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SPORTS
December 30, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
This season's college bowl schedule is reminiscent of how it used to be in the last months of the year in pro golf, or the last five minutes of an NBA rout. Garbage time. ESPN fills airtime and sells ads, but there is no compelling reason to watch or buy. Find a good book to read. Then there is the Rose Bowl, Stanford versus Michigan State on Wednesday, a sign that all is not lost. These are two excellent teams, finishing off compelling seasons played in tough, competitive conferences.
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SPORTS
December 29, 2013 | By Gary Klein and Chris Dufresne
Fou Fonoti is the only player from California on Michigan State's roster. The senior right tackle from Lakewood said Sunday that he had entertained about 50 family members since arriving in Southern California for Wednesday's Rose Bowl game against Stanford. "It's been great to share this experience," he said. The 6-foot-4, 298-pound Fonoti played at Lakewood Mayfair High and Cerritos College before choosing Michigan State over UCLA, Arizona, Washington State and Rutgers.
SPORTS
December 29, 2013 | By Chris Dufresne
There may be no sadder injury in sports than one to a senior college football player who is also an NFL prospect. Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner, who will miss Wednesday's Rose Bowl with a torn pectoral muscle, stood to the side Sunday during media day while wearing his No. 49 jersey. He was part of the team but not part of it. A career that produced 106 tackles and 17.5 sacks is of no use to the Cardinal now. Gardner played in 46 games during the renaissance of Stanford football but will watch the Rose Bowl from the sidelines.
SPORTS
December 29, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Michigan State's Kyler Elsworth and Darien Harris have been splitting reps during Rose Bowl practices as they prepare to replace starting middle linebacker Max Bullough, a team captain who was suspended on the eve of the Spartans' arrival for violating unspecified team rules. Elsworth, a fifth-year senior, said he was initially surprised by the turn of events. “It's different, coming here thinking all I'm going to play is some special teams and maybe get some goal-line [defense]
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Danny Leclair snapped a photo of two toy grooms holding hands. He then sent the photo via email to his longtime partner, Aubrey Loots, with a question: "Do you want to get married on a Rose Parade float?" Loots agreed, and on New Year's Day the Los Angeles couple will become real-life wedding cake toppers when they say “I do” on a cake-shaped float in the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation's float, “Living the Dream: Love Is the Best Protection,” was created to celebrate victories in 2013 for gay marriage advocates, including Supreme Court decisions upholding the repeal of California's Proposition 8 and striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act. Foundation spokesman Ged Kenslea said the organization supports legally sanctioning same-sex marriage because it encourages more stable relationships among gay men as well as behavior that will prevent the spread of HIV. “We believe that marriage saves lives,” he said.
SPORTS
December 28, 2013 | By Chris Dufresne
The Rose Bowl was born a year before the flight at Kitty Hawk and was still kicking last year as Endeavor crawled through the streets of Los Angeles on the way to its final resting spot. Between the Rose's first bloom in 1902 and this year's 100th game, a plane covered a few hundred feet and a space shuttle covered 122 million miles. Time and the Granddaddy march on. The Rose Bowl has endured, lurched, gurgled, bellowed and expanded. It has hosted triumph and defeat and made it through two world wars, the stock market crash, a Great Depression, the Cold War, Woody Hayes and the Bowl Championship Series.
SPORTS
December 28, 2013 | Times staff reports
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook described it as "the most stressed out I've ever been in my life. " Cook was reliving his frame of mind during spring practice and fall camp, when he was trying to win the starting position. The third-year sophomore from Hinckley, Ohio, eventually broke through early in the season and helped lead the Spartans to their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988. Cook has passed for 20 touchdowns with five interceptions for a Michigan State team that plays Stanford on Wednesday in the 100th Rose Bowl.
SPORTS
December 28, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Stanford is back in the Rose Bowl for the second consecutive season, which is just fine with fifth-year senior linebacker Shayne Skov. Skov made eight tackles in last season's Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. This season, he has made 100 tackles, including 10 for losses. Stanford is playing in its fourth consecutive Bowl Championship Series bowl game. The Cardinal's five-year bowl run began in the 2009 Sun Bowl, its first postseason game since 2001. “We're all incredibly happy,” he said of playing in the 100 th Rose Bowl game against Michigan State.
SPORTS
December 28, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford did not burst onto the scene for the Spartans. The junior from Wayne, Mich., patiently waited his turn. Langford contributed on special teams for two seasons before moving into a starting role for the Spartans, who play Stanford on Wednesday in the 100th Rose Bowl game. “I never looked too far ahead,” said Langford, who has rushed for 1,338 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. “I knew there were good running backs in front of me. I knew I would have to wait my turn and just be patient.
SPORTS
December 28, 2013 | By Gary Klein
Stanford will field a defense against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl that includes several fourth- and fifth-year seniors, including linebacker Trent Murphy. This is the fifth consecutive bowl game, and fourth in a row in the coveted Bowl Championship Series games, for the Cardinal. Back in 2007, when those veteran players were in high school, Stanford was in the midst of what would become a seven-year bowl drought. But the recruits got a hint of what might be possible when Stanford, a 41-point underdog under former coach Jim Harbaugh, upset second-ranked USC at the Coliseum, 24-23.
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