3rd Annual Angel City Classic
Los Angeles-The Angel City Classic has already become one of the hottest events to attend at the beginning of the autumn season in Southern California. The Angel City Classic has already established itself as one of the premier football games between two powerhouse football teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Angel City Classic offered the best value for ones entertainment dollar compared to the game across town between UCLA and Fresno State. The Angel City Classic is one of twenty five football games played between Labor Day Weekend and goes on until the middle of November.
The pleasant aroma of BBQ ribs, chicken, hotlinks and other mouthwatering delights greeted me during the inaugural tailgate party in the southeast parking lot of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A recent article in a local paper has an interesting take on tailgating. “It’s all about food, friends, fans, the game and having a good time. Everyone is out there is living life to the fullest, sharing food, life. It is a uniquely American phenomenon.” Stated Jay DiEugenio-aka “The Tailgate Guy”
My next stop for the day was to check in at Gate 4 to pick up my credentials to cover the 3rd Annual Angel City Classic.
The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic offered attendees a day long fun filled festivities for the entire family. The Career/Cultural Expo were spread out on the inside perimeter of the Coliseum. This was a very popular gathering area. The High School Band Clinic was in full swing when I arrived east of the Sports Arena near Figueroa Street. The clinic featured band members from Morehouse, Prairie View and USC Marching Bands giving pointers to potential high school seniors contemplating attending one of the above mentioned schools.
The Youth Football Game featured two of the top Pop Warner Football Teams. The kids have a lot of potential if they continue playing football as they get older.
The Greek Step Show has become very popular in mainstream media with a couple of movies made about or featuring a Greek Step Show. About seven different groups performed representing several fraternities and sororities to a captivated audience.
Immediately after the Step Show, I had to rush unto the fields to witness the High School Band Showcase. Participating schools consisted of Inglewood High School, Crenshaw High School, LB Jordon High School and Dominquez High School. This portion of Angel City Classic was one of the highlights for me.
Ruben Cannon and Jimmy Fisher and Contagious Praise sang “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, followed by an outstanding version of the National Anthem performed by Kelly Price. Nick Cannon and Debbie Allen addressed the crowd during commercial breaks. The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic was broadcast live on Fox Sports Network.
Christian Simmons (King) and Brianna Holmes (Queen) presided over the 3rd Annual Angel City Classic. The coin toss featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Dr. George C. Wright, President, Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, President, Morehouse College and Mr. John Fleming III and players from both schools. Veteran radio personality Cliff Winston called the play by play gridiron action.
Prairie View Panthers is the defending champions of the Angel City Classic. They successfully defended their title in a hard hitting, hard fought game against Morehouse Tiger. The game was evenly played with Morehouse Tigers leading the game 17-14 at half-time. The Prairie View Panthers re-grouped after half-time and went on to defeat the Morehouse Tigers 28-17 before a crowd of 53,000. Prairie View Panthers improved their record to 4-0. The Battle of the Bands during half-time of the game was another one of my highlights. I was captivated by the sight and sounds of the Prairie View A&M “Marching Storm” with “The Black Foxes Dance Troupe” and Morehouse House of Funk Marching Band with The Mahogany in Motion Dance Troupe.
Congratulations are in order and extended to the 2008 Farmers Insurance Group UNCF National Scholarship Award Recipients: Daniel A. Nwachokor, a Junior at Grambling State University, Amanda Omogun, a Sophomore at Clark Atlanta University and Kristina Anne Doughty, a Sophomore at Spelman College. One lucky person won a 2009 BMW Coupe 1 courtesy of Farmers and Long Beach BMW.
The 3rd Annual Angel City Classic concluded on a rousing and soulful note. The 5th Quarter-Post Game Concert featured a musical tribute to the late great soul singer Isaac Hayes. The 90 minute concert featured the soulful sounds of N’Dambi, Anthony and Tarsha Hamilton, Lalah Hathaway and Angie Stone. The ultimate grand finale featured all of the singers on stage performing “ I Wished I Didn’t Miss You” by Angie Stone.