The Media Learning Curve: A 10-minute major for not being able to crosscheck the remote control on Saturday night


Above, that’s the dude from “Napoleon Dynamite” performing in the movie “Blades of Glory. Left, that’s U.S. famed skater Evan Lysacek during the men’s short program Wednesday at the World Figure Skating Championships at Staples Center. As art immitates sport immitaing life immitating Napoleon on skates intimating that the guy can really skate a program, we also wonder: Scott Hamilton was in “Blades of Glory,” right? As himself. Legitimizing the movie, as he’s legitimizing the World Figure Skating Championships that have been taking place this week on Oxygen (c’mon, it’s right there between Hallmark and HSN).

Maybe after all these kids in crazy chiffon outfits are finished skating around at Staples Center this week, some will stick around and try out for the Kings’ skate chicks crew that shovel ice around the nets during time outs and try to do fancy tricks when no one’s watching.

Or maybe not. Probably not. Man, we hope not.


We’ve tried to explain how people watch figure skating on TV these days, because you know you’ll probably have to sit through some of it Saturday night between 9 and 11 p.m. if you’re home and rescind remote control duties. Enlighten yourself by reading today’s media column (linked here) and then some of the other stuff we’ve come across this week that wasn’t print-worthy:

== Another observation by David Michaels, the NBC Sports producer of the skating coverage this weekend that feeds into the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which NBC will also cover: “While the world championships have an insight into what may happen (at the Olympics), history says the whole period between now and then, all kinds of things change. This is the best time to check out the other competitors and see what they’ll need to do to win (the Olympics). I’d pay less attention to the results and more to the lessons learned.”

== Hamilton’s opinion about the U.S. women’s chances: “It’s a very important World Championships because their placements determine how many entries they’ll have at the Olympics next year. Alyssa Czisny’s done everything she can to break down her technique to be more consistent and that showed with a win at the National Championship. I hope she can go to L.A. and throw down two great performances.”

==ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” has Brian Kenny live from the studio while Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore call tonight’s Eddie Chambers-Samuel Peter bout from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live (7 p.m.).

== Prime Ticket’s coverage of the MLS Chivas USA season — 18 games on the local cable channel — starts Sunday with the team’s game in Dallas. Christian Miles does play-by-play, with Bernard Osuna as the analyst and Amanda Fletcher on the sidelines when games are at home.

== GolTV has live coverage of nine European 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from Saturday through April 1 – 2. The field includes Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Russia.

== Because you really can’t enjoy an auto race better than hearing it on the radio, Sirius XM has announced it will do all Formula One races this season on all services starting with Sunday’s opener in Australia (10 p.m. Saturday PDT).

== ESPN has the McDonald’s High School All-American basketball game from Miami (Wednesday, April 1, with the girl’s game followed by the boy’s game). Coverage includes the three-point skills competition and dunk contest on Monday at 5 p.m. Dave Pasch is doing play-by-play for both girls and boys games. Brenda VanLengen analyzes the girls while Len Elmore is with the boys.

== This piece by Greg Garber running in the Krispy Kreme Challenge reminds us when we were at the L.A. Marathon years ago and offered donuts and cigars to participants instead of water and towels as they ran past us:


From Onion Sports (linked here):


Marc Stein Treated For OCD After Latest NBA Power Rankings List Teams From Dirtiest To Cleanest

BRISTOL, CT — Sportswriter Marc Stein was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and prescribed a low dose of Risperdal Tuesday after using his weekly power rankings to rate the “filthiness” of each NBA team.

“Basketball under their fingernails; I wouldn’t go near these guys in a million years, okay?” read Stein’s entry for the 11th-ranked Pacers, a typical blurb in a list that described the No. 1 Suns as “pretty clean or less diseased than normal” and the No. 30 Mavericks as “DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY.”

An agitated Stein told reporters that he believes teams need to be ranked in many different ways.

“Scoring them from best to worst, or by their ‘power,’ is one way, but what about organizing them by how dirty they are, their franchise age, or the way they sound or taste? People deserve to know that, although the Lakers are the best team in the league, they are only 23rd in terms of how well-liked they are among their own families. The Detroit Pistons are ranked eighth alphabetically. That’s important.”

Stein was prescribed an additional dose of D-cycloserin after explaining his plans to wash the entire Northwest Division.

When emailed about this story — for real — Stein, the former Daily News NBA writer replied: “The irony here is that I am an absolute neat freak . . . maybe they’re spying on me.”

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Our Daily Dread: Can we squeeze a little quiet time into the Tigers’ home opener?


The San Diego Padres wouldn’t have done it. Neither would have the St. Louis Cardinals.

Red Sox Nation, with all them practicing Catholics, would have seen this coming years ago and made some noise about it already.

The Detroit Tigers, apparently, just figured out that its home opener on April 11 at 1 p.m. — on Good Friday — wasn’t such great planning for the Catholic community.


Forget the fact that there’s so much hot dogs and peanut eating at the ballyard on that special Friday before Easter. No fish?

The separation between church and state-of-the-art ballparks came to light when the Catholics of Detroit started to show some outward concern that, as much as they are baseball fans, they’re bigger fans of the big picture, and would rather be in church from noon to 3 p.m. on that day, as they are committed to each year.

Or maybe it’s not that big a deal. Most Tiger fans would consider it a good Friday if the team just won the game.


Wonder how Ty Cobb would have handled this “controvery.”

The Catholics that I know seem to be a forgiving bunch. It’s kind of part of the membership rules.

But from we know about Tigers is that former owner Tom Monaghan (the Dominos Pizza guy) is a devout Catholic. He had some kind of religious awakening and built a community in Florida where condoms and birth control pills are not allowed to be sold in drug stores. He must think his former team has gone to hell.

I’m reading a Detroit Tigers webbloger named Bill Ferris (linked here) who was quoted in the Detroit Free-Press story that originally came out with situation (linked here).

“I don’t view this as a controversy. I didn’t call foul or complain in any way. I was interviewed as a Catholic and a Tigers fan and what my plans were for the day. I didn’t view this is a controversy or something controversial. I’m not pushing the Tigers to change the time of the game, nor did I ever even think to suggest it as a possibility. I’m not even upset about the fact that the game was scheduled when it was.

“I have been to 13 consecutive Opening Days with my friends. I’m also a practicing Catholic. With the game falling on the afternoon of Good Friday it does create a personal conflict for me. But it is a conflict that I need to work through and I wouldn’t expect the Tigers or MLB to try and accommodate me in this regard.

“I’m posting about it here because, well, I can. This turned out to be much more controversial than I ever imagined.”

Yeah, talk to Shawn Green about that one. It was commendable when he was with the Dodgers and choose to observe Yom Kipper, even though every year it fell in the middle of a September pennant race. Alan Schwarz, on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” did a piece back on ’04 on it (linked here) that explains it better.

You can expect these kinds of things to get a little overblown by those who seize the opportunity to do such.

Headlines that say “Catholics criticize Tigers’ Good Friday opener” miss the point that every team plays that day — a night game — except the Tigers and Rangers.

Oh, well.

That’s more bad business than worth screaming about an injustice.

The Associated Press rewrite of the story says that the Tigers have “upset some” Catholics who are “unhappy” with the start time.

A story on includes an instant poll: Should the Tigers change the start of the game. It’s a 50/50 split from more than 3,800 voters. There’s no similiar poll on, but we’d be more interested to see how that one fell.

At the Vatican’s official website (linked here), put “Detroit Tigers” in the search engine and there’ll be no documents found. There aren’t any for the “New Jersey Devils” either, but …

Pope Benedict XVI may have a comment sometime down the road if someone deems it necessary. But that would be like Barack Obama taking time out of his busy schedule to do an NCAA Tournament bracket. I don’t see that happening.

Comment here or at

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The Red Sox traded Coco Crisp too soon; imagine a Ben And Jerry’s stand now at Fenway Park


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have signed right-hander Rocky Cherry to a minor league contract.

The 29-year-old Cherry was 0-3 with a save and a 6.35 ERA in 18 relief appearances for the Baltimore Orioles last year. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Norfolk, where he was 0-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 28 relief appearances.

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Shawn Johnson won’t tumble for him


The Associated Press

A restraining order has been issued against a man authorities say tried to break onto the set of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” to meet Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Court records show an order was issued against Robert O’Ryan, who was arrested by Los Angeles police on Tuesday. According to documents that accompanied the restraining order application, O’Ryan was stopped by security at CBS Studios, the lot where “Dancing With the Stars” is staged, after he jumped on a fence on Monday afternoon.

Police later searched his car and found a shotgun and handgun — both loaded — as well as duct tape and love letters.

A sworn statement by Johnson’s mother, Teri, states that she was told by police that he believed he was meant to have a child with her daughter.

Johnson, 17, is one of the celebrity contestants on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

She is “in fear of her life,” her parents’ attorney wrote in a restraining order application.

The application had sought protection for Johnson’s partner, Mark Ballas, but he was not included in the restraining order issued Wednesday.

Her parents requested and were granted the restraining order on Wednesday. A hearing on whether to grant a lengthy restraining order will be held April 14.

O’Ryan, 34, is being held on $35,000 bail on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm in public (a felony). Court records do not indicate whether he has a lawyer.

The records state that he told security guards and police that he packed up all his belongings and traveled to California from Florida in the hopes of being with Johnson.

A report by security guards at CBS Studios states that O’Ryan was carrying an expired concealed weapons permit.

Sheryl Shade, Johnson’s agent, said the matter was being reviewed by the district attorney’s office “and we are confident that it will be handled appropriately by all involved.”

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