Weekly media column version 01.20.12

It’s on the blog post right below this — a feature story on Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket reporter Patrick O’Neal, leading into the second week of the four-part best and worst of the L.A. sports media list (linked here).

What’s not in the story: How Patrick’s first name almost became “Rocky,” thanks to his dad’s love of boxing.

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Here’s the explanation on the website of Patrick’s mother, Leigh Taylor-Young (www.lty.com) and how Patrick’s birth certificate actually lists his first name as “Young”:

September 14, 1967 was the day my son was born. I was convinced throughout my pregnancy that I would have a girl. I believe I felt that way because I was, at that time, very “soft” internally, extremely sensitive and vulnerable, and I had reached my level of tolerance for “changes.”
In the year prior to his birth, I had my first love affair, with Ryan, and had become a major television star where my anonymity and privacy had gone forever. … I had worked on Peyton Place until my fifth month of pregnancy. They wrote my character, Rachel Welles out of the show, by having her lose her mind and be sent to a sanitarium.
I was now free to enjoy my pregnancy without worrying if my stomach showed or if I would be able to make it to the rest room in time, between shots, to throw up. Ryan and I had married in my third month. I adored Ryan. Actually, it was more of an infatuation, as I had married someone quickly who I barely know as a person. We rented a beautiful house in Benedict Canyon that had been the home of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It was the perfect place to have an enchanted pregnancy. There was a pool under trees, deer, roses everywhere and a lovely tennis court.
Ryan did me a great favor, he worked me out every day of my pregnancy. Sometimes he would have me run against a time clock, or simply have me run up and down the long driveway of our home. I started tennis lessons in my fourth month and was playing the day Patrick was born.
The night Patrick was born, Ryan was watching “Thursday Night At The Fights”, a television boxing extravaganza that was ritual TV fare in Los Angeles in 1967. A boxer, Young McCormick, was fighting that night and Ryan favored him. I was almost three weeks overdue. It was a hot September night and I was cooking dinner. I felt my first contraction while cooking, and two minutes later there was another. I served Ryan his dinner, sat down, said nothing and waited to see what would happen next. My contractions remained two minutes apart. We raced to the hospital. Patrick’s birth came quickly. I had only one hour of labor. …
Because I had been so sure I would only have a girl, I had chosen no names for a boy. Ryan became intent on naming the baby “Rocky O’Neal”. I suggested the name Patrick, as a compromise, as that was Ryan’s real first name. Ryan agreed, but wanted to add the name Young to Patrick O’Neal in deference to the Irish boxer who had been fighting that night. So Young Patrick O’Neal made his entrance, and blessed my life
.

More photos of Patrick O’Neal as a little kid (linked here)

COMING UP:The 20th annual Top 10/Bottom 5 best and worst polls of:
=Jan. 27: Radio and TV game analysts
=Feb. 3: Radio and TV game play-by-play
This follows the first installment on the best/worst L.A. sports-talk hosts on Feb. 13.
And a followup: 20 years later, what ever happened to some of those who made the lists over the years?

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