the champions.
The walls of the stadium are adorned with images of these moments, serving as a reminder of what makes the stadium so special. Those reminders, though, are not necessary. The pillars that hold up the famed bowl and the grass that grows on its hallowed ground seem to whisper, “Greatness happened here.”
It’s a stadium where history was written and where legends were made.
History is an interesting thing. Games that will always be remembered by some will soon be forgotten by others.
UCLA fans leaving their home stadium following the Bruins’ loss to Utah won’t remember Saturday’s contest for long. It won’t stack up in the long line of classics played in Pasadena, but the Ute fans who made the trip witnessed history.
Kendal Thompson’s elusive feat, Dres Anderson’s awe-inspiring catch, Devontae Booker’s bruising running and, of course, Andy Phillips’ automatic foot will be stored in their minds forever.
The Utes added another chapter to the history of America’s greatest stadium and by doing so started a new book on a season that seemed lost just one week ago.
Utah players stayed on the field long after the final whistle, soaking it all in, some holding back tears. This is the emotion that comes from playing where legends played. It’s the emotion that comes when greatness — even if it was just a small shimmer — is obtained.
The Utes became part of the hallowed walls of the Rose Bowl on Saturday and their moment will forever whisper.
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