Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Kings Daryl Evans, right, has been working with Nick Nickson on the Kings’ radio broadcasts since 1999.
Friday’s third installment of the 20th annual best and worst of the L.A. sports media focuses on the game analysts. We’ve got a feature on Kings radio man Daryl Evans – nearly 30 years after his game-winning goal capped the Miracle on Manchester, he’s about to reach a milestone of 1,000 games as a broadcaster. That’s a career he never really thought he’d be getting into so deep, but he’s adapted and made it work.
More than just an Interesting side note: Evans and Jim Fox are two of some 20 former Kings players who moved into the broadcasting field after their NHL playing days, spanning the last two decades.
Through research by statistician Doug Mann, who works with Fox and Bob Miller on the FSW telecasts, more than a dozen of them are still in the broadcast business, believed to be the most in any sport who are alums of the same team
Evans, a right-winger drafted by the Kings in 1981 and in L.A. through 1985, has been the radio analyst since 1999. Fox, a right winger drafted 10th overall by the Kings in 1980, played all nine NHL seasons in L.A. until 1990 when he began as a Kings broadcaster on TV.
The Kings’ alumni list in broadcasting includes:
== Mike Alison: Right wing for Kings from 1987-’90; worked as Kings radio analyst from 1995-’98.
== Pat Conacher: Center for Kings from 1992-’96; worked on Anaheim Ducks radio.
== Darren Eliot: Goaltender drafted by Kings in 1980, played in L.A. from 1984-’87; works a studio analyst for Fox Sports Detroit on Red Wings broadcast, also worked for Versus and Fox Sports South on the Atlanta Thrashers telecasts.
== Brian Engblom: Defenseman for Kings from 1984-’86; former Kings radio analyst from 1991-’95, works as color analyst for Winnipeg Jets, worked at ESPN, Versus and Columbus Blue Jackets TV.
== Ray Ferraro: Center for Kings from 1995-’99; worked for ESPN and NBC as a studio analyst, now with TSN.
== Garry Galley: Defenseman drafted by the Kings in 1983, played in L.A. from ’84-’87; works at CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and is a TV analyst for the Ottawa Senators.
== Butch Goring: Center drafted by the Kings in 1969, played in L.A. until 1980; works as an analyst for the N.Y. Islanders TV on MSG Network.
== Tony Granato: Right wing for the Kings from 1989-’96; worked for Minnesota Wild TV. Sister Cammi was a Kings radio analyst in 1998-99.
== Stu Grimson: Left wing for the Kings in 2000-’01; works as a color analyst for Nashville Predators radio, worked as studio analysis on Stanley Cup playoffs for ESPN.
== Glenn Healy: Goalie drafted by the Kings in 1985 and played in L.A. until 1989; a reporter for TSN’s coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs, game analyst for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
== Kelly Hrudey: Goalie for Kings from 1989-’96; works on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada studio team, also did HNIC radio analysis.
== Tom Laidlaw: Defenseman for Kings from 1986-’90,filled in as Kings radio analyst in 1990-’91 season while injured.
== Marty McSorley: Defenseman for Kings from 1988-’96; worked as a Fox Sports West studio analyst on Kings’ broadcasts from 2005-’06, was a San Jose Sharks game analyst for FSN Bay Area.
== Larry Murphy: Hall of Fame defenseman drafted by Kings in 1980 and played in L.A. until 1984; works as a game analyst for Fox Sports Detroit on Red Wings’ telecasts and a studio analyst on the NHL Network.
== Ed Olczyk: Center for Kings in 1996-’97; works as game analyst on NBC national telecasts and on Chicago Blackhawks games for Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV.
== Charlie Simmer: Left wing for Kings from 1977-’85; game analyst on Rogers SportsNet in Toronto for Calgary Flames’ games, former analyst for Phoenix Coyotes.
== Pete Stemkowski: Center ended his career with the Kings in 1977-’78; works as part time game analysis for N.Y. Rangers on ESPN radio, worked in TV and radio on San Jose Sharks games).
== Murray Wilson: Left wing ended his career with the Kings in 1978-’79; works as game analyst on the Montreal Canadiens’ English-language radio broadcasts.
Honorable mention: Barry Melrose, who coached the Kings from 1992-’95, went to ESPN as a studio analyst and has been there almost continuously since 1996.
A Lakers-Clippers head-to-head matchup at Staples Center has taken on a much different vibe since the lockout ended in November and all heck broke loose getting the rosters set for the 2011-12 season.
To use a circus analogy: Today’s Clipper fans are apt to show up early to watch the acrobats warm up, then be dazzled by the trapeze artists. No clowning around.
The Lakers fan arrives when he sees a way to make a grand entrance, takes in some of the freak show outside the main tent, then hangs out around the giant elephants to see if it’ll start flapping their ears and actually fly.
C’mon, show us something we’ve never seen before.
Lob City vs. Rob Lowe still seems to be a rough line of demarcation between what a Clippers and Lakers fan banks on going into the second of three regular-season matchups Wednesday night. As we enlisted the help of those who would know — fans, broadcasters, team execs, more fans — we’ve concluded that the boundaries might also might also be determined by:
AVERAGE TICKET PRICE: Clippers fan: $104.71 Lakers fan: $171.75
COURTSIDE TICKET VALUE: Clippers fan (for Jan. 30 vs. Oklahoma City): several choices between $365 and $2,600 on StubHub! Lakers fan (for Jan. 31 vs. Charlotte): Only two offered on StubHub! for $5,136. Each.
Note: One listed for more than $6,000 on StubHub for tonight’s game
FAVORITE JERSEY TO BE SEEN IN: Clippers fan: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul Lakers fan: Magic Johnson
TYPICAL APPAREL: Clippers fan: Lob City T-shirt and jeans. Lakers fan: The exact same Lob City T-shirt, only it’s blank. And costs $200. To go with $500 jeans and $600 sunglasses to be worn indoors.
PRE-GAME MEAL: Clippers fan: Yard House Lakers fan: Katsuya
POSTGAME HANGOUT: Clippers fan: The Pantry Lakers fan: WP24
TATTOO COUNT: Clippers fan: 47 Lakers fan: 1 (that can be seen)
ARRIVES TO GAME: Clippers fan: Ford Explorer with 200,000 miles on it Lakers fans: A leased Mercedes Benz, with rollover mileage allowance.
TYPICAL COMPANION: Clippers fan: Wife/brother or sister/son or daughter Lakers fan: Hot blonde “niece”
OFF-COURT DIVERSION: Clippers fan: Clipper Darrell, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (a friend of Blake Griffin) Lakers fan: Jack Nicholson, whoever sits next to Nicholson
WHERE CAN I SEE THE OWNER?: Clippers fan: Courtside (next to Billy Crystal) Lakers fan: Skybox (next to Playboy bunnies)
STATE OF MIND: Clippers fan: Contrarian with short-term memory loss (“I’ve told you we were just a point guard away from being great!”) Lakers fan: Smug frontrunner (“Remember, we traded Kwame Brown for Pau Gasol”)
REACTION TO A 9-5 RECORD: Clippers fan: We’re on our way! Lakers fan: We’re on our way to the worst season ever.
BEST RETORT TO OPPOSITE FAN: Clippers fan: Go back to the Forum. Lakers fan: Go back to San Diego.
HOW THEY DEFINE THEMSELVES AS A ‘TRUE FAN': Clippers fan: Had season tickets at Sports Arena … in San Diego. Lakers fan: Doesn’t own a Lakers car flag.
REGRETS ABOUT THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Clippers fan: Kobe Bryant (unless they became a Clipper fan because they were turned off by Bryant) Lakers fan: Chris Paul
WHAT MAKES THEM RECOIL? Clippers fan: The feeling of being snake bit Lakers fan: Criticism of the Black Mamba taking matters into his own hands
DEFINITION OF BAD LUCK: Clippers fan: Losing another one of their best players to injury. Lakers fan: Not winning the NBA title.
DANCE TEAM APPEAL: Clippers fan: Modern hot (The Clippers Spirit team is loud, proud and sexy)
Lakers fan: Retro cool (the same routines and music as they did back at the Forum, along with Lawrence Tanter’s exit line: “Laker girrrrrrrrrls.”)
THE GAME ISN’T OVER UNTIL: Clippers fan: “Lawler’s Law” kicks in — first team to 100 points wins. How many times have the Lakers scored 100 this season? Once, in 18 games. Clippers? Six in 14 games. Lakers fan: In a tribute to Chick Hearn, John Ireland asks Mychal Thompson if it’s time to put the game in the refrigerator. Even if many of the younger listeners on radio don’t know that that means anymore.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is coming to prime time for the first time — at least in places due East — starting with this November’s gathering of the top thoroughbreds at Santa Anita.
NBC Sports Group and the Breeders’ Cup announced a multiyear deal for the network to televise the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships, starting with the 2012 event.
This year, NBC Sports Network will televise the Breeders’ Cup races on Nov. 2 and then do more on Nov. 3 before NBC picks up coverage for the $5 million Classic from 5-to-6 p.m. The races had been on ESPN and ABC in the past, although NBC aired the first races from 1984-2005.
NBC also televises the Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
“Everyone here is delighted that the Breeders’ Cup has returned home,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “Bringing back this prestigious event, combined with our long-term partnerships for the Triple Crown with Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, in addition to the Preakness and Belmont cements the NBC Sports Group as the home of horse racing.”
Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Lakers coach Mike Brown, center, had to be retrained by his assistants after the Lakers’ Darius Morris was pushed by the Clippers’ Blake Griffin during their last meeting on Jan. 14.
NBA: Lakers vs. Clippers, Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., FSW, Prime:
Are style points more important at this stage of the rivalry than actual victories? The Clippers can lose a game to a team like Minnesota, but still get a wack on the fanny for making it entertaining. The Lakers can grind down the defending champion Dallas Mavericks and win by scoring just 73 points, and get wacked in the media for how ugly it looked. But the Lakers, whose deceiving nine game home winning streak was crushed by Indiana on Sunday, are going to remember how the Clippers held onto an eight-point win recently after Chris Paul (33 points, six assists and three steals) ran circles around Derrick Fisher, then pulled his hamstring in the closing minutes. It’s been a little touch-and-go ever since. The Clippers also held a 50-42 rebounding edge, including six more on the offensive end, which seems almost impossible. And Lakers coach Mike Brown still is huffing and puffing that Blake Griffin should have been kicked out for the way he knocked down guard Darius Morris after the whistle blew. If anything, when these two now get together, it’s practically a Western Conference All-Star roster, as the latest voting has determined for the Feb. 26 game. Paul and Kobe Bryant are the leading vote-getters in the backcourt, Griffin is a starter at forward and Andrew Bynum leads at the center spot. The third and final encounter for these two won’t be until April 4, or about three weeks before the end of this abbreviated regular season with the playoff spots looming.
NHL: Kings vs. Ottawa, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
After this, it’s a bit of a vacation for the players for an extended All-Star break — they’re not back until Feb. 1. Seems as if they could use it. Since the hiring of Darryl Sutter before Christmas, they’ve piled up an 8-2-6 record — meaning they’ve picked up 22 out of a possible 32 points in the standings. It beats the direction they were headed, no matter how frustrating these 2-1 losses lately have felt. The Senators, who moved up to No. 8 in the latest NHL ESPN power rankings, come off a 2-1 loss in Anaheim. Still, Ottawa hasn’t allowed more than two goals in its last seven games, and have killed off all 21 opponents’ power plays during that stretch.
NHL: Ducks at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., Prime:
The Ducks’ latest five-game winning surge and 8-0-1 mark in their last nine has caught our attention. Funny thing, even after this run, they can’t get within sniffing distance of the last playoffs spot in the Western Conference.
Men’s college volleyball: Cal State Northridge at UCLA, Wooden Center, 7 p.m.:
Give your regards to 71-year-old Al Scates, winding down his 50th and final season as the Bruins’ coach. UCLA opened its season with a 3-1 win over CSUN in the UCSB Invitational, and has another one left after this against the Matadors, as well as two against USC.
Game show: “Baseball IQ,” 6 and 6:30 p.m., MLB Network:
Matt Vasgersian, who once hosted FSN’s “Sports Geniuses,” several blackjack and poker shows, and the 2004 International Championship of Rock Paper Scissors, is called on to officiate a new game show where two participants, each representing a team they work for, square off in a baseball trivia contest with a chance to win money for charity. The bracket-style tournament that runs 31 episodes through Feb. 23 started Tuesday. Today, the Dodgers will be represented by Senior Director of Ticket Operations Seth Bluman, a West Hills resident and UCLA alum who flew out to New York for the show’s taping, with a chance to win money for the Dodgers Dream Foundation and ThinkCure. He’ll be going against Greg Marinec, the manager of client relations for the rival San Francisco Giants (in the 6:30 p.m. slot). On Feb. 1, the Angels will be repped by Shane Demmitt, the team’s assistant equipment manager who lives in Northridge and has a degree from Loyola Law School, having been a member of the California State Bar since 2002. He’ll be laying down the law against someone from the rival Texas Rangers.
Golf: PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open, first round, noon, Golf Channel:
Home-town favorite Phil Mickelson, who rallied with a 66 to make the cut for the final day at the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, returns to Torrey Pines always as the one to watch, especially after losing by just one stroke to Bubba Watson a year ago. About a million miles away, Tiger Woods will tee as well to start his season, over at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates (Golf Channel also has this, at 1 a.m. live). CBS has the last two rounds from San Diego on Saturday and Sunday.
College basketball: UCLA vs. Utah, Sports Arena, 7:30 p.m., Prime; USC vs. Colorado, Galen Center, 7:30 p.m.:
Colorado (13-6, 5-2) has quickly established itself as a force in the new Pac-12, coming off a sweep of the Arizona schools and having won eight of their last 10. The only real blemish in that run — a 20-point loss at Stanford. So why isn’t the Trojans’ game on local TV? FSW has the Washington State-Arizona game instead.
Winter X Games, 6 p.m., ESPN:
The annual snowstorm of extremism begins in Aspen, Colorado and runs all weekend. No doubt, the memory of freestyle halfpipe skier Sarah Burke, the sport’s favorite competitor who died at age 29 last week during a training run in Utah, will weigh heavily on some athletes. That’s her, above, competing in 2010. at Buttermilk Mountain.
NBA: Clippers vs. Memphis, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TNT:
Jarrett Jack and Rudy Gay have picked up the scoring slack from the injured Zach Randolph and pushed the Grizzles to a six-game winning streak to start this week. The network doubleheader leads in with Boston at Orlando at 4 p.m.
Tennis: Australian Open women’s final, midnight (12 a.m. Saturday, replayed at 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday), ESPN2:
Of the 64 players who made it into the second round of this event, their first names included: Ursulza, Iveta, Lesia, Anabel, Olga, Alberta, Francesca, Romina, Eleni, Galina, Tsvetana, Agnieszka, Ekaterina, Kaia, Greta, Barbora, Angelique, Marion, Anastasia, Vania, Michaella, Aleksandra, Sabine, Shahar, Shuai, Sorana, Sloane and Svetlana. Yet, if the No. 1 seed prevails — a Caroline — we’ll still wonder whatever happened to Serena, the 12th seed who won this thing five times, including back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. She didn’t get to defend her title last year due to injury, and her ankle was giving her trouble coming in here before she finally lost here. With Serena Williams’ ouster, the last American hope is gone Down Under. So is it time for Caroline Wozniacki, who somehow has stayed No. 1 without winning a major, to finally capture one? The semifinals are Wednesday (6:30 p.m., ESPN2).
Series: “Jim Rome Is Burning,” 1:30 p.m., ESPN:
The series comes to an end. After the show, he is out.
Figure skating: U.S. Championships in San Jose, women’s free skate, 9 p.m., Channel 4:
Defending champion Alissa Czisny (above), healing from an injury, may still be the one to get past in a field that includes 2008 U.S. champion Mirai Nagasu and 2010 champion Rachael Flatt. Then there’s 20-year-old Ashley Wagner, who moved to Southern California from Maryland so she could train with coach John Nicks and choreographer Phillip Mills at the Aliso Viejo Ice Palace. On the men’s side, defending champion Ryan Bradley turned pro, reigning Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek won’t compete yet, and Johnny Weir has got back to training but hasn’t set a return date yet. Instead, two-time U.S. men’s champ Jeremy Abbott will try to reclaim the title he lost in 2011.
NBA: Lakers at Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m., Channel 9:
A road trip to Milwaukee isn’t the same as one to Miami or Orlando. But it counts the same in the standings. So this one counts, considering what happened last week in, say, Miami or Orlando. The Lakers are only 1-6 on the road so far. And that’s being generous.
Documentary: “Namath,” HBO, 9 p.m.:
Remember how much Bobby Brady wanted to meet his hero, Joe Namath? If faking sickness was the way to do it, we’d already considered it. He was no Wes Parker, but … “In the mythology of pro football, Joe Namath is Arthur,” says Steve Sabol, the president of NFL Films, who helps produce this 90-minute piece on how the former New York Jets (and one L.A. Rams) quarterback made his legendary mark on the game. “He pulled the proverbial sword from the stone and the NFL became the Camelot of American sports.”
Still, all “Broadway Joe” did was guarantee his team would win Super Bowl III. He lasted 13 years in the league, made the Hall of Fame, and, at 68, has a Twitter account (@realjoenamath) and a website (www.broadwayjoe.tv). Those who talk about his life and times in the piece range from ESPN’s Suzy Kolber to former players Ben Davidson and Fred Dryer, to actress Ann-Margret. Says Dryer: “That guy was very important to the game of football as a cultural icon, and how he brought professional football into the television era and with it a whole degree of excitement … The likes of him will never ever, ever pass this way again.” He hasn’t been watching Tebow?
Tennis: Australian Open men’s final, midnight (12 a.m., Sunday, replayed at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sunday), ESPN2:
Roger Federer won the fan vote on the Aussie Open official site: He is officially the “biggest heartthrob on the men’s tour,” taking 36 percent of the poll. His rival, Rafael Nadal, was second with 33.7 percent. Imagine how many hearts would be thumping if these two, seeded third and second respectively, met in the semifinals (which air early Thursday, 12:30 a.m., ESPN2, replayed at 9 a.m. and early Friday, 12:30 a.m., ESPN2). That would leave the victor to likely face — who else — Novak Djokovic.
College basketball: UCLA vs. Colorado, Sports Arena, 1 p.m., Prime; USC vs. Utah, Galen Center, 8 p.m., Prime:
How ugly have the Utes (5-14) done it so far? Of the 344 teams ranked, they’re 336th in the country in points per game (56.4) and 338th in rebounds a game (29.3) as a team. Anyone doing worse? The Trojans. They’re 341st in points (54.0) and 342nd in boards (28.6).
College football: Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., 1 p.m., NFL Network:
Ten players from the Pac-12 will be there, but none from USC or UCLA. Watch for Washington running back Chris Polk and Arizona quarterback Nick Foles.
NHL All-Star game, Ottawa, 1 p.m., NBC Sports Channel:
They’re going with that “fantasy draft” format again, as the home-town Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson and the Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara pick their squads during a show on Thursday. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and the Ducks’ Corey Parry are the only two local reps. You just hope that Quick doesn’t get some strange vertigo injury like the one that affected the Ducks’ Jonas Hiller for the entire second half of last season after he took a couple pucks to the mask in last year’s annual exhibition.
NFL Pro Bowl, Honolulu, 4 p.m., Channel 4:
Here’s another annual exhibition where the fans don’t get a vote in who plays. Why not? Of all the changes that could be made for this, that’s one we’d endorse. Otherwise, it’s s $45,000 to each player on the winning side, and $22,500 to the losers. Everyone seems to win. And what would prevent the AFC from adding Tim Tebow to the roster, just for the sake of ratings? Just have him hold on the PATs.
NBA: Lakers at Minnesota, 4 p.m., Channel 9:
You’re not going to allow Kevin Love to pop open for a 3-pointer at the top of the key with the game on the line, now are you? Free up Darko instead. The other weird thing about the Timberwolves — despite a losing record, they have a winning point differential.
NBA: Clippers at Denver, 5 p.m., Prime:
The Nuggets are second in the league averaging better than 104 points a game, and first in team assists. The guy to watch out for: Al Harrington, off the bench. He had 29 in a win over Washington last week, and has scored at least 25 points as a sub almost 20 times in the last three years.
Series premiere: “Luck,” HBO, 9 p.m.:
The first of nine episodes in the David Milch-Michael Mann produced series that stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte in the setting of some crazy horse racing and gambling storylines, filmed at Santa Anita Park. Hoffman plays Chester “Ace” Bernstein, released from three years in federal prison and plots revenge. He’s met by his driver and bodyguard, Gus Demitriou (Dennis Farina), who fronts as the owner of the $2 million Irish horse that Ace just bought. Nolte plays a trainer-turned-owner Walter Smith, Jill Hennessey is there as a track vet, Gary Stevens is veteran alcoholic jockey Ronnie Jenkins … scandal ensues.