There were parades, a dance the night before the game, the dazzling Kilgore Rangerettes and a darned good intersectional football game, won by Compton 19-0 before a crowd of 43,000. Many terrific games and crowds over 50,000 followed.
In 1965 Henderson County, now Trinity Valley, Tex. did a number on Pasadena CC, 29-14, in what proved to be the end of the JC- oriented contest. Small colleges took over with the likes of San Joe State, Grambling, Louisville, Long Beach State, Memphis and Northridge taking center stage. It didn't take at all. Crowds dropped from an average in the high 40,000s to the low twenties and soon it was gone.
We have discussed what happened a number of times and there is no use finger-pointing now, but suffice to say that greed reared its ugly head. What was the best thing that ever happened to junior college football and to the recipient charities went down the drain.
In 1976 and 1977 the Los Angeles Times backed a revival of the Junior Rose Bowl, first bringing Ellsworth out to play Bakersfield and then Jones County (Miss.) to tangle with Pasadena the next year. Despite the promotional backing of the Times the game had faltered to 23,000 and 18,000 attendance. Failure of many of the JC coaches to live up to their agreement to support the game by bringing their teams and booster groups, quickly turned the Times sour on what they had termed, a collective community project, and the JRB went into mothballs where it still remains.
Is it time for someone to dig down and get the resources to renew the game? You bet.
Would it be a worthwhile project for junior college football? Without a doubt.
Would such a game be televised? No question. So many sports stations looking for games these days.
What is the major hang up? Politics and lack of a major sponsor.
Will it ever happen? Don't bet the ranch on it.
NOW FOR SOME THIS-N-THAT
DID YOU KNOW that George Rush (CCSF head man) once did some coaching in Southern California? Although it seems like he has been locked into the Golden Gate area forever, Rush was an assistant coach at College of the Canyons way back in 1971 working with Don Kloppenberg. It was just the second year of COC's existence.
If SoCal JC schedules are reversed this year, national champion Grossmont should open at Mt. San Antonio and then host Canyons. Lots of luck to the Griffins on continuing their 12-game winning streak against that pair.
I'm anxious to see how Sierra gets along without Jeff Tisdel at the helm. Don't know Ed Eaton, but his work will be cut out for him with the Wolverines stepping up in class to the ultra-tough Valley Conference.
We were happy to see Pima (Ariz.) stick around for another "go" at the WSFL. The squad folded up mid-season last year when they ran out of warm bodies. However, remember they are just one year away from a 9-3 season. Good luck to new head coach Bill Laslett, who had a short stint at Phoenix College several years ago.
Anyone remember years back when Mike Hohensee was quarterback for the Mt. San Antonio Mounties? Mike, who has been playing or coaching in the Arena Football League in each of its 20 years, led the Chicago Rush to the championship recently, winning his first title. Lots of ex-JCs playing Arena ball.
The Kurt Warner/Matt Leinert QB duo in Arizona might find a gem to pass to in former Grossmont wide-receiver Todd Watkins. Fleet of foot and sticky of finger, Watkins had a fine two years at BYU. How did he ever last into the 7th round of the NFL draft? We know all about the Cardinals' stars...Fitzgerald and Boldin. O.K. so maybe No. 3 for Watkins, who inked his contract last week.
The Cardinals will be real happy with Deuce Lutui, ex-Snow/USC OL, who figures to start muy pronto. We would be surprised if Jerome Harrison, Pasadena/Wash. State, doesn't make the grade with Cleveland. CONGRATS to Ex-Coffeyville/South Carolina CB, Johnathan Joseph, who gained first-round status with the Bengals. Former Orange Coast DL, Jesse Mahelona, will stay home after being drafted by the Tennessee Titans out of Tennessee in round five.
Sacramento State delved into the JC pool heavily this year and will feature a pair of JC quarterbacks in Tim Brockwell of NJCAA champ, Glendale, and Marcel Marquez from Canyons, champs in 2004. No doubt the Hornets can boast of being the only school with a pair of QBs who led their teams to JC titles.
Look for J.C. Grid-Wire All-American QB Brent Schaeffer (Sequoias) to start at Ole Miss in the Fall. Two other JC Grid-Wire AAs, Corey Actis, Bakersfield ,and Clarence Bailey, Lackawanna, should be blocking for him.
Folks at Michigan State are expecting Ervin Baldwin to move right in as a starter at DE after he arrives from Reedley in August. The Spartans are looking at Canyons' DT David Stanton and Strong Safety Nehemiah Warrick of Hutchinson as starters as well. Devin Thomas, a WR from Coffeyville, has been running with the second unit.
That's it for now. We'll be around with some Little This-N-That's from time to time.
Isn't it football season yet?