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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2007

Governor Blagojevich proclaims today “University of Illinois Fighting Illini Day”
Illinois heads to Rose Bowl for first time in 24 years to take on USC Trojans in 2008 Rose Bowl

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today issued a proclamation congratulating the University of Illinois Fighting Illini football team on their upcoming trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California where they will take on Pac-10 champions, the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans. This will be Illinois’ fifth-ever Rose Bowl appearance and first since playing UCLA in 1984.

“I would like to congratulate the Fighting Illini and this year’s Big Ten Coach of the Year, Ron Zook on their hard work and determination this season that has led them to the Rose Bowl, one of college football’s proudest traditions,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “I wish them luck as they take on the Trojans, and I hope these young players enjoy the experience and excitement of participating in ‘The Granddaddy of them All’.”

The University of Illinois Fighting Illini will play the USC Trojans in the 94th Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008 at 2:10 p.m. (PST). The game will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN radio following the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Governor’s proclamation follows below:

WHEREAS, on Tuesday, January 1, 2008, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini will return to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1984 to face the No. 6-ranked University of Southern California (USC) Trojans, keeping alive the traditional Pac-10/Big Ten match-up; and

WHEREAS, the upcoming Illinois-USC match-up is the first time the two teams will meet in the Rose Bowl. Altogether, they have played 12 times in Champaign and Los Angeles; and

WHEREAS, remarkably, Illinois head coach Ron Zook, this year’s Big Ten Coach of the Year, lead the Fighting Illini to a 9-3 season after winning just four games combined during his first two seasons. The amazing turnaround included a four-game winning streak to end the regular season and a victory at No. 1 Ohio State; and

WHEREAS, the Rose Bowl, an annual American college football bowl game tradition usually played on January 1 at the stadium of the same name in Pasadena, California, is the oldest and, over the course of its history, most prestigious bowl game. It is part of the annual Tournament of Roses event, which also includes the Tournament of Roses Parade; and

WHEREAS, the upcoming bowl event will be the Illinois’ first bowl berth in six seasons and their fifth Rose Bowl berth:


THEREFORE, I, Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim December 3, 2007 as UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI DAY in Illinois in honor of their selection to play in the coveted Rose Bowl game on January 1.


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