Editor's Note: I first met Blake Ferras in 2005 at a nickel arcade in San Jose, CA. We were then roommates at Idaho before he moved on to Oregon and played in:
“The Grand Daddy Of them All”
The Rose Bowl
By Blake Ferras
Ever since I was a little kid I always dreamed of playing in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. The dream came to light in 2009 when my teammates and I won the Pac-10 championship and the bid for the 2010 Rose Bowl after beating our fierce rival Oregon State. This was a surreal moment for our team and loyal fan base because of the great adversity we faced throughout the season. All we did was kept believing and the Ducks finally got put back on the map!
A lot of people think we go down to Pasadena to play the big game but there is way more to it than that. Everyone on the team finds their own way down there on Christmas Day which is hard on our families, but they all know they are in for a treat when the first of January comes around. As players we didn’t mind at all because the team is our second family and the camaraderie that team had was something that I never experienced before in my life. This camaraderie made the trip really special.
We were treated like Rock Stars down there. We stayed in a five star hotel in Beverly Hills. This hotel was so nice that we found out that a Sheik was staying there and had actually rented out the top three floors. In the hotel there was even a basement full of arcade games that was put down there as the player lounge. Everywhere we went we had police escorts to and from practice or a special event we had to attend. The Rose Bowl Committee made sure that we were well fed. The food ranged from In n Out Burger trucks that came to us after practice to all you can eat at the world famous Lawry’s The Prime Rib. We went to Disneyland but it wasn’t that enjoyable for me even though we had passes to cut the lines. This was due to me not fitting in any of the rides. The most fun we had as a team was going to The Improv where there were quite a few stand-up comedians, but the most memorable was Joe Rogan. If you haven’t seen his stand up just to warn you it is very crass but hilarious. A fellow D-lineman of mine decided to videotape Joe doing his stand up. All of a sudden Joe spots him and starts ripping on him for taping his act in which made all of us bust up laughing. The best part about this was that this D-lineman always thought he was a comedian by ripping on his fellow teammates.
There were two things that I enjoyed the most down there. The first one was going out on the town with a few of my best friends on the team the first night we were down there. We had a stretch limo the entire night and the driver brought us to the hottest clubs and bars in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. I will never forget the amount of fun we had. The second thing is running onto the field about to play in the biggest game of my life and best bowl game in college football. I’ll always remember the sights, sounds, and adrenaline running through me as we were running onto the field with the best team I ever had a privilege of playing with. I get goose bumps thinking about it to this day.
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