Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Rose of Dodger Stadium

WE are lurching into spring, drought, depressions and doom notwithstanding.

If you don't believe it, daylight savings time starts this weekend.

That means it's baseball season, a mystical place where, at least for the time being, we can find relief from a world of Obamas and Octomoms.

Out at Dodger Stadium, the season is defined by two words. And I don't mean double plays, line drives or outrageous prices.

I mean Vin Scully.

Vincent Edward Scully has been the mellifluous and knowledgeable voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers for nearly 60 years.

He has been named California Sportscaster of the Year 28 times, he received the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, was honored with a Life Achievement Emmy Award for sportscasting and induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995, and was named Broadcaster of the Century by the American Sportscasters Association in 2000.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame. There is talk of erecting a statue of him at Dodger Stadium.

Through the power of his voice, he has almost single handedly made the Dodgers one of the top drawing franchises in all of sport.

His popularity has crossed generational, economic and racial lines.

But he has been ignored by the Rose Parade.

If you've read this column in the past, you probably know that I've been on a three-year campaign to get Scully named grand marshal of the Rose Parade.

And the public agrees, if my mail is any indication.

So far I've come up a little short. In the last two years, the good folks at the Tournament of Roses have selected Emeril Legase, a TV chef whose career has deflated faster than a bad souffle, and Cloris Leachman, an 82-year-old actress whose most recent claim to fame was remaining upright on a couple of episodes of "Dancing With the Stars."

Vin Scully is a cut above the rest, which just so happens to be the 2010 Rose Parade theme.

Let's get a bandwagon going. E-mail tournament president Gary J. DiSano at rosepr@rosemail.org. Post on the tournament's Facebook page. Send them a copy of this column to: 391 South Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91184. Or call the tournament office at (626) 449-4100.

Play ball.

Despite two daughters, a wife, a sister and multiple nieces, I know next to nothing about women's fashions.

Most of what I've seen in print and on television seems a little out of touch with reality. Or maybe I just run with the wrong crowd.

Against this backdrop, my wife dragged me to a charity fashion show the other day, the first event of this kind I have ever witnessed.

I was exiled to a table with a bunch of other husbands, probably to make sure any comments I made didn't result in a socially awkward moment.

The models appeared to be about 7-feet tall, 6 feet of which were legs. They were poised and willowy, moving like so much warm maple syrup.

Rather like our new First Lady.

Michelle Obama is a Harvard Law School grad but for the first several weeks of her husband's administration, no one is asking what she thinks.

Instead, most of the conversation is about how she looks, a burden she shares, I suspect, with a lot of women.

But she is tall and graceful and appears to enjoy dressing the part, which makes her fair game to the fasionistas. Or fashion police, depending on your view. They've been waiting in the weeds since Jackie Kennedy occupied the White House.

Most recently, Ms. Obama was criticized for showing off her toned triceps and biceps in her first official photo as first lady.

"Post-Title IX arms," Robin Givhan called them in the Washington Post. Some are calling her choice of attire (she also wore a sleeveless dress to her husband's speech before a joint session of Congress), calling it too informal and out of season.

"Oh my God," Cindi Leive, Glamour editor, e-mailed the New York Times after the congressional episode. "The First Lady has bare arms in Congress, in February, at night!"

"The dress was so inappropriate for that occasion. This is not trend setting it is simply poor taste ... I was offended by the disregard for the other people in attendance. Good fashion is never offensive," huffed one reader.

I guess she should have worn a burqa.

Frankly, I never noticed that she wore a sleeveless dress. Had I noticed, I wouldn't have cared. And who makes up these rules, anyway?

But I did like the response from the White House: Social Secretary Desiree Rogers who said that Mrs. Obama's feeling is "If I want to wear no sleeves to hear my husband speak, that's what I'm going to do."

And for the record: In 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy wore a sleeveless black sheath to her husband' State of the Union address.

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