The Great Rose Bowl Prank


Nothing is original anymore. Not even pranks. The flip card prank that Yale pulled on Harvard last week was done a tad more than forty years ago.

For a few seconds the stadium was plunged into a baffled silence. Everyone knew what Caltech was. It was that little Pasadena technical college down the road from the Rose Bowl stadium. What no one could figure out was what its name was doing in the middle of Washington’s flip-card show. Throughout the United States, a million minds simultaneously struggled to comprehend this enigma.

In fact, only a handful of people watching the game understood the full significance of what had just happened, and these were the Caltech students who had labored for the past month to secretly alter Washington’s flip-card show.

(quasi-recursively via Tom McMahon)


  1. I stumbled upon this while searching for info on another Caltech Rose bowl prank. In 1984 UCLA was beating the bejeebers out of Illinois — it was getting embarrassing for those of us living in Illinois, as I was at the time. But luckily some Caltech guys hacked into the scoreboard and had it show Caltech beating the bejeebers out of MIT. I always liked Caltech after that.

  2. Hehe, that is pretty good. Although I have to say that the flip card prank kills it on the basis of pure theatrics. There is something about all getting all those people to be in on the prank that has a nice diabolical tone to it.

    Where is pvc when I need him? Paul, any good MIT pranks come to mind?

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