Is sitting on the NHL glass half full (of fun) or half empty (promises)? Shut up and try it …


C’mon, your nose doesn’t actually bleed when you’re navigating the sherpa-style incline to seats somewhere in the 300 level at Staples Center for a Kings game. It just sparks a natural curiosity: Would the quality of life be better if given the chance to slide up to the glass at an NHL contest.

Just once.

Every night, the Kings have a sponsored promotion at the game that emancipates two fans from their blimp-view perch to a spot right up against the boards. We tried to recreate the experience the other night during a Kings-Blue Jackets game.

We tried to recreate the experience the other night at a Kings-Blue Jackets game. Right on the blue line, just five seats over from the penalty box. Even with the Kings’ 6-2 pasting of these clowns from Columbus, we weren’t completely sure if we actually had the best ringside seat for the circus.

It all depends: Is your view on the glass is half full of fun, or of half empty promises.


Pro: It rocks. It rolls. With no seat belts. With the barrier there for protection, it’s better than swimming with sharks at a barrier reef at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The speed is breathtaking. The agility on display is remarkable — did you see how Rick Nash skated backward and still made that pass? Watch a faceoff, or fisticuff, just a few feet in front of you. An in-your-face hip check has you checking bladder control. Get the camera ready to shoot because …


Con: There could be a goal about to be scored in front of you – only to have a ref skate right into your line of vision. Good ol’ No. 91. Don Henderson (bio linked here). That happened on the Kings’ first score of the night. I had to watch it on the replay screen. Thanks buddy. You can even see the reflection of me taking the picture.

Pro: The crunching, shushing and slapping sounds are unlike anything you’ll get on a Bose TV stereo system, or anywhere else in the building
Con: The sound of a puck hitting the Plexiglas is like a rock hitting your windshield when you’re not expecting it. You jump, your heart skips, you see if you’ve rear-ended anyone, there are no shards in your hot dog, you realize you’ve just missed the last 20 seconds of action.


Pro: Despite expectations, it’s really not that cold down there.
Con: Despite the fact it’s now not all that cold, you’ve overdressed and are now too warm to sit comfortably. Layer accordingly. Laker socks optional with flip-flops.

Pro: Stand and pound on the glass, to show approval.
Con: Don’t do it when an usher is nearby. He won’t approve.

Pro: When you least expect it a ref could flip a game-used puck over the ice to you.
Con: He meant for it to be given to the little girl sitting behind you, meathead.

Pro: A kid sitting nearby us yells: “Slam him into the wall! Make his face bleed!”
Con: The kids weren’t back for the second or third period. Some other couple was sitting in their seats. And making out for most of the action. Hey, get a room.


Pro: On the inside of the boards, you can show off to everyone else behind you by lining up your beer cups on the ledge.
Con: One lowered shoulder check into the boards, and you’re wearing a couple of $10 beers on your pants.

Pro: The Kings’ Rob Scuderi puts a check on the Blue Jackets’ Jason Chimera, sending him skates over head, bleeding from the face, right along the board.
Con: We had no idea what happened. The fans went nuts, and it happened on our side, but on the other end of the rink. Why all the pushing and shoving and ref tackling? Later, we read that Scuderi was fined by the league for the hit. Hope he got his money’s worth. We didn’t.


Pro: The Kings’ ice girls leisurely glide right past you. And they may wink.
Con: The Kings’ Zamboni machine churns right past you. And it may stink.

Pro: When the game ends, a Kings’ player who’s named one of the three stars skates over and hands his stick over the glass to you.
Con: A 6-year-old boy with puppy-dog eyes, whose parents led him down to the front moments before the final siren just to stake out a position, will guilt you into giving it up.

Pro: Your ticket could include access to the Chairman’s Room (where Jack Nicholson sneaks off to during Laker games, or the suite-level restaurant. Take advantage of it between periods.
Con: That’s included in the $455 face value of the ticket. Or $350 if you buy it as a season seat. Then, you also have to spring for the price of the cocktail, hors d’oeuvres, or dinner. You want an $18 sushi sampler? Take the lobster risoto with it ($14, but very rich). It can start adding up and send your credit card to the penalty box. (And the waitress is taking our order while Jarret Stoll is scoring … thanks for the distraction). But then, the glass up there separating you from the game is very clean, no smudges, no streaks, no scratches …


Pro: You can brag to your friends about how you were down with the players, got on TV, brushed past Jerry Bruckheimer, almost ripped the jersey off Rick Nash and lie about how the glass almost broke a few times.
Con: One idiot friend will always come back with: Yeah, I did that once, and it was OK, but I really like my top-deck seat, especially when I’m on the rail, because you can really see all the plays develop, and it’s only 12 bucks, and … blah, blah, blah … puck, puck, puck …
Pro: You can tell him to shut the puck up. … And hey, could you reach down to those loose wires down by our feet, the ones that lead to that small puddle over there … just grab one of ’em and slide it over to the left …. here, with the other hand, hold this metal post and ….

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How’s your torch relay going now, Canada? Better than housing and health care reform?


Jonathan Hayward/AP Photo/The Canadian Press
Men’s eight Olympic gold medalist teammate Kevin Light, right, passes on the Olympic Flame to the coxsain of the junior team during the Olympic Torch Relay in Victoria, B.C., on Friday.

The Associated Press

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Protesters forced the 2010 Vancouver Games torch relay to be diverted from its planned route Friday, hours after organizers kicked off what is supposed to be the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history.

Several hundred protesters, angry that billions are being spent on the Olympics instead of housing and health care, blocked Victoria city streets for hours, preventing the torch from passing by Government House and forcing organizers to reroute.

Relay organizers attempted to drive the torchbearers around the demonstration. Instead, they were taken several miles away to Victoria’s waterfront. Then, more than a half-dozen participants lined up side-by-side along the road, where they passed the flame from torch to torch without running their segments.

The run resumed with a short relay to the day’s final stop, the provincial legislature.

Relay organizers said in a statement the rerouting was implemented “to ensure the safety of all participants.”

Over 106 days, the torch will stop in every Canadian province and territory leading to the lighting of the cauldron at BC Place. The games will be held from Feb. 12-28 in Vancouver and Whistler.

About 400 protesters earlier greeted the flame’s arrival by staging what they called a “five-ring circus” with a “Zombie March” — complete with costumes, drums and trombones — to the provincial legislature, where a concert was planned by Vancouver Games organizers to celebrate the completion of the Olympic flame’s first day on Canadian soil.

Tamara Herman, an organizer with the group No2010 Victoria, said whatever opponents’ specific objections to the Games, it all comes down to money.

“The reasons that we oppose the Games are very multifaceted. We oppose them because we see homelessness is a bigger priority than a two-week parade, we see health services is a bigger priority,” she told The Canadian Press. “Why have we decided to spend such an enormous amount of money on what is essentially a two-week party?”

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Charger fan in San Diego can now officially stay home and avoid Raider fan in parking lot


The San Diego Chargers say enough tickets have been sold to lift the local television blackout of their game Sunday against AFC West rival Oakland.

The Chargers needed a 24-hour extension from the NFL, until 1:05 p.m. Friday, to sell the remaining tickets to lift the blackout. The usual deadline is 72 hours before kickoff.

The game was already scheduled to be shown in the L.A. market. It goes head to head with Fox’s coverage of the Minnesota-Green Bay contest.

According to statistics provided by the Associated Press for some reason, this is the 43rd consecutive regular-season or postseason Chargers home game to be televised live in their home market. The last regular-season blackout was on Nov. 7, 2004, against the New Orleans Saints. The team’s longest streak of consecutive games televised live is 44 set from 1979-84.

Yes, they keep these kind of stats in the NFL.

Also, the Arizona Cardinals filled the extra 24-hour extension to sell out their home game against Carolina on Sunday. It also goes head-to-head with Minnesota-Green Bay — in fact, the sellout now means those in Arizona and North Carolina will be forced to watch the Cardinals-Panthers, and not the Vikings-Packers, because both are on Fox.

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IOC ready to pounce on U.S. TV Olympic bidding, now that money seems to be flowing again


By Stephen Wilson
The Associated Press

LONDON — Encouraged by the improving economy in the United States, the International Olympic Committee plans to begin negotiations on U.S. broadcast rights for the 2014 and 2016 Games next year.

IOC president Jacques Rogge told The Associated Press on Friday that the bidding could begin soon after the Feb. 12-28 Winter Games in Vancouver.

NBC, ABC-ESPN, Fox and possibly CBS-Time Warner are expected to bid for combined rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“The economic climate seems to be reviving in the United States, so that’s a good omen,” Rogge said in a telephone interview. “Definitely, I think rather shortly after Vancouver we will start discussing. We’re not going to negotiate during the Vancouver Games themselves. But I think second quarter, second half of next year, would definitely be possible.”

Continue reading “IOC ready to pounce on U.S. TV Olympic bidding, now that money seems to be flowing again” »

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The Media Learning Curve: Oct. 23-30


What’s this about how high schools are getting all money crazy by charging higher fees for TV production trucks that neither the Dodgers nor Angels would even think of hitting they up for?

We’re catching up on a recent blog post by L.A. Times veteran prep writer (and former Daily News prep czar) Eric Sondheimer (linked here) explaining how Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly probably won’t be able to have any of their home football games televised from Santa Ana Stadium or Long Beach Veterans Stadium because of prohibitive stadium fees.


FSN West/Prime Ticket is paying the CIF Southern Section about $40,000 this year in rights fees to televise high school sporting events. But in return, Vets Stadium (run by Long Beach City College) has been asking for $7,500 in fees (for seven hours or more), plus custodial fees of $35.50 an hour, for any time FSN West/Prime Ticket wants to do a game there. At Santa Ana Stadium, run by the city of Santa Ana, it’s a $2,100 flat fee.

Give the kids a break, eh?

Through some further research, the charge for any TV truck at Dodger Stadium or Angel Stadium is a flat $1,500 a game. At Yankee Stadium, for example, it’s in the $4,000 range. But then, at the Rose Bowl, Coliseum, Home Depot Center, Staples Center and Honda Center do not have a fee, according to our sources.

What gives?

There’s gotta be more behind the fees being as steep as they are — city ordinances, union involvement, etc. If the bottom line is that residents don’t want the TV trucks around, then that’s what they’ve bargained for.

It can only lead to schools like Long Beach Poly or Mater Dei to find a new home field if they want TV exposure. Then who’ll foot the bill?

Some other things we’ve like to include in our week of learning in review:

== Your college football Week 9 TV schedule (linked here), with lots of Oregon cheerleaders on Halloween, dressed up as awesome Oregon cheerleaders.

== Your NFL Week 8 TV schedule (linked here), with the Farve thing in the way again.

== Fox’s NFL pregame is getting more bang for their buck with a billboard ad campaign — complete with goal posts and pads (linked here)

== They (Harry Caray and Curt Gowdy, working the ’68 championship for NBC) were talking about TV replays in the World Series more than 40 years ago (linked here). Yet, Fox doesn’t want to be put in the position to push for more umpire help from their camera feeds (linked here)

== The Ocho Cinco News Network (OCNN) even got a mention in Sports Illustrated this week (linked here), and he was on Letterman doing the Top 10 list Thursday, which was also promoting his new book … does he know the NFL season is underway?

== Steve Phillips, called out (linked here)

== The video on Bob Griese’s taco reference (linked here)

== Why having a 22-year-old son made it even more difficult for Mary Carillo to report on the Nick Adenhart story for HBO’s “Real Sports” this week (linked here)

== Can there be a “wow” factor in getting kids to read about sports (linked here)?

== Did you get to hear Rick Reilly call a race at Santa Anita (linked here)? You will on ESPN’s coverage of the Breeders Cup next weekend (linked here).

== Wasn’t Larry Merchant telling us a few weeks ago that the New York Times never covers boxing any more (linked here)?

== You seen the Season 3 premiere yet of “Mayne Street”? It’s only been out for awhile… while we wait for Episode 2, have at it, where Bill Simmons pretends he’s not from Boston (from Encino) and wears a Doug Christie Clippers jersey:

== These guys are in a “league” of their own, on FX (linked here).

== Here’s a question to ask Vin Scully: Why does it seem everyone’s afraid to correct you behind the scenes if you make an error? (linked here)

== Our array of leftover notes (linked here)


== A new favorite bookmark, (linked here), authored by former Daily Bruin sports editor Evan Lovett, with his own links to interesting finds along the way. He also passes along a link he found to a Columbia Journalism Review piece on “The Reconstruction of American Journalism” (linked here) with very compelling commentary and insight.
Another thing Evan has been on top of is the ongoing vs. ESPN legal controversy that’s been brewing, and we should take a closer look at in the days to come.

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