On Wednesday October 25th at 7:00 pm two high school football teams will play for a bell that once rang out on a Sante Fe train.
By Pablo Miralles
It will be the 76th version of a local rivalry game that has, in the past, been featured on national television as one of the greatest High School rivalries in the country.
What has made it truly special is that it is played in one of America’s most hallowed football stadiums, the Rose Bowl. For the young men who participate, it is both a highlight of their high school sports careers and a memory that lasts a lifetime.
– It is the Turkey Tussle.
– It is Muir versus PHS.
– It is a Pasadena tradition, many feel, as important as the Tournament of Roses and something that is looked forward to all year.
The tradition began in 1947 when the schools were Junior Colleges. Muir JC against Pasadena JC would draw crowds of tens of thousands and play for a Victory Bell. It kicked off Thanksgiving Day at noon and was quickly named the “Turkey Tussle”
In 1954 Muir and PHD were reorganized as high schools and the old bell was retired. It can be viewed in the Muir High School Alumni Museum. There was a new bell, but the rivalry did not change.
With the exception of the year of COVID in 2021, the schools have faced off every fall with little changing.
In 1982 UCLA made the Rose Bowl their home stadium and the Turkey Tussle was no longer guaranteed to be on Friday night. As with this year’s game, the event has been moved to midweek to accommodate UCLA’s weekend game.
Turkey Tussle facts
Here are some High School Turkey Tussle facts:
- Muir was an early force in the High School Competitions, winning all the games between 1954-1961
- Muir has the longest winning streak 1999-2014
- Muir has largest margin of victory (Muir 63-6) in 2010
- The overall record of the event is Muir 46 wins, PHS 20 wins, 2 Ties
Tickets are sold online only at:
The Rose Bowl will be cashless and will allow only clear bags in the venue.
See you all at the Bowl!
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