Weekly media column version 05.25.12

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What’s included in this week’s sports media column (linked here):

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The best reasons for the Kings’ inclusion in the Stanley Cup final, from purely a viewers, readers and tweeter’s point of view, including the potential for more local news flub-ups in coverage of the on-ice events (which the Kings, above, have tried to stay ahead of the curved stick here with a light-hearted cheat sheet)

What isn’t included:

== Save of the day (and a beauty) to Kevin Olsen, a reader in Burbank who politely points out that the L.A. Kings actually did play a game in Sacramento once. In 1994. On Easter Sunday. And he was there, “that’s how I seem to remember it.” The NHL had “neutral ice” games at various venues around the U.S. and Canada and Sacramento’s Arco Arena hosted one that day. Here’s the game summary (linked here). Kings won, 6-1. Gretzky had three assists. We demand an apology right this minute to Chuck Henry.

== The NHL Network will have a three-hour live show during “Media Day,” and NHL.com will let fans pick among three podiums to watch players at their press conferences.
Starting with Game 1 of the Cup Final on Wednesday, NHL Network has a three-hour pregame show that includes analyst Barry Melrose. Darren Pang will be assigned, with Steve Mears, to cover all the Kings-related activity.

== Two Sports Illustrated pieces on Doc Emrick, who Kings followers will hear call the Stanley Cup final for NBC and NBC Sports Newtork, one done a year ago by Richard Deistch (linked here) and then recently by Michael Farber (linked here).

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== Lee Jenkins’ Sports Illustrated cover piece on the 78-hours of the L.A. L.A. Paloosa (linked here) is equal to or greater than the effort by Grantland.com’s Bill Simmons (linked here). But neither took their picture with the Chick Hearn statue.

== An excerpt of the Frank Deford essay/commentary on NPR.com that he delivered Wednesday included this assessment of why the NHL isn’t so much part of the ESPN national-driven discussion (linked here):

“What we used to call ‘the sports world’ is actually now ‘ESPN-world.’ And of all the major sports leagues it carries, ESPN doesn’t carry the NHL. As a consequence, the NHL is like a tree falling in the forest — because pretty much if a sport isn’t on ESPN, then it doesn’t count as a sport. Poker became a sport when ESPN started showing it.
“Angry hockey people even tabulate the few minutes that ESPN deigns to mention the NHL. ESPN replies that hockey is not in the ‘national discussion.’ The NHL is not just like LeBron or Kobe, or baby bumps, or Mitt Romney’s dog.
“Hockey fans say that the NHL can’t be in the national discussion unless ESPN discusses it, because in American sports today, that’s how you get national: You get on ESPN. Look at it this way, ESPN to sports is like Fox, MSNBC, the Comedy Channel and MTV all in one.
“ESPN might have a problem, though. The New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings may very well end up playing in the NHL finals. Is ESPN even bigger than L.A. and New York City, together? Stay tuned.”

Again, the latest Deford autobiography, “Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter,” is available in book stores (linked here).

== More background on the @LAKings digital media team from Yahoo.com (linked here).

== Video of how NBC Sports Network’s Pierre McGuire was between the glass at the right time during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final of the Stanley Cup playoffs (from the New York Times link):

McGuire calls himself an analyst who sometimes acts as a reporter, as he was put in a unique situation during Game 4 of the Rangers-Devils Eastern Conference series.
McGuire, a former bench coach in Pittsburgh, went on a mini-media tour this week to explain how being allowed to stand in that “privileged position” comes with it a responsibility to maintain a “professionalism” that goes with “a respect factor” not to reveal everything that goes on. Even if it leads to criticism that he isn’t telling viewers enough.
McGuire told Dan Patrick on his syndicated radio show this week there are “certain things that can be reported and certain things that can’t,” especially when it comes to confidential injury information. “It’s not fair to say what the injury is. I don’t believe in that. When people start to do that kind of reporting, when you’re basically invading (the bench) territory of the teams, then that (analyst) position will probably get shut down.”

== Victor Rojas and Eric Byrnes are on the call for Fox’s regional coverage of the Angels-Mariners game from Seattle (Saturday, 4 p.m., Channel 11, going to 11 percent of the country, while most see Philadelphia-St. Louis with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver). Question: If either Angels pitcher Jerome Williams or the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez takes a no-no past, say, the fifth inning, will Rojas say anything about it or would be be forced to if Fox’s national coverage cuts to this game (recall that the Chicago White Sox’s Phil Humber threw the perfect game at Seattle earlier this year on a Fox regional telecast).

== From the ESPN “SportsCenter” Sunday piece that will run on Dan Wheldon prior to ABC’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500:

ESPN’s vice president of motorsports production Rich Feinberg said the piece “celebrates his life and certainly touches upon the thrilling victory that he achieved in the 100th, centennial anniversary, of the Indy 500 last year. We’ll also touch on the tragedy of Las Vegas. For many viewers, and for the sport, this is the first time we’ve seen oval racing, not only in these cars, but since the tough events and horrible events of last year’s Las Vegas race.
“The feature is a touching tribute to him. It’s not meant to be an analytical breakdown of what happened in Las Vegas, but much more celebrate his life. It includes an exclusive interview and sit-down that we did with his wife Susie Wheldon.
“There is also a tribute planned in the prerace ceremony, and we certainly plan on covering that and offering it for our viewers to experience.”

== Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star explains further what happened during last Monday’s Dodgers-D’backs telecast, when there were no commercials shown for the first seven innings because of a glitch in the Fox Sports Network production out of Houston (linked here). Somehow, that didn’t bother us too much, either.

== As NFL Films president Steve Sabol battles with brain cancer, the HBO series “Hard Knocks” continues to be without a team as the subject matter for its upcoming season. Several teams have turned it down. The New York Post reports that the networks hopes to have a team decided by June 1, although it would not be a surprise at this point if the series at least skipped 2012.

AND FINALLY:

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== A site called TheForestLab.com (linked here) has these shirts for sale. For $28. Amazing what a Photoshop can do. Illegal? We’ll see whose lawyers speak up first.

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