Get in line now for the USC-Oregon ESPN “College GameDay” experience


Credit: ESPN
Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit are on the ESPN “College GameDay” set during a visit outside the Coliseum before the USC-Ohio State game in Sept., 2008.


Between the time she rolls out of her downtown L.A. hotel bed at about 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, and when the ESPN “College GameDay” stage outside the Coliseum peristyle entrance is finally disassembled at about 2 a.m. Sunday, it won’t sink in with ESPN operations producer Joalin Goff that she’d been on a 24-hour adrenalin rush and may have even missed watching most of the nationally-televised USC-Oregon college football game on Saturday night.

“Some crew members can go back to the hotel and take a nap, depending on game traffic,” the Southern California native said. “But as long as you keep moving, keep grinding, the end comes and then you realize you haven’t slept in a day and that’s when you start to really shut down.”

Goff’s responsibility to get the “GameDay” outdoor facility up and functional starts Thursday morning, having to orchestrate a crew of about 85 to have everything in place by Thursday night for this morning’s live segments on “SportsCenter.”

Because “GameDay” starts an hour earlier this year – the 6-to-7 a.m. PDT segment runs on ESPNU, while the 7-to-9 a.m. block is on ESPN – the lead-in set-up time “has impacted us tremendously . . . everything is backed up exponentially,” said Goff, who flew in a half-day earlier to prepare for Friday’s preproduction.


Thousands of amped USC and Oregon fans will be sandwiched into the area between the back of the stage and the Coliseum entrance on Saturday morning, some of them lined up late Friday night to gain mosh pit access and heckle studio desk crew members Erin Andrews, Desmond Howard, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso — all of whom have a 3 a.m. cast call on Saturday. Herbstreit and Andrews later join Brent Musburger for the 5 p.m. game telecast on ABC

A new “GameDay” element includes assembling a “fan cam” up on a cable that stretches 500 feet and swivels around to capture the atmosphere. Fans also have access to a face- and body-painting booth, a DJ music booth and a mobile video game truck.

“Even though was have a great infrastructure in getting all this done, what I enjoy most about this is flying by the seat of our pants,” said Goff, who didn’t know until last Sunday morning that the crew would be coming to L.A. this weekend after having spent last Saturday in Missouri.

Nor did any of them really take into consideration there could be rain in the forecast for this Saturday morning.

“We’re rain-or-shine people,” she said. “As long as there’s no lightning, or we got rain going sideways, then we wont’ need a Plan B.”

So Plan B for this Saturday? Last weekend, when thunder came up in Missouri, they were going to use the Home Depot Bus as a indoor set. But then they realized that was one big metal structure waiting to get hit by a lightning bolt.

“We don’t have any lightning in the forcast, so we’ll stay with the set and keep the talent as comfortable as long as we can,” she said.

Goff and the rest of the crew, meanwhile, will have to fend for themselves. Until they “go vapor” sometime early Sunday morning, then wait to find out where they’ll be headed next week.

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What we know, or still don’t, about ownership of the Gibson ’88 home run ball


CNBC Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell combs through the responses received (linked here) after asking, in light of the Kirk Gibson auction of his bat, helmet and uniform, whatever happened to the ball.

Of the 250-plus emails, and 31 people who claimed to have it or know where it is, the most convincing evidence with video and a photograph leads to Ed Moran, who says his uncle Carlos got it, and they have this blogspot with some interesting evidence (linked here).

Rovell also seems to have found someone taking ownership of the red breaklights that you can see in the video beyond the right-field pavilion, in the parking lot, that show a stream of cars leaving early.

“I don’t have the ball, however, I was the ‘poor sucker’ in the parking lot! I was 14 years old at the time and my dad made me and my brothers leave early to catch a flight back home to Salt Lake,” writes someone named Tommy Allen. “Needless to say, I didn’t talk to my dad for a long time. Of course we joke about it now, but it still hurts when I read articles like yours. Thanks for bringing back the pain!”

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Because we’re not smart enough to give X-Gamers another venue to break their spirits


What’s being called the inaugural World Record Summit — action sports, mixed with those tried-and-true elements of music and celebrity — has been set for April 17, 2011 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, it was announced today.

The event (linked here), a product of AEG, will be a two-hour pay-per-view show with a lineup of athletes that hasn’t been announced yet, but “promises to be a who’s who of the action sports world,” according to a press release from WRS.

On the official company website, there’s also the promise that this “first-of-its-kind event represents the dawn of a new era in action sports and entertainment for fans around the world. Let the insanity begin.”

We’re almost insane enough to think people will be interested in attending this event at the HDC, which saw its venue eliminated from the recent X-Games production last September for the first time.

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How the World Fishing Network may finally get on our sonar: Season 3 of Mariko Izumi


This channel called the World Fishing Network has a show called “Hookin’ Up With Mariko Izumi,” and it starts its third season on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

“With her rod, reel and bikini packed, Mariko Izumi is once again traveling the globe in pursuit of fishy adventures,” says the WFN press release, which also refers to her as “the world’s sexiest angler.”

Her 2010-2011 travel dossier: Boca Grande, Fla.; Ocean City, Maryland, Toronto, Lake Powell, Ariz., St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Cabo San Lucas in Mexico; Langara Island in British Columbia, Canada, Atlanta and Denver.

The Nov. 15 episode, for example, takes her to her hometown of Toronto in celebrating Canada Day and fishing for salmon with her dad and best friend.

Launched in December 2005, WFN is in about 20 million homes. Maybe after this blog post, it’ll be 20 million and one.

More info:

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TNT says twice as many were interested in watching LeBron James’ new team crash and burn in its opener than witness the Lakers taking their bows


Your winning lottery numbers last night: 1-3-6. Except with that, you currently stand 0-1, with 0-for-82 on the horizon.

If viewership to TNT’s NBA regular-season doubleheader proved anything Tuesday night, it was that curiosity in villians may still be a better draw than the celebration of conquering heroes.

The network’s coverage of the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game did a 4.6 rating — more than 7.4 million viewers in 5.3 million homes — making it the most-watched regular-season game in cable TV history (ahead of the Lakers-Bulls game on Feb. 2, 1996).

Meanwhile, the Lakers’ opener at home against Houston as they begin their back-to-back NBA title defense had a more rational 2.4 rating — 3.7 million viewers in 2.8 million homes. It was also shown with a post-10:30 p.m. EDT tipoff.

The combined numbers — 3.5 rating, nearly 5.5 million viewers and 4 million homes — are the biggest NBA opening night doubleheader in Turner’s 27 years.

In the markets of interest, the two games fared best in Boston (17.1), Miami (15.5) and Cleveland (10.6) instead of L.A. (9.7) and Houston (7.4).

TNT’s data comes from Nielsen Media Research Live + Same Day data stream.

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