Lauryn Lukin, the Dodgers’ VP of broadcasting who oversees the Jr. Dodgers broadcasting program that brings young talent into the booth for a chance to call a game, says she’s constantly amazed how media savvy the kids are these day.
“It’s so exciting to hear a 10-year-old with so much energy, calling a game, after doing all the prep work,” Lukin said. “Some nerves have gotten in the way sometimes, but they’ve been incredible once they settle down and do the game. I can’t wait to see where they end up. If one does end up with a team, to be able to back to when they were 12 or 13, calling a Dodger game, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing for them and a way to track the future of broadcasting.”
John Madden, for instance, must be replaced. And we’ll see how NBC does with that as more media notes come through in addition to today’s media column (linked here):
== NBC teams up Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth in calling the Buffalo-Tennessee Hall of Fame exhibition game from Canton, Ohio (5 p.m., Channel 4). For this tandum, it’s their third game together in the booth, having previously called last year’s Pro Bowl and the Seahawks-Bucs game in Week 5.
“It’s not like we are going from a veteran star to a rookie,” said game producer Fred Gaudelli. “We are going from a veteran star to another veteran star, and we are all excited about it.
“Al, Cris and I have had conversations and I think … to go into a season and try to contrive what the difference is going to be is really just a recipe for failure. Cris is incredibly well informed. He has his opinions, he sees the game the way he sees it and I think whatever shape the broadcast is going to take, it’s just going to come out naturally. The main thing is that everybody’s got the same goal to produce the best NFL telecast there is and everything else falls second to that. It will be different, there’s no question about it, but the difference will come naturally.”
“We would all love to see John Madden sitting right next to Al but unfortunately he was ready to retire,” said Collinsworth. “I have talked to John a couple of times this off-season and he’s happy, I think he is a little anxious. I think his motor is running a little bit right now. He’s so used to getting going with football, he’s done it his whole life. He still loves the game and is still following it very closely and it’s exciting for him to see football season come around. I certainly plan on staying in touch with him.”
Michael and Collinsworth have one more exhibition — Sunday, Aug. 30, Chicago at Denver — before the Sept. 10 regular-season kickoff game in Pittsburgh and the first regular-season Sunday night game in Green Bay (with Chicago as the visitors) on Sept. 13.
== ESPN (starting at 4 p.m., with Trey Wingo and Tom Jackson) and the NFL Network (starting at 2 p.m., with Rich Eisen, Michael Irvin and Steve Marucci) have Hall of Fame induction coverage Saturday. Included in the induction as a media member is former CBS NFL studio host Irv Cross.
== ESPN airs the documentary, “The Lost Son of Havana,” on Monday at 7 p.m., after first showing it on ESPN Deportes on Sunday at 3 p.m. The flick shows present-day Cuba with former big-league pitcher Luis Tiant returning to Havana after 46 years of exile and a 19-year career. Then 67, El Tiante confronted the long-simmering feelings of love and loss he had for his family, his former teammates and the country he left behind. Chris Cooper narrates the movie directed by Jonathan Hock (“Through the Fire”) and produced by the Farrelly Brothers.
== Chris Marlowe and Paul Sunderland call the AVP’s Hermosa Open for NBC on Saturday (women’s final at 1:30 p.m.) and Sunday (men’s final at 1:30 p.m.).
== How classic has it been with the way DirecTV has turned the Time Warner Cable technical glitch of the missed Manny Ramirez grand slam from the Dodgers-Reds game on July 22 into another way to directly promote their satellite product? Talk about a self-made marketing campaign falling onto your dish.