Weekly media column version 11.18.11

What’s in today’s media column (linked here): How Ian Darke has made it over to L.A. from his home in London in one piece in time to call Sunday’s MLS Cup from Home Depot Center in Carson. It won’t be easy.

What it doesn’t include: More from Darke (his age? reported to be in his mid 50s) on other aspects of soccer, thinking globally and acting locally in this case:


Q: Is it true that before the Galaxy games you’ve recently done in the last couple of weeks, the only other MLS game you’d called was last season’s final in Toronto?

A: Yes. I do follow it, but tend to watch on a week-by-week basis and know I’ll have to get involved in the playoff stage. My main beat is the Premiere League, and it’s a bit different. But it’s my priority. You can only keep on top of it so far doing it that way. You really need to watch it to soak in all the kind of infomation you want. I think you can’t be everywhere and do everything.
The MLS that I see isn’t live, but I catch up with it on the website. The playoff games are shown here on ESPN UK, so it’s got a lot more publicity in England, with Robbie Keene and the David Beckham angle. I’d not be surprised to see two or three football writers go to this (MLS Cup) game. And if we’re honest, it’s because of Beckham and what his future is, the fact he’s such a big name. You put his name in the paper and it sells and sells, but that’s the hook. This game is far more interesting to them than say Colorado and Dallas last year. One problem was that it was in Toronto, thousands of miles from the fans of either team, and very cold. There’s no denying it had a slightly subdued feeling. This, however, should be a great atmostphere.

Q: What encourages you about how American audiences have started to pick up finally on soccer as a TV sport?

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Arise and fire: With Kershaw’s NL Cy come plenty of parting gifts


Clayton Kershaw’s winning the National League Cy Young Award today — he had 27 first, three second and two third place votes among the 32 total — has its benefits.

Within minutes of the official announcement this morning, two other press releases were issued:

== Regal Books, a Christian-based publisher in Ventura, announced the release of “Arise: Live Out Your Faith and Dreams on Whatever Field You Field Yourself,” which Kershaw co-authored with his wife, Ellen, set to be released in January, 2012 after the two return from a trip to Zambia to break new ground on a children’s home. This is related to the Kershaw’s Challenge (www.kershawschallenge.org) where he gives $100 for ever batter he struck out in 2011 to build the new home in Zambia, working with the charity Arise Africa (www.ariseafrica.org). Amazon.com is already taking pre-orders at $17.99 (linked here).

== Legends Memorabilia Collection signed Kershaw to an “exclusive memorabilia arrangement.” LMC is the memorabilia division of Major League Alumni Marketing (MLAM), the for-profit subsidiary of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA).

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Can Fox push the Dodgers back around in court?

The Associated Press

DOVER, Del. — Attorneys for Fox Sports are asking a Delaware bankruptcy judge to delay consideration of the Dodgers’ plan to sell media rights to future games.

Fox’s request to delay a Nov. 30 hearing on the media rights motion is the latest salvo in its battle with the Dodgers.

Fox says the planned media rights sale violates an existing contract giving Fox television rights through 2013 and priority in negotiating a contract for games starting in 2014.

The Dodgers are refusing to postpone the Nov. 30 hearing, accusing Fox of trying to interfere with efforts to sell the team and its assets so that it can emerge from bankruptcy.

Fox attorneys, meanwhile, say they will file a motion by the end of the month to have the bankruptcy case dismissed.

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The awesomeness of a dual New Year’s Eve stunt, Red Bullishly, down San Diego way

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Two crazy kids — 28 and 30 years old actually — with flat-rimmed baseball caps, cargo shorts and scraped elbows are going to bring 2012 in with a bang.

Especially if they crash.

The Santa Monica-based Red Bull power drink/lighter fluid company announced today that both Levi LaVelle and Robbie Maddison will be leaping across water in San Diego, attempting to break distance records on a snowmobile and motorcycle. They will do it simultaneously.

ESPN covers it on Dec. 31 at about 8 p.m., so they do it in time for the East Coast new year to arrive.

They couldn’t find an aircraft carrier that could be part of it all?

LaVallee, a 28-year-old from Longville, Minn., crashed while training to do this a year ago, but they’ve said he’s fully recovered. He has the record leap on a snowmobile at 361 feet.

Maddison, a 30-year-old Australian native living in Temecula now, jumped his motorcycle 322 feet in Las Vegas in 2007, and then jumped off the 96-foot tall Arc De Triomphe at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas in 2008. Maddison will shoot for about 400 feet, to break the current mark of 391 feet.

Both gentlemen will start their engines going from the north end to the south end of Embarcadero Marina Park near downtown San Diego.

“I am so pumped to be able to come back,” said LaVallee. “Last year obviously didn’t go the way I was hoping, and I am excited to have another chance at this amazing opportunity.”

“Jumping long distances is a passion of mine, and I’m excited to come back for New Years Eve and sail over San Diego Harbor,” said Maddison. “400 feet is my goal. It’s not all about getting the world record to me, it’s more about understanding this feat and the commitment ahead to achieving what most would consider an impossible jump.”

Previous Red Bull New Year’s Eve stunts included a Rhys Millen backflip in an off-road truck and just missed sticking the landing in Santa Monica. In 2009, Travis Pastrana jumped his rally car 269 feet over water, landing on a barge in Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor.

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McCourt isn’t done filing lawsuits: Fox hit with one now

Frank McCourt filed a lawsuit today against Fox, the cable company that once offered him a 17-year, $3 billion TV rights extension, asking for a injunction or temporary restraining order to prevent it from blocking the bankruptcy court sale of the Dodgers.

Fox has tried to prevent McCourt from opening the bidding on the team’s media rights since it has contractual guarantees that take it through the 2013 season, with new negotiations available after November of 2012. A federal judge is scheduled to hold a Nov. 30 hearing on the motions.

A statement released by Fox today said: “This is just the latest chapter in the current owner’s ongoing scheme to avoid honoring his contractual obligations. The full truth of this unfortunate situation will soon become apparent to all.”

McCourt reached a settlement agreement on Nov 2 with Major League Baseball that allows him to control the sale of the team and get it out of bankruptcy, as long as the MLB approves the new owners.

Fox sued the Dodgers in late September after McCourt asked the bankruptcy judge to authorize an auction for the media rights as part of the team’s reorganization.

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