Weekly media column version 11.01.13 — A read on the new Wooden-related books, plus some Erin Andrews World Series backlash? (Who saw that coming?)

UPDATED: 11:30 a.m. FRIDAY

(Above: From the website: johnwoodenbook.com)

What made it into this week’s version of the media column:

sonsxYou’re not seeing things: Books written about John Wooden continue to appear on store shelves as much today as when he was alive and coaching UCLA to national basketball championships. The difference is there’s an anniversary to acknowledge — it’s been 50 years since his first title, the 1963-64 team that went 30-0.
Brace yourself for the wizardry of more words to be written about Wooden.
The ones we spotlighted:
== “The Sons of Westwood: John Wooden, UCLA, and the Dynasty That Changed College Basketball,” by John Matthew Smith (University of Illinois Press, $24.95, 344 pages)
== “Wooden: A Coach’s Life,” by Seth Davis (Holt, Henry & Company, Inc., $35, 608 pages)
== “Anatomy of a Champion / An American Dynasty Wooden’s Way,” By Andre McCarter, currently discussed on a kickerstarter.com webpage.

What didn’t make it into the column:

== This process made us more curious about finding the ultimate list of books written by or about John Wooden.
Here’s a list we’ve compiled (with links): Continue reading

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College football ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 10: Corso heads to Florida State … warpaint ensues

Florida State Seminoles mascot Chief Osceola rears the horse Renegade during a game earlier this season at Doak Campbell Stadium. (Melina Vastola-USA Today Sports)

Florida State Seminoles mascot Chief Osceola rears the horse Renegade during a game earlier this season at Doak Campbell Stadium. (Melina Vastola-USA Today Sports)

R.J. Bell of Pregame.com — “the largest sports betting news website compliant with U.S. Law,” according to its disclaimer, as well as being on of the most media-quoted services around — points out that No. 3 Florida State is a 21-point favorite over visiting No. 7 Miami..
That’s the biggest point spread in history between undefeated Top 10 teams this late in the season, according to the wise guys.
Bell points out there are only two other instances of a double digit favorite when two undefeated Top 10 teams play this late in the season:
== No. 1 Texas, favored by 12 points, when hosting No. 7 Oklahoma State (on Oct. 25, 2008).
== No. 1 Miami, favored by 11 points, when playing No. 2 Ohio State in the 2002 BCS title game.
How’d those games turn out?
Texas won 28-24 behind Colt McCoy’s 391-yards passing.
And Ohio State won, 31-24 in double OT at the Fiesta Bowl.
So history has spoken: Take these Hurricanes and the points before this is bet down to a two-TD spread.

With BCS rankings and records where applicable:

OF LOCAL INTEREST:
== USC (5-3, 2-2) at Oregon State (6-2, 4-1), Friday at 6 p.m., ESPN2 (Carter Blackburn, Danny Kanell and Allison Williams)
== No. 20 UCLA (5-2, 2-2) vs. Colorado (3-4, 0-4), Rose Bowl, Saturday at 4:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1 (Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington, Ryan Nece)

PAC-12 WILLING PARTICIPANTS:
== Arizona State (5-2, 3-1) at Washington State (4-4, 2-3), Thursday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN (Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack, Samantha Ponder)
== Arizona (5-2, 2-2) at Cal (1-7, 0-5), Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker, Drea Avent)
No. 5 Stanford (7-1, 5-1) and No. 2 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) have a bye leading into their Thursday, Nov. 7 meeting at Stanford; Utah and Washington also have a bye week.

MARQUEE MATCHUPS:
== No. 7 Miami (7-0) at No. 3 Florida State (7-0), 5 p.m., Channel 7 (Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox)
== No. 21 Michigan (6-1) at No. 22 Michigan State (7-1), 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Channel 7 (Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe)
== No. 18 Oklahoma State (6-1) at No. 15 Texas Tech (7-1), 4 p.m., Channel 11 (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)

BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

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NFL ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 9: Tricks, treats, and how to show up to the Halloween party dancing with a Dol-phun before you bail out with a Ben-gal

This constitutes a $20 Dolphins costume at aliexpress.com.

This constitutes a $20 find called a “2013 New Girl Dolphin Costume Halloween Sexy Adults For Women” at aliexpress.com.

It’s a bye week for Denver, San Francisco, Arizona, Detroit, Jacksonville and the N.Y. Giants:

THURSDAY:
83895back5:25 p.m., NFL Network: 6-2 Cincinnati at 3-4 Miami (with Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan)

SUNDAY:
10 a.m., Channel 11: 1-6 Minnesota at 4-4 Dallas (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver)
The rest of Fox games in this window: 6-1 New Orleans at 4-4 N.Y. Jets (Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Erin Andrews) and 2-5 Atlanta at 4-3 Carolina (Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin)

10 a.m., Channel 2: 4-3 San Diego at 2-5 Washington (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts)
The rest of CBS games in this window: 3-4 Tennessee at 3-5 St. Louis (Marv Albert, Rich Gannon) and 8-0 Kansas City at 3-5 Buffalo (Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)

1:25 p.m., Channel 2: 2-5 Pittsburgh at 6-2 New England (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms)
In this window, CBS also has: 3-4 Baltimore at 3-5 Cleveland (Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots)
In this window, Fox also has: 3-5 Philadelphia at 3-4 Oakland (Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jennifer Hale), which, by the way, is being fed to the San Diego market as the only Fox broadcast of the weekend, because it won’t take a Fox game in the 10 a.m. window to compete with the Chargers.
And
0-7 Tampa Bay at 7-1 Seattle (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa)

5:30 p.m., Channel 4: 5-2 Indianapolis at 2-5 Houston (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

MONDAY:
5:40 p.m., ESPN: 4-3 Chicago at 5-2 Green Bay (with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salter)

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Play it Forward: Oct. 28-Nov. 3 on your sports calendar — The gap between the Lakers and Clippers? They’re all even at 0-0 for the first 47:59

UPDATE: Monday, 9 a.m.:

How the week ahead plays out:

11-17-clippers-4_3_rx812_c1080x810BEST BETS:

NBA REGULAR SEASON OPENER:
LAKERS vs. CLIPPERS, Staples Center, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., TNT:
NBA-LAKERS-CLIPPERS-logoOne could finish if not at the top of the Western Conference, then at least among the penthouse contenders, according to prognostications; the other is predictably more likely to miss the playoffs all together.
A titillated Clipper Nation, let’s introduce you to a dreaded Kobe-deficient Laker deflation, version 2013.
“There’s a huge gap between these two,” said Steve Kerr, the TNT analyst who grew up in L.A. “Not to say the Lakers aren’t compelling in their own right, but the Clippers have the chance to be something special. That’s just the way the NBA ebbs and flows – maybe not for the Clippers for a long time, which mostly had ebbs. But here we are now.”
uspw_6908242_crop_northAdded Reggie Miller, another TNT analyst and Southern California native: “We’re talking now about the Clippers as if they are the Lakers. It’s astonishing. Without Kobe (Bryant) starting the season and not knowing when he’s going to be back, there is a lot of people jumping off the Laker bandwagon and getting on the Clippers bandwagon. I think the Lakers will be competitive, I don’t think they make the playoffs.
la_a_doc-rivers_mb_600But it will be interesting with all the changes for the Clippers to see if this team is ready to take the next step. For them to take the next step, they have to compete for a championship. The Lakers pride themselves on championships. It’s all about those banners. That’s what separates the two. It’s about the mindset. I think Doc Rivers is bringing that championship mindset to a team that has underachieved for the last 20 or 30 years. We’ll see when the bright lights are on and you have to go out and beat the Spurs, Thunder and Warriors on a nightly basis, let’s see if this team can bring it like we know the Lakers have.”
nba_g_clipperfans_gb1_576Added Kerr: “And even if the Clippers do that, it’s still a Lakers town. I don’t think that will change.”
“Unless,” Miller countered, “(the Clippers) go out and sign Yasiel Puig right now.”
It’s a Lakers home game, so take a long look at those banners on the wall. They’ll be covered up with the two meet for a Clippers-designated home contest more than two months from now on Jan. 10 and April 6 (with a March 6 Laker home game in between).

BEST OF THE REST: Continue reading

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If the NFL had a team in L.A., of course the guys at L.A.-based Fox would be happy (unless it’s the Raiders)

la_postcardIn reaction to a story earlier this week where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he’d like a team in London as well as Los Angeles, but there’s no priority for one over the other, this was said on this morning’s “NFL on Fox” pregame show:

Terry Bradshaw: “This is the eighth game the NFL has played in London, spreading the international brand. And for the life of me, I don’t understand why we’re not spreading a little love out here to Los Angeles. Do you realize it has been 19 years since we last had a team here in the Los Angeles area? Why the NFL isn’t putting all their efforts into bringing a team out here – and don’t forget, the largest game in the history of the Super Bowl was in Los Angeles. The very first Super Bowl was in Los Angeles, and personally, my last Super Bowl was in Los Angeles (at the Pasadena Rose Bowl). It seems to me like the powers ought to get together and give a little thought to bringing in an NFL team. Howie’s Raiders’ economic struggles up in Oakland, the Rams’ stadium issues in St. Louis – viable alternatives to come back to the second-biggest city in this great country of ours, the United States.

Replied Howie Long: “Personally, I’m hopeful (the Raiders) stay in Oakland, but economically it’s tough.”

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In appreciation: How Bill Sharman’s actions spoke much louder than his whispers

la-sp-sn-bill-sharman-hall-of-fame-basketball--001The winter of 1974 should have been one of complete discontent for Bill Sharman.

The Lakers were only halfway through a season that would become the most miserable in L.A. franchise history — a mere 30 wins, the fewest since the team managed to record 25 during their final year in Minneapolis before needing to get out of town.

But this was less than three years removed from the NBA championship in this city. How could the euphoria dissipate so quickly?

Sharman already had a view of the bigger picture.

When owner Jack Kent Cooke hired him prior to that historic ‘71-’72 season, Sharman had been primed for a long-term rebuilding process. The careers of three future Hall of Famers — Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor — were close to ending. By the ‘74-’75 season, all of them were gone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s arrival was an endless summer away.

If not for Sharman, who both as a competitor as well as one of the nicest people you’d ever want to be around, that fiasco of a performance could have much more demoralizing.

Sharman wouldn’t allow it.

As a Lakers ball boy during that “Wonder Years” period of middle-school awkwardness — no wonder the team had job openings, just apply to trainer Frank O’Neal and wait for a quick return call — I was fortunate enough to have some access to how this transition was going to take place. It came mostly from the perspective of looking up to a locker room full of players, some of whom had no idea they’d be far more famous in the coming years later, while others may still not have figured out their best years were behind them. Continue reading

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Bill Sharman (1926-2013)

444779795_640Bill Sharman preceded Phil Jackson by about 30 years as the coach  who figured out a way to unite a star-driven Lakers squad, point them toward an NBA title and turn Los Angeles into a basketball town. In some way, Sharman would also have a hand in the next nine franchise championships as well.

bill-sharman-300cLong before Larry Bird or Paul Pierce became Lakers tormentors as members of the Boston Celtics, there was the sharp-shooting Sharman, knocking the Lakers out of countless title games.

And long before Gus Williams, Harold Miner or Paul Westphal were All-Americans at USC, there was Sharman — the first one in school history.

9375543Before long, the Basketball Hall of Fame had to induct Sharman twice – as a player in 1976 and a coach in 2004.

When Sharman died Friday peacefully at his Redondo Beach home at age 87 surrounded by his wife Joyce and his family, and less than a week after suffering a stroke, all factions of the basketball world were rightly trying to claim a piece of his legacy.

So, too, were the Dodgers – he signed with Brooklyn to play baseball, and did so for five minor-league seasons before he was called up in 1951. Continue reading

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Weekly media column version 10.25.13 — So Bruckheimer and I were talking about the days we used to sit way up in the Forum nosebleeds …

people_4The focus of this week’s sports media column:

From the blog post we had Thursday about the Kings’ latest multi-media/marketing campaign, which creatively pairs fans of the team — such as architect Frank Gehry and producer Jerry Bruckheimer — with players to talk about their common bonds.

Above, and below, are more video clips from that series on the Kings’ website.
“Years ago, we’d probably never consider taking a player out of uniform when we were still trying to get people to know that hockey was in L.A.,” said Kings VP of marketing Jonathan Lowe. “A player with a uniform hung over his shoulder would have been too risky. But it’s really just an evolution of our brand. Certain brands can do that. I think we’ve generated enough momentum in this market that we can finally look at something like this.”

The media notes also include a followup on Lee Corso’s embarrassment, Tim Howard’s EPL playing/broadcasting doubleheader and poorer IRL TV ratings after last Saturday’s finale in Fontana.

What could have been included but is relegated to this space: Continue reading

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What’s behind this “We Are All Kings” campaign? You are, in a large sense … and all your new, cool friends

Matt Greene, the Kings’ 30-year-old defenseman, shakes hands with Michael LaVere, an 88-year-old World War II veteran from West Hills, still able to fit into his Army first lieutenant uniform.

They’re about to have a conversation. But what could they possibly have in common?

“The missions I flew were quite dangerous,” the Brooklyn native LaVere explains as he looks up to the 6-foot-3 Greene towering above him. “There was about a 50 percent loss rate. But we survived.”

Watching this video on the team’s “Kings Vision” website link, here’s the part where you gulp.

“I guess it’s the same thing when you’re on the ice playing hockey,” the animated LaVere lightens the mood with a laugh.

“Ah, a lot different stakes,” a humbled Greene tries to counter.

“I mean, you can get hurt down there too, I know,” answers LeVere.

Read more on the Daily News website, linked here….

 

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NFL ’13 TV lineup for L.A. in Week 8: Where the league seems to be taking a massive bye week (including another game in London)

al-bundySan Diego, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis and Tennessee have the week off, because the stress has been just too much so far. Meanwhile, the rest of the teams march forward with sexless matchups:

THURSDAY:
5:25 p.m., NFL Network: Carolina at Tampa Bay (with Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan)

SUNDAY:
10 a.m., Channel 2: Miami at New England (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms). The rest of CBS’ games in this window: Cleveland at Kansas City (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts) and Buffalo at New Orleans (Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf).

Jacksonville players warm-up during practice at the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa in Bagshot, England today. The Jaguars face San Francisco on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Jacksonville players warm-up during practice at the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa in Bagshot, England today. The Jaguars face San Francisco on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

10 a.m., Channel 11: Dallas at Detroit (Dick Stockton, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin). The rest of Fox’s games in this window: San Francisco vs. Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium in London (Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, Jennifer Hale) and  N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa)

1:25 p.m., Channel 11: Washington at Denver (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver). Fox also has Atlanta at St. Louis (Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Molly McGrath).  CBS also has Pittsburgh at Oakland (Spero Dedes, Rich Gannon) and N.Y. Jets at Cincinnati (Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots)

5:30 p.m., Channel 4: Green Bay at Minnesota (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

MONDAY:
5:40 p.m., ESPN: Seattle at St. Louis  (with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Walters)

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