english practice from the 2016 rose bowl

the 102nd rose bowl will be played tomorrow, new year’s day 2016; and will feature my alma mater, the iowa hawkeyes vs the stanford cardinal (cardinal is a color used in singular form).

rose bowl espn

the hawkeyes enter the game 12-1, their only loss coming in the big ten title game vs the michigan state spartans, a 16-13 battle that was decided in the final :30.

beathard rose bowl
(aj mast, ap) quarterback cj beathard hit…..
tevaun smith rose bowl
….wide receiver tevaun smith for an 87 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the big ten championship.






cbsnews.com summarized the game like this

Iowa, Michigan State grind through epic Big 10 final

grind means laborious, slow, hard work.  epic means legendary, heroic, unforgettable.

rose bowl:iowa city to pasadena
hawkeye fans have travelled (NOT tripped) half the country to take over pasadena

despite the disappointing loss, the hawkeyes were rewarded for their spectacular season with a trip (NOT a travel) to pasadena, california (home of the rose bowl).

yesterday morning, the head coaches of the two 2016 rose bowl teams stanford’s david shaw and iowa’s kirk ferentz talked to the media for the final time before the game.

coach shaw made several comparisons (NOT comparations, comparation is spanglish from the spanish word comparación) between the two teams.

throughout the year, i think both of our teams gained a lot of momentum without a lot of fanfare.

throughout means as the season progressed, or from start to finish. gain means get or acquire. fanfare means media attention.

ferentz shaw rose bowl
coach ferentz of the university of iowa and coach shaw of stanford (ap/jae c hong)

what shaw says is slightly true, but stanford was a top 25 team when the season started. the hawkeyes on the other hand, after a disappointing 7-6 season in 2014 including losses in their final 3 games, had a miserable offseason with many fans calling for coach ferentz to be fired. the 2015 season started for the hawkeyes with almost no fanfare.

swarm rose bowl
the swarm: the hawkeyes start every game on the same page. (the view from kinnick)

shaw believes both teams are unselfish and well coached, and share a positive team philosophy

[when] your coaches and players are on the same page, u don’t care what the outside world says. u come to the next game and win and i think that’s one thing both these teams have in common.

on the same page means they agree, have the same idea.

ferentz helmets rose bowl
ferentz: there’s not a better enviornment for college football than the rose bowl. (desmoines register)

coach ferentz is confident his team can deal with the intensity and pressure of playing in the rose bowl

as the season went on, the stakes went up a little bit. certainly our last couple games had a lot on the line, and then to play in indianapolis, it was a great environment. it wasn’t the rose bowl and i get that. but i think our guys’ll be ready to go. they‘re used to competing. they‘re used to being in really live, active environments.

stakes refers to the magnitude or importance of the games. on the line is also talking about the significance of what the hawkeyes were playing for. the hawks were trying to complete the first undefeated (no losses) season in school history. this made the games at the end of the season more intense. i get that means i understand.

desmond king rose bowl
cornerback desmond king won the jim thorpe award as the nation’s best defensive back this season (jerry lai / usa today sports)

kirk uses used to competing and used to being to show that his players have no problem with high pressure environments like the rose bowl.  it’s normal, regular for them. attention esl readers: the -ing form of competing and being indicate that this structure is talking about being accustomed to and NOT an activity that was common in the past but doesn’t happen anymore (used to+simple form of verb).

fun english practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

ferentz concludes that his team’s challenge is the stanford cardinal, not the emotion of playing in the rose bowl. like shaw, his tone is complimentary towards his opponent

at the end of the day, as good as this is; it’s such a historic bowl, i can’t imagine there’s a better enviornment in america to play college football. [but] it’s still a game once the game gets going. it’s a game on the field and our challenge is to play a really good football team.

at the end of the day is a common expression that means what’s important. once in this context means when, NOT one time.


it’s should be mentioned here that coaches have a style of speaking that is sometimes called coachspeak.  they tend to look for vocabulary that is not controversial. for this reason, u will hear coaches perhaps overuse common expressions like on the same page or at the end of the day.  this can be useful in diplomatic situations. however, in other scenarios where listeners are looking for something more creative or frank (direct), it can be frustrating.

speaking of frank, this hawkeye fan yesterday offered his earnest (sincere) if not necessarily objective analysis of the moment

i’m fricking pumped. it’s awesome. we’re in pasadena. we’re taking over. this is it right here. we’re making a statement.

fricking is a softer way to say fucking.  it’s a very iowan sounding expression. pumped is excited. take over means assume control.

what else do u know about the rose bowl, stanford or the university of iowa?  will u watch the 2016 rose bowl? share your comments under leave a reply




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