Head to Head
Stanford and Michigan State get defensive in the 100th Rose Bowl Game
By André Coleman
The Granddaddy of Them All features the Pac-12’s Stanford Cardinals and the Big 10’s Michigan State Spartans meeting in the centennial Rose Bowl college football game on New Year’s Day.
It’s déjà vu for the Cardinals, who are returning to Pasadena for the second straight year. Last year, Stanford beat the Wisconsin Badgers 20-14.
For MSU, on the other hand, it’s been a long time since they’ve earned an appearance in the Rose Bowl. Michigan State, which after a surprise win over Ohio State, has never appeared in a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game and last played in the Rose Bowl in 1989, when the Spartans defeated the USC Trojans 22-14.
This time out, MSU returns to Pasadena with the No. 1 defense in the country, which this season allowed an average of 250 total yards per game and held six opponents scoreless.
“The MSU football program, with its consistent focus on character and excellence, is something in which all Spartans can take pride,” Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a statement. “[Head Coach] Mark Dantonio, his fellow coaches and our student-athletes have worked tirelessly this season, and the results are clear both on and off the field. Spartans around the world are looking forward to the 100th Rose Bowl and a spirited contest with Stanford, a great research university colleague with a great tradition of competing in Pasadena.”
After kickoff, MSU will find out that Stanford specializes in more than academics and research. The Cardinals are also no slouches when it comes to defense, allowing just 18.6 points a game to Michigan’s 12.6, all of which means points could be hard to come by after the two teams start knocking helmets on New Year’s Day.
“People that appreciate real football are going to love this game,” Stanford Coach David Shaw said on a conference call. “It’s going to be blocking and tackling, running the ball, playing great defense,” he said. These are “two of the better-coached teams in the nation.”
That’s not the only similarity between the two teams. Both come to Pasadena after scoring major upsets against teams that had their bags packed for a trip to the BCS game, also being played at the Rose Bowl this year.
The Cardinals defeated the Oregon Ducks 26-20 in their biggest win of the regular season, knocking the Ducks out of BCS title contention. In that game, Oregon managed 311 total yards, just 61 yards rushing, which was far below their season average of 632 total yards per game. Before that game, the Cardinals had been written off and many thought that a trip to Pasadena was out of the question.
The Spartans also played a spoiler role by scoring a major upset over Ohio State. In that game, the team rallied from a seven-point third-quarter deficit and scored the final 17 points to upset the No. 2 Buckeyes 34-24. The loss knocked Ohio State out of the BCS game, the 16th and final contest to be played at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6.
“We’re excited about playing Stanford,” Dantiono said. “They’re extremely well-coached, and parallel a lot of things that we believe in.”
Florida State and Auburn set to meet in final BCS Game
By André Coleman
Although both Florida State and the Auburn Tigers boast two of the top offenses in the country, each team has had its share of adversity en route to the 16th and last Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Game, which will be held on Jan. 6 in the Rose Bowl.
Seminoles’ quarterback Jameis Winston won this year’s Heisman Trophy in December, completing nearly 68 percent of his passes this season for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
But then accusations of an alleged sexual assault that happened last year threatened to sidetrack the team and Winston. Ultimately, however, no charges were filed and the 19-year-old went on to become the youngest Heisman winner in history.
The Seminoles enter the game as the No. 2 scoring team in the country, averaging 53 points per game, right behind Baylor, which scored 53.3 points a game. The squad’s 90 touchdowns are the most scored by any team in the country. Florida State has failed to score more than 40 points only one time this season, when the team was held to 37 by their interstate rivals the Florida Gators, whom the Seminoles beat 37-7.
Some critics claim the team may be overrated due to a schedule that contained some unimpressive opponents.
Ironically, the last time Florida State was a dominant powerhouse was the year the BCS was born, 1998. The Seminoles played in the first BCS championship game, losing to Tennessee Volunteers 23-16.
“It’s kind of funny that it did come full-circle like that,” Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher said Sunday. “I do appreciate the history of college football that way. We all complained about the BCS and everything that goes on, but it is funny how many times they get it right, and how the history keeps repeating itself.”
Next year, college football will determine its champion using the College Football Playoff System. Under the new system playoff, four teams will play in two semifinal games, with the winners advancing to the new College Football Championship Game. Unlike the BCS system, the teams will be seeded by people and not a computer system.
In the final BCS game, Florida State will face an Auburn Tigers team that seems to have an angel on its shoulder. The team needed and got two miracles to make it to Pasadena.
The Tigers made national headlines on Thanksgiving Day when they defeated the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 34-28.
With only a second left on the clock, Clive Davis caught a 57-yard field-goal attempt that fell short, ran up the left side of the field and returned the botched kick 100 yards for the last-second victory,
Auburn comes in as the 12th-ranked scoring offense, averaging 40.2 points per matchup. They’ve gone over 40 points three times this season, scoring 62 points against Western Carolina, 55 against Tennessee and 59 against Missouri.
The runback against Alabama has come to be known as the Auburn miracle, but just one week before that the team pulled off another amazing finish when Tigers QB Nick Marshall’s pass to sophomore wide receiver Ricardo Louis was deflected by two Georgia Bulldog defenders and floated into the outstretched arms of Louis. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder raced to the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown.
“You look at our entire schedule. I’d like to think we’re battle tested,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. “We’ve been in some true dogfight games.”
Walk of Time
The Rose Parade remains a reflection of society’s changing values
By Rebecca Kuzins
In its Dec. 30, 1889 edition, the Pasadena Star had some advice for residents planning to attend the Tournament of Roses, a New Year’s Day event created by the Valley Hunt Club to promote the sunny midwinter climate in Southern California: “Ladies and gentlemen are requested to bring with them to the [Sportsman’s] Park all the roses possible so that strangers may have the full benefit of our floral display. It will beautify the Tournament of Roses.”
On the day of the event, “roses abounded on every hand,” according to the newspaper’s Jan. 2, 1890 edition and the newly created Tournament of Roses was “a magnificent success,” attended by 2,000 people who viewed a parade of horse-drawn flower-adorned carriages followed by a program of athletic competitions. “The gay costumes of the ladies in the grandstand and in the carriages were set off by the brilliant hues of the flowers and many of the horses were garlanded and bedecked with roses and lilies,” the paper reported.
When the 125th Rose Parade is held on Jan. 1, there will be no need for spectators to bring flowers, as the 45 floats will be decorated with hundreds of thousands of flowers, plants and other natural materials. And the parade has changed in many other ways as well since its inception, but the event has continued to attract visitors — millions of people around the world who watch it on television.
“For more than a century, the hearts and imaginations of millions have been captured by America’s New Year Celebration,” said Andrea Fox, communications coordinator for the Tournament of Roses Association, explaining the event’s enduring popularity. “The 125th Rose Parade and 100th Rose Bowl Game are timeless treasures that reflect societal trends while entertaining a diverse group of spectators around the world.”
The history of the tournament, posted on the association’s Web site, outlines how the Rose Parade has changed over the years. After the first year, the Valley Hunt Club organized four more parades, and in 1893 instituted the event’s “Never on Sunday” policy by scheduling the event on Monday, Jan. 2, instead of Sunday, Jan. 1. By 1895, the event had become too large for the club to manage and the Tournament of Roses Association was created to produce the yearly activities. That same year was the first of 10 times it has rained on the parade, with the most recent rainfall occurring in 2006.
By the turn of the 20th century, the event was attracting nationwide interest, with reporters coming from the East Coast to cover it and the Vitascope Company filming it. In the 1930s, movie houses throughout the country would show footage of the parade at the beginning of the year. The event was first presented via a nationwide radio broadcast in 1930 and a national telecast in 1951.
Hallie Woods, a student at Pasadena High School, was the first Rose Queen, making her appearance in the 1905 parade. After selecting both a king and a queen in 1913 and 1914, tournament officials reinstituted their “queen-only” policy in 1915. The 1918 parade was the first to have an overall theme, with patriotism an apt choice for an event held during World War I.
The floats also underwent numerous changes through the years, with parade officials eventually allowing organizations, cities, foreign governments and corporations to enter floats. In 2011, Honda became the parade’s official sponsor. Motorized floats made their first appearance in 1901, but were featured at the rear of the parade to avoid scaring the horses. Despite these early concerns, beginning in 1920 every float in the parade was motorized. The entries also became more elaborate. In 1908, floats featuring a 41-foot whale spouting perfume, an 86-foot orange, and a 35-foot airship were so tall that the wires above the parade route were elevated to allow them to pass. Isabella Coleman, one of the best-known float-builders, was the first to paste flowers on floats appearing in the 1929 parade, a technique that is now used on all floats.
In addition to the floats, the 2014 Rose Parade will feature 21 marching bands and 16 equestrian units. Bands have been a part of the event since 1891, when the Monrovia Town Band was the first musical group to perform. The Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band became the official Tournament Band in 1930 and has participated in the parade ever since. The Valley Hunt Club, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2013, will be among the equestrian units in the 2014 parade.
Alongside its commercial success, the Tournament of Roses Association has also been the subject of criticism. By the 1990s, many people complained that the association’s board of directors failed to include women, African Americans and Latinos. The parade also became the site of demonstrations by local and national groups protesting the choice of a descendant of Christopher Columbus to serve as grand marshal in 1992, human rights abuses in China, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2013, demonstrators from the Occupy movement followed the official parade with one of their own, displaying alternative “floats” to protest increasing corporate influence in America’s political institutions and society.
The issues of same-sex marriage and animal rights will receive attention at the 2014 parade. In response to the US Supreme Court ruling in June that allowed same-sex marriages to resume in California, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) said its float will “celebrate same-sex marriage and the role it can play in helping to reduce new HIV infections among gay men.” The parade’s official media guide states that AHF’s float will feature, “A newly married gay or lesbian couple that get married on the morning of the Parade,” with their “names to follow.” On Dec. 16, AHF announced that Aubrey Loots and Danny Leclair, a gay male couple that has been together for more than a decade, will legally marry while riding the float during the parade. Sharon Raphael and Mina Meyer, a lesbian couple that was legally married in 2008, will also ride on the float.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has asked Tournament officials to require SeaWorld to change its float, which will feature, among other things, two orcas made of black seaweed and white rice swimming freely in the ocean. PETA maintains this is an inaccurate representation of the orcas at SeaWorld, where spokesperson Katie Arth said killer whales are “captured … from their homes in the wild and locked … in tiny concrete tanks” causing them to suffer “constant deprivation.”
Representatives of PETA, Arth added, “will be present at the parade on Jan.1, but the number of people attending — as well as our plans — are confidential.”
Neither the association nor SeaWorld have responded to PETA’s request to cancel or alter the float. Tournament spokesperson Fox said her organization “is pleased to have SeaWorld participate with a float entry,” adding that SeaWorld entered the parade from 1989 through 1991. “This year’s float is designed to illustrate the wonder of sea life in a manner that can inspire millions to learn more about out oceans, which is consistent with SeaWorld’s ongoing mission,” she said.
Ana Marie Acosta holds court as the 96th Rose Queen
By Sheila Mendes Coleman
The atmosphere is electric. Seven young women, among the community’s best and brightest, hold their breath as a hush falls over the audience.
Suddenly, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira announces the name and the tension is pierced. Standing amid a sea of admirers and well-wishers and surrounded by her Royal Court, 17-year-old Ana Marie Acosta of Pasadena’s Polytechnic School accepts the title of the
The theme for this year’s event, the 125th Tournament of Roses celebration — Dreams Come True — amply applied to this event, held Oct. 24 at the Church of the Nazarene in eastern Pasadena.
At the elaborate coronation ceremony, the bright and pretty Acosta dazzled in a flowing white gown, flanked by jubilant members of her Royal Court, all dressed in Royal Red.
Members of this year’s Royal Court are:
Sarah Hansen, 19, a student at Pasadena City College and a preschool teacher.
Kayla Johnson-Granberry, 17, a Pasadena High School senior and former intern at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
Jamie Kwong, 17, a senior at La Salle High School and president of that schools’ Honor Society.
Katherine Lipp, 17 of La Cañada High School who counts meal deliveries to the underprivileged among her public service commitments.
Elyssia Widjaja, 17, of San Marino High School and captain of the school’s speech and debate team.
Elizabeth Woolf, 17, also of La Cañada High School, a teacher’s assistant and editor of her school’s yearbook.
The Royal Court was chosen from a pool of 30 finalists, which were part of a larger selection of almost 1,000 young women (and few young men) with dreams of someday being crowned Rose Queen and representing their school, city and family in the Rose Parade.
“Rose Queen Ana Marie Acosta and the six Rose Princesses for 2014 are exceptional young women,” said Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins. “In their roles representing the Tournament of Roses and the city of Pasadena, the Royal Court members are symbols of hope for the future, and I know they will inspire many young girls during the next few months.”
Thus begins another installment of the venerable Pasadena tradition dating back to the first Rose Queen’s coronation in 1905.
Rose Queens are chosen by Tournament of Roses officials based on a variety of qualities that embody the spirit and ideals of the organization, such as presence, self-assurance, confidence, public service and academic performance. Acosta is the perfect archetype for this role.
As captain of Polytechnic’s varsity equestrian team, and also a cabinet member of her school’s Girls Service League, she’s a shining example of the Tournament’s commitment to excellence and public service. Additionally, Acosta was recently accepted into the US Hunter Jumper Association’s Emerging Athletes Program. The studious and active teen is also planning a career as a surgeon, specializing in neurology.
“It feels good,” Acosta said. “It’ll take some adjusting, but it’s a lot of fun. I’m very excited.” She was escorted to the stage by her father, Dr. John H. Acosta, who was even more succinct about how the news affected him.
“I was just elated … so happy and full of joy,” he said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
In a departure from past coronations, the Rose Queen announcement and coronation ceremony took place on the same evening. Tournament officials hoped to lighten the load for the young queen and her court by cutting down on time taken away from studies, thus the decision to combine the two events. The Rose Queen and her Royal Court will participate in as many as 100 functions and special events, as they head in to the final weeks leading up to the Rose Parade in Pasadena on Wednesday morning.
As the oldest living Rose Queen, Margaret Huntley Main, puts it, what Miss Acosta has to look forward to is “A lifetime of beautiful memories.” For one young Rose Queen and her Royal Court, 2014 begins with the wonderment and delight of a dream realized.
King of Creativity
Raul Rodriguez has mastered the art of parade float design
By Carl Kozlowski
Raul Rodriguez was fortunate to find his calling in life as a teenager growing up in East Los Angeles. He entered a contest at age 15 to design a float for the Rose Parade and when he won, he never looked back.
While he went on to train at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Cal State Long Beach before graduating from Cerritos College, Rodriguez kept his focus on crafting flower-packed floats that would be admired by a worldwide audience during the New Year’s event. He’s made 530 Rose Parade floats so far, with his latest four waiting to be revealed early Wednesday morning.
“One thing I love is the name of the floats. For example, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float is called ‘Love is the Best Protection’ and a couple is getting married on it during the parade,” says Rodriguez. “One is a Dole [fruit company] float called ‘Sunrise at the Oasis,’ which has a real beautiful caravan with a lot of detail and camels, and Kaiser Permanente’s ‘First Steps To Total Health’ depicts babies arriving on earth via a stork. And finally, I’ve got the Torrance Rose Float Association float called ‘Everyone Plays,’ celebrating the 50th anniversary of the American Youth Soccer Organization. I’m just happy to be involved with the parade and never get exhausted.”
Rodriguez doesn’t work exclusively with the Rose Parade, however. He has designed the opening stage set of the World’s Fair in New Orleans, was art director for Philadelphia’s “We the People 200” United States’ Bicentennial Parade and was a consultant to the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He has also helped beautify some of the top destinations in Las Vegas, Reno and Laughlin, Nev., including the Flamingo Hilton, Tropicana and Caesar’s Palace.
His corporate clients include the Walt Disney Co., which hired him to design all the floats in Disneyland’s 50th anniversary “Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams,” and Six Flags, which hired him to create the nighttime electric “Glow in the Dark Parade.”
“I work independently as I design floats, but of course there’s always a team that helps build them, all of us working together to create so much beauty,” says Rodriguez, who is primarily working with Fiesta Floats this year but creates his design concepts while working alone in his Hancock Park home studio. “The clients pick us, and I’m very honored to work with them. My creative process is talking to the client, understanding their hopes for presentation in the parade, and I’m so proud of the honor of being part of something so important and hopeful. It all starting in Pasadena is part of the honor.”
Along the way since that fateful teenage day, Rodriguez has been named Hispanic Artist of the Year, and was honored as “Distinguished Alumnus” from the College of the Arts at Cal State Long Beach, and was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Lions Club. He was awarded the Golden Eagle award for “Excellence in Design” by the Nosotros Foundation. In 2007 he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Redlands.
But nothing inspires him quite like the Rose Parade, a fact he attributes to Pasadena creating “magic every New Year’s Day.” He notes that his ideas can come immediately to him, but might also take a few days, weeks or even months to implement.
“It’s all part of the whole scope of the process,” says Rodriguez. “When you see it on New Year’s morning in Pasadena, there’s nothing more fantastic. As long as the Good Lord gives me strength and creativity to be part of it, I can’t see myself being anywhere else.”
A ‘Marvelous’ Moment
Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully leads the way as the Tournament of Roses grand marshal
By Carl Kozlowski
If Vin Scully has any say in how this year’s Tournament of Roses goes, it should be a “Marvelous!” time. That’s because the longtime Dodgers play-by-play broadcaster will be leading the way in front of thousands of Rose Parade attendees — and millions more at home via TV — when he assumes his position as the grand marshal of the event.
Scully was named grand marshal on Sept. 4, with the news topping his then-recent announcement that he would continue with the Dodgers next season in his record-breaking 65th year on the job. He had been in the Rose Parade once before on a Dodgers float and co-hosted the parade with actress Elizabeth Montgomery of “Bewitched!” fame.
But this time around, things are different, as Scully not only will be front and center at the parade, but also on the field during the Rose Bowl college football game when he flips the coin to begin the contest. It’s a task he shares with past grand marshals such as Mickey Mouse, former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Bob Hope and former presidents Gerald R. Ford and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
While the honor of being grand marshal would be the highlight of most people’s lives, Scully already has experienced the thrill of being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster in 1982. Yet the Parade marks a special kind of thrill for a man who grew up crawling under his family’s four-legged wooden radio to listen to college football games.
“I would be there curled up and the roar would come out of the loudspeaker like water out of a shower head, and this little boy would get goose bumps not from the game but from the crowds, and all my life I’ve been enamored with the roar of the crowd,” Scully said in his acceptance speech.
Of course, the Tournament picked a hot year to choose Scully for the job, coming after a red-hot baseball season in which the Dodgers went to the playoffs for the first time in years. During his speech at the announcement event, Scully said that this marked the first time he’d ever been asked to be grand marshal, even though his fans had called on the Tournament to select him many times before.
“Timing is everything,” Scully said. “In 1992, the Dodgers lost 99 games. You could imagine if I were the marshal of that year, bobbing and weaving as people were hurling epithets at me all the way down. So this time, I’ll probably take a bow or two on behalf of the team.”
Scully was born in the Bronx in 1927 and started with the Dodgers while they were still based in Brooklyn. His 65 years at the team’s microphones give him the longest tenure any announcer has ever maintained in professional sports history, yet, amazingly, he falls behind Tommy Lasorda’s 66 years to place as the second-longest Dodgers employee.
Scully currently calls most Dodgers home games (and selected road games) on Prime Ticket, KCAL television and KLAC radio. The keys to his popularity are his remarkably rich dulcet speaking voice and poetic descriptions of the on-field action.
Speaking at the announcement ceremony, Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins described Scully’s life as one that defines the theme of the 2014 parade, “Dreams Come True.” He stated that the 86-year-old Scully’s vocal descriptions of decades of baseball games helped make fans’ dreams come true throughout his career.
“The two most outstanding characteristics of our grand marshal — and the prime reason I chose him — are his humility and his integrity,” said Jenkins in his announcement. “His own life is one in which many dreams have come true and, even more importantly, he has been at the microphone describing for listeners everywhere the dreams of others coming true. I know his fans everywhere are cheering right now.”
Staking Out A Spot
Camping overnight along the route can be more fun than the Rose Parade itself
By Justin Chapman
Those who brave the cold and the dead of night on the streets on New Year’s Eve are witnesses and participants in a rare spectacle in Pasadena: sleeping overnight along the Rose Parade route. As you’ll find out if you dare to join the ranks this Tuesday night, camping on the route is about much more than securing top notch seats for the annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Indeed, overnighting is a unique and exciting event in and of itself.
The Tournament of Roses is expecting about 750,000 people to turn out New Year’s Day to watch the floats, bands and equestrian groups march the 5.5-mile route through the city, starting from Ellis Street and Orange Grove Boulevard, stretching along Colorado Boulevard, turning up Sierra Madre Boulevard and ending at Victory Park.
Crisscrossing the city, hundreds of thousands of people set up blankets, sleeping bags, coolers, tables, chairs, barbeque grills, fire pits (in fire-safe containers which are one foot off the ground and 25 feet from buildings) and more. There is a sense of saturnalia in which everyone lets go of their inhibitions for the sake of having a good time. Cars that dare drive down Colorado get covered in eggs, total strangers come together to share food or play football in the street, music permeates the air and there’s an unmatched thrill of counting down to midnight along with hordes of people.
Chris Johnson, who now resides in Riverside, for years slept over with his friend’s family on Colorado. They, like a lot of other people, would go to the route a day in advance to get their spots. Members of the family would take shifts saving the spot. The city lets people claim a sidewalk viewing space along the route starting at noon the day before the parade. According to Lt. Tracey Ibarra of the Pasadena Police Department, at least one person must remain with their chairs at all times to reserve their spot.
“It would get a little hectic because there are always people out there saving spots for others so sometimes it would be hard to find a spot,” said Johnson. “There are no protocols for getting a spot. No communication with the city needed. Basically you go and find what you can.”
Johnson saw some crazy things on the route that he said he will always remember, such as being randomly egged by complete strangers, a rare occasion any other day of the year in any other city.
“Someone shot some pink liquid out of a super soaker from a car once,” said Johnson. “After awhile whatever this liquid was started to burn a little bit. Fights broke out down the street, but people also came together and after the streets were closed to vehicles I remember playing in a football game with a lot of people. We also had fun with the cars that went by us as we sat out on the sidewalk. People would buy marshmallows and throw them from their cars at people and we would throw them back. It was all great fun, but as the years went by the cops did get stricter. The first two years they allowed the throwing of marshmallows but the third year they said if they caught us doing any of that they would take our seats and we would have to leave.”
Indeed this year the police will be cracking down on silly string, fireworks and throwing any items at another person or vehicle.
“Most people don’t think it’s harmful to throw certain things, but getting a tortilla in the face while you’re driving can be quite distracting,” said Ibarra.
A combination of Pasadena police officers along with other local, state and federal authorities will be patrolling the route that night and during the actual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl college football game.
Pasadena resident Paul Stabile Jr. and his family and friends have been staking out their spot across the street from a friend’s house on Sierra Madre Boulevard for about 20 years. He’s been doing it so long he doesn’t remember exactly when they started. As for the police being strict, he said it’s hit or miss.
“It comes and goes,” he said. “Some years they’re strict, some years you don’t even see them.”
Though he said it’s become a little tamer over the years because there aren’t as many people flinging stuff around, he has fond memories of incidents you won’t see anywhere else.
“One year a city bus stopped so the driver could yell at some kids because he was pissed they were throwing marshmallows at his bus,” said Stabile. “Then we pretended like we were throwing marshmallows at his bus, so he reversed and yelled at us. That was a pretty good one. One parade day we saw two police motorcycles run into each other and fall over.”
But of course there is still plenty of fun to be had.
“My favorite part of spending the night at the Rose Parade route was hanging out with friends and meeting new people,” said Johnson. “Having that many people on the street spending time together and celebrating the New Year was an amazing experience that I will never forget.”
Living the Dream
Tournament President R. Scott Jenkins promises a more entertaining parade
By André Coleman
On Jan. 1 the world will finally see Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins vision for a sleeker, more entertaining Rose Parade.
Jenkins, who was chosen to lead the tournament last January, has cut down on the number of bands and equestrian groups to increase the number of floats in the parade. This year’s parade will have 44 floats, but fewer bands and equestrian performances.
Jenkins has cut the number of bands from 23 to 20. Equestrian performances have also been trimmed, from 21 to 15.
A new emphasis is being placed on performances rather than just walking along the parade route and Jenkins is promising a more exciting event that will leave people talking long after they return home.
In an interview with a local Web site, Jenkins, who did not return calls for comment, said he was hoping to make the venerable parade more interesting.
“We’re trying to rejuggle the balance a bit,” Jenkins said in an interview with the Tournament of Roses Examiner, at examiner.com. “We’re shooting for 45-50 floats. Since the Tournament of Roses is known for its punctuality, and since any entries coming along past the two-hour mark are cut off by several of the broadcasters, more floats means cuts in other entries.”
Jenkins has avoided commenting on controversial issues surrounding this year’s event, including the SeaWorld float and another float featuring a same-sex wedding. The wedding will take place on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float.
PETA has held several protests against the SeaWorld float due to its treatment of orcas in captivity, which has led to nearly a dozen performers canceling shows at the marine park in Florida. Jenkins has not responded to a letter by 2009 Grand Marshal Cloris Leachman asking him to prevent SeaWorld from entering the parade, which this year is titled “Dreams Come True.”
That title seems to be a recurring theme in Jenkins’ life. Jenkins has been volunteering with the Tournament of Roses since 1982. He was elected to the Executive Committee in 2003 and has chaired several tournament committees. The San Marino resident was born and raised in Pasadena and graduated from Pasadena High School. He received a degree in economics from UC Berkeley and his law degree from USC. He is currently a partner at Hahn and Hahn. Jenkins and his wife Cindy have two daughters, Courtney and Lindsay.
The family regularly takes mission trips to Africa with the San Marino Community Church. In August, the Jenkins family led a trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
In 2002, Jenkins received the San Marino Citizen of the Year award for his contributions to the community. In 2003, he was recognized with the Golden Apple Award from the San Marino Unified School District for his work with the schools.
“The 2014 theme is a reminder that not only is it possible to reach seemingly impossible goals, but that by boldly pursuing those goals, we have actually attained them,” Jenkins said in a statement. “Dreams have come true and continue to come true as a result of imagination, passion, creativity and hard work. And regardless of size or scope, dreams fuel the stories of our lives.”