Michigan and Alabama begin Rose Bowl week at Disneyland

Kim Montuoro - The Sporting Tribune
The Sporting Tribune's Emily Van Buskirk and Kim Montuoro take you behind the scenes of Rose Bowl week in Southern California.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — It’s peak college football bowl season with the Semifinal mere days away. You’ve seen the preview shows, you’ve heard the podcasts. But we’re here to bring you behind the scenes of the Grandaddy of Them All. Come along with us for a week of daily Rose Bowl vibe checks.

The week officially kicked off Wednesday for both teams inside the Happiest Place on Earth where fans and Disneyland Resort guests alike lined the small-town sidewalks of Main Steet, U.S.A. to cheer on both head coaches in horse-drawn carriages, catch sight of the Rose Queen and clap in time with the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band.

After the cavalcade, several Michigan and Alabama players and their head coaches joined members of the media in the historical Opera House for a quick Q&A about their day at Disney, the impending game and what the Rose Bowl experience means to them. 

“Maybe it’s a Michigan thing, I think it’s a Midwestern thing,” said Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh. “Growing up as a Midwestern kid, you’ve got the snow outside, you haven’t seen the sun for maybe sometimes 30 or 45 days and then to turn on the television set and see the Rose Bowl and the mountains and the sunshine and the palm trees – I’m sure that’s why my people moved here in the 60’s and 70’s and 50’s and 80’s. They grew up like me, watching this game and going ‘I really want to go there someday.’ And here we are. And that’s a great feeling. It’s like a ‘who’s got it better than us’ kind of feeling.” 

The vibes were great, but surprisingly the outfits were better. Both teams boasted players who had that ish on. Michigan running back Blake Corum came dressed in the “Run the Damn Ball” aesthetic but insisted teammate Mike Sainristil has the most drip, which was evident from his custom chain made by jewelry designer Zo Frost. Sainristil actually created the font for a video game and decided he liked it enough to ice it out. 

Not to be left out, Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner brought some motion with his flashy footwear. So of course, we asked him his thoughts on his head coach’s Disney day fit. 

“He’s got the loafers, no socks, but you can’t judge – it’s Nick Saban,” said Turner. “He has a swag of his own as I like to say, and he rocks his swag very well.” 

After that assessment, we asked him exactly how he would style Saban. 

“For a guy like Nick Saban, I would stay simple, I wouldn’t go too flashy – so I might go with the white Air Force 1’s for the shoes, probably some Amiri cargo pants for sure and then like a little hoodie sweater,” answered Turner. “If he let me be his personal stylist, I would definitely get him right for sure. Maybe one day.” 

He even joked that Saban could borrow his size 14 Nike Concepts X Air Max 1 SP ‘Heavy’s’, if he could fit them. 

Rose Bowl Day 1 passed the vibe check – it was s solid start but we expect more as the week wears on. 

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