The Media Learning Curve: Dec. 10-17

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Because we’re a list maker and a risk taker, we’ll go over the one that Eric Deggans did for the the Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center site (linked here): The Top 10 Sports Media Stories of 2010.

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No. 1: Tiger Woods and Brett Favre define new era in sports gossip reporting.
“Remember when journalists were too principled to admit paying for sources? Welcome to the Internet age, where Gawker Media owner Nick Denton can breezily announce his Deadspin sports site paid $12,000 for voicemails of superstar Favre hitting on a pretty sideline TV personality and nude shots sent to her by text message of a man who may be him. Golf superstar Woods already opened the Pandora’s Box, cheating on his wife so brazenly it only took a 2 a.m. car crash for gossip site TMZ to unravel it all (though TMZ honcho Harvin Levin insists they didn’t pay for their Tiger scoops). Considering that Favre’s indiscretions happened in 2008 and Woods cheated for years, there may be a host of superstar athletes sweating over how fast the sports reporting game has changed, and the skeletons left in their closets to unveil.”

No. 2: The Decision marks new low for LeBron James and ESPN.

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No. 3: NFL ratings skyrocket.
“Given the high quality of most home-theater systems, it’s no surprise professional football games have been the most-watched television shows of the week.”

No. 4: NFL stands tough on blackout policy as recession lingers.
“Why not just carve out an exemption for economically challenged communities and take credit for helping the working man?”

No. 5: Mike Wise’s fake tweet mostly proves he doesn’t understand Twitter.
“In trying to mock how fast sports websites pass along inaccurate news items (the Washington Post columnist) only proved how little he understands the new media ecology.

No. 6: Dave Kindred takes on hypocrisy of Red Smith Award for Mitch Albom.
“I’ve never met or even spoken to my fellow columnist on this website. But I read in awe as he used superstar writer Mitch Albom’s own acceptance speech to – in his words – raise a little hell about Albom receiving one of the highest sportswriting awards in the country five years after admitting he fabricated the lead to a Sunday column. Lots of writers have groused about Albom’s ego and occasional hypocrisy; Kindred let the man’s own words do most of the talking.”

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No. 7: Ines Sainz and Jenn Sterger revive talk of sex and sexism in sports.

No. 8: George Steinbrenner’s hidden legacy as a media pioneer.
“In a world where everyone has a channel, whoever owns the best content is king.”

No. 9: Jay Mariotti felled by same excess he criticized as a sports pundit.

No. 10: ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentaries.

Heck of a job on this … kinda reminds us of our dubious dozen. Maybe we should be more evolving and involve all the media stories of the year, dutiful and dubious.

Naw ….

And now, a delayed reaction to today’s media column (linked here) about ESPNU’s coverage of the UConn women, the SI “media” issue and other stuff:

== The NFL’s week on L.A. TV:
Sunday:
= 10 a.m., Channel 11: Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants (with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver), instead of Washington-Dallas, New Orleans-Baltimore, Arizona-Carolina or Detroit-Tampa Bay.
= 10 a.m., Channel 2: Jacksonville at Indianapolis (with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf), instead of Kansas City-St. Louis, Buffalo-Miami, Cleveland-Cincinnati, Jacksonville-Indianapolis and Houston-Tennessee.
= 1 p.m., Channel 2: N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms) instead of Denver-Oakland. Fox also has Atlanta-Seattle in this window.
= 5:15 p.m., Channel 4: Green Bay at New England (with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Andrea Kremer)
Monday:
= 5:30 p.m., ESPN: Chicago at Minnesota (with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden). Monday’s game marks the 29th anniversary to the day (Dec. 20, 1981) that the Vikings played their last home NFL game outdoors, a 10-6 loss to the Chiefs in their final game at Metropolitan Stadium. ESPN says the telecast will begin with a Frank Gifford MNF vignette highlighting the 2009 MNF season finale when the Bears defeated the playoff-bound Vikings 36-30 in overtime in frigid late-December conditions at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Thursday:
= 5:30 p.m., NFL Network: Carolina at Pittsburgh (with Bob Papa, Joe Theisman and Matt Millen)

== Mixed in with ESPN’s college basketball coverage on Saturday: Dave Pasch and Bob Knight call USC’s game at No. 3 Kansas (ESPN, 9 a.m.), while Dave Flemming and Miles Simon do Loyola Marymount’s home game against Florida State (ESPNU, 8 p.m.).

== Lakers radio play-by-play man Spero Dedes deviates from the team’s current road trip (leaving Philadelphia after Friday’s game and returning to Toronto for Sunday’s game) to call Saturday’s South Carolina-Ohio State game in Columbus, Ohio, for CBS (Channel 2, 11 a.m.) with Bill Raftery.

== A rundown of the CIF state high school football games tonight and Saturday on FSW:
= Today, 4 p.m.: D-IV Championship: Brookside Christian (Stockton) vs. Bishop’s School (La Jolla) with Chris McGee, Mike Pawlawski and Courtney Jones.
= Today, 7:30 p.m.: D-I Championship: Palo Alto vs. Centennial (Corona), with McGee, Pawalski and Jones.
= Saturday, noon: D-III Championship: Escalon vs. Madison (San Diego), with McGee, John Jackson and Jones.
= Saturday, 3:30 p.m.: D-II Championship: Folsom vs. Serra (Gardena), with Jim Kozimor, Petros Papadakis and Dan Dibley.
= Saturday, 7:30 p.m.: Open Division Championship: De La Salle (Concord) vs. Servite ( Anaheim), with Kozimor, Papadakis and Dibley.
Brody Brazil and Jackson host the between-game desk.

== “The Climb: UConn’s Quest for Perfection,” a documentary four-part series on the women’s basketball team that aired during the 2010 postseason in March, will re-air on ESPNU on Sunday from 5-7 p.m. prior to a reair of the UConn-Ohio State game (which is live at 2 p.m.).

== CBS annual one-hour special, “Championships of the NCAA” (Saturday, 10 a.m.) includes video of USC’s men’s water polo title, as well a stories and highlights from cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball. Sam Ryan hosts.

== A real-time coverage of a Jan. 15 no-limit Texas Hold ‘em poker tournament in the Bahamas (albeit, on a one-hour delay) is ESPN2′s next step in taking televised card playing to another level. The World Series of Poker is edited and aired on tape-delay, which prevents cheating and tightens the event for broadcast. This one is supposed to allow views to see things as they happen – including longer lulls – while knowing what cards the players are holding. “For the first time viewers at home will see a poker telecast from start to finish, with all the strategy of world-class poker players playing in real time and completely unedited,” said Matt Volk, ESPN manager of programming and acquisitions.

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