Top 10/Bottom 5 L.A. TV anchors, reporters, studio analysts and personalities for 2013

An ad from a 1979 TV Guide touting Jim Hill, via an eBay.com sale. He was at then-KNXT-Channel 2 from 1976-’87, went to KABC-Channel 7 (1987-92) and returned to KCBS-Channel 2. Does he look all that much different more than 30 years later?

From the days of Tom Kelly, Tom Harmon, Fast Eddie Alexander, Ted Dawson, Stu Nahan, Eddie Arnold, Vic Jacobs, Jim Lampley, Keith Olbermann and Randy Sprague:

THE TOP 10:

1. JIM HILL, KCBS Channel 2/KCAL Channel 9 anchor / reporter:
The hustle and flow continues. One day, at Laker practice. The next, the MC at Jerry Buss’ memorial service.
Last year: No. 2 Continue reading

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C’mon, the ’72 Bruins basketball team should get a better path through the Ultimate Bracket compared to 73 others

UCLA’s ’73 basketball team against the ’69 team? The ’71 squad against the ’67 team?

Wouldn’t the ’72 team squash ‘em all?

Part of CBS’ recognition of the 75 years of the NCAA men’s basketball championship is setting up a mythical 74-team bracket — from the 1939 Oregon Ducks to the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats. And including all 11 UCLA title teams in between.

“The Ultimate Bracket” takes up two hours of CBS Sports Network cable channel programming on Saturday (4-to-6 p.m.). Greg Gumbel is joined by Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis, Mateen Cleaves, Wally Szcerbiak and CBSSports.com college basketball columnist Gary Parrish.

A computer was used to simulate each game — 50,000 times — factoring in each team’s average margin of victory, pace-adjusted team and player stats and strength-of-schedule. Continue reading

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Saturday, 5 a.m., Westwood … Not a CalTrans road closure, but a diversion to Pauley

UCLA’s last home basketball game of the season Saturday night (6 p.m., ESPN) actually begins 13 hours earlier.

ESPN’s College GameDay studio show (above, with Rece Davis,  Jalen Rose, Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas) will come out of Pauley Pavilion starting at 7 a.m. on ESPNU and continues at 8 a.m. on ESPN. Then it’s back at 5 p.m. on ESPN, leading into the game telecast.

Will Pauley be empty? Nope. UCLA said that fans will be allowed to enter the arena for the morning show as early as 5 a.m. Admission is free but “fans must wear blue or UCLA gear to be admitted,” the school said.

Bilas, who will come back later to call the game that night with Dan Shulman and Samantha Ponder, said he’s been concerned about whether UCLA fans will show up that early.

“The last time we were at UCLA it was phenomenal, they had a great turnout,” he said. “They love giving Digger a hard time. He calls Pauley his second home.

“I live in Charlotte, North Carolina and not a day goes by when I don’t miss Southern California. So I’m always asking, “Why can’t we do it outside?” In football season, you’re doing that. So what if it’s dark and 60 degrees out.”

If UCLA fans are having trouble sleeping during the game, maybe the thought of seeing this next week willl wake things up. (Nice diversity of players, too, modeling the jerseys).

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Top 10/Bottom 5 L.A. sports-talk hosts for 2013

As mentioned in a previous blog post, better late than never (with more to come). This is Year 21 in doing this for the L.A. Daily News (for those counting) and even three previous years before that exclusively at the Daily Breeze.

So, with a tip o’ the cap to Ed “Superfan” Bieler, Tommy Hawkins, Joe McDonnell, Dave Smith, Chet Forte, Steve Edwards and Eric Tracy, we present: Continue reading

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The annual media rankings: If there are no further objections, let the ’13 lists begin

We’ve gone later into the year for the first time in more than two decades to finally release the annual best and worst of the L.A. sports media rankings, and there’s no good logical acceptable reason for it. Except we had internal debates on how to freshen it up, make sure no sharks had been jumped, and take better advantage of the current media platforms.

Did we feel deep down that it had run its course, and we’d move onto another topics? Perhaps. It’s not back so much by popular demand — at least not those who inquired via email, texts or pointed fingers in the face. But more because of its intended purpose: Start conversations that lead to better solutions.

Is there a reason why one local sports-talk show host generates listeners than another? Let’s talk about why. What makes him (or her) turn you off? The same for a local TV sports anchor, studio host, game play-by-play man and analyst.

We’ve got the tools to take this into different mediums, so we hope to use as many as possible. My opinions are just a starting point. Yours are what keeps it moving in whatever direction you want it to go.

Launching Friday, the Top 10 and Bottom 5 of the local radio sports-talk show hosts/reporters (as well as a brief ranking of the national guys), and — bonus coverage ,the Top 10/Bottom 5 of the TV talkers.

On March 8, we’ll have both rankings for the play-by-play and analysts.

In the past, we’d try to get this out in January or February, and this was long before the Southern California Sports Broadcasters even held their own ceremony for such folly. Let’s see how it goes from here. Reader response — and media representative hand-wringing — could determine its future from this point forward.

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California’s new Hall of Famers: Robitaille, Montana, JRobby, Gwynn, FloJo and Louganis

Kings exec and Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille celebrates after the team clinched the Stanley Cup last June (Associated Press)

The California Sports Hall of Fame has decided to induct Luc Robitaille, Tony Gwynn, Florence Griffith Joyner, Joe Montana, John Robinson and Greg Louganisduring its seventh annual ceremony this summer, the organization announced today.

The June 9 ceremony at the Ontario Convention Center is also a fund raiser where proceeds benefit underprivileged youth, said Hall founder Christian Okoye, the former University of the Pacific star running back who became a member of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Hall of Fame.

Under Okoye’s leadership starting in 2006, the California Sports Hall of Fame has supported and promoted education and sports for underprivileged children and young adults.

Past inductees include Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, Bob Miller in the media division; Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson and Steve Garvey in baseball; Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Walton and Cheryl Miller in basketball; Tommy Lasorda, Bill Walsh, Dick Vermeil and John Wooden in the coaching division; Marcus Allen, Deacon Jones, Dan Fouts, Eric Dickerson, Merlin Olsen and Rosie Greer in football; Billie Jean King in tennis; Rafer Johnson, Bob Mathias, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Tommy Smith and John Carlos in track and field, and Karch Kiraly and Singin Smith in volleyball.

More information:
www.californiasportshalloffame.org, (909) 481-3541 or e-mail at support@californiasportshalloffame.org.

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Just in time for the final UCLA home games … your Shabazz No. 15 jersey … before he takes it off for good

Prepare to be dazzled:

The UCLA team store put out an email today touting its new No. 15 basketball jerseys for sale.

It’s 100% polyester,  flat back mesh with screenprint on front and back. By Adidas

Even with free shipping, it runs $55.

Wear ‘em fast. The kid wearing it now won’t be around forever. Especially, past the end of March.

Until it gets hung in the Pauley Pavilion rafters sometime in 2032.

Personally, we’ll stick with wearing this one (it has more staying power and doesn’t run … and historically, pyramids tend to hold their value): Continue reading

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This could go nuclear: Dennis Rodman is in North Korea, and may hook up with Kim Jong Un

In addition to reports already posted on USA Today and The Washington Post is a press release that came across our email this morning (attention editor’s desk at “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” — this stuff just writes itself):

Dennis Rodman, right, arrives at Pyongyang Airport in North Korea today as an ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

NEW YORK, February 26, 2013VICE, the Brooklyn-based youth media company, today led a team of “Basketball Diplomats” to Pyongyang, North Korea to engage in a cultural exchange mission. The delegation consists of VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy, NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, select members of the Harlem Globetrotters, and a production crew that will be filming for the upcoming HBO series VICE.

The VICE-led delegation arrived in the basketball-crazed city Pyongyang today for a week-long trip that will include running a basketball camp for North Korean children and engaging in community-based games to encourage openness and better relations with the outside world.

Additionally, there may be a top-level scrimmage to be attended by Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.

Other activities that will be filmed on the trip for HBO’s VICE series will include visits to national sites and monuments, the Pyongyang Skate Park, and the national animation studio, SEK. The series debuts Friday, April 5 on HBO.

Shane Smith, VICE Founder and host of the upcoming VICE series on HBO, said:

“Is sending the Harlem Globetrotters and Dennis Rodman to the DPRK strange? In a word, yes. But finding common ground on the basketball court is a beautiful thing. These channels of cultural communication might appear un-traditional, and perhaps they are, but we think it’s important just to keep the lines open. And if Washington isn’t going to send their Generals then we’ll send our Globetrotters – Cue music – ‘Sweet Georgia Brown.’ ”

 

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Five things we learned this past weekend: Feb. 22-24

Just a little help staying ahead of the sports world learning curve heading back into the work week:

Figure out what an armbar is yet? It’s how Ronda Rousey would hug you if you approached her at a Smart & Final express line and she was in a hurry. The In-And-Out appearance she made in Anaheim on Saturday night should have led to her exclaim that she was going to Disneyland afterward. Or, at least to the Oscars’ red carpet. And the UFC, still a question mark in our mind about whether this is a legit mainstream sport, is all the better. Because of Rowdy Ronda. “In fact, she might be the best thing to happen to (women’s mixed martial arts) since cornrows and sports bras,” wrote USA Today’s Ben Fowlkes. We submit this for your consideration. Continue reading

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Play It Forward: Feb. 25-March 3

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

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET

Ducks center Nick Bonino, second from left, scores on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, right, as defenseman Jake Muzzin reaches in during the first period of their game on Feb. 2 (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

NHL: Kings vs. Ducks, 7:30 p.m. tonight, Staples Center, FSW, Prime:

For the Kings’ latest three-game win streak to really translate to anything, it’ll take a continued run of success at home during a favorable schedule stretch. Almost back in the all-too-familiar No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, the Kings (8-6-2) don’t have to go back very far to remember why the Ducks (13-2-1) are near the top of the conference standings, and leading the Pacific Division. During a 7-4 win over the Kings on Feb. 2 in Anaheim, Nick Bonino chased Kings goalie Jonathan Quick with two goals in the first six minutes, and he finished his hat trick against Jonathan Bernier. This, from a guy who scored just six goals in his first 91 NHL games over four seasons. And in the nine games since facing the Kings, Bonino has managed just one assist. Yet, the Ducks have rattled off a six-game win streak.

BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

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