New Year’s Day is rife with tradition. Perhaps no such tradition is more exciting for fans of college football than the handful of New Year’s Day bowl games featuring some of the sport’s best teams. New Year’s Day bowl games can trace their origins back to the 19th century. According to History.com, on January 1, 1890, members of the Valley Hunt Club in Southern California paraded through the streets of Pasadena, California, engaging in various contests, including tug-of-war. While no collegians competed on the gridiron that day, the parade served as a precursor to the Tournament of Roses Parade, which immediately proceeded athletic contests that included polo matches and greased-pig catching. In 1901, the president of the parade, seeking to gain publicity for the town of Pasadena and its floral festival, sought to stage a sporting event that might attract more interest than pig-catching and polo.
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