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

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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.

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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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?

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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

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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

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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.”

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The Media Learning Curve: Oct. 23-30

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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.

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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)

AND FINALLY:

== A new favorite bookmark, Yallkiltit.com (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 Deadspin.com 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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The Media Learning Curve: Listen up …

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Excuse me. Pardon me. Watch out.

Clunk.

That wasn’t the sound of a Taylor Mays hit. It was me hitting the security guard in the head with the parabolic microphone dish as I tried to move up the sidelines and toward the end zone in the second quarter of Saturday’s USC-Oregon State game at the Coliseum.

Sorry, man.

Hey, so how’d that sound back in the truck?

The pleasure I had in providing sounds for your college football experience … no need to thank me. Just read about it in today’s newspaper column (linked here) and go on with your day, unaware of all of us who make things happen in your life…

Other stuff that crossed our sound check, but we passed on it for newspaper space purposes:

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== One more thing about how a sporting event may sound on your TV set, based on the ears of audio mix specialist Dana Kirkpatrick, who was handling all the sound for the crew on our game last week:

After Kirkpatrick’s crew matches the digital sounds to the pictures on the uplink to the satellite, it’s usually on the downlink feed, after it filters through the local affiliates and then hits your TV set with or without its updated technology, where the sound can often get jumbled or unbalanced.

“We are very sure when we send it out, it’s clean, because of our technical manager and studio crew in New York integrating it,” said Kirkpatrick, who’ll often work a 12-hour day on a college football game, starting with equipment checks and ending with feeding post-game interviews to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios for “SportsCenter” reports. “Some (TV receivers) haven’t converted to stereo, believe it or not, so they’ll only take the left side of our audio feed, so everything is out of mix.”

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== Most of the young people who ask Kirkpatrick for career advice have a much more broad sense of what an audio person may do, but they lack experience in many specfic tasks, he says.

“College kids, it seems to me, are trained to do a little of everything, so if I ask them about doing something, they’ll say, ‘I can’t run it, but I know what that machine is,’” said Kirkpatrick.

“There’s plenty of work out there (in sports audio production) if you’re good at it. The TV business can be kind of weird in that it’s hard to break in through the proper channels. It’s usually a lot about who you know and word of mouth. That’s the Catch 22.
“I always recommend to someone if they want to get into this side of the business, work at an NPR station. There you have to edit your own stories, learn about transmition — everything you’d do on a TV production. But if you listen to a show like ‘This American Life,’ you really hear all the editing that goes into it.”

== Because ABC/ESPN decided last week to take the Cal-Arizona State game (at 12:30 p.m., Channel 7), and there was no FSN game of the week, UCLA’s game at Oregon State on Saturday looked to be going without a TV carrier in L.A. until FSN West/Prime Ticket decided to make room for it, taking the FSN Northwest broadcast and airing it on delay (from the 1 p.m. kickoff to a 3:30 p.m. airtime). Tom Glasgow, James Washington and Steve Preece are on the call. FSN West isn’t allowed to air a Pac-10 game live head-to-head with the ABC choice, so it has to wait for the 3:30 p.m. window to open.

== FSN West’s first Laker game of the regular season (tonight, 7:30 p.m., vs. Dallas) starts with “Lakers Life” at 6:45 p.m. with Bill Macdonald and Norm Nixon. ESPN also has the game (not blacked out) with
Dan Shulman, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Ric Bucher as the pretend courtside reporter. And, if you’re inspired, ESPN will have something called the “NBA on ESPN RV Tour” in Nokia Plaza from 4 to 7:30 p.m., letting fans come in and do nutty stuff like free throw contests, vertical jump challenges, souvenir photo stations, giveaways and whatever else they can fit into an RV. Or, you can do that the ESPN Zone restaurant and playyard right there on the corner.

== NBC has the 40th edition of the New York City Marathon on Sunday (live on Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com from 7 to 11 a.m., with Al Trautwig and Toni Reavis, and a two-hour highlight replay on Channel 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Jimmy Roberts).

== DirecTV’s NBA League Pass continues with a free trial offer through Tuesday on channels 751-768.

== Tom Kelly and Chris Rix will do the Crespi-Notre Dame football game tonight (7:30 p.m.) for Ibnsports.com and Vootage.com.

== AND FINALLY:

== Fox’s coverage of the Minnesota-Green Bay game Sunday won’t include a Favre Cam. At least, not the TV side. A camera put high on the 50-yard line will be isolated on Brett Favre’s every move, from entering the field to leaving it with a pelting of snowballs, with a constant video stream available on both FoxSports.com and NFL.com.

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Are you up for “The League”?

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A new FX half-hour comedy series that revolves around a bunch of friends with their heads buried in a fantasy football league launches tonight (10:30 p.m.) but with several repeats of the premiere episode called “The Draft” (11:30 p.m., and Saturday at 5:30, plus Wednesday Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m.). Episode 2, called “Bounce Test,” debuts next Thursday at 10:30 and 11:30 p.m.)

Among those in the cast:

Mark Duplass as Pete, the immature league champ; Stephen Rannazzisi (from “Samantha Who?”) is Kevin, a successful assistant district attorney and happily married father who also covets the elusive League trophy; Nick Kroll (from “I Love You, Man”) is Ruxin, never a winner but has no doubt he is the smartest of the group; Paul Scheer (from “30 Rock”) as Andre, the long-standing punching bag of the group as well as its most successful member; Jon Lajoie is Taco, Kevin’s little brother, a part-time musician and full-time stoner with little interest in fantasy other than hanging with his buddies. Then there’s Katie Aselton (from “The Office”) as Jenny, Kevin’s wife and his (secret) better half in the fantasy league; Leslie Bibb (from “Talladega Nights”) is Meegan, Pete’s wife who hates fake football, and Nadine Velasquez (from “My Name Is Earl”) who plays Ruxin’s wife Sofia.

Jeff Schaffer (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Seinfeld”) and Jackie Marcus Schaffer are the series creators and exec producers.

A review from the Houston Chronicle (linked here) and another from the Kansas City Star (linked here) and the Philadelphia Inquirer (linked here).

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Scully news: A Q&A on the way … and nothing else urgent … we repeat, nothing urgent

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The Hollywood Radio & Television Society is promoting the fact that it will have a lunch featuring a Q&A with Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The lunch starts at 12:30 p.m. More information: (818) 789-1182 or visit www.HRTS.org.

Ron Shelton, the Hollywood writer, director and producer, will be asking the questions.

Meanwhile, for the lead item in today’s LARadio.com, writer Don Barrett copied and pasted an item that former Channel 9 sportscaster and KMPC-AM (710) morning man Scott St. James put up on his blog (linked here) recently concerning how people at the station aren’t taking care of Scully properly.

St. James says he’s been wrestling with this “story” since mid-October — reporting on the fact Scully misidentified a home run that Manny Ramirez hit on Oct. 15 in the NLDS Game 1 against Philadelphia as a three-run homer instead of what it was, a two-run homer.

The home run took place in the bottom fifth inning — when Scully was not on the air. He had done the first three innings, then was coming back in the top of the seventh to do the final three. The homer pulled the Dodgers from a three-run deficit back to within one.

The error was repeated several times going into a commercial break. But no one, apparently, informed him that the error had occured. Scully repeated it throughout until the end of the game.

St. James isn’t sure who’s more at fault with this — the KABC-AM (790) executive producer, for not doing his job to correct him, or the program director who hired the EP.

Writes St. James:

The questions I have that haven’t been answered are as follows; Did the Executive Producer, during a commercial break after the top of the 8th inning ended, politely advise Scully of the mistake he was making? If not, is this because the Executive Producer is not allowed to talk to Scully, the Executive Producer wasn’t listening to Scully’s play by play or is it because the Executive Producer (while listening) didn’t KNOW that Scully was giving inaccurate information for the final six half innings of the broadcast on KABC?

ORRR…Is this something that should have been handled by someone else? And if so, who might that be? …

If these guys want to pretend their big league job titles makes them big league players, they ARE required to “Protect The Show.” What happened on the night of October 15th seems to indicate that (as Al Campanis might have said) “THEY DON’T HAVE THE NECESSITIES!”

Take it for what it’s worth…

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Quick, find Bratislava on a map … the Lakers and/or Kings may be forced to play there someday soon

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There’s a new 12,500-seat Danube Arena in the Self Govering Region of Bratislava, and it has just signed a letter of intent with AEG Facilities to run it.

Or, had someone sign for it.

It did so, apparently, on Tuesday, and AEG is just getting around to announcing it because it just found more information at the Rand McNally store.

Start with Europe. Pinpoint Slovakia. Head toward Austria. Stop when you see Julie Andrews.

They’re going to have ice hockey, basketball, music concerts and other stuff they do in Bratislava at this place. The Backstreet Boys will appear there, “performing,” on Nov. 25. Not that we knew that offhand or anything (linked here).

The Phillip Anschultz-run AEG, which of course has Staples Center, Nokia Theatre and the Home Depot Center in Southern California, also has (believe it or not) Sprint Center (Kansas City), The Rose Garden (Portland), Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis), American Airlines Arena (Miami), AT&T Center (San Antonio), Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte, N.C.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.) and Target Center (Minneapolis),

In Europe, it now has six facilities, adding to The O2 Arena (London), O2 World (Berlin), Color Line Arena (Hamburg), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and Globe Arenas (Stockholm), Plus, there’s the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena (China), Acer Arena (Sydney, Australia) and the Qatar National Convention Centre (Doha, Qatar).

This Danube Arena (named after the nearby waterfare) has access to Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic.

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Coming Friday: We’re all ears on the USC sideline

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Michael Owen Baker/Daily News Staff Photographer

The science involved in how a parabolic microphone works on the sideline of a sporting event can’t be more complicated than trying to explain to a kid why you can hear someone from a reasonable distance by talking into tin cans with a string attached.

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Sound about right?

The lessons we learned as a half-day laborer on the sidelines at the USC-Oregon State game last week were enough to make us appreciate all the heavy lifting that goes on from that unsung position on the ABC production crew as well as get us interested in it to try it again sometime.

Until the story lands on your doorstep or news rack tomorrow morning, here are a few photos along the way to help explain how it went:

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