Ask Jim Fox, part 4

Now that the coaching news has died down, we can resume the Jim Fox questions and answers. Looking at some of the questions, I think maybe it’s time to have a semi-regular Jim Fox wine column on the site! And I’m particularly happy to see a mention of the L.A. Blades, as I still have one of their jerseys in my closet. Here’s the next set of Jim’s answers…

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Provenzano said:
Hey Jim great to see you at the scrimmage today. OK if you were a particular varietal what would it be and why? Are you a fan of central coast Rhone wines? If yes a top five would be great! A big thank you for everything Bob and yourself bring to this organization

Provenzano:
Don’t have much knowledge about that region…yet…I will be traveling up to that area next week (4 days)…I’ll have to get back to you with a report…

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BerniernextRoy said:
Two questions…and the only two questions I care about when it comes to the Kings. Does Foxy think the Kings will win the Cup in the next 5-10 years? Secondly does he think Bernier is the answer to the Kings goaltending woes since its inception?

BernierexRoy:
I think the Kings will be contenders in a few years…and if the corps stays together, they should be competitive for more than just a year or so…that’s what the whole rebuilding is about…

Everything I have seen from Bernier leads me to believe that he is the real deal…his mental approach is perfect…he never seems rattled…his fundamentals are more than sound…and he has more athleticism than people give him credit for…if things progress as expected, he will be “the man” in 2-3 years…if not sooner…

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Daniel said:
Jim,
Which player (King or otherwise) exhibited the greatest knowledge of or passion for wines?
Have you tried any Slovenian wines?
In your opinion, has the NHL taken full advantage of HD technology in it’s broadcasts of games? I see many more innovations in the NFL, MLB and NBA. In a sport that needs a better presence on the screen, where are the new camera angles? Is this simply and issue of production budget? Are there new innovations that you have seen but aren’t economically feasible yet?
Love your work. Thanks in advance!

Daniel:
I have talked to many players about wines…a couple of guys that really showed interest were Sean O’Donnell, Mathieu Garon…I know that Mario Lemieux has a huge collection…same with Martin Lapointe…

I have not tried any Slovenian wines, but I know that many Brunello di Montalcino’s are oaked win Slovenian oak…
I know that the NHL is constantly working with each team to improve all aspects of the broadcast, whether it be camera angles or better technology…there is always a “budget’ concern when this comes up…as far as HD goes, the Kings and FSN have televised 10 games in HD the last couple of years…as the years go by this should increase as the technology becomes more affordable to produce…
Thanks for the kind words…hope to see you this season

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Chris said:
JIMMMMM!
With you being the color/analyst guy, I can’t help but wonder if there are any of today’s players that you’ve just wanted to GUSH about. Given the time, and given the moment, which players — LAK or otherwise — would you love to spout off, eulogize, drool, exclaim about, and what would you have to say? No holds barred. For the sake of posterity in quotation marks, why don’t you give us a taste of that Foxy praise! (Please.) Thanks a lot!
Chris
Berkeley, CA

Chris:
Ovechkin…for all of the obvious reasons…one other guy comes to mind…Brendan Morrow in Dallas…this guy plays hard…of course Ovechkin has more top end skill than Morrow, but they both bring it every night…Scott Niedermayer is player I marvel at…what a skater…just a sampling…

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El Guapo said:
Jim, you and Bob Miller rock!
1. How difficult is it for you to keep from getting frustrated and upset, and make yourself enthusiastic for broadcasts when the team is in a real slump, or a very down period like the last couple years?
2. What is your view on the current salary structure / business model of the NHL? It can’t be sustainable, so: A) what do you think the owners got so wrong? B) How much got thrown out of whack by the ‘Burke hates Lowe’ offers to Vanek and Penner? C) What could possibly be done to correct things – and do you think it will take another lockout? D) Which franchises do you see most vulnerable to folding, or at least needing massive assistance?
3. What specific rule change(s) would you personally like to see implemented?
4. What do you think of the recent league phenomenon of former star players getting high ranking positions with former clubs (Luc, Yzerman, Hull, Nieuwendyk, etc); good publicity or smart management / personnel moves?
5. Dean Lombardi seems very focused on creating a specific culture and operating philosophy around the club. From a business or management perspective, how would you characterize his approach, where do you think he developed it, and do you think it would have application beyond a hockey / sports environment?
6. Will we see more NHL franchises in Canada, and/or more AHL franchises nearer the west coast (and, if so, would the Kings shift affiliates)?
7. A lot of fans are screaming bloody murder at Rob Blake signing with San Jose after balking at a trade deadline move and all the other baggage. Set the record straight- the guy’s obviously had a great playing career (the last few years notwithstanding) but what do you think of Blake as a teammate, leader, mentor, member of the organization, and his contract / franchise choices?
8. What arena songs make you want to pull your finely coiffed ‘do’ out after hearing them a million times?
9. Which arenas really put on a good show for the fans, and how could Staples improve the in-game fan experience (in addition to a winning team)?
10. As it stands right now, who are your ‘C’ and ‘A’s on opening night?
Keep up the great work, Jim!

El Guapo:
Thanks for the compliments about Bob and me…
1. First of all, I feel very fortunate to have the job that I have…it can get frustrating at times but as soon as that creeps in I try to tell myself that we have to “take it one game at a time”…wow…clich #1…but that’s how I feel…I love hockey, I love the Kings and I love what I do…
2. Everyone has a limit…I believe it is 56% of a revenue formula…this puts everyone on the same footing…bidding for players or having your players bid on by other teams is legal and part of the game…some teams have to “overpay” in order to attract players others don’t…so far the cap has gone up each year…that won’t happen every year and when it goes down, that’s when you will see some “wheeling and dealing”…I don’t see this as a problem…it is fair for everyone…franchises in trouble…looks like Nashville is one of them…probably Florida too…thought Tampa Bay might have issues, but it looks like the new ownership is strong enough…
3. Too many new rules lately…I think the game is fine the way it is…if I were to nit-pick…changes to the instigator rule and keep working on the goalie equipment…
4. Part of the evolution of our game…over the last 10-15 years or so, players (like the ones you mentioned) played in a very “business-like” environment…this has helped develop ex-players who have a big enough business understanding to jump right in…also, recruiting will become a big part of the “free-agent” game…these type of guys can also help in that department…
5. I can’t answer all of this because I don’t know Dean well enough to get into everything…I do find that he operates with a “military” approach…he has a deep respect for the military and the discipline that goes along with that…he also answers every question with well-thought out responses…I think this comes from his legal background…I think all of his philosophies can be carried over into any working environment…
6. Don’t think there will be any expansion to Canada…if it does come I would think it would be in the Toronto (Southern Ontario) area…as far as the AHL…it would be great to have a “western conference” to develop players…geography and finances might make that tough to do…
7. I think that Rob has reacted like many athletes in that he makes decisions based on how he feels it will help his family…just like most of us do in our lives…he has had some very nasty contract negotiations…that is part of the game…I did not agree with his decision to give up the captaincy a few years ago and I talked to him about it, but he felt he had to do it…he has had a “Hall-of-Fame” type of career…he has excelled at all levels of play (Stanley Cup/Olympics/World’s)…he is a hard working dedicated player who’s preparation was second to none…I’m disappointed he is not back with the Kings, but it’s best to look ahead…
8. I don’t get caught up in that too much…if I don’t like it I just put on my headset to drown out the noise…
9. I think STAPLES is right up there with the best…this area is so subjective…10 people like something, 10 people hate the same thing…I wasn’t a big fan of a mascot, but I have to admit I was wrong…after seeing what type of effect the Kings mascot Bailey can have, especially of kids…Bailey does a great job…
10. Captain…Derek Armstrong…A’s rotated between…Brown/Kopitar/Stoll/Handzus/O’Sullivan…

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lakingzfan said:
Hey Jim,
Let me just say that you are by far the best color man in the business. I really admire how you always keep your perspective and don’t ever give the impression of being a homer (unlike a certain other color man about 40 miles south). You and Bob are awsome together.
Down to business- is there anyone that you looked up to and modeled yourself after in the commentator world? What made you want to get in the commentating business? And could you possibly share your thoughts and any anecdotes about possibly the greatest commentator of all time in Chick Hearns (God, I miss his calls)? I loved the fact that he would really call out the players/team and hold them accountable when they were stinking it up and not putting forth 100% effort. I know that the players really listened to what he had to say and respected him, because that particular player or the team as a whole would always seem to get their act together not long after chick would point something out. Do you think some of that comes into play with the Kings players with what you and Bob say on the air? Do they even hear about what you guys say and/or care?
Thanks for everything you do for us fans Jim!

Lakingzfan:
Thanks so much for your kind comments…
I really didn’t have any ideas about broadcasting when I retried…timing is everything…the Kings decided to end the “simulcast” and separate the TV and radio and I had just retired and was still in LA…

As far as commentators I look up to right now…there are many from a bunch of different sports…I think I have tried to learn from the following announcers…I should preface this answer with, I do believe there is a difference between national broadcasts and local broadcasts…the national people can go places that local people shouldn’t go…I know this can be debated forever, but I do believe there is a difference…

…John McEnroe…he makes me feel what the players are feeling

…Johnny Miller…he is not necessarily liked by the golfers, but he also takes you into things and he is not afraid to discuss how he used to feel, both when he did well and when he failed…

…Dick Button…great analysis along with a great delivery…

…Troy Aikman…rarely confrontational…always respectful and full of knowledge that is communicated clearly…

…as far as NHL announcers go…when I take everything into consideration (and I know this is so subjective and each individual market is different)…the Dallas Stars team of Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh do the best job…

…as far as Chick Hearn goes…much like Bob Miller, I marvel at how they could follow the game at such a fast pace and bring so much emotion to the broadcasts…but after seeing how much preparation both Chick (did) and Bob (does) I understand that to get as good as they are/were…it takes a lot of hard work…

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mrbob25 said:
Jim,
Why does the NHL insist on making teams wear their dark jerseys for home games? Gets a little repetitive seeing visiting clubs to Staples always in white. In my opinion, every game in every sport the home team should wear their white jerseys. Of course this phenomena has been occuring even before the lockout and in the NFL, however is the NHL using this as a marketing strategy for the new Reebok jerseys?
Thank you for taking my question. You and Bob are great.

Mrbob25:
Thanks for the kind words…I never really gave this too much thought…initially I thought that it is only appropriate to wear your “colors” at home…but you do bring up a good point…maybe more of the “switch-jersey” nights would bring a happy middle ground…

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Birddog126 said:
Jim,
Marcassin or Kosta Browne?

Birddog126:
…don’t have a lot of experience with either one of these wineries…sounds like it’s time to do a side-by-side tasting…

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Ryan said:
Hey Jim,
Quick question that I’m sure everyone is thinking about.. Would YOU ever consider coaching the Kings (or any team for that matter). I remember the good times you had for the LA Blades! You’re perfect for the job!! Did you even apply?
Thanks,
Ryan

Ryan:
Thanks for the confidence in me…I don’t have enough experience to apply for an NHL coaching job…I have always been very interested in coaching and have tried to study coaches as much as possible, but, since I love my job so much, I have never given it serious consideration…I think I can read the game well, I think I would have good enough communication skills, but there is so much more to learn…I would have to quit broadcasting and start at a lower level than the NHL…at this time, I would like to stay where I am…I would be lying if I said I have never thought about coaching, but as I mentioned, I am not willing to give up broadcasting to do it…thanks again!

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Lososaurus said:
I think I speak on behalf of all Kings fans when I ask, “When is the technicolor suit coming back?”

Lososaurus:
I am asked that question quite a bit…as I have mentioned before…the jacket actually belongs to friends of mine…it has been in their family a long time…it is not something that I can just “decide” to do…when the feeling is there, it will make a return…I can’t say when, because I don’t know when…I just have to let the power of the jacket determine when the time is right…

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  • john

    I’ve yet to see the technicolor suit, I’ve missed all the apperances that it has made.

    Jim Fox is a stand-up guy though, met him a few times and he’s always very kind and of course, hilarious.

  • Anonymous

    As far as camera angles go, It would be a good experiment to use the “end zone” camera on power plays. I’ve seen this used a couple times last year in that situation and while it’s nauseating to watch in that perspective in normal game play; it brings an interesting view as long as the puck stays on one side of the redline and lets you see the plays develop.