(Writer’s note: We’ve already been called out by readers because of previous references to what we call the sport that will be on display during the FIFA World Cup — ignoring the official title of “football,” skipping over the acceptable reference of “soccer,” and landing directly on the compound modifier “kickball,” which seems to accurately describe what’s going on in these facilities otherwise reserved for swap meets, smorgasbords or Smart Car fleet sales.
Blasphemous? It’s more blasting those who take it too seriously.
We apologize ahead of time if we’re going to offend any more of you, and actually appreciate the fact you’ve made it this far in seeking some information that doesn’t pertain to Univision or any other language-specific dish channel that will undoubtedly provide far more analysis and high-pitched screaming than offered on a usual Food Network presentation of “Top Chef.”
Where everything else is heading in the sports media world, outside of the confines of the pitch of the newspaper version (linked here):
== Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash has been hired by CBSSports.com to file video segments for its website and You Tube channel (www.youtube.com/CBSSports) from the 2010 World Cup. Nash, a Canadian citizen, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa.
== ABC says the first three games of the NBA Finals has drawn 15.2 million viewers and a 9.1 rating, both up 11 percent against last year’s Lakers-Orlando series, and the best three-game average since the 2004 Lakers-Detroit series. ABC has also had the highest-rated shows in primetime each night.
== HBO2 will reair its 2007 hour-long documentary “The UCLA Dynasty,” tonight at 7:30 p.m., a look at the John Wooden years coaching Bruins basketball. Says Bill Walton in the piece: “When you’re part of something like that, it changes your life forever. It was the fans. It was the players that we had. It was the times. What it really was, was John Wooden.” The DVD is also available on warnerarchive.com or wbshop.com for $14.95 (linked here).
== Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals had a 5.8/10 overnight rating, the best for any Stanley Cup final game in 36 years (a 7.6/27 when Boston played Philadelphia in Game 6 of 1974, also on NBC). The top 10 markets outside the obvious — Chicago (32.8/50) and Philadelphia (26.8/38) — included Buffalo (13.5/20), Pittsburgh (9.7/14) and Detroit and Indianapolis (6.3/10).
== Marv Albert says it was his call to option out of doing Monday night NFL games for Westwood One this upcoming season on radio. He’s been doing the package the last nine years, but guesses he spends more than 175 days a year on TNT’s NBA games and New Jersey Nets games for the YES network. He also expects to be doing NCAA basketball games when Turner Sports starts its partnership with CBS in expanding its coverage next spring.
== Since we didn’t miss her much last season when she was on maternity leave, weathergirl Jillian Reynolds’ absence from the Fox NFL studio show this coming fall probably won’t upset too many viewers as well. A Fox spokesman confirmed she won’t be back this season.
== While the ESPN Zone restaurants near Staples Center and in Anaheim near Disneyland will stay open, they will be sold off by the Disney corporation as part of a purge of the facilities that have tried to connect food with sports TV across the country. The chain of restaurants were the first to put TV screen above the urnals in men’s rooms — bravo — but they’ll be shutting them down in New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Baltimore and Las Vegas (at the New York, New York Hotel) by June 16. USA Today reports that with the recession having hurt restaurant sales generally, ESPN Zone general manager Dominic Minniti says: “The overall economics of continuing this operation were very challenging.” Tell that to the Fox Sports Restaurant spot that has sat vacant attached to Staples Center for the last three years. Maybe better prices and better food would have helped.
== Brooke Hundley, the 23-year-old fired as an ESPN production assistant after her affair with baseball analyst Steve Phillips became public, is suing the network saying it defamed her and wants more than $15,000 in salary.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Stamford Superior Court, says ESPN defamed her by firing her based on false statements by Phillips and by claiming she had not fully cooperated with its investigation.
Hundley says she fully cooperated with ESPN’s investigation and accused ESPN of acting maliciously to insulate itself from liability for Phillips’ conduct.
“Hundley’s claims are without merit and we will vigorously defend against them,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said. “Her current charges do not accurately portray ESPN’s handling of the matter.”
Who cares about this?
ESPN.com, which listed the story on its site (linked here) with the headline: “Former Phillips paramour sues ESPN.” It doesn’t even give her the dignity of listing her name in the headline, while then calling her a word that she may think is even flattering.