Mike Walden, the first to become a football and basketball voice at USC and UCLA, then parlaying his broadcasting persona into a comedy straight man, died Sunday at age 89 of complications from a stroke, USC confirmed Friday.
Walden, a Springfield, Ill., native who lived in Tarzana, was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 as well as the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
He was the SCSB president from 1975-77 and 1992-93.
He started in Southern California calling USC sports from 1966 to 1972 and then went to UCLA for a run of 18 more years (1973-90), both on radio and TV.
More info about a celebration of his life at this link.
Mike Walden, second from left, is joined by Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame members at an annual awards ceremony in 2012. (Photo by Jon SooHoo).
As we are entrenched in coverage all week from Riviera Country Club for the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open, we still want to get caught up for the media weekend — starting with our front-burner events:
Dottie Pepper, having put in a full season as a course reporter for CBS, was prepared for whatever might happen during the network PGA Tour coverage last weekend at Pebble Beach — the rain went away, and it turned out to be a relatively beautiful Saturday and Sunday, and she avoided getting lifted up and tossed into a bunker again by Bill Murray. Like everyone headed out to Riviera this weekend, she’s been apprised of the wet and cold weather forecasts, and again will come prepared.
She must, for survival’s sake.
In addition to the network-issued Adidas attire, she says she will have a Gore-Tex bucket hat, Sealskinz stretch-dry socks (long, not short) and won’t worry about carrying an umbrella.
Just like going to the High Sierras for a December weekend picnic during a snowstorm.
“If your top and bottom are dry, that’s how you survive,” the former LPGA star admitted Wednesday. “I learned that from playing. The umbrella is just too much for me to handle on top of holding a microphone and a yardage book.”
That’s the Pepper always-be-prepared plan, also based on local knowledge when she covered the 2010 event while working at NBC and “it poured buckets.”
It’s also her experience that “when the weather is bad, the guy who is willing to take all that Mother Nature can throw at him and still do it one better” will have the right mindset to survive the elements, just as Jordan Spieth did last week at Pebble Beach during the first two rounds.
“Riviera is a place that seems to be best for the ballstrikers who can carry the ball a long way and control it,” she said. “And with what they are expecting, it’ll also be someone who lets that water fall off a duck’s back.” Pepper and Peter Kostis will have the CBS course duties on Saturday (noon-to-3 p.m.) and Sunday (noon-to-3:30 p.m.), with the usual network crew of high-and-dry Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo (18th tower), Ian Baker-Finch (17th hole) and Gary McCord (16th hole).
As it happened last week when weather delayed the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, things could extended either day on either the CBS affiliate, KCBS-Channel 2, or on Golf Channel each day.
Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer, Steve Milton is the direcotr and Harold Bryant is executive producer for the CBS coverage.
Faldo, who won his last PGA Tour title at Riviera 20 years ago, has this Q&A about the course and his memories with CBSSports.com.
== Terry Gannon, David Duval and Matt Gogel are the main broadcast team with on-course reporters Jim Gallagher Jr., Aaron Olberholser and Todd Lewis for Golf Channel’s live coverage of the Genesis Open starting with runs of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, with replays from 4-to-8 p.m. each night. Add to that the extended pre- and post-round coverage on Golf Central, including the live tournament windows that Golf Channel has on Saturday and Sunday from 10-to-11:30 a.m.
== Ted Robinson, Mike Montgomery and Lewis Johnson are on the Pac-12 Network call of USC at UCLA from Pauley Pavilion, Saturday at 7 p.m. Continue reading →
Kings Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller will take a break from the team’s next eight games through the end this month as he continues to recuperate from a recent mild stroke.
Miller, 78, said he will reassess his health with the team executives to see how they can proceed through the last two months of the regular season. Ralph Strangis, who has done five games this year as a fill in for Miller on Kings’ road trips, will be paired with Jim Fox for four home and three road games on Fox Sports West between Feb. 16-28. A game in Minnesota on Feb. 27 is an NBCSN broadcast.
“I’m just waiting for more test results from the cardiologist and have more appointments schedule, so I’ll see how things go and take it from there,” Miller said Monday. More at this link…
Camera operator Steve Heinz is able to capture footage at the starting line for the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona on Saturday. (Credit: Amanda Busick/NHRA)
Even with its stellar track record, television and technology has its limits when trying to play catch up to National Hot Rod Association.
“It’s a five-sense sport – so is there a way to convey the smell or even the taste of the burnt rubber that’s in your clothes?” asked Frank Wilson, Fox Sports’ vice president of production for motorsports.
Vibrating La-Z-Boy recliners with nitro-scented air fresheners? Crank the volume up to a hundred-and-eleven?
Give Fox and the NHRA enough time, money and creativity, and Pomona could be the gritty petri dish for some high-end sensory overload experimentation.
The weekend’s Winternationals at the Fairplex Auto Club Raceway, leading into a three-hour live presentation on Fox’s national network Sunday afternoon, re-calibrates the next set of milestones.
A sport that has traditionally seen its TV presentation of four-second bursts bundled into a tape-delayed, heavily edited production, often airing hours after the event ended and everyone took out their earplugs, is shifting gears and already seeing results. More at this link …