A gold-medal pregnancy: Kerri Walsh Jennings was with child No. 3 during her Olympic volleyball run

Now, apparently, it can be told: Kerri Walsh Jennings was diving around on the sand in London five weeks into her third pregnancy when she and Misty May-Treanor were winning their third women’s Olympic beach volleyball gold medal in early August.

She and husband Casey Jennings told the NBC “Today” show and Matt Lauer all about it this morning. Looks like they had to get up a the crack of dawn to do so.

The due date for this kid is April 9. Nine months after the 2008 Bejing Games, Walsh Jennings gave birth to her first son, Joey. In 2010, Kerri had her second son, Sundance.

Walsh Jennings said she was “unreasonably moody” during the trip to London. It wasn’t until May-Treanor suggested the pregancy angle that he began to enter her mind.

Walsh Jennings says she wants to play in the Rio Games in 2016.

Not that we doubted that Walsh Jennings was delivering the news for the first time today, but the fact that People Magazine’s “Celebrity Babies” blogged about it (linked here) makes everything real.

It also touched off an interesting dialogue on the Today show’s health blog about whether it’s wise to be running, jumping and kicking up sand at any time in a pregnancy (linked here).

Walsh Jennings admitted she had a miscarriage before having her first son, and she knows the risks are greater early in the pregnancy.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, says competing at the games did not increase Walsh Jennings’ risk of complications.

“The embryo is microscopic. It’s just implanted in the lining of the uterus,” Snyderman says. “It would take an act of God to dislodge it, not a bump on the tummy, not a dive.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Five things we learned this weekend: Sept. 21-23


(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
USC running back Silas Redd celebrates with fans after Saturday’s win over Cal, but he didn’t pile up 158 yards rushing and a TD easily, as he’s upended by Cal defensive back Steve Williams, left and right, during the second half.

Just a little help staying ahead of the sports world learning curve:

1. USC was certainly in a rush to get into a bye week. But the No. 13 Trojans still don’t seem to be in any hurry to run up a score, as evident by a sloggish 27-9 win over Cal. The bounce-back triumph showed some team resolve, but more interestingly, how the Silas Redd-Curtis McNeal combo can get their names higher up in a story than Matt Barkley and Marquise Lee if they put their minds to it, and if other team’s defenses think Barkley-to-Lee is all they’ve got. The emergence of defensive end Morgan Breslin is another bright spot as the Trojans remain off to the side on the national championship radar until they capture one of those so-called “signature wins” in the next few weeks. With Oregon up to the No. 2 spot, maybe it means there’s a spot at the adult table for a Pac-12 team. Who wants it?

2. UCLA’s inability to keep up with Oregon State and fall out of the Top 25 came a week earlier in the schedule than what we would have predicted. Usually, the Bruins will put on a good show early — and then classes start, as they will this week on Thursday. Now, everyone’s schedules change. Practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday go from 7 a.m. to about 8:45 a.m. It’s no longer a “just football” focus time. It gives us reason to believe that 1-3 Colorado has every right to believe it can do some damage when it plays host to the Bruins this Saturday, where the rest of us will be staying away from the 405 mess and hoping to find a friend with the Pac-12 Network access.


3. Clayton Kershaw had every reason to blow a gasket on national TV after manager Don Mattingly pulled him from a 1-1 tie five innings into an important game in Cincinnati. One, it meant that Jose Uribe was going to be used as a pinch hitter, and that’s just another automatic out (hold on a sec, you say he singled?) Two, it’s a white flag waved in what little time is left in the chase for a possible wild-card spot. Kershaw was coming off a 12-day layoff to put a fire under a floundering team. The defending Cy Young Award winner with a sore hip went 92 pitches, walked five and hit a guy, but he struck out two of the last three he faced. It wasn’t as if he was pitching with a bloody sock or something, but that had to be a sock to the stomach for the rest of the team at a time when …. hold on, the Dodgers came back to win it? So, maybe they were inspired? So they’re still alive? Don’t toy with our emotions … Go 9-0 from here and get back to us.

4. Watching another replay of Game 6 from last June’s Stanley Cup Final, throwing “Slap Shot” into the Blu-ray player, or dragging out the Super Nintendo to make Gretzky’s head bleed isn’t going to make this NHL lockout any easier to stomach.


5. If the NFL figured out a way to have every other game on the schedule go into overtime, it might even be the most popular reality TV show this side of Honey Boo Boo Child. Heck, it could even win a prime-time Emmy if streakers could be a regular occurrence (female preferred) or Matt Schaub could promise losing a piece of his ear every time out. Just change the storyline on the New Orleans Saints … oops, too late. Losergate.

Our favorite photo of the weekend:


From the Coliseum press box, we snapped these following the USC-Cal game at about 7:15 p.m. as the first autumn sunset of 2012 took place:

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Play It Forward: Sept. 24-30 on your sports calendar

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



(AP Photo/David Goldman)
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy seem cordial enough as they walk up the fairway of the 17th hole during the first round at the Tour Championship golf tournament in Atlanta last week.

Golf: Ryder Cup, at Medinah Country Club, Ill., Friday-Sunday:

This Tiger Woods-Rory McIlory faceoff, which was rather tame during the just concluded Tour championship in Atlanta, takes on U.S.-vs.-Euro proportions, with plenty of references to McIlroy joking at the PGA Championship a few weeks back that he wanted to kick Woods’ rear end in this event. Put ‘em in a singles matchup Sunday and see what happens in TV land. Woods has won two PGA Championships at Medinah, and U.S. captain Davis Love III has already said he thinks the rough cut down and the greens fast play into his team’s strength.


“It’s going to look like a major championship because Medinah is a big old golf course,” Love said. “But it’s going to play probably easier than a major. That benefits our team. We’re a long-hitting, freewheeling, fun-to-watch team. And I think it’s going to be fun to watch.” A 12-member U.S. fun bunch with the high-strung Woods and the higher-strung Brandt Snedeker, who just won the Tour title, is going to need a lot of Bubba Watson to keep things loose. Europe’s squad featuring McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose, has won six of the last eight Cups. “Medinah is a long slog of a golf course,” CBS golf analyst David Feherty said. “The crowds in Chicago will turn (it) into something special.” ESPN has the first day of foursomes (5 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), NBC has the next two days (Channel 4, Saturday with fourball and foursomes, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday with singles, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).



NFL Week 3: Green Bay at Seattle, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

The gameplan for Pete Carroll’s ‘Hawks, who have come awfully close to starting the season 2-0, should be to eat up the clock with Marshawn Lynch and do everything possible to keep Russell Wilson upright against a Packers defense that has 11 sacks so far in two games. The Pack, however, is giving up 140 rushing yards a game, near the bottom of the list. Goofy stat of the night: Seattle has an NFL-best 17-8 record on “MNF,” and five of their franchise 16 shutouts have come on Mondays. That 12th Man will have something to say about the outcome here.

MLB: Oakland at Texas, 5 p.m., MLB Network:

The league-owned channel also has the A’s and Rangers game Tuesday, same time.


MLB: Dodgers at San Diego, 7:05 p.m., Channel 9:


As much as the Dodgers may think they’ve owned the Padres this season, San Diego took two of three at Dodger Stadium from Sept. 3-5 and nearly pulled off a sweep if not for the Dodgers’ 11-inning win in the opener. The Dodgers have no choice at this point but to use three starters who are at .500 or below at this point. The tricky game may be Wednesday (3:35 p.m., Prime), with that early first pitch and Clayton Richard on the mound. Richard has already pitched five times against the Dodgers this season (2-1, 11 ER in 32 innings, with a .223 average against him). The Dodgers’ road season ends Thursday (7:05 p.m. Prime).

MLB: Angels vs. Seattle, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:

Six of the last nine games of the regular season are against the Mariners, and Felix Hernandez is set to pitch the middle game (Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.). While King Felix has a 13-8 record and 2.85 ERA against the league, he’s 0-2 with 5.75 ERA against the Angels this season in three starts, all of them Seattle defeats. The series has a nice early ending on Thursday (12:35 p.m.)


MLB: N.Y. Yankees at Minnesota, 10 a.m., MLB Network; Washington at Philadelphia, 4 p.m., ESPN2; Oakland at Texas, 5 p.m., ESPN:

How can you not include Derek Jeter in any AL MVP discussion? (Sorry, I now have to point out this is meant in sarcasm, for those who believe Jeter belongs in the discussion every year. This clearly went over the heads of some who … never mind).


WNBA playoffs: Western Conference semifinals Game 1: Sparks vs. San Antonio, Galen Center, 7 p.m., ESPN2:

62384-CSantiago WNBA 2012-004.JPG

Sorry, Sparkettes, but you’ve been banished from your home court because AEG booked up Staples Center for something called “Batman Live: World Arena Tour,” covering seven shows from Sept. 27-Sept. 30. The best-of-three series against the Silver Stars continues in San Antonio for Game 2 on Saturday (noon, NBA TV) before it comes back to L.A. on Oct. 1 if needed — which is fortunate that the Staples Center’s Justin Bieber two-night concert runs Oct. 2-3. The Sparks lost the first three meetings against San Antonio this season, but all those games were in June. Candace Parker put up 21, 15 and 25 points to go with 11, 15 and 13 rebounds in each of those losses. But when the Sparks finally beat the Silver Stars on Aug. 23, the 101-77 win (linked here) was highlighted by Kristi Toliver’s 29 points (six 3-pointers) and Alana Beard’s 21 points, while Parker had just six points, 10 rebounds and six assists in 18 minutes. We’ve spotted a trend.

NFL Week 4: Cleveland at Baltimore, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network:

Sorry, Art Modell isn’t around to see this one.

College football: Stanford at Washington, 6 p.m., ESPN:

The Cardinal has had more than a week to soak its win over USC. Classes have started. See what early grades are posted in Seattle.


Cycling: USA Elite National Track Championships, Velo Sports Center, Carson:

Get your beach cruisers down to the Home Depot Center campus for the men’s and women’s individual pursuit titles, which highlight the first day in the four-day meet. If you’re looking for some of the top cyclists who competed for the U.S. team at the recent London Olympics, the list starts with silver medalist Sarah Hammer (right) as well as the women’s team pursuit team of Hammer, Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch and Lauren Tamayo, who also won silver. There’s also Olympian Jimmy Watkins, a full time firefighter from Bakersfield, sixth in the sprint in London. Most with Olympic credentials are racing Friday and Saturday nights. More at the race website (linked here).




MLB: Dodgers vs. Colorado, Dodger Stadium, 7:05 p.m., Prime:

Start spreading the news: The opener of this three-game series celebrates Tommy Lasorda’s 85th birthday with a post-game fireworks show set to Frank Sinatra tunes. The series covers Saturday (TBA) and Sunday (1:10 p.m.) with the annual fan appreciation day give-away.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5:05 p.m., FSW:

Jered Weaver is in line to go after win No. 20, and he’s taken care of the Rangers in his last two appearances — an 11-3 win on Sept. 18 when he gave up three runs in seven innings, and then a 6-2 victory on July 31, surrendering two runs in 6 1/3. The Angels outscored the Rangers, 14-12, in the three game series last week in Anaheim and still lost two of three, capped by Adrian Beltre’s ninth-inning homer in the finale that gave Texas a 3-1 win. Also: Saturday (5:05 p.m., FSW) and Sunday (12:05 p.m., FSW).

62391-SMALL poster THEFILMARCADE_1698x2500.jpg

Movie: “The Other Dream Team,” opening at the Landmark Theater in Westwood:

This documentary on the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic men’s basketball team, an official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, actually starts with the Soviet Union’s stunning upset over the U.S. in the 1988 Summer Games. While in American it led to the push to add professional players and thus the creation of the so-called U.S. “Dream Team” with Jordan, Magic and Bird, the more dramatic changes came on the other side of the world. As the Communist Soviet Union blew up, basketball stars such as future Hall of Famers Sarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis became symbols of the democracy that came out of this new independent country. The team wore the Grateful Dead tie-dyed shirts and were both inspired and financially supported by the rock band, as well as by loyal follower Bill Walton.
Film director Marius Markevicius, a first-generation Lithuanian-American, was going to middle school in Santa Monica in ’88 when he saw the U.S. team lose to the Soviets. He was 16 and playing basketball at Santa Monica High when he saw the Lithuania team take a bronze medal in ’92 — defeating Russia, after losing to the U.S. in the semifinals. “In the United States, we’re programmed to believe that anything but first place is a disappointment,” Markevicius says. “This film — and the nearly three-year journey it has taken me on — has taught me a very valuable lesson: Sometimes bronze is truly sweeter than gold.”

Horse racing: Santa Anita autumn meeting, first post, 1 p.m.:

The first day of the 24-race meet is known as “Eddie D Day,” honoring jockey Eddie Delahoussaye with a collectable book giveaway and the Eddie D Stakes race. The Zenyatta Stakes is Saturday, with the winner of the 3-year-olds and up qualifying for the Nov. 2-3 Breeders’ Cup races, also at Santa Anita.


College football: UCLA at Colorado, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network:


The Bruins’ concern could be a) those who think last season’s 45-6 win a year ago against the Buffs at the Rose Bowl is an indicator of where this one could go or b) having a 45-6 lead in this one and thinking it’s over. Colorado trailed 31-14 at Washington State early in the fourth quarter last Saturday, and was headed for an 0-3 start, before it pulled itself together and ran off to a 35-34 victory. At least Colorado coach Jon Embree doesn’t have to worry about having to defend against his son, Taylor, again.

College football: Ohio State at Michigan State, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7; Arizona State at Cal, 1 p.m., FX: Texas at Oklahoma State, 4:50 p.m., Channel 11; Wisconsin at Nebraska, 5 p.m., Channel 7; Ole Miss at Alabama, 6:15 p.m., ESPN; Oregon State at Arizona, 7 p.m, Pac-12 Network; Oregon at Washington State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2:

The newly minted No. 2 Ducks have a late-night affair in a city we’re still not sure knows that push-button land-lines aren’t all the rage any longer.


NFL Week 4:
San Diego at Kansas City, 10 a.m., Channel 2:
San Francisco at N.Y. Jets, 10 a.m., Channel 11:
Oakland at Denver, 1:05 p.m., Channel 2:
New Orleans at Green Bay, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11:
N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:

Alex Smith finally got picked off, and so did the 49ers last Sunday in Minnesota. They’re on the road again in New York, where Jim Harbaugh best think twice about icing kickers. And plan accordingly for a Sanchez-to-Tebow throw.

NASCAR: AAA 400 at Dover, Del., 10 a.m., ESPN:

Give an edge to current points leader Jimmie Johnson at the Monster Mile: He won the Sprint Cup event back on June 3 when they last visited.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

How’s that USC-Cal game playing on DirecTV? Oh, right … Get used to it


(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A fan wears a mask of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the first half of Saturday’s USC-Cal game at the Coliseum today.

Get up on the roof and kick the dish a few times. Maybe that’ll shake something up and have the Pac-12 Network come on.

Outside of having to actually go to a sports bar to watch or, heaven forbid, listen to the radio, USC’s 17-3 halftime advantage over Cal was highlighted by a press box visit from commissioner Larry Scott.

Who, as has been the case the last five weeks, had no answers for the current impasse between the Pac-12 Network and DirecTV carriage, as well as Charter Cable, but did offer that it doesn’t look like it’ll be an issue that goes away any time soon.


Scott said he received a combined 80,000 tweets and emails from Pac-12 fans asking what could be done to resolve the fact that, while Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and Comcast have signed up, the L.A. marketplace with heavy DirecTV and Charter usage continues to be in the dark.

“I know from the reaction I’ve got, there’s a real passion among our fan base and they want to see their teams play and they’re frustrated,” Scott said. “I feel bad about that.

“I know the greater L.A. market is a very important market for us with USC and UCLA here and no NFL team. Keep in mind, we’ve had UCLA on the network last week, we have USC this week, UCLA’s on the network next week, and while the next round of games will only get released six or 12 days before, you’re going to see USC on the network again, you’ll probably see UCLA again – there’s going to be a lot of L.A. football this season, and moreover, we’ll have 70 percent of our basketball games on the Pac-12 Network.

“With UCLA where it is (in basketball) and USC pretty optimistic about what it’s going to look like – it’s not just football issues. It may be even more during basketball season. This is going to be accentuated during basketball season. It’s just that we’re in football season now.

“This is going to be a very real issue here in L.A. until this gets resolved.”

The Pac 12 sent out an email with a list of local bars and restaurants in the L.A. area that it knows carries its network, which consists of a national feed and six regionals and started up on Aug. 15.

Time Warner Cable and Comast as the major players on board from the start. Dish joined a week ago and, during Saturday’s USC-Cal game, took advantage of an exclusive marketing agreement that allowed it to advertise it had signed up for the service.

DirecTV told its customers Thursday that it proposed having the Pac-12 Net as a stand-alone channel that could have been available before Saturday’s slate of games for anyone who wanted to take it. It also said it had another proposal where customers could buy future games on a demand basis until a deal was worked out. The Pac-12 Network refused both offers.

DirecTV currently offers none of its sports channels on a demand-pay basis.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Play It Forward: Sept. 17-23

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



NFL Week 2: Denver at Atlanta, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:



MLB: Angels vs. Texas, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:

Series continues Wednesday and Thursday (7:05 each night).

MLB: Dodgers at Washington, 4:05 p.m., Prime:

The start of a nine-game, 10-day trip.
Series continues Wednesday and Thursday (4:05 each night).

WNBA: Sparks vs. Phoenix, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC101:



Soccer: CONCACAF Champions League: Galaxy at Puerto Rico, 5 p.m.:



Golf: PGA Tour Championship in Atlanta, first round, xxxxx:

Leads into the Ryder Cup.

NFL Week 3: N.Y. Giants at Carolina, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network:



MLB: Angels vs. Chicago White Sox, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:

Series runs Saturday (6:05 p.m.) and Sunday (12:35 p.m.)

MLB: Dodgers at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m., Prime:

Series runs Saturday (4:10 p.m., Prime) and Sunday (5 p.m., ESPN).

Movie: “Trouble With The Curve,” in theatres citywide:



College football: USC vs. Cal, Coliseum, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network:


College football: UCLA vs. Oregon State, Rose Bowl, 12:30 p.m. Channel 7:

Here’s the fourth game on the Bruins’ 2012 schedule, but more interestingly, the last one before players are required to go to classes for the start of the fall quarter on Sept. 24.

MLS: Galaxy vs. Toronto, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m., KDOC:



NFL Week 3: New England at Baltimore, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4; Pittsburgh at Oakland, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2; Atlanta at San Diego, 1:05 p.m., Channel 11; Houston at Denver, 1:25 p.m.;


NASCAR: Sprint Cup

Beach volleyball: Jose Cuervo National Championship, Huntington Beach: Men’s and women’s final, 2:15-to-6 p.m.:

U.S. Olympians Sean Rosenthal and Jake Gibb are registered and scheduled to compete in the last USA Volleyball-sanctioned event starts Friday with qualifying and continues up to today’s final.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly media column version 09.14.12

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


What’s not included:

LA wants @Pac12 Networks, especially this weekend! Join the T... on Twitpic

== Rock on: The new John Clayton ESPN SportsCenter piece has generated more than 2 million YouTube hits (linked here). ….but how does it rank among the USA Today best of all-time? (linked here).

== And now, a real blooper reel:

== Baltimore Ravens radio voice Gerry Sandusky has to keep explaining that he’s not the former Penn State assistant coach, as Rick Reilly explains (linked here). Why he won’t change his name? “I’m not going to turn my back on my mother and father,” he says, the later of whom was a former NFL assistant coach.

== Only 1,000 folks in Houston are watching the Astros on TV last Sunday, up against the NFL? Why not sign Roger Clemens for the final Sunday of the year? (linked here).

== Bob Costas is big enough to slam NBC for showing “Animal Practice” debut during the Olympics closing ceremony on the Conan O’Brien TBS show, leaving them both slamming the peacock (above)

== Surely, Costas has better ways to spend his time than being on “Real Time With Bill Maher,” yet he’s scheduled to be included in tonight’s episode (10 p.m.), pretending with the others to laugh at Maher’s monologue.

== It’s not just our awful opinion that Erin Andrews has been awful on Fox’s CFB pregame show that, thankfully, continues to get pre-empted by unrealistic sports programming windows leading in (linked here).

== And finally: Andrews tweeted out this photo earlier in the week with the reponse: “Not a good night for the girl.” We are to assume she lost a bunch of tic-tac-toe games on a dining room table cloth. We are to hope this isn’t the extend of her knowledge of Xs and Os:

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Free Scott Wolf: Day 1 … and we’re done



Scott Wolf tweeted out recently from @InsideUSC == I am happy to say my football practice ban was lifted after talks with Pat Haden and area sports editors. Practice policy talks continue … I want to thank everyone (journalists, fans friends) for their messages of support today

The Original Blog post:

What could backfire on Lane Kiffin must be good enough for his former Trojans coaching mate Steve Sarkisian.

As Kiffin, head coach of USC’s football program, continues to refuse to give injury updates on his team — and has made good on a threat to ban reporters from reporting them by misguidedly punishing Daily News reporter Scott Wolf this week — Sarkisian, the head coach at the University of Washington, laid down a similar edict today.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reported today (linked here that the media, as well as “all visitors,” are, in the words of the university, “hereforth prohibited from reporting on strategy or injury-related news observed during practices. No players or coaches will have any comments on injuries and any such information.”

Sarkisian added that he wasn’t going to “comment on injuries anymore. I’m not. No one in our organization is. It’s just a competitive disadvantage for us when other teams don’t and we do, so that’s going to be the road we take.”

They did not issue any ultimatums to media members that did report on injuries, but you can assume it’s likely to be what USC and Kiffin are doing in making an example out of Wolf, who did not report on an injury witnessed at practice.

A Washington spokesman said this policy is the same at USC, Stanford, Oregon and Washington State. It is known that UCLA coach Jim Mora also does not disclose injuries on his team.


The backlash to the Wolf banning comes via Twitter, many of them from reporters who also cover USC:

Michael Lev at the Orange County Register: Last yr Kiffin gave basic INJ report: Out, limited or full practice. We asked for same + suggested no elaboration/follow-up. We were denied.

Bruce Feldman at CBSSports.com: Not sure banning media from practice is hot idea. Can end w/ them digging for stories more troubling than inj reports

Gary Klein at the L.A. Times: Kiffin/Sarkisian were assistants for USC teams that had pretty successful run under Carroll, who had no draconian policy re injury reports.

Stewart Mandel from SI.com: Coaches don’t have to tell reporters anything. That’s their right. But to punish someone for reporting something that’s true? Not cool.

Also from Mandel: Dear Kiffin + Sarkisian: Nick Saban gives reporters detailed injury report. Ala doesnt seem to suffer competitive disadvantage

Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports: If other LA media report USC kicker’s injury, do they get banned too? No one in press box. USC cannot afford the bad publicity.

Richard Deitsch at SI.com: Banning reporters only ends up producing bad PR. An adult at USC needs to end this nonsense.

Art Spander: I guess Lane Kiffin learned something from Al Davis: How to threaten the writers

Marc Isenberg: @DufresneLATimes With you 100%. Used to be NCAA wanted to injuries disclosed to “protect the integrity of the game.”

More from Isenberg: Fav line re media from Fred Claire (fmr adjunct @ Annenberg, where I heard this line!!): “Don’t argue w ppl who buy ink by the barrel.”

Chris Dufresne at the L.A. Times: USC also has the right to close practice and put barbed wire around field. Bill Snyder did this at K-State years ago! Come on, SC.

Also from Dufrense: I will boycott USC football on Sept. 22 by HAVING DirectTV…..!

Chris Mannix at SI.com: All LA media should boycott Trojans’ next home game.

Kevin Modesti at the Daily News: Disagree. Others should keep trying to inform public, as Scott does.

Ryan Abraham at insidetroy: I can tell you this, way more people know about Andre Heidari’s surgery now than right after Wolf reported it.

Scott Enyeart: I’ll say this about the new media policies at USC and UW: Pete had practices open for 9 years, was never a “competitive disadvantage”

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union Tribune: We learned this from years of problems with Chargers & closed practices: We think fans care about this, but sadly, they don’t.

Adds Modesti: True, it won’t turn USC fans against Trojans. But for others, might it contribute to an unflattering image of USC?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

TWC SportsNet official hirings put the tragically unprepared Worthy back in headline


We could report on more of the hirings by Time Warner Cable SportsNet, as we already have, or we could wait until the network makes things official by issuing a press release.

So here’s a paraphrase of the release:

James Worthy, Chris McGee, Dave Miller and Mike Trudell are joining the network’s on-air team, said Mark Shuken, Senior Vice President and General Manager of TWC Sports Regional Networks.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet launches on October 1, along with its sister network Time Warner Cable Deportes.

TWC will have SportsNet on Channel 403, and the Spanish-language version on Channel 481.

So far there are no any other carriers signed up. Prepare for that to stay the same until after Oct. 1.

“As a sports network new to Southern California viewers, our number one priority is to connect directly with fans and we’re confident that James Worthy, Chris McGee, Dave Miller and Mike Trudell will tell the stories fans want to hear while narrating the games they can’t miss,” said Shuken. “They are all well-known and respected by Southern California sports fans because they have the expertise and insight to give our viewers an immersive Lakers viewing experience.”

Worthy, who had been working as a studio analyst on KCAL-Channel 9, will do the same at TWC SN. Perhaps he’ll do some more homework this season. Or at least learn how to pronounce some of the guy’s names.

McGee, who worked nine years at Fox Sports West, will be a studio anchor. Miller, a contributor on KSPN-AM 710, will be a studio analyst and reporter. Trudell, covering the team for Lakers.com, will stay on as a sideline reporter.

Heidi Watney, as reported earlier, was hired but then unhired.

A TWC SN spokesperson said: “Heidi Watney and Time Warner Cable Sports have reached an agreement that allows Heidi to leave the organization to pursue other opportunities. Both parties entered into their original agreement some months ago with the best of intentions, but as Time Warner Cable Sports has evolved toward its official launch, the talent needs of the network have been altered. Heidi and Time Warner Cable Sports have parted on good terms. Heidi is extremely talented and TWC Sports expects that she will have great success in her next role and throughout her entire career. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

It was previously announced that Bill Macdonald and Stu Lantz would stay as the play-by-play and game analysts.

What has yet to be announced is John Ireland’s role for the network. Ireland remains the radio play-by-play man for games on KSPN-AM (710).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

SportsCenter Version 50,000: Thursday, 3 p.m.


According to the warranty, it’s time for an ESPN 50,000-episode tune up.

That usually means replacing the struts and checking for gas leaks. Rotating the hosts. Recalibrate the bearings. Check for loose deposits.

Yet ESPN says it will be a relatively low-key event when it presents what has been determined to be its 50,000th episode of “SportsCenter,” at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The only thing planned is having Chris Berman read a piece that he did on the late Tom Mees (linked here) reflecting back on when they did the 10,000th episode sometime in the mid-’80s.

“That’ll be the only mention,” ESPN senior vice president and executive producer of “SportsCenter” Mark Gross said. “That’ll be it.”

When has ESPN ever done something monumental in an understated way?

Part of this show will revisit the first episode on Sept. 7, 1979, with George Grande’s opening.

“We didn’t know if we’d last 50 days, 50 months, let alone 50,000 ESPN ‘SportsCenters’,” Grande said recently.

The other part should be a moment of silence to let viewers reflect on what this means some 33 years later.

It means that “SportsCenter” is the most televised show in the history of broadcast TV. Or cable TV. Or any soap opera, news magazine or test pattern.

“To me, ‘SportsCenter’ is a show that our viewers have complete ownership of,” said Gross. “I don’t know any other show out there that can say the same thing. The viewers’ expectations of what should be on it, the quality of the show, the people and the highlights are exceptionally high – which is great. That philosophy hasn’t changed all that much since the start. The landscape may have changed dramatically, but we’re still do it the same way today.”

Anchors have come and gone. A few have stayed. Graphics have been refined. Highlights are more than just high-def, but also YouTube viral.

Copy cats on Fox, CNN or something called CNN-SI have also tried to challenge for the same kind of audience, but they’ve disappeared. Local sportscasts have all but shrunk in importance, and definitely in time allotted per half-hour.

Instead, ESPN estimates 18 million a day watch an episode of “SportsCenter.”

“The goal has always been to make ‘SportsCenter’ where ever and whenever sports fans want it,” said Gross. “Whether it’s TV, phone, iPad . . . the ultimate goal is as the world changes every day to get it to viewers. Beyond that, it’s important to personalize it. If you just want the Dodgers, Angels, Lakers and Clippers, they’ll ask, ‘How can I do that’?”

How ESPN has done it all these years later is place “SportsCenter” on more than just four times a day on one channel. It’s everywhere, in every form. Still promoted in creative ways (see John Clayton’s latest version) with a formula as basic as apple juice.

“The bread and butter is still the highlights,” said Gross.

Highlights that, these days, may have already been seen by millions before they even get on the air.

“When something happens in a game now, the highlight can be on Twitter within five minutes,” said Scott Van Pelt, an anchor since 2001.

“To watch this all grow from afar is thrilling,” said Charley Steiner, the Dodgers’ radio play-by-play man who most notably anchored “SportsCenter” from 1988 to 2002. “What has changed 14 years later? Only everything. … It’s mindboggling to think back to when I got there and where it is now. The only thing we share is the name and the dissemination of information.”

One of the major expansions of the “SportsCenter” brand was opening an ESPN studio across the street from Staples Center two years ago, and having the 11 p.m. PT/2 a.m. ET “SportsCenter” emanate from there.

“It’s made us better, more well rounded certainly,” said Gross. “Some believe we still have an East Coast bias, but we have a team of people working in L.A. to ensure we don’t have that. We’re always talking to them about the time, about the show, what they’re producing and what they’re watching. It’s made us far more diverse with having a show based in L.A.”

As for Steiner, no matter how long he remains in the Dodgers’ organization, some still think he’s an ESPN employee because of that “SportsCenter” brand attached to him.

“I never had any intention on being on TV; I still consider myself a radio guy who had a 14-year diversion,” said Steiner. “I just gave it a shot (at ESPN). I had no idea how long it would last or what the impact would be.

“I will say that it’s also astonishing how many young athletes now, and even some fans, have no idea I ever worked at ‘SportsCenter’.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email