Raw footage relives glory of 1988 Rose Bowl
Think back to 1988.
A gallon of gas cost 91 cents. Michael Jackson, U2 and Enya were atop the music charts. And not to mention, the MSU football team won the Rose Bowl — their most recent one to date.
Now, as the Spartans are chasing a trip back to Pasadena, a video resurfaced on Twitter this week showing a behind-the-scenes look at the Spartans’ locker room following the 1988 triumph over Southern California.
The video definitely is a throwback to a different era in college football, one that’s remembered fondly in East Lansing and the surrounding area. Let’s review.
First of all, MSU’s jerseys are phenomenal. It’s a different, slightly brighter shade of green than the current jerseys and features the throwback block S logo with a rose intertwined in the font. Most teams use a patch to denote a special occasion so I’m a huge proponent of integrating the rose into the logo.
Moments into the video, cornerback Craig Johnson enters the frame with his helmet off and his arms up in celebration, yelling “Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah — Rose Bowl champs!” Following Johnson, linebacker Tony Briningstool yells “there’s nothing greener than Pasadena,” which receives a warm reception in the locker room.
One minute in, there’s a Bullough sighting — linebacker Chuck Bullough, who’s the uncle of current senior linebacker Max Bullough and freshman running back Riley Bullough. This family seriously is fueling the MSU football legacy. Keep mating, Bulloughs!
There’s a few moments of NSFW language, including a brief comment from free safety Maurice Chamberlain who enters the room with a zinger, “Pac 10, smack 10. They can all kiss my ass,” before whipping his head around to make sure no authority figures were in the room. But seriously, would it have mattered if they were?
Several minutes in, head coach George Perles enters the room, making his way past goofy glasses wearing assistant Nick Saban — whatever happened to that guy? — while the team circles around the longtime Spartan coach. Perles can’t quit smiling, obviously a little overwhelmed by the gravity of the moment. But before speaking, Perles and the team share the Lord’s prayer.
Then, center Patrick Shurmur leads the team in a group count to 20, which the only obvious explanation would be the amount of points the Spartans scored in the game, followed by MSU’s Fight Song. Even the traditional way of singing it saying “weakening” rather than a loud “weak” the way the crowd does now is refreshing.
But then it was Perles’ turn.
“Alright fellas, congratulations on the conference and congratulations on the Big Ten champs. You guys played a hell of a football game. It was tough; they’re a good football team. We can’t say anything but good things about them but today, you did it. It doesn’t matter if you did it by one point, three points, 30 points, 100 points — a victory is a victory. You take them one at a time; they all count one. This will be one great, great, great big one. But it proves one thing, it doesn’t matter if you stay on the beach, it doesn’t matter if — I’m awful proud of you and I’m proud the way you acted this whole week. It’s hard for me to say that kind of stuff. I can’t do it. But I’m very proud of you for the way you carried yourself and now, let’s not do anything to change that in the last day.”
OK, there’s a ton of coach-speak there — the “they all count one” remark has been a staple for current head coach Mark Dantonio since he joined the program in 2007. It’s almost eerie how similar they sound. But I really like this remarks by Perles.
It’s a candid moment before telling the team he doesn’t “give a shit” how they get back to East Lansing, so long as they get there. From there, the team proceeds to celebrate for another minute or so before it cuts to footage of another game that season at Spartan Stadium.
This video is an amazing flashback to a different time in Spartan football — one not experienced by myself of any member of the current team. And with the Spartans taking aim at another trip this season, it will be a treat to see what kind of footage comes out of that moment in time.