Box it up: The L.A. connection to the first ESPN “30 For 30″ DVDs out today

The first 15 installments of ESPN’s gotta-see-it “30 for 30″ documentary series have been released in a six-disc gift set, with two hours of bonus features.

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Actual retail price: $74.95 (although we see Walmart is already undercutting the competition). Almost every documentary has been sold individually for $14.95.

They say this is the first of a three-part collection. You want to wait for the whole thing to come out? They’ve still got (at least) one more to go — “Pony Excess” on the 1987 “death penalty” levied on the Southern Methodist University football program by Thaddeus D. Matula , airs Saturday, 6 p.m., after the Heisman Trophy show. That’s No. 30 on the list. But another one on Steve Bartman has been pushed back to early 2011. That was replaced earlier this year by “Fernando Nation,” about the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela.

Local interest in what’s included for this first box:

Peter Berg’s “Kings Ranson,” on Wayne Gretzky coming to L.A., the first doc in the series.

Brett Morgan’s “June 17th, 1994″ about what else happened on the day of the O.J. Simpson freeway chase up the 405.

Ice Cube’s “Straight Outta L.A.” on the Raiders’ journey through L.A.

– L.A.-based Mike Tollin’s “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?”

Bill Couturie’s “Guru of Go,” on Loyola Marymount’s Paul Westhead.

== More:
= The ESPN 30 For 30 official website (linked here)

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Who does Garvey have to sleep with to get into the Hall of Fame?

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No matter how you shake the ballot box, Steve Garvey’s Hall of Fame chances grow dimmer and dimmer.

The 16-member Expansion Era Committee — which includes Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith, plus major league executives Bill Giles, David Glass, Andy MacPhail and Jerry Reinsdorf, and veteran media members Bob Elliott, Tim Kurkjian, Ross Newhan and Tom Verducci – couldn’t even generate a majority opinion about the former Dodgers’ entrance into Cooperstown.

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We may not know, or even guess, as to who left Garvey off their ballot, but the fact that he received less than eight votes is more than disappointing. It’s disrespectful to a career that … we don’t want to even start crunching the numbers again.

Only one person on the special ballot got due respect — Pat Gillick, who built three World Series champions and has served baseball for nearly 50 years — who had the necessary 75 percent (12 votes) to make it in, the Hall of Fame announced today.

The results of the Expansion Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Gillick (13 votes, 81.25 percent; Marvin Miller (11 votes, 68.75 percent; Dave Concepcion (8 votes, 50 percent). Those receiving less than eight, aside from Garvey: Ted Simmons, Vida Blue, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Al Oliver, Rusty Staub and George Steinbrenner.

Garvey’s next chance at making it in won’t come until 2013. In a new three-year cycle of reformmated voting, the new “Golden Era Committee” will meet for the first time in late 2011 to consider managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most impactful contributions came between 1947 and 1972. Then, in 2012, the “Pre-Integration Era Committee” will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1871-1946.

At least Garvey doesn’t have to live with knowing he came up only one vote short.

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Miller, the former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, may be the most influential of the bunch not to make it. Reaction to his snub is more interesting, perhaps, than listening to someone make a case for a former player by rehashing all his stats.

Not to sound bitter or anything, but a statement released today from Miller said that he said his lack of induction “hardly qualfies as a news story. It is repetitively negative, easy to forecast, and therefore boring.

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“Many years ago those who control the Hall decided to rewrite history instead of recording it. The aim was to eradicate the history of the tremendous impact of the players’ union on the progress and development of the game as a competitive sport, as entertainment, and as an industry. The union was the moving force in bringing Major League Baseball from the 19th century to the 21st century.

“It brought about expansion of the game to cities that had never had a Major League team. It brought about more than a 50 percentincrease in the number of people employed as players, coaches, trainers, managers, club presidents, attorneys and other support personnel, employees of concessionaires, stadium maintenance personnel, parking lot attendants, and more.

“It converted a salary structure from one with a $6,000 a year minimum salary to a $414,000 a year salary from the first day of a player’s Major League service. The union was also the moving force for changing the average Major League salary from $19,000 a year to more than $3 million a year, and the top salary from $100,000 to more than $25 million a year. The union was a major factor in increasing the annual revenue of all Major League clubs, combined – from $50 million a year before the union started in 1966 to this year’s almost $7 billion a year. That is a difficult record to eradicate – and the Hall has failed to do it.

“A long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence. Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history.

“It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out.”

Pete Rose couldn’t have said that better.

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Play it forward: Dec. 6-12 on your sports calendar

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Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:

MONDAY

NFL: New England at N.Y. Jets, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

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“I never realized how similar that I am to Tom Brady,” New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said last week, referring to the New England Patriots quarterback. “I mean, the obvious physical appearance would be the first thing. The fact that he’s married to a supermodel? Hello?” Apparently, no one’s picking up on the other line. Since both the Jets and Pats won on Thanksgiving, they’re 9-2, tied for the league’s best record. A scroll across the bottom of ESPN the other day also pointed out: “Based on computer projections, winner of game has 80-plus percent chance of winning AFC East.” We weren’t aware that the BCS had anything to do with this. What do the computers say now that the Jets are without safety and punt returner Jim Leonhard?

NBA: Clippers vs. Sacramento, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:

These Kings – losers of seven in a row, 4-14 overall, 1-9 against the Western Conference, 0-4 against the Pacific Division — were a cure for the Lakers’ woes the other night. Nice of them to come back for more punishment against the only other team challenging them for worst record in the entire league.

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Series: “Men of a Certain Age,” 10 p.m., TNT:

The second season of the dramedy starring Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher continues with the storyline about how Joe (Romano) seems confident enough to work on his golf game and possibly try out for the Champions Tour. Somehow, his friends Terry and Owen will try to help. But not. It’s a longshot, but Joe seems to like to gamble on such odds.

TUESDAY

NBA: Lakers vs. Washington, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

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After a rumor was floated last week that the Wizards were about to trade Gilbert Arenas to the Orlando Magic, team owner Ted Leonsis told either Woodward or Bernstein at the Washington Post that “Gilbert is not going anywhere.” The former Grant High of Van Nuys High star, whose been coming off the bench, has seen his minutes shrinking. These Wizards are an eclectic collection — with rookie John Wall (averaging a team-best 18 points a game), former USC guard Nick Young averaging 11, and center JaValle McGee, the son of former USC womens’ All-American Pam McGee. But they need something shaken and stirred into their potion. They were 0-9 on the road, a franchise record, going into Sunday’s game at Phoenix.

NHL: Ducks at Edmonton, 6:30 p.m., Prime:

A recent list in Forbes magazine listed the Ducks as the 19th-most valuable team in the NHL, worth $188 million. Edmonton was right below, at $183 million. At least they aren’t Phoenix.

WEDNESDAY

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NBA: Lakers vs. Clippers, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime, Channel 9:

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We’ve come to marvel about the play of Kobe Bryant, and Blake Griffin. About how a team with them on it could possibly even lose. It’s happened. Quite a few times more than the Lakers and Clippers would have liked so far this year. With the Lakers, it’s the confidence of having won the last two NBA titles that seems to keep everyone calm. With the Clippers, who haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006, when they were a win away from the conference championship, its taken for granted. The two teams meet four times a season, and it’s only taken 21 games for this first one (they’ll have one meeting in January, February and March). The Clippers have actually won two of the last three meeting against the Lakers. Technically, it’s the first of seven road games in a row for them. They won’t be back until four days before Christmas

NHL: Ducks at Vancouver, 7 p.m, KDOC:

We hear the spots on DirecTV promoting the NHL Center Ice package. In one of them, the announcer says: “If Luongo stands on his head in Vancouver, will you stand on your feet in Los Angeles?” In this case, Kings fans would.

THURSDAY

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NHL: Kings vs. Calgary, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

A deserved three days off for these rebounding Kings after back-to-back home wins against Florida and Detroit – thanks to two game-winners by Anze Kopitar. The Kings are 6-2 when he scores a goal this season.

NFL: Indianapolis at Tennessee, 5 p.m., NFL Network:

Jeff Fisher’s Titans, 0-5 after a 5-2 start, are 31st in the league in passing yards a game, and 26th in allowing passing yards per game. Peyton Manning’s eyes just got a little bigger.

FRIDAY

Movie: “The Fighter,” opens in theatres nationwide:

The story of how Irish” Mickey Ward, played by Mark Walhberg, rose from adversity to become a champion boxer, with his brother, played by Christian Bale, fighting as well to stay out of jail and unite their family. And there’s a scene with Amy Adams in her underwear. Check out the trailer.

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High-school football: Oaks Christian vs. Westlake, CIF Southern Section Northern Division championship, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

Westlake (12-1) beat its cross-town rival 31-12 in early October. Will Oaks Christian (11-2) be up to the rematch challenge?

NBA: Lakers at Chicago, 5 p.m., Channel 9, ESPN:

Another opportunity for Phil Jackson to say something and have it run crazy around the rest of the league.

NHL: Ducks vs. Calgary, Honda Center, 7 p.m., Prime:

Before flaming out, the Flames go over to Anaheim to continue their road trip.

SATURDAY

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College football: Heisman Trophy announcement, 5 p.m., ESPN:

Knowing how things work now, Cam Newton’s dad may have something to say about how the voting is tabulated for this one. And the feeble-minded NCAA has no jurisdiction.

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College football: Army vs. Navy in Philadelphia, 11:30 a.m., Channel 2:

The first one was played 120 years ago, when Cadet Dennis Mahan Michie accepted a challenge from the Naval Academy. But from 1894 to 1898, they were forbidden by President Grover Cleveland to play each other, after “a reputed incident” between a Rear Admiral and a Brigadier General that nearly led to a duel after the 1893 Navy victory. Finally, they agreed to a neutral site — Philadelphia. Next year, the game takes a break and goes to Washington, D.C. Navy (8-3), already slated to play San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl, leads the series 54-49-4 against Army (6-5), which is going to the Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas — its first bowl game in 14 seasons.

NBA: Clippers vs. Memphis, Staples Center, 12:30 p.m., Prime; NHL: Kings vs. Minnesota, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

Another of those two-games-in-one-day deals at Staples Center, unless there’s an extended encore from Andrea Bocelli (he’ll be in concert there the night before).

College basketball: UCLA vs. Cal Poly, Pauley Pavilion, 5 p.m., Prime:

Ben Howland has instructed all those monitoring the entrances not to allow any Big 12 officials into the building.

College basketball: USC vs. Northern Arizona, Galen Center, 1 p.m., FSW:

James Dunleavy, Mike’s son, has actually appeared in two games so far. Logging a grand total of three minutes. And one point.

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Mixed martial arts: UFC 124 in Montreal, 7 p.m.

Georges St. Pierre faces the top welterweight contender, Josh Koscheck. But in an undercard, 6-foot-7 Sean “Big Sexy” McCorkle (10-0) takes on 6-foot-11 Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (20-4). Both have significant reaches.

High-school football: Servite vs. Mission Viejo, CIF Southern Pac-5 Division championship, Angels Stadium, 7:30 p.m., Prime:

The top-two seeds are both 13-0, and Servite has a 24-game winning streak, including a 19-18 win over Mission Viejo in last year’s division semifinals.

SUNDAY

NFL: New England at Chicago, 1 p.m., Channel 2:

The NFC North-leading 9-3 Bears face the Patriots in the game of the year – after the Patriots’ game against the Jets six days earlier.

NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas, 5:15 p.m., Channel 4:

The Cowboys and Eagles will play each other twice in the last four weeks of the season, and this is their first meeting since Dallas topped Philly on Jan. 6 of last season for their first playoff victory since ’96. It was also the third time it topped the Eagles last season. “Can we all together on three say it? The demons are — what? — gone!,” exclaimed exuberant Cowboys owner Jerry Jones afterward.

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NBA: Lakers at New Jersey, 10 a.m., Channel 9:

Jordan Farmar’s ears are burning. See if he tries to stow himself aboard the Lakers’ team charter after this one ends. Chew on that.

NBA: Clippers vs. Orlando, Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., Prime:

Remember Jason “White Chocolate” Williams? The Magic still have him on their roster, but in his 11th NBA season, he’s only getting about eight minutes a game, barely enough time to average less than one assist and two points a game. The Clippers remember him. They signed him as a free agent in August of 2008. A month later, Williams announced his retirement. A year later, he came back, with Orlando. And it’s been less than Magic ever since.

Soccer: NCAA Division I men’s final, Louisville or North Carolina vs. Akron or Michigan, at UC Santa Barbara, 1 p.m., ESPN2:

UCLA had a chance to be here, but lost to 19-0-3 Louisville, 5-4, in the quarterfinals under snowy conditions. Early weather forcast for this one in Santa Barbara: No snow.

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From where Papadakis sits, it’s tough to please everyone … but he tries

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For all practical purposes, Petros Papadakis is pretty used to being peppered with pickled, poison-pen proclamations.

“The Twitters and texts and emails all blow up this week,” he was saying the other day.
It’s the buildup for USC-UCLA. It’s part of the deal. You can’t always just shoot the messenger. Unless . . .

“Friday, my mailman left me this elaborate drawing of a Bruin squashing the head of a Trojan,” he said.

So now, they’re going postal on him.

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If neither the Trojans nor the Bruins had anything to really gain from Saturday’s annual meeting at the Rose Bowl – aside from city bragging rights — Papadakis might have had more to lose. Having to step into the broadcast booth for the second year in a row, attempting to convince everyone watching and listening that he has no agenda, might seem like a losing cause.

“There’s so much pride, and anger, and bile,” Papadakis said of the rivalry game. In some sense, it’s the same with the reaction he gets.

As a former Trojans tailback who also shoots his mouth off daily on his sports-talk radio show, Papadakis exposes himself to criticism from either side when, as the Pac-10 analyst for Fox Sports Net, his job is to explain what’s going on.

“It’s fun and I love doing it,” he admitted before Saturday’s game. “But it’s really a challenge to sound impartial.”

Not to be impartial. But to simply come across that way.

“All the USC people think I overcompensate and I’m too critical,” he lamented, “and all the UCLA people just hate me without hearing what I say. It’s a hard perception to get around.”

New USC athletic director Pat Haden has admitted that, during his many years analyzing Notre Dame games for NBC, he would deep down be pulling for USC in their annual rivalry game but had to make sure he called things down the middle.

Papadakis says he’s trying to do the same thing. But for him, maybe that’s tougher. It reminds us of a line that Papadakis once used to describe himself: “I’m a walking contradiction. I’m the only person in the world who can sit on the fence and watch myself go by.”

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Sure, Papadakis (1997-200), his father, John (’70-’71) and his older brother Taso (’94-’96) played at USC. But then, his younger brother, Demetri, walked on as a fullback at UCLA and was on the roster last year. A shoulder injury at the start of this season caused him to leave the team and concentrate on his studies. His cousin, Ana, was also a UCLA pole vaulter.

For what it’s worth, Papadakis was all but sure he’d be going to UCLA out of Palos Verdes Peninsula High until the school canceled his recruiting trip.

“They dropped me,” said Papadakis, who ended up taking a scholarship to Cal before transferring to USC. “But I never harbor any animosity.”

Take the way last year’s game ended, when USC faked running out the clock, scored on a long touchdown pass, and then jumped around in celebration on the sidelines, leading to UCLA players yelling back and coming on the field.

“I thought USC’s reaction inflamed UCLA – that was a bad deal — and in that moment, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to handle it,” said Papadakis.

Play-by-play man Barry Tompkins ended up saying during the fracas: “This takes the shine off the win, to be honest with you . . . funny game, isn’t it?”
“Hilarious,” Papadakis replied with heavy sarcasm.

“That rubbed UCLA the wrong way,” he said later. “Not that you can be rubbed the right way playing your arch rival.”

Or that anything Papadakis says can rub anyone right.

So, today, where does Petros stand in the rivalry? As far away from those trying to dissect his every word.

At around dusk today, he was asked to join the UCLA radio pregame game with Wayne Cook and Matt Stevens. Producer David Vassegh tried to convince Papadakis it wouldn’t be wise, saying he feared for his safety. Papadakis had a TV production meeting anyway and couldn’t make it. Just as well – he snuck into the UCLA radio booth and had a hot dog pre-game meal with Bruins play-by-play man Chris Roberts.

“No one threatened me,” Papadakis said.

During the broadcast, there weren’t many opportunities for the viewers to second-guess his observations. Usually, it depended on whether you watched the game with your heart instead of your eyes.

Late in the second quarter, the ball came lose on a carry by UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin. USC’s Malcolm Smith picked it up and ran 69 yards for a touchdown.

It only took one replay for Papadakis to calmly say: “That ball is out well before the knee came down.”

After further review, the officials confirmed as much.

Moments earlier, UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on USC receiver Robert Woods.

“They kind of ran into each other,” Papadakis said during the replay. “Not exactly sure Zumwalt meant for it to be that way, but at real speed, that’s a vicious hit. Woods did a good job protecting himself trying to absorb it. . . (Zumwalt) is explosive and instinctive.”

A USC fan’s response had to be: Why didn’t Papadakis come down harder on Zumwalt? A UCLA fan’s response could have been: How was that vicious? It was unintentional.

At the end of the day, Papadakis said he’d hope that not just USC or UCLA fans, but all of those who watched on Fox Sports Net, wouldn’t have any idea what school gave him a diploma.

“I hope I impart insight and emotion and the overall unique feel of our rivalry here in L.A., not just to the local audience but to the national audience, that’s all,” he said. “It’s nothing more than what we try to do every week.”

Interpret that as you may.

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Cammy-Cam juice? CBS sideline reporter swallows it

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There was 8:45 left in Auburn’s eventual victory over South Carolina in the SEC title game, when the CBS cameras caught Tigers quarterback Cam Newton handing a green squeeze bottle to CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson.

Moments later, she was on the air, with this scoop:

“Cam Newton having a little fun down here. He made a little mixture of his Gatorade, and said it’s ‘the ingredients of champions.’ He would not tell me what was in it, but he’s calling it ‘Cammy-Cam Juice.’ We’ll take a little taste …”

No, please don’t … what if it’s … OK …

“Not bad … A little sweet for my taste!”

Next shot is of Newton laughing hysterically, with a towel over his mouth, jumping up and down.

Judging only by Newton’s reaction, what do you think is the secret ingredient to “Cammy-Cam Juice”?

If anything, you’d think Wolfson would have learned from seeing the shots of Erin Andrews once eating a submarine sandwich on the sideline. See how long it takes for the video to go viral.

Among the tweets so far:

== ugakerri: RT @Ludakit: Cammy Cam Juice + Tracey Wolfson = The Death of Journalism. Thanks, Bin Laden.

== TheBigLead: RT @CathrynTusow: 75% of Auburn’s female students have agreed: Cammy Cam juice, “too sweet for my tastes”

== bradhandwwltv: RT @WhitlockJason: OMG, where is the producer to stop sideline reporter from drinking “cammy cam juice” on TV? Seriously. Someone at CBS …

== mattlindner: how long til we see “Cammy Cam Juice” in convenience stores throughout the south? tomorrow? this Thursday?

== MikeLengel: Careful people, that Cammy Cam Juice costs $180000.

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It’s out of the Question: Bet you can’t top this

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The most tortuous, arm-twisting, just-plain-wretched wager you’ve ever followed through on based on the outcome of the USC-UCLA football game?

Loser has to sing the other school’s fight song on demand by the winner for a full year? Yawn.

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Loser has to put the alumni license-plate frame of the other school on his car? Snicker.

Loser has to run through his office space in either a cardinal-red or power-blue Speedo? Hmmm.

Loser has to put on the other school’s T-shirt and get their picture taken next to either the Tommy Trojan or Bruin Bear statue on the other campus? Getting warmer.

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Loser has to wear a Christmas ornament of the rival school as a nipple ring through the rest of the holiday season? Aye caramba.

Loser has to drive Dillon Baxter back to the locker room in a golf cart stolen from the Brookside Course equipment shack? Keep going . . .

You got a better wake-up call for an otherwise snooze-snooze situation for USC and UCLA?

== So, whatever happened to Mike Garrett?

== Oregon is blindsided by Oregon State, and Auburn is tripped up by South Carolina . . . and we’ve looking at a computerized TCU-Stanford national title game? With full knowledge, based on the scoreboard test, that Wisconsin could cow-tip anyone in the country right now?

== Does Nevada’s football team realize they flushed a few hundred thousand dollars in BCS shared revenue by virtue of beating previously unbeaten Boise State last week?

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== Qatar, hero; U.S., zero?

The last time the Americans lost anything to . . . . wait, it’s pronounced “Cutter?” Like, Lenny Dykstra’s kid?

And this unbiased vote to decide who’ll host the 2012 World Cup – as if half us will even be alive when they hold this event in 170-degree weather, considering how bad global warming turns by then — makes the world of kickball think it’s making a statement, that there’s no corruption involved in this, screening out all those profitable U.S. companies that would have boosted the global economy by quadrupling its orders to China, Pakistan and Indonesia for more T-shirts, jerseys and obnoxious horns?

Does this harm the next U.S. attempt to keep the next MLS Cup within its borders?

== About this sexy LPGA story that seems to be generating more clicks than its own season-ending championship event: Does a transgender player have an edge in endorsing a company pushing a new hybrid club?

== By the way, what product you not buy because of your embarrassment for the sports person connected to it: Rent-A-Center, with Troy Aikman and Hulk Hogan, or Ugg-for-men boots, which Tom Brady just signed on to promote?

== In the NFL, it’s a more punishable offense to tweet during a game than fight during one?

== A Chicago Tribune online poll Friday asked readers: In your estimation, should Ron Santo be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Of the first 10,000 respondents, how stunning is it that 1,055 actually voted “No”?

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Where the USC alums will gather to commiserate

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Some of the USC alum viewing parties that will take place around Southern California for Saturday’s football game at UCLA:

== USC Alumni Club of Beverly Hills-Hollywood: Cabo Cantina (8301 West Sunset Boulevard, L.A., (323) 822-7820). Featuring: Complimentary appetizers and 2 for 1 drink specials. RSVP needed (linked here).

== USC Alumni Club of Downtown Los Angeles: ESPN Zone at LA Live (1011 S. Figueroa St., L.A., (213) 765-7070). Featuring: Raffles, hosted appetizers, 15 percent off all food purchases, and 10 percent of all bar sales are donated to the scholarship fund. More info (linked here).

== USC Alumni Clubs of Long Beach & San Gabriel Valley: Tailgate at the Rose Bowl golf course lot 1 or 2 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. featuring food from Tacos Don Chente. $25 includes food and drinks. More info (linked here, linked here and linked here).

== USC Alumni Club of San Fernando Valley: Hamburger Hamlet (4419 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, (818) 784-1183) Features a special priced happy hour. No RSVP necessary. More info (at this link).

== USC Alumni Club of Los Angeles Westside: V Lounge (2020 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 829-1933. No RSVP necessary. More info (at this link).

Note: A UCLA spokesman said he expected most Bruin viewing parties to take place inside the Rose Bowl.

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The Media Learning Curve: Nov. 26- Dec. 3

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When the readership of the Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily takes the time to fill out a survey, you listen. The numbers are very weighted.

This is a core group of high-paid professionals in the sports business world — many in the high-stakes field of running franchises, marketing and advertising, movers and shakers. They don’t have time usually to take these kind of surveys, but they do so because they know the results mean something in their strategies.

In the sixth annual reader survey, conducted online over three weeks starting Sept. 27, these were some of the findings:

== Do you use Twitter?
1. No. (57.6 percent)
2. Yes (42.2 percent)
3. What is Twitter? (0.3 percent)
Responses: 1,949
(Note: 35 percent said yes in last year’s survey)

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== What is the most powerful brand in sports?
1. ESPN (34.9 percent)
2. Nike (25.7 percent)
3. New York Yankees (18.4 percent)
Responses: 1,964

== Favorite major league website:
1. MLB.com (33.3 percent)
2. NFL.com (25.3 percent)
3. NBA.com (11 percent)
4. NHL.com (8.6 percent)
5. MLSsoccer.com (7.3 percent)
6. PGATour.com (5.3 percent)
Responses: 1,104

== The media company that will win the rights to become the IOC’s TV partner in the U.S. for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics:
1. NBC (58.2 percent)
2. ESPN/ABC (32.1 percent)
3. Fox (5.7 percent)
4. CBS (4 percent)
Responses: 1,013.

== Favorite studio show:
1. ESPN SportsCenter (34.6 percent)
2. ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” (23.64 percent)
3. ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” (9.1 percent)
4. HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (7.6 percent)
Responses: 1,138

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== Favorite TV play-by-play personalities:
1. Al Michaels (29.1 percent)
2. Bob Costas (29 percent)
3. Jim Nantz (21 percent)
4. Joe Buck (18.9 percent)
5. Mike Tirico (16.3 percent)
Responses: 1,137

== Favorite TV game analysts:
1. Cris Collinsworth (26.3 percent)
2. Kirk Herbstreit (24.1 percent)
3. Troy Aikman (19.7 percent)
4. Jon Gruden (18.2 percent)
5. Jay Bilas (13.4 percent)
Responses: 1,120

== NFL pregame show you enjoy the most:
1. ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown (35.7 percent)
2. Fox NFL Sunday (28.3 percent)
3. CBS The NFL Today (16.8 percent)
4. NBC Football Night in America (14.4 percent)
5. NFL Network GameDay Morning (4.8 percent)
Responses: 1,077

== Favorite sport-specific studio show:
1. ESPN College GameDay (24.4 percent)
2. ESPN Baseball Tonight (10.8 percent)
3. MLB Network Tonight (9.5 percent)
4. TNT Inside the NBA (5.4 percent)
5. Fox NFL Sunday (5.4 percent)
Responses: 1,077

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== Favorite sports-related mobile app:
1. ESPN ScoreCenter (27.3 percent)
2. MLB.com At Bat (23.7 percent)
3. NFL Mobile (7.2 percent)
4. CBS Sports Mobile (5.8 percent)
4. ESPN Fantasy Football (5.8 percent)
6. NBA Game Time (4.5 percent)
Responses: 1,067

== Favorite non-league sports website:
1. ESPN.com (50 percent)
2. Yahoo! Sports (9.3 percent)
3. SI.com (6.9 percent)
4. Deadspin (6.8 percent)
5. CBSSports.com (6.5 percent)
Responses: 1,141

== Who produces better sports documentaries?
1. HBO (56 percent)
2. ESPN (44 percent)
Responses: 1,136

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In another question that relates to our media column lead today on Tiger Woods (linked here), the readers were asked: What’s the biggest challenge facing professional golf?

Outside of developing more widely known stars (35.5 percent) and creating more interest outside the majors (31.7 percent), the answer “getting Tiger to win” brought 15 percent response. That was more than twice as much as “television ratings” (6 percent). The two, of course, usually go hand-wedge-in-hand, which is why, despite a heavy college football and NFL weekend, Tiger’s Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks on Golf Channel and NBC could use some viewership, if only to see how Tiger responds and possibly wins his first event of the year.

It ain’t the Masters, but it’s an incredible simulation, with a condensed, world-class field, and a strange trophy given out to the winner — and $5 mil at stake.

Aside from that we have these media notes to crunch:

== Another intriguing question that Golf Channel’s Steve Sands put Woods in the interview that aired Wednesday and was repeated during the first round of the Chevron World Challenge on Thursday:

Q: How much does the public have a right to know about its heroes?

Woods: “This is a different day in age. Something I really didn’t grow up with. My day in age was my dad making me get up and turn the dial on the TV. Our rabbit antennas, making sure we could pick up a Laker game … this day and age had changed. The fans want to know more and there’s a fine line of what’s too much. The gray areas become bigger.”

Added Terry Gannon after that clip was replayed: The fans will ultimately judge the gray areas as he’s trying to open up.

Frank Nobilo: “You’ve got to appear to disconnect, but from a fan’s point of view, they vote. As prolific as Tiger Woods has been on the golf course, for every dollar he’s earned, the public has really contributed nine dollars in his endorsements. So that’s why there’s always the fear, ‘Should they have that much?’ or ‘Should they not have that much information?’ The public can vote heavily with their pocketbook.”

== Jim Watson and Tony Moskal will call the CIF Northern Division semifinal between Valencia and Oaks Christian, live streaming on foxsportswest.com tonight at 7:30 p.m., while Chris McGee and John Jackson call the other Northern semifinal between St. Bonaventure and Westlake at 10 p.m., delayed on Prime after the Clippers-Nuggets telecast. On Saturday, foxsportswest.com will stream the Pac-5 semifinal between Alemany and Servite at 7 p.m., with Justin Alderson and Moskal.

Also Saturday, the website will stream the CIF State Girls Volleyball Championship at 7 p.m. between Long Beach Poly and Palo Alto, with McGee and Mike Dodd.

== Your L.A. NFL TV weekend stacks up this way:

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= Sunday:
= 10 a.m., Channel 11: Washington at N.Y. Giants (with Kenny Albert, Darryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa), instead of Chicago-Detroit, New Orleans-Cincinnati or San Francisco-Green Bay). CBS also has Buffalo-Minnesota, Cleveland-Miami, Jacksonville-Tennessee and Denver-Kansas City in this window.
= 1 p.m., Channel 2: Oakland at San Diego (with Jim Nantz and Dan Fouts). The Chargers announced Wednesday that they’ve sold enough tickets to get the TV blackout lifted. Three of the previous five home games this season were blacked out. Nantz and Phil Simms, out this week recovering from back surgery, are scheduled to reunite for New England at Chicago next week.
= 1 p.m., Channel 11: Dallas at Indianapolis (with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) instead of Atlanta-Tampa Bay, St. Louis-Arizona and Carolina-Seattle.
= 5:15 p.m., Channel 4:
= Monday:
= 5:30 p.m., ESPN: New England at N.Y. Jets (with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden).

== ESPN’s College GameDay ends up in Oregon again — Corvallis, this time — prior to the Oregon-Oregon State game that ABC will cover Saturday (12:30 p.m., Channel 7). Afterward, Kirk Herbstreit has to jet over to Arlington, Tex., to do the Big 12 Conference championship game.

== Prime Ticket has a one-hour pre and one-hour post game show Saturday surrounding the 7:30 p.m. kickoff at the Rose Bowl of USC-UCLA.

A look at the best from Saturday’s TV lineup:

= 12:30 p.m., Channel 7: No. 2 Oregon at Oregon State, with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Erin Andrews.
= 1 p.m., Channel 2: No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 19 South Carolina, SEC title game from Atlanta, with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson with Tracy Wolfson.
= 4:45 p.m., ESPN: No. 21 Florida State vs. No. 15 Virginia Tech, ACC title game from Charlotte, with Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Quint Kessenich.
= 5 p.m., Channel 7: No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 13 Nebraska, Big 12 title game from Arlington, Tex., with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Holly Rowe.

== The Sports Business Journal also reports that ESPN is close to securing the inaugural Pac-12 football title game for 2011, and would probably air it head-to-head against Fox’s coverage of the Big Ten title game. SBJ reports that if ESPN and the conference can’t reach an agreement soon, the Pac-10 will take the championship game’s rights to the open market. Recently, Fox, which has a stake in the Big Ten Network, paid $30 million to air the Big Ten title game from 2011-16. The soon-to-be Pac-12′s TV rights are up for negotiations after the 2011 season.

== Halfway into an eight-year, $4.48 billion deal with Fox, ESPN and Turner, NASCAR’s final ratings for the 2010 season dipped for the fourth year in a row, according to data surveyed by the Sports Business Journal. NASCAR has lost nearly 2 million viewers in the past four year, more than 23 percent of its market. “With the racing where it is now, I have no doubt it’s going to take hold, and the excitement we’ve built coming out of this season will build into next season,” Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s chief marketing officer, told SBJ. This season, NASCAR dropped 6 percent on Fox, 9 percent on TNT and 14 percent on ESPN/ABC.

== One of the newest “This is SportsCenter” commercials highlights SportScience host John Brenkus, who will be doing a “The Perfection Point” book signing at ESPN Zone/L.A. Live on Tuesday, December 7 from 6-7 p.m. before the Lakers-Wizards game.

== L.A.-based Tennis Channel has the Serbia-France Davis Cup finals from Belgrade this weekend, with live and same-day replays today through Sunday.The two matches today started at 5 a.m., with doubles on Saturday at 6 a.m. and reverse singles Sunday starting at 4 a.m. Every night at 4 p.m., the events are replayed.

== CBS starts its college basketball coverage with Kentucky-North Carolina (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.), with Gus Johnson and Clark Kellogg on the call.

== ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” (Sunday, 6 a.m.) looks back at 30 years ago when the shooting death of former Beatle John Lennon was announced by Howard Cosell on an ABC “Monday Night Football” game (Dec. 8, 1980). There was 40 seconds left in the game as Patroits kicker John Smith was about to line up for a field goal, and Cosell was uncertain about how to braek the news that had just been confirmed by the WABC news desk in New York. This ESPN piece promises to present a “rarely heard, off-air discussion between Cosell and Frank Gifford seconds before millions of football viewers would become the first to learn of Lennon’s death.” Tom Rinaldi reports on how it was WABC news producer Alan Weiss who was admitted to the hospital moments before Lennon, called his office, and ultimately got the breaking story to the “MNF” broadcast booth in Miami.
“My ears are still ringing from the impact of the road, and two police officers come out and they are literally standing over my head,” said Weiss, who was in a Central Park motorcycle accident and taken to nearby Roosevelt Hostpital. “I got my eyes closed and I hear one officer say to the other one, ‘Can you believe it? John Lennon.’”
In addition. ESPN.com’s Jeff Ausiello has a story from the point-of-view of Smith as he was preparing to attempt his field goal.

== Any attempt by the U.S. Olympic Committee to launch a cable network would be in the distant future and would only come with approval from the International Olympic Committee and cooperation with its American broadcasting partner, USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“It’s not on the back burner; it’s not on the radar screen today,” Blackmum said about a USOC cable channel. In 2009, the USOC had a deal with Comcast to launch a network, which would have put it in direct competition with NBC Universal. That didn’t rub NBC right, since the IOC makes $2 billion in its contract with NBC to carry the Olympics to the U.S. audience. Comcast has since reached a deal to buy NBC Universal, and negotiations for the 2014 and 2016 TV rights have been delayed, with bidding among all the major networks expected to take place next month.

AND FINALLY:

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== Not long after UFC chief Dana White laid out some loose plans for an all-MMA channel sometime down the road, WWE boss Vince McMahon’s promise to launch an all-wrestling cable channel has been declared for a 2012-early 2013 date, reported Reuters this week.

“It’s taken us longer to galvanize the troops and figure out where we’re going.”
WWE COO Donna Goldsmith said, noting that the model for the WWE channel is similar to what Major League Baseball has done — an could include pay-TV operators as part of the network ownership.

That’s got to make Bud Selig feel good — he’s rubbed off on Vince McMahon.

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Endless winter: Hanging the final 10 with a 50-year celebration

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Above: The first issue of Surfer magazine, in 1960, black and white and 36 pages selling for 75 cents, to promote the third movie made by John Severson called “Surf Fever.”

Entry 10, back to sofa surfing and surfing the Internet:

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The book: “Surfer Magazine 50 Years”

The author: Edited by Sam George

The vital info:strong> Chronicle Books, 191 pages, $40 (released in July)

The curl: Our natural curiosity is to compare this to the copy of “The Perfect Day: 40 Years of Surfer Magazine” that’s been on our shelf awhile — five years (it’s a softbound edition that came out five years after the hardbound). They are far more complimentary than recycling material. The first, in four chapters, looks at the magazine’s body of work through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and focuses more on the writing that carried the magazine through those eras, with the photgraphs there as visual markers. This new version breaks the sport down over the last 50 years with five chapters on travel, who we watch, design, performance, culture and photography. The stability and influence of San Clemente-based Surfer magazine is also discussed in the forward by Shaun Tomson, who says: “These magazines have been studied as intently as the Talmud is studied by a yeshiva student, and probably with even more fervor. These journals mark moments in the life of each other … a freeze-frame of its owner’s youth. Surfer is not just a magazine but is the framework for a surfing existence.” Sam George’s intro also includes: “(Surfer) remains the most personal of publications, inexorably bent to the creative will of an eclectic parade of editors and contributing writers.”

The excerpts: Page 50-51, a giant quote from the late Andy Irons, from a March, 2009 story, next to a photo of him carrying a board that just broke in half: “I just want to fall in love with the sport that gave me everything.”

Page 60: Top 10 male surfers whose names sound like porn stars: “1. Nick Wood, 2. Pete Rocky, 3. Love Hodel, 4. Taylor Steele, 5. Damien Hardman, 6. Bonga Perkins, 7. Wingnut, 8. Buzzy Kerbox, 9. Alex Cox, 10. Shane Stoneman.” And the top 5 female surfers: “1. Daize Shayne, 2. Vernoica Kay, 3. Gidget, 4. Kylie Webb, 5. Kim Hamrock.”

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Page 122: The Top 10 surfers of all time: 1. Kelly Slater, 2. Laird Hamilton, 3. Gerry Lopez, 4. Nat Young, 5. Layne Beachley (the only woman in this list), 6. Tom Curren, 7. Shaun Tomson, 8. Mark Richards, 9. Tom Carroll, 10. Andy Irons.

Page 124: Ben Marcus writes about his times nera Half Moon Bay: “Toward the end of the ’70s I bought a hot dog wagon on the beach in Santa Cruz called Surfer Dog. i had a concession with the State Parks Department to sell hot dogs and cold drinks on a beach that was called Twin Lakes Beach, Seabright Beach or Castle Beach, depending on who you talked to. Surfer Dog was a good business. … Whenever I hear Van Halen’s ‘Jamie’s Crying,’ I can smell the mustard and the Coppertone.”

Page 145, from a Surfer editorial by John Severson called “The Sign of the Kook” in 1963: “The simple message of this editorial is that obnoxious behavior, seedy appearance or badges and symbols don’t make the surfer. By his fellow surfer he may be laughed at or looked down upon, while at the same time he is creating a bad image in the eyes of the public. Don’t be a badge wearer — be a surfer.”

Find it: On Amazon and Powells, plus the publisher’s website.

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By Clark Little for Surfer Magazine, pages 188-189.

The previous nine books reviewed and celebrated:
== “Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave”
(linked here)
== “The History of Surfing” (linked here)
== “LeRoy Grannis: Surf Photography of the 1960s and 1970s, 25th Anniversary Edition”
(linked here)
== “Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results” (linked here)
== “The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean” (linked here)
== “The Surfboard: Art, Style, Stoke” (linked here)
== “Some Like It Cold: A Sheboygan Surfin’ Safari” (linked here)
== “Surfing Handbook: Mastering the Waves for Beginners and Amateur Surfers” (linked here)
== “Ultimate Surfing Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences in the Waves” (linked here)

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Endless winter: Like a Spicoli dream scene

Entry 9, looking for a towel to dry off:

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The book: “Ultimate Surfing Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences in the Waves”

The author: Alf Alderson

The vital info:strong> Wiley Nautical books, 210 pages, $39.95 (released this month):

The curl: It’s not just the spots with the biggest, gnarliest waves that make a spot on the planet perfect for surfing. Alderson, knows how to pick his spots — from Antartica (be aware of the cold, remote region, orca whales, sea lions, rocks, choppy currents and collapsing icebergs, otherwise, you’re good) to Zuma Beach, with stops in Sri Lanka, China, Madagascar, Panama, Northwest Italy, Morocco, Israel, Easter island, South Korea, Iceland, Munich and Central Chile in between. Every continent is covered, and photographs galore capture the scene at each spot.
The places are also divided by tropical waters, temperate waters and cold waters, starting with the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia known as “Disneyland for surfers” — jade green water, shallow reefs and plush conditions with levels of waves to suit each surfer. Each place is given ratings for its difficulty, hazards, seasons, wetsuit needs, access, other local breaks and what else to do while you’re there.
If surfing in the mind is a game you can play, this book is much more in your travel budget than actually going. For now, read and dream.

The excerpts: Page 128: Orange County, California: “In many respects, Orange County is the home of modern surfing in the same way that nearby Hollywood is the home of movies. Neither is the birthplace of its defining activity, but each has taken it to their heart and fostered what many would agree is a bit of a bastard child. … Everyone seems to surf in Orange County and unless you’re out of bed before daybreak ther’s very little chance of getting a wave to yourself. The best way of dealing with this is to head for the less accessible spots such as Cottons, or simply grin and bear it. This being California, you’ll probably do a lot of grinning anyway, at the regular assortment of wackos of all ages and both sexes riding every form of surf craft every invented. Stick it out, though, and you’re bound to catch a few good waves for youself.”

Page 110: “If your idea of a great time is surfing long, walling right handers feathering in an offshore breeze, then the area of Central Morocco focusing on Agadir is definitley one to put on your tick list.”

Page 64, at Sao Tome: “Now here’s a unique surfing opportunity: The chance to take off on a wave in the southern hemisphere and kick out in the northern hemisphere. … the only break on Earth with saddling the Equator.”

Find it: On Amazon and Powells.

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