Weekly media column version 12.16.11

What’s included in this week’s media column (linked here): Charles Barkley has his first weigh-in on the NBA’s decision to start Christmas Day and the Clippers-vs.-Lakers new rivalry wrinkles, plus Time Warner Cable’s proposed coverage of the CIF state football championships and some interesting college football TV ratings.

What’s not included is the assessments by TNT’s Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal about whether the Clippers have overtaken the Lakers in NBA superiority with the addition of Chris Paul.

Smith’s take: “They’ll be all about cross-over dribbling and lob dunks. Talent-wise, I’d buy a ticket to see them play. But when I walk into that (Staples Center) building, the purple and gold is about winning. The Clippers have had exciting players in the past but never won. Can they win with this excitement?”

Added O’Neal: “It’s the yin and yang effect. For the Clippers, no one else is talking about Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups . . . The Clippers aren’t the little brother anymore. They’re all grown up now.”

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A duel Q and A, with Angela and Mark Rypien: A Lingerie Football League QB looking for exposure, and a Super Bowl MVP looking for his daughter’s well being

Former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien’s daughter definitely has the looks to be a professional cheerleader. It’s something her mom, Annette, once did with the Washington Redskins.

Instead, Angela Rypien is a Lingerie Football League quarterback.

So maybe she took the best of her parents’ genes and put them to practical use.

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The 21-year-old started the first two games for the LFL’s Seattle Mist, but she’s likely to be starting on the bench for Friday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Temptation at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.

In the season opener, she threw three touchdown passes in a 42-8 win over the Green Bay Chill in late September. In the next game, she had three interceptions in the first half of a 28-24 loss to the Las Vegas Sin and was replaced.

So two games in, she’s experienced the highs and lows of a professional QB. But that’s not completely accurate, either.

The Lingerie Football League players aren’t paid. They’re asked to wear the Victoria’s Secret-looking tight shorts, padded bras and hockey helmets and play 7-on-7 on a 50-yard indoor field purely for the enjoyment of the paying spectators.

How does it all work?

Angela, the single mom of a 2-year-old living in Seattle, and Mark, the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI with the Redskins and former Washington State star who ended his 11-year NFL career in 2002, explain:

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Fox, CBS, NBC fork up billions to renew NFL rights deals through 2022; Peacock adds a few more feathers

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Fox, CBS and NBC did multi-billion, multi-media contract rollovers with the NFL today, extending their partnerships nine more seasons through 2022 and securing the league with plenty of more comfort and financial joy now that their collective-bargaining agreement has been settled.

Multiple reports are that the three networks will pay a total of $3.1 billion each year, split nearly evenly. That’s up from a combined $1.9 billion the three are currently paying.

Add to that the $1.8 billion annually from ESPN, who earlier this year did an eight-year extension on the “Monday Night Football” through 2021, and another $1 billion a year from DirecTV for exclusive “NFL Sunday Ticket” rights.

That makes a combined $7 billion a year that NFL will get in media rights starting after 2013.

The new wrinkle in this contract: NBC will add a primetime game on Thanksgiving night beginning in 2012. It will also swap out a wild card game for a divisional playoff game, and there is “enhanced” flex scheduling that affects its “Sunday Night Football” package.

The NFL says the expanded flex scheduling starting in 2014 will also give CBS, home of the AFC, and Fox, home to the NFC, the ability to switch conference regional games to wider audiences. Further details will be “developed with the networks,” the NFL said.

The deals also allow the NFL Network to expand the number of Thursday night games — it does eight now in the second half of the season. A new number yet to be determined.

The NFL’s current TV agreements were to expire after the 2013 season.

With the championship game rotation in tact, NBC will do the Super Bowl XLIX (2015), LII (2018) and LV (2021). CBS will do Super Bowl L (2016), LIII (2019) and LVI (2022), in addition to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013. Fox will get Super Bowls LI (2017), LIV (2020) and LVII (2023).

And everyone quoted in a written press release couldn’t sound happier.

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When seven of the 16 NFL games are yours, with the proper channels

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Who’s calling this week’s games, pros and bowls:

NFL WEEK 15:

== Thursday: 5:30 p.m., NFL Network: Jacksonville at Atlanta, with Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan

== Saturday: 5:30 p.m., NFL Network: Dallas at Tampa Bay, with Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan

== Sunday: 10 a.m., Channel 2: Cincinnati at St. Louis, with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, instead of Tennessee-Indianapolis and Miami-Buffalo.

= Sunday: 10 a.m., Channel 11: Washington at N.Y. Giants, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, instead of Green Bay-Kansas City, New Orleans-Minnesota, Seattle-Chicago or Carolina-Houston.

= Sunday: 1 p.m., Channel 2: New England at Denver, with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, instead of N.Y. Jets-Philadelphia and Cleveland-Arizona. Fox also has Detroit-Oakland in this window that won’t be shown in L.A.

= Sunday: 5:20 p.m., Channel 4: Baltimore at San Diego, with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.

== Monday: 5:30 p.m., ESPN: Pittsburgh at San Francisco, with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski

COLLEGE:

Saturday:

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= New Mexico Bowl: Temple vs. Wyoming, 11 a.m., ESPN, with Clay Matvick, Brian Griese and Jessica Mendoza

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= Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State vs. Ohio, 2:30 p.m., ESPN, with Dave Flemming, Mike Bellotti and Heather Cox

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= New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. San Diego State, 6 p.m., ESPN, with Carter Blackburn, Brock Huard and Shelley Smith

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Kings fire Terry Murray as head coach

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(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Kings head coach Terry Murray, left, looks at assistant coach Jamie Kompon during the second period of last Thursday’s game against Minnesota at Staples Center.

As the Kings start a four-game road trip in Boston with a four-game losing streak and the offense with the lowest goals-per-game average, team general manager Dean Lombardi announced this afternoon that head coach Terry Murray has been relieved of his duties.

Kings assistant coach John Stevens will assume interim head coach duties.

Murray, 61, began as the Kings head coach in 2008-09 and had a 139-106-30 regular season record. He ranks (list linked here) first in winning percentage (.560), third in wins (139) and fourth in games coached (275) in franchise history. The team went to the playoffs the last two seasons but lost in the first round.

Stevens, 45, is in his second season with the Kings organization, named an assistant coach prior to the 2010-11 season. He will be the 23rd head coach (including interim head coaches) in Kings history. Stevens was as the head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2006-09 and had a 120-109-34 record, leading the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2008.

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Play It Forward: Dec. 12-18 on your sports calendar

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

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San Francisco Chronicle

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET

CIF state high school football championships, Home Depot Center in Carson: Open Division title game — Westlake vs. Concord De La Salle, 8 p.m., Saturday, Time Warner Cable; Division IV title game — Sierra Canyon vs. Le Grand, 4 p.m., Friday, Time Warner Cable:

Congrats to 14-0 Westlake for finally making it to the big statewide dance. Welcome to Carson. Concord’s De La Salle will be your chaperone. The Spartans (12-1), who just polished off their 20th straight section title, are 3-2 in these kind of major events, having defeated Servite last year 48-8. In the long line of famous running backs from the school – including Maurice Jones-Drew – junior Tiapepe Vitale (above) is now the star ball carrier, running for 168 yards and six touchdowns in the De La Salle’s Northern California Division I final win. The Spartans have won 10 in a row by a combined 458-57 since a loss to St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., early in the season. Meanwhile, Harry Welsh’s Santa Margarita squad plays for the Division I title game against San Jose Bellarmine (Friday, 8 p.m.), and Troy Starr’s San Diego Helix team meets Loomis Del Oro in the Division II title game (Saturday 4 p.m.)

MONDAY

NFL: St. Louis at Seattle, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

A match up of the 2-10 Rams and 5-7 Seahawks is one they only dream about in planning the “Monday Night Football” schedule months in advance. The Rams, another team rumored to be possibly heading (back) to L.A., have scored just one offensive touchdown since the first quarter of their 24-7 loss to the Seahawks on Nov. 20. And if quarterbacks Sam Bradford and A.J. Feely aren’t feeling up to playing, that’ll leave practice squad guy Tom Brandstater as St. Louis’ starter. The former Fresno State starter is with his fifth NFL team since the 2009 draft.

TUESDAY

NHL: Kings at Boston, 4 p.m., FSW:

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Nice timing to get out of town for awhile. Four losses in a row, and eight straight games with two goals or less, could give Kings’ fans a concussion from hitting their foreheads with their open palm. But that’s the situation as the team starts a four-game road trip against the defending Stanley Cup champions. Averaging a league-worst 2.2 goals a game, the Kings are also 3-for-34 on the power play over the last 10 games.

WEDNESDAY

College basketball: UCLA vs. Eastern Washington, Sports Arena, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

The Pauley Pavilion renovations aren’t the only thing in the UCLA basketball program currently under construction. The rebuilding Bruins (3-5) didn’t necessarily show they were all that mightier than Penn in a four-point win last Saturday in Anaheim. Now, it’s back to the L.A. facility to host the Big Sky’s Eastern Washington, averaging 75 points a game, a mark the Bruins have topped only twice this year.

THURSDAY

Volleyball: NCAA women’s national semifinals: UCLA vs. Florida State, 4 p.m. ESPN2; USC vs. Illinois, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2:

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Jumpin’ Jupiter, how’s about another UCLA-USC finale for a national title? It happened a few weeks ago in men’s water polo (USC won) and it could take place here in San Antonio. The 28-6 Bruins got here after toppling four-time defending champion Penn State in the regional semifinals. Then it’s the 29-4 and top-ranked Women of Troy, led by senior All-American outside hitter Alex Jupiter (right), having knocked out Pepperdine in the regional finals. The title match (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., ESPN2) could be the third time USC and UCLA face each other this season. They split their two regular season meetings this season, the Trojans winning most recently 3-1 at the Wooden Center on Nov. 25.

NHL: Kings at Columbus, 4 p.m., FSW:

If not for the Ducks, the Blue Jackets would be the worst team in the Western Division. They’ve given up nearly 30 goals more than they’ve scored. The team recently hired Craig Patrick, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and a two-time Stanley Cup champion, as their new senior advisor of hockey operations.

NFL: Jacksonville at Atlanta, 5:30 p.m., NFL Network:

How much more national exposure do the Jags really need?

SATURDAY

NHL: Kings at Detroit, 4 p.m., FSW:

The Red Wings crushed the Kings, 4-1, about a month ago at Staples Center in a game that included Anze Kopitar missing a penalty shot. The Kings had won three of four games from Detroit last season.

College football: New Mexico Bowl: Temple vs. Wyoming, 11 a.m., ESPN; Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State vs. Ohio, 2:30 p.m., ESPN; New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. San Diego State, 6 p.m., ESPN:

The official start of the bowl season has these three gems — at least five of the six teams have eight or more wins. The Mid-American and Mountain West are well represented, but the MAC and WAC are present as well. That says it all.

College basketball: UCLA vs. UC Davis, Honda Center, noon, Prime:

Back for another road trip to Anaheim. Is this old yet?

College basketball: USC vs. Georgia, Galen Center, 7 p.m., Prime:

The Trojans (4-6) are 334th in the country out of 345 teams in points per game at 55.1. The Bulldogs (4-5) are ranked 310th at 59.4.

NFL: Dallas at Tampa Bay, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network:

The NFL bleeds into Saturday. Get used to it for a few weeks.

SUNDAY

NFL: New England at Denver, 1:15 p.m., Channel 2:

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This Tebow-Brady match up is one that NBC tried to wrangle away from CBS and put in prime-time, but the league wouldn’t let it happen. Something about Patriots owner Bob Kraft putting his foot down because it would cut into the team’s prep time for their next game on Christmas Eve. But then, Baltimore and San Diego, the two teams stuck in that 5:20 p.m. window, have to play on Christmas Eve, too. Like 26 other teams.

NFL: Green Bay at Kansas City; 10 a.m.; Detroit at Oakland, 1 p.m.:

The Packers stay in the AFC West, picking off victories. The Raiders won’t mind that in this case. The Chiefs, however, will go at it with a new coach.

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In this open field, Marinovich calls his own number … it’s the art of survival

UPDATED: FRIDAY, 11:30 AM:

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Todd Marinovich looks at his self-portrait called “Defeat III,” and finds it interesting that many who first see it don’t recognize him as the person in the dark shadow sitting on his helmet off to the right of the canvas.

“It’s always been one of my favorites, and that’s probably the one that I’ve sold the most,” he says in his soft voice. “I’ve done six versions of it. The bright colors take on the emotions of it. I can’t do one like I do the next.

“All I was trying to do was create something that I felt like defeat. So much more is remembered and learned in a defeat. As much fun and exciting as it was to get over a victory, it didn’t affect me in the same way as a defeat.”

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As much as Marinovich experienced victory in his two years on the field at USC and three more with the Los Angeles Raiders, the defeats have been more profound.

The 42-year-old artist may want to put his football past behind him, but it’s not been so easy.

A new ESPN documentary called “The Marinovich Project,” which will debut on Saturday after the Heisman ceremony coverage, is one step toward trying to do it. (See Friday’s media column, linked here, for more information on that).

But the vibrant acrylic art that Marinovich has produced in the years following his failed NFL career and subsequent run-ins with the law over drug arrests, incarceration and rehab is far more than something to just pass the time.

“It really is therapy for me,” admitted Marinovich, married with two small children. “It allows me to be expressive and get out all those emotions and feelings that I can’t do verbally.

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“I go through happy and depressed moments, and here, I can recreate every emotion that I feel as a human. Without art to express it, I’d be lost.

“It’s been fabulous for all my aftercare. I really think more art should be available to struggling addicts or alcoholics. It’s an unbelievable liberating feeling.”

The fact that Marinovich, an art major at USC before he left school for the NFL after his junior year, has been able to connect on this level with his father, Marv, who also studied art at USC, is even more amazing, considering the relationship they’ve had in the past.

Bob Abbott, a Fallbrook artist who wrote a best-selling book “Art and Reality (linked here),” has been Marinovich’s creative mentor during this stage of his life over the last three years. Marinovich lived at Abbott’s studio for two years and has contributed to a project called “Keep An Eye On Your Soul” that has been used in the women’s prison system as well as at Chapman University.

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“He’s been very encouraging, because I still have doubts,” Marinovich said. “We all have that voice in our heads that tell us we suck. But it’s easier for me to deal with now.”

Abbott says Marinovich’s work is “very expressive and powerful. He’s open and experimental. I think with what he’s been through, he can really affect a positive change in a lot of people.

“He’s told me that in the times he was in jail, the only thing that saved him was the arts.”

Marinovich explains on his artwork website bio (linked here) that in drawing on his life’s experiences to create art with feel, “it’s not perfect and often times not pretty, but my goal is to evoke emotion and communicate ideas. If you as a viewer are moved by my pieces then my goal has been achieved.

“I’m an admirer of the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Expressionist movements – I can really connect with those artists’ liberation and expressive use of color. I also create wood sculptures, drawings and sketches.”

Among his creatively interpretative portraits, the ones with sports-related themes stand out in the mix.

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It’s quite easy to figure out the meaning behind “45-42,” an homage to the score from his leading USC to victory over UCLA in 1990, one of the wildest finishes in the series’ history. The Xs and Os drawn on the canvas are the play that was run, with the arms of USC receiver Johnny Morton stretching out.

While there are works entitled “Marcus, “USC,” “Trojan,” “QB,” “Victory” and “No. 1,” there are others that draw on far more analysis. Like one called “The Alchemist” that appears to be Marinovich’s outline, with a fire inside of him.

Marinovich also leaves no mixed message in his mixed-media piece of artwork entitled “The Crown.”

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A self-portrait of this orange face crying amidst a wall of clipped newspaper headlines about him over the years makes Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” seem rather muted.

“It just started with finding an old trunk in the garage at my grandmother’s house,” he said. “She kept everything. But I couldn’t see myself saving all these things and making a scrapbook. So I used them in my art.”

Marinovich says he’s only been able to sell “a handful” of his paintings that he’s made available in the last year on his website, toddmarinovich.com. Originals and signed reproductions are available for all to order.

Or, you can just just look them online, ponder their meaning, and remember the days when Marinovich was on your TV set in a seemingly happier place.

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“Some of them are harder to walk away from,” said Marinovich, speaking again about “The Crown” portrait. “That was very personal. I didn’t have to do much work to get at what I wanted. I didn’t start off trying to be cool and make an orange portrait of myself. It just happened. It looked at myself as naked. The crown, that’s a little bit of symbolism.

“A lot of people have commented on it, but no one has bought it yet. The only one who really says they’d love to have it is my brother (Mikhail, a senior linebacker at Syracuse).”

A quarterback has the creativity of an artist all the time on the football field. Now, this old quarterback can create new plays with his brushes.

“I’m just so grateful I’m able to create art,” he said. “I get to play with paint. As an athlete I got to play with a football.”

This is his new window of opportunity. Or, simply “Window,” as in the work entitled below.

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What is Fox left to do now with the Dodgers?

The Associated Press

WILMINGTON, Del. — A judge said Thursday that he would overrule an objection by Fox Sports and approve a process for the Dodgers to sell the media rights to future games as part of the team’s plan to exit bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross said at the end of a two-day hearing that he would approve the Dodgers’ plan to sell media rights to games starting in 2014, a key component of a settlement with Major League Baseball that also calls for Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to sell the team.

“I just think it’s in the debtors’ best interests,” said Gross, who told attorneys he would issue a formal written ruling in a few days.

Fox Sports attorney Greg Werkheiser asked Gross to stay his ruling for 14 days so Fox can file an appeal in U.S. District Court.

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