Today I Found Out host Simon Whistler dug through history to explain why certain american football games are called “bowls” in his latest video. Simon had to travel all of the way back to 1901, when the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California was first built, to do so.
In 1901, the Roses Association sponsored a college Tournament East-West football game between Michigan and Stanford. In this game, Stanford quit in the third quarter, being down 49-0. For the next 15 years, this annual event stopped featuring football, rather featured other events such as chariot racing. However, in 1916, the Roses Association decided to sponsor a football tournament once again, this time between WSU (then called The State College of Washington) and Brown. This game was held at Tournament Park in Pasadena, as were subsequent annual matches. Fast-forward five years and they had need of a stadium to play the game at, with attendance for this tournament having swelled massively. (read more)