What made it into this week’s sports media column: A version of the Thursday AM blog post on the return of “Olbermann.”
What didn’t quite get squeezed in:
== Still hoping to hear Olbermann dig into the ESPN-PBS “Frontline” controversy. Until then, we’ve got this “Blurred Lines” take and another one on the National Sports Journalism Center via Indiana University, while the ESPN ombudsman chimes in.
== Ross Porter, whose return to Dodger Stadium last May to call two CIF Southern Section baseball championships games for Prime Ticket was his first real extended visit to the place he’d worked as a Dodgers broadcaster for 28 seasons, will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Dodgers’ game Saturday against San Diego. Long overdue? We’d certainly be one of many hundred thousand who say so. “I feel welcomed back after a nine-year absence,” said Porter, whose contract wasn’t renewed during a McCourt ownership decision in 2004. “I’m grateful for the opportunity.” Porter will call 11 high school football games for the Fox Prep Zone website this season, starting with tonight’s South High (of Anchorage, Alaska) at Moorpark High.
== Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth and Jill Savage call the Pac-12 Net’s coverage of the UCLA-Nevada college football game from the Rose Bowl at 7 p.m. Saturday. For those without Pac-12 Net access – you know who you are — it’s still Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens on the KTLK-AM (1150) radio call.
Broadcasting teams you’ll see during the opening weekend of college football (at least, those games of note):
= Texas Tech at SMU, 5 p.m., ESPN (Carter Blackburn, Danny Kanell and Allison Williams).
= Florida Atlantic at Miami, 5 p.m., ESPNU (Tom Hart, John Congemi, Brooke Weisbrod).
= Western Michigan at Michigan State, 5 p.m., BTN (Wayne Larrivee, Jon Jansen).
= North Dakota State at Kansas State, 5:30 p.m., FS1 (Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington, Ryan Nece).
= Northern Arizona at Arizona, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Net (Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker).
= Buffalo at Ohio State, 9 a.m., ESPN2 (Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway, Paul Carcaterra)
= Purdue at Cincinnati, 9 a.m., ESPNU (Eamon McAnaney, Anthony Becht)
= Villanova at Boston College, 9 a.m., ESPNEWS (Ryan Ruocco, Pete Najarian)
= William & Mary at West Virginia, 9 a.m., FS1 (Adam Alexa, Chris Simms)
= Rice at Texas A&M, 10 a.m., ESPN (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, Tom Luginbill)
= Temple at Notre Dame, 12:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Dan Hicks, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan)
= Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State, 12:30 p.m.,Channel 7 (Bob Wischusen, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich)
= Syracuse vs. Penn State, 12:30 p.m., ESPN2 (Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Jeannine Edwards)
= BYU at Virginia, 12:30 p.m., ESPNU (Anish Shroff, Kelly Stouffer)
= Central Michigan at Michigan, 12:30 p.m., BTN (Matt Devlin, Glen Mason)
= Nicholls State at Oregon, 1 p.m., FS1 (Justin Kutcher, James Bates, Brady Poppinga)
= Alabama vs. Virginia Tech, 2:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake)
= Washington at Oregon State, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Net (Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herr)
= Miami (Ohio) at Marshall, 4 p.m., CBSSN (Brad Johansen, Randy Cross, Rashan Ali)
= Washington State at Auburn, 4 p.m., ESPNU (Clay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport)
= Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky, 4 p.m. ESPNEWS (Joe Davis, David Diaz-Infante)
= Georgia at Clemson, 5 p.m., Channel 7 (Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)
= Wyoming at Nebraska, 5 p.m., BTN (Kevin Kugler, Eric Crouch)
= TCU vs. LSU at Arlington, Tex., 6 p.m., ESPN (Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe)
= Northwestern at California, 7:30 p.m., ESPN (Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Lewis Johnson).
= Boise State at Washington, 7 p.m., FS1 (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)
Sunday? (Yes, Sunday)
= Florida A&M vs. Mississippi Valley State, 8:45 a.m., ESPN (Tom Hart, Jay Walker)
= Ohio at Louisville, 12:30 p.m., ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, Maria Taylor)
= Colorado vs. Colorado State, 3 p.m., CBSSN (Dave Ryan, Adam Archuletta, Evan Washburn).
= Florida State at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m., ESPN (Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, Samantha Ponder).
== The National Women’s Soccer League title game — your Western New York Flash (with Abby Wamach) takes on the Portland Thorns FC (with Alex Morgan) in Rochester, N.Y. — airs at 5 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Soccer Channel. Steve Cangialosi, Kyndra de St. Aubin and Kate Markgraf are the handsomely paid broadcasters.
== Here’s the new spot ESPN created called “Get Up For 9 a.m.,” which, if you really did get up at 9 a.m. on the West Coast, you’d miss the first three hours of “College GameDay” starting its 27th season at Clemson on Saturday:
The ads are a reminder that the show anchored by Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit is moving entirely to ESPN starting at 9 a.m. EST (in past years, ESPNU had the first hour, and ESPN carried the last three hours leading to the kickoff of an ESPN game). Again, that’s 9 a.m. for those of us not privileged enough to live in that part of the country and fully realize we need to get up at the actual crack of dawn – or about 6 a.m. – to have the shared experience (often in total darkness if it’s a West Coast game). The irony of sorts is that for this new ESPN promo, look again at the first scene. It’s a dramatic sunrise – but those silhouetted palm trees and skyline is outside the L.A. Coliseum, or a place that if you were there at 9 a.m. would look nothing like that. Believe us, in Hollywood, we fully understand a filmmaker’s using his creative license to do whatever it takes to create a scene. Maybe as ponder this, we can have reporter Samantha Ponder look more into the making of the ad and, as the network suggests, send out tweets with the hashtag “GetUp4GameDay” through the show Saturday.
== “ESPN likes to call itself the Worldwide Leader in Sports, and by most every measure it is in a league of its own. … So it may be hard to imagine that the sports media conglomerate has arrived at one of the most precarious moments in its nearly 34-year life.”
That’s the lead to the insightful third installment of a series by Richard Sandomir, James Andrew Miller (author of the recent mega-ESPN book) and Steve Eder called “Remote Control: Inside the Power of ESPN,“ following the first (on how it covers college football) and the second (on how Louisville in particular capitalized on ESPN fame) pieces that should be required reading if not done so by now.
== Several replays remain on HBO and HBO2 for its documentary “Glickman,” which debuted Monday, focused on the life of Marty Glickman, from his days as a star track athlete in the 1930s (and denied inclusion on the U.S. Olympic team in ’36 because of his Jewish roots) to becoming a New York Knicks, Giants and Jets broadcaster before retiring in the 1980s. He died in 2001 at age 83. Glickman was also involved in HBO’s inaugural coverage of Wimbledon. Watch it on HBO (Sunday, 8:15 a.m.; and Wednesday, 9 a.m.) through Sept.14, and on HBO2 through Sept. 23. Included in the piece are interviews with Marv Albert, Bob Costas, Frank Gifford and Larry King.
== It was September, 2007, when KLAC-AM (570) management decided to replace a morning (6-to-9 a.m.) local sports talk show hosted by KNBC Channel 4 anchor Fred Roggin and L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers (along with his daughter, Tracy), making way for this new Dan Patrick production. Thursday, as Roggin began a regular fill-in gig for the “Petros And Money” show in the 3-to-7 p.m. slot, who else reappears but Simers, months from his last appearance on the Times’ pages and apparently in limbo with his career options. Roggin brought Simers in to explain his current situation. “I honestly can’t talk about it,” Simers said. “Many of this, I don’t know what’s going on. There’s no resolve to my absence. I just can’t talk about it. We’re trying to work through our differences.” He then wouldn’t stop talking.
== What Fox Sports 1 posted on YouTube: A highlight reel of “The Best of Jay and Dan’s first week” … So this is how you’re supposed to form an opinion?: