12/04/2004

The Great Rose Bowl Hoax

So it turns out those Yalies aren't so original. The most famous incarnation of this prank was The Great Rose Bowl Hoaxof 1961. The "Fiendish Fourteen", a group of Caltech students, managed to modify the instructions on 2,232 cards for the Washington Huskies fans to change the picture of a husky to that of a beaver (Caltech's mascot), "HUSKIES" to "SEIKSUH", and the next image to "CALTECH". The image changes were actually coordinated by the Washington marching band and cheerleaders as part of their halftime show, but the band walked off the field after seeing the CALTECH image, afraid of what the next image might be (which apparently wasn't going to be altered). The entire crowd was silent for quite a while, not completely understanding what was going on (maybe college pranks weren't so big back then). This was seen by millions of people nationwide as the Rose Bowl was broadcast nationally by NBC. The funniest part is that Caltech wasn't even playing in the Rose Bowl, the Huskies were playing against Minnesota. The Caltech students were just angry that the Rose Bowl stadium was right down the street from their campus and the school never got enough national recognition to make the Rose Bowl. Pretty funny.