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Stanford, Michigan State show different styles at the 2014 Rose Parade

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It wouldn’t be Rose Parade coverage without at least some mention of the two teams who played in the Rose Bowl Game. In 2014, the 100th Rose Bowl game was a match between the Michigan State University Spartans and Stanford University Cardinal. MSU won the game, but who looked best in the 125th Rose Parade?

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There couldn’t be greater contrast between the parade styles of the schools. MSU fields the traditional military-style band and the traditional mascot, while Stanford has what appears to be a ragtag assembly of Bay-area free spirits. Appearances are misleading; the band is well-rehearsed and talented enough to stay together while eschewing the usual ranks, files and diagonals.

And mascots? A Spartan is easy enough to pull off, but what about Cardinal? It isn’t “cardinal” like a bird, it’s “cardinal” like the color. Sort of like the Harvard or Alabama Crimson. So why not a tree? Not any tree. A skinny redwood, modeled after the official seals of the university and the city of Palo Alto.

The Tree performers audition for the role and create their own costumes. What’s your impression of the 2013-2014 Stanford Tree? Take a look at the attached slideshow.

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