College football ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 5: Is this the game Marqise Lee makes a difference in USC’s offense?

Marqise Lee is on his way to an 80-yard touchdown, going past ASU defender Deveron Carr during the Trojans' xx-xx victory at the Coliseum in 2012. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

Marqise Lee is on his way to an 80-yard touchdown, going past ASU defender Deveron Carr during the Trojans’ 38-17 victory at the Coliseum in 2012.  Lee caught 10 passes for 161 yards. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

OF LOCAL INTEREST:
== Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2: USC at Arizona State (Dave Flemming, Mike Bellotti, Allison Williams)
UCLA has a bye week, prepping for a Thursday night game next week

PAC-12 WILLING PARTICIPANTS (all games Saturday):
== Noon, Pac-12 Network: Colorado at Oregon State (Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth, Jill Savage)
== 4 p.m., Channel 11: Arizona at Washington (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)
== 7 p.m., ESPN: Stanford at Washington State (Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, Maria Taylor)
== 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network: Cal at Oregon (Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker, Drea Avent)

MARQUEE MATCHUPS (all games Saturday):
== 12:30 p.m., Channel 2: LSU at Georgia (Vern Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson)
== 12:30 p.m., Channel 4: Oklahoma at Notre Dame (Dan Hicks, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan)
==  5 p.m., Channel 7: Wisconsin at Ohio State (Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)

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NFL ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 4: A Benny Hill newsflash — NFL sends two 0-3 teams to London to promote its game; Yakety Sax ensues

With 1-2 Green Bay and 1-2 Carolina embracing the first bye week:

THURSDAY:
5:25 p.m., NFL Network: 1-2 San Francisco at 1-2 St. Louis (with Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan)

SUNDAY:
10 a.m., Channel 2: 0-3 Minnesota vs. 0-3 Pittsburgh at Wembley Stadium, England (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms). How soon would London want its own NFL team? ESPN’s Greg Garber looks into it and has this quote from Carolina receiver Steve Smith: “If that happens, it’s a clear vision that they don’t really care about the players’ safety, they care about their pockets. And I think that is messed up.” The rest of CBS’ games in this window: 2-1 Baltimore at 1-2 Buffalo (with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts), 2-1 Indianapolis at 0-3 Jacksonville (with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots) and 2-1 Cincinnati at 1-2 Cleveland (with Marv Albert and Rich Gannon).

10 a.m., Channel 11: 3-0 Chicago at 2-1 Detroit (with Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Laura Okmin) The rest of Fox’s games in this window: 1-2 Arizona at 0-3 Tampa Bay (with Sam Rosen, Heath Evans and Molly McGrath), 0-3 N.Y. Giants at 3-0 Kansas City (with Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Erin Andrews) and 3-0 Seattle at 2-1 Houston (with Chris Myers, Tim Ryan and Jennifer Hale).

1:25 p.m., Channel 11: 2-1 Dallas at 1-2 San Diego (with Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa). In the unlikely event that the Chargers don’t have a sellout, we’ll see the game Fox would rather have us see: 1-2 Philadelphia at 3-0 Denver (with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver).  Fox also has 0-3 Washington at 1-2 Oakland (with Dick Stockton, Ronde Barber and Kris Budden) in this window; CBS has 2-1 N.Y. Jets at 2-1 Tennessee (with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf).

5:30 p.m., Channel 4: 3-0 New England at 1-2 Atlanta (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

MONDAY:
5:40 p.m., ESPN: 3-0 Miami at 3-0 New Orleans (with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters)

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Play It Forward: Sept. 23-29 — Trojans, Kings seek the desert heat for different reasons

UPDATED: Monday, 4 p.m.:

What’s on tap for the sports calendar this coming week:

BEST BET:

USC's George Uko  tackles ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly during the 2012 game at the Coliseum. USC won 38-17. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

USC’s George Uko tackles ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly during the 2012 game at the Coliseum. USC won 38-17. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL:
USC at ARIZONA STATE, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN2:
Defending yourself in the first major road test of the season will be on the minds of USC’s defenders for this night-time matchup against a Sun Devils team that had been ranked in the Top 25 until losing to Stanford, 42-28, at home last Saturday. USC’s defense has given up just an average of 11 points a game through the first four contests, ranking 11th in the nation. Last year, the Trojans slapped a 38-17 loss on the visiting Sun Devils, picking Taylor Kelly off three times. But in 2011, ASU ended an 11-game USC winning streak in the series with a victory on its home turf. Stanford’s defense Saturday figured out how to hold ASU to just 50 yards in the ground, but that’s somewhat deceiving as the Cardinal got out to such a quick lead, Kelly had to throw for 367 yards just to make the final score respectable. ASU’s two wins are also rather skewed. It blew out subdivision school Sacramento State, then held on with a controversial ending to knock off Wisconsin, 32-30, in a game that ended so wrong the Pac-12 officials were publically reprimanded.
This game could have been at 7 p.m. on ESPN, but was instead pushed back a half hour and farmed out to the “other” channel. Understandable.

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Is there calm in a 3-point USC win over Utah State?

usc-keep-calm-shirtThe Coliseum seats aren’t as populated as they used to be, so it’s a little easier to pick out the latest popular T-shirt many of the USC sorority girls are wearing these days.

It’s that slimming red one with the gold letters that read: “Keep Calm and Fight On.”

It also might include “Mind the gap,” like the one that’s occurring between fans who find this Trojans football team efficiently sporting a 3-1 record today as the season reaches the quarter pole versus those who are more inclined to fill the place amped up for the wildly entertaining, numbers-driven, record-breaking contests of not-so-yesteryear.

Muted outcomes like the Trojans’ 17-14 be-thankful-for-not-a-loss victory over Mountain West juggernaut Utah State on Saturday aren’t going to lend any vital data that could be used in USC athletic director Pat Haden’s ongoing thesis that head coach Lane Kiffin is a dynamic play-caller. …

The rest of the column as it appears in today’s online and print editions …

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It’s Out of the Question: Dbacks can cry in this Bloody Dodger cocktail

Heard about the newest cocktail they’re serving at Arizona bars this weekend?
It’s the Bloody Dodger.
Korbel, with a splash of chlorine.
With Hanley Ramirez’s bat to stir it up.
Diamondbacks fans can go cry in it.
Dodgers fans can continue pour it all over themselves in celebration.
Put it in a shot glass for Arizona senior senator, former presidential candidate and American war hero John McCain.
He’s apparently willing to take the bullet for sending out a tweet calling the Dodgers a “no-class act” and “a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant spoiled brats” because a group of them dodged security, ran out of the clubhouse and dove into the Chase Field right-field swimming pool after clinching the NL West title on Thursday afternoon.
Maybe McCain, one of Congress’ own overpaid numbskulls, has a Twitter account attached to his video poker phone app and sent that by mistake?

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Weekly media column version 09.20.13 — Taking stock in the Bostock murder 35 years later with MLB Network’s legwork

UPDATED: 10:30 a.m. FRIDAY:

There remains a sad, strange incompleteness to the story surrounding the shooting death of Lyman Bostock, even 35 years after the fact.

Five years ago, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reporter Tom Rinaldi did a piece about how the Angels outfielder was shot and killed while sitting in car in Gary, Indiana, during the team’s road trip to Chicago.

At the time, Rinaldi tracked down the man who murdered Bostock, Leonard Smith – who was tried for murder, found innocent on grounds of insanity, spent six months in a mental institution and was turned loose. Smith still did not explain why he did it.

The MLB Network puts its spin on the story (a preview clip above) with a piece that airs Sunday at 7 p.m. – the 35th anniversary of the date it happened. This time, we hear the first on-camera interview with Bostock’s widow, Yuovene Whistler.

“I couldn’t even say that he was murdered,” she says in the piece. “The words would not come off. He just ‘died.’ Just admitting that he was murdered was very traumatic. Once I was able to work through my own personal pain and get clarity on that, it really was about Lyman and just his legacy.”

Bob Costas narrates “The Lyman Bostock Story,” which includes interviews with former Angels broadcaster Dick Enberg, teammates Bert Blyleven, Don Baylor, Kenny Landreaux, Roy Smalley and Ron Jackson, plus former Angels manager Jim Fregosi. Bostock’s former agent, Abdul-Jalil al-Hakim is also included, saying Bostock “was instrumental in having the rules and the laws change in Indiana, so I guess in some ways Lyman still lives. But to me, that’s too great a cost.”

Enberg was close to Bostock during that one and only season they crossed paths. Enberg, of course, was once a teacher and baseball coach at San Fernando Valley State, which became Cal State Northridge.

Enberg recalls in the MLB piece how he had to go on the air and announce Bostock’s death to the L.A. TV audience.

“It was horrific. I mean, who expects to go on the air having to announce that one of your ballplayers, someone that everyone cares about is dead suddenly? I mean, you came on the air and you started with,  ‘We begin today’s broadcast telecast with terrible news,’ and then just bluntly saying, ‘Lyman Bostock was murdered last night in Gary, Indiana.’

“We are not trained to handle a tragedy like that, are we? You think in all of baseball history how many times has that happened? Where a ballplayer plays one day and the next day he’s expected to appear, but he’s gone.”

Here’s a piece we did in 2008 ago about Bostock’s story being told by Rinaldi, which included a story by staff writer Jill Painter. Here’s more from when we talked to Enberg at the time about how he remembered Bostock. Continue reading

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College football ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 4: How far will ESPN GameDay go to get a story? Fargo (you betcha)

Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton nearly engineered an upset over Auburn in the 2011 opener, back when he was a true freshman.

Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton nearly engineered an upset over Auburn in the 2011 opener, back when he was a true freshman.

OF LOCAL INTEREST:
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Channel 7: USC vs. Utah State, Coliseum (with Dave Flemming, David Diaz-Infante and Shelley Smith)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Pac-12 Network: UCLA vs. New Mexico State, Rose Bowl (Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker and Drea Avent)

PAC-12 WILLING PARTICIPANTS (all games Saturday):
Noon, Pac-12 Network:
Idaho State at Washington (Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth, Jill Savage)
4 p.m., Channel 11: Arizona State at Stanford Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)
4:30 p.m., CBS Sports Net: Oregon State at San Diego State (Andrew Catalon, Aaron Taylor, Lauren Gardner)
7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Net: Washington State at Idaho
7:15 p.m., ESPN2: Utah at BYU (Mark Jones, Brock Huard, Lewis Johnson)

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NFL ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 3: Start it up with the Andy Reid Bowl

AndyReidChiefsTHURSDAY:
5:25 p.m., NFL Network: Kansas City at Philadelphia (with Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock). How big is this for Andy Reid?

SUNDAY:
10 a.m., Channel 2: San Diego at Tennessee (with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts) The rest of CBS’ games in this window: Houston-Baltimore and Cleveland-Minnesota.

10 a.m., Channel 11: Green Bay at Cincinnati (with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman). The rest of Fox’s games in this window: St. Louis-Dallas, N.Y. Giants-Carolina, Tampa Bay-New England, Detroit-Washington, Arizona-New Orleans.

1:25 p.m., Channel 2: Indianapolis at San Francisco (with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms). CBS also has Buffalo-N.Y. Jets and Jacksonville-Seattle in this window. Fox has Atlanta-Miami in this window.

MONDAY:
5:40 p.m., ESPN: Oakland at Denver (with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden)

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The Phoenix Phan trip: When does it end?

When will the Dodgers wrap up the NL West title?
Wednesday in Phoenix
Thursday in Phoenix
Friday in San Diego
Saturday in San Diego
Sunday in San Diego
Monday’s off day
Tuesday-Thursday in San Francisco
Friday-Sunday at Dodger Stadium vs. Colorado
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Dodger fans can get antsy over waiting to see the team clinch the NL West in Arizona. Just as long as they do it while they’re there to see it.
Monday’s column linked here
Tuesday’s column linked here

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Play It Forward: Sept. 16-22 — Could USC or UCLA ignite their running game with a viewing of “Rush”?

The week ahead on the sports calendar:

Rush_13BEST BET:

MOVIE: “RUSH,” opens in L.A. and N.Y. theaters:
Formula 1 racing may not provide the perfect formula for a Hollywood blockbuster, but if Oscar-winner Ron Howard is allowed to direct the story of the relationship and rivalry between English playboy James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth) and Australian crash-and-burn survivor Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) during the 1976 season, we’ll give it the green light.

Niki Lauda and Steve Hunt as they were in 1977.

Niki Lauda and Steve Hunt as they were in 1977.

Hunt died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1993; Lauda, now 64, could have easily died from his fiery crash during the ’76 season, but he’s around to promote this, scars and all. “When after the accident I came out into the world and people looked at me, they were shocked,” Lauda recently told the UK Telegraph. “It upset me. I thought they were impolite not to hide their negative emotions about my look. When I saw the movie it let me see the story from the other side, from the point of view of other people looking at me. It helped me understand why people were shocked.”
rush00 Universal Studios passed on this film pitched Howard, so he produced it independently for $45 million – and Universal will be the ones releasing it after all, first in L.A. and New York, and next week nationwide. “The challenge was to combine things that I had experienced in a way — the need to get the technical authenticity of ‘Apollo 13,’ or the danger of  ‘Backdraft,’ or the personal connection with ‘Cinderella Man’ or the character stuff of ‘A Beautiful Mind’ or ‘Frost/Nixon,’ but all in the same movie,” Howard said during a triumphant presentation at the Toronto Film Festival last week, not to namedrop other top-notch films he’s produced (and somehow leaving out “DaVinci Code,” “The Paper,” “Parenthood,” “Willow,” “Coccoon” and, a personal favorite, “Grand Theft Auto.”)  “I knew intuitively I had confidence I could do it because the challenge was similar to others I had faced but never with this kind of density and it sort of made the degree of difficulty bar drift higher than I have ever done before.”
Rush_19

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