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December 22, 1991|Mark Ehrman | Edited by Mary McNamara

Quick, what sport is most closely associated with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses? If you answered football, your youth is showing. Until 1916, the competitive event was that ancient crowd-pleaser, the chariot race. In 1902, football had been tried and failed, so Tournament of Roses Assn. President Charles D. Daggett, having recently read "Ben Hur," decided that chariot racing was the way to boost flagging enthusiasm for the 1904 Tournament of Roses. The Tournament succeeded beyond all expectations, and the sport of emperors became a part of Pasadena culture. Unfortunately, the purse barely covered the expense of training a team of horses, and in 1916, the town reluctantly settled for football.

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