Weekly media column version 01.31.14: Who’s more in tune with a NY Super Bowl, Carrie or Terry Bradshaw?


New Yorkers hate Joe Buck? Or, is the spoof above on FunnyOrDie.com just to chase everyone off the scent?

What made it into this week’s media column:

terry-bradshaw.001161174Terry Bradshaw puts himself in the middle of a Fox snowstorm — how dare he go counter to what the network hopes for the 48th Super Bowl? This isn’t a cushy L.A. studio shot any more, TB.
The only thing he seems to be apologizing for is not making it clear the game will be in New Jersey instead of New York.

What didn’t make it into the notebook, but could have:

== Bradshaw and Howie Long banter about their long Fox friendship in SI.com.
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Play it Forward: Jan. 27-Feb. 2 — There’s a lot of hot air blowing around Jersey, and not just from Hurricane Berman covering Super Bowl 48

A football with the Super Bowl XLVIII logo is set on a mound of snow as workers shovel off the seating area at MetLife Stadium following a storm last week. The forcast for Super Bowl XLVIII  between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday: Chilly.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A football with the Super Bowl XLVIII logo is set on a mound of snow as workers shovel off the seating area at MetLife Stadium following a storm last week. The forcast for Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday: Chilly. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

SEATTLE vs. DENVER, At East Rutherford, N.J., Sunday at 3:15 p.m., Channel 11:
How do you take your NFL championship games, in Celsius or Fahrenheit?
Our latest Accuweather.com forecast shows cloudy skies, highs in the 50s, with periods of rain. But that’s just for L.A. — which is all we really care about, and, under those conditions, translates into a real mess outside. So how the elements will play out in Jersey? It’s elementary.
A likely high of 33 we know now, but be sure you’ll get up-to-the-nanosecond updates by anyone with a thermometer sticking out of his pocket.
lead_largeWe’ve seen almost every kind of Doppler doppelganger try to tell us how the atmosphere will cooperate, including ESPN putting stat geek/political forecaster Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight.com out in front of Met Life Stadium with a stocking cap to explain how “climatology” works based on past weather records (is that pre- or post-global warming?) Such as: There’s only a 21 percent chance that the temps will be 25 degrees or below, and the same chance for precipitation — snow, rain, sleet or hail. Maybe we should ask the U.S. Postal Service to choose up sides.

An extra football crosses in front of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as he throws another  practice at the team's training facility in Englewood, Colo., last Friday before traveling to New York.  (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

An extra football crosses in front of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as he throws another practice at the team’s training facility in Englewood, Colo., last Friday before traveling to New York. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

“If I were a betting man, I would put some money on the wind,” said Silver, constructing a sentence that likely hasn’t been used in Las Vegas before. He said there’s a 31 percent chance of having winds at 50 mph or higher, which would affect the passing game and any field goal attempts. “In other words, this ain’t the Rose Bowl,” said Silver. Which also begs the question: Why aren’t we playing this thing in the Rose Bowl? It already had the Jan. 1 game, and then the BCS title game. Why not cram this Super Bowl in as well? “Fortunately, there’s only 3 percent chance of blizzard-like conditions (in Jersey),” Silver noted.
Too bad. A recent ESPN SportsNation poll asked what weather conditions would fans prefer. The majority vote in 48 of the 50 states, and in all votes taken internationally, was “blizzard.” Only in Washington, where most sided with “wintry, but nothing too disruptive,” and in Colorado, where they went with “pleasant,” did opinion deviate. You’ve got to look out for your best interests, apparently.
Eric Grubman If public safety is at risk, NFL executive VP of business operations Eric Grubman, right, says the game could always be moved up earlier — we’re all for that — or it could be pushed back to Monday. And who wouldn’t be ready for some Monday Night Football right about now?

BEST OF THE REST:

MONDAY

NHL: KINGS at SAN JOSE, 7 p.m., NBC Sports Net:
Nope, we’ll go indoors. To the Shark Tank. NBC will have to be satisfied with that, even if the Kings, on a five-game losing streak, continue to feel they’ve been shark-bit by the schedule. Le Sharks, meanwhile, have won six straight.

NBA: CLIPPERS at MILWAUKEE, 5 p.m., Prime:
Larry Drews’ Bucks are the only team left in the Association with single-digit victories, with a league-worst 91 points a game average. That still doesn’t guarantee the No. 1 draft pick, you know?

TUESDAY

NBA: LAKERS vs. INDIANA, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are back from the extended Grammy trip, seven games on the road without Kobe Bryant taking off his street clothes. After he’s examined early this week, there’s still the process of getting practice in. Meanwhile, more than keeping pace, the Pacers have the league’s best mark, even if that just dipped under the .800 mark for the first time.

NHL: KINGS at PHOENIX, 6 p.m., FSW:
Let’s invite Wayne Gretzky to drop the puck for this one, too. If that’s not too awkward.

WEDNESDAY

Rangers Devils HockeyNHL: N.Y. RANGERS vs. N.Y. ISLANDERS, at Yankee Stadium, 4:30 p.m., NBC Sports Net:
Yo, how come the Rangers get two outdoor games on the Yankee Stadium infield? Because they can. And it’s Super Bowl week in New York anyway.

NBA: CLIPPERS vs. WASHINGTON, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
The Wiz might consider putting up a pay wall on their website for anyone who wants to check out John Wall’s impressive stats.

THURSDAY

Sidney-Crosby-and-Anze-Kopitar-1NHL: KINGS vs. PITTSBURGH, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Penguins star Sidney Crosby has already been named captain of Team Canada for the upcoming Winter Olympics. By the time this game takes place, will Team USA coach (and Penguins coach, and former Kings player) Dan Bylsma decide that the Kings’ Dustin Brown will be captain for the American squad? Brown was the assistant cap on the 2010 team that won a silver medal. As for this one, the Penguins are first in the league in power play and in penalty killing. It’s why they lead the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan Division, and are 7-0-1 against the Pacific Division and 10-3-1 against the Western Conference this season so far.

NBA: CLIPPERS at GOLDEN STATE, 7:30 p.m., TNT:
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Chris Paul’s 26 points and 11 assists kept the Clippers close against the Warriors when they last met (a 105-103 loss at Golden State on Christmas night, when Klay Thompson blocked Paul’s shot to tie it with 1 second left, then got into Jamal Crawford’s line of fire as he tried a 3-pointer to win it at the buzzer. That’s also the game where Blake Griffin was kicked out after his second technical foul when he got tied up with Andrew Bogut. Griffin called the Warriors “cowardly” for how they duped the officials. “It all boils down to they (the referees) fell for it. I don’t know their intentions, but it worked. I got two technicals for nothing.” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said jokingly: “It’s good, old-fashioned basketball between two teams that are playing for something.” And still are, although Paul will be missing from this one. The Warriors, despite their ability to fire from long range, had been winning lately with a tougher defense. But that went out the window when Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 54 against them in the Thunders’ 127-121 win on Jan. 17.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UCLA at OREGON, 6 p.m., ESPN, USC at OREGON STATE, 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
131102.RJK_.OEM_.MBB_.PointLoma.0421-980x653
The Ducks won their first 13 games this season, then dropped five conference contests in a row going into Sunday night at Washington State. Last season, the Bruins lost twice to the Ducks, once during the regular Pac-12 schedule (76-67 at home) and then in the conference tournament title game in Las Vegas (78-69). This season, they meet twice, including Feb. 27 at Pauley Pavilion. Oregon guard Jason Calliste is fourth in the country in 3-point shooting (54.3 percent, 25 of 46).

FRIDAY

110513-DavisPetcoTENNIS: DAVIS CUP:  U.S. vs. GREAT BRITAIN, at Petco Park in San Diego, first day’s singles matches, 2:30 p.m., Tennis Channel:
Aside from the fact there’s Andy Murray on one side going against the Jim Courier-led team of John Isner, Sam Querrery and the Bryan brothers on the other side, seeing how tennis looks inside the Padres’ home ballpark will be a key reason to tune in. They’ve planted a red clay court in left field, and set up grand stands all around it. Seems like it should be a sand court.

NBA: LAKERS vs. CHARLOTTE, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Bobcats, Hornets … no matter what they’re called, they’ve got the Lakers’ number.

SATURDAY

NHL: KINGS vs. PHILADELPHIA, Staples Center, 1 p.m., FSW:
Former King Wayne Simmonds leads the Flyers in goals. Philly stops by Anaheim on Thursday before arriving here.

NBA: CLIPPERS vs. UTAH, Staples Center, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.:
Blake Griffin scored 40 points in an eight-point win over the Jazz in their last meeting a few weeks ago.

Vin Scully addresses the crowd at the 2013 Dodgers Fanfest. (Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers)

Vin Scully addresses the crowd at the 2013 Dodgers Fanfest. (Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers)

BASEBALL: DODGERS FAN FEST, 10 a.m., Dodger Stadium:
In Lots P and B, expect to see Yasiel Puig, Don Mattingly, Carl Crawford, Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Scott Van Slyke and Mark McGwire, with some of them signing autographs – for $10 each. With a ticket purchased ahead of time. With the funds going to the Dodgers Foundation. And you have to print out and sign a waiver before you go in. And you must leave by 4 p.m. How festive.

PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2014 ELECTION: 8 p.m., Channel 11:
Derrick Brooks, Charles Haley, Marvin Harrison, Walter Jones and Michael Strahan are the favorites to have their name called for Hall entrance. But former coach Tony Dungy could get in if he gets 80 percent of the vote. So, too, could Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown or Morten Andersen. Ray Guy? The former Raiders punter made the final 15. That may be as far as it goes. Fox will make the announcement as part of their “NFL Honors” two-hour show from New York.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
UCLA at OREGON STATE, 11:30 a.m., ESPNU
USC at OREGON, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
The Ducks nearly blew a 10-point lead in the game’s final three minutes, but hung on for a 76-74 victory at USC a year ago.

MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS: Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., Fox Sports 1:
It’s the last of three loud-n-proud motocross events at the Anaheim facility this month. Dig in.

SUNDAY

promo183841631GOLF: PGA WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN, at Scottsdale, Ariz., final round, noon, Channel 2:
Such a waste to air this amidst all the football going on. But the stadium atmosphere is something to at least give a listen to. Golf Channel has the first two rounds Thursday and Friday. CBS has the third round Saturday at noon.

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Hockey vs. hokey: Who came out ahead?

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

So there really is a fine line between hockey and hokey.

They found it, crossed it, circled back, went offside a few more times, and by then it was too late to go back Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

In true NHL-creates-Hollywood-stereotype form, the portable rink they set up for the Kings and Ducks to play apparently wasn’t enough. They had to add a volleyball court in left field, a roller rink at home plate, let some fans on the field to do yoga stretching and Frisbee throwing, then set up a rock stage foaming with dry ice in right field amidst the palm trees.

It was just one bubbling hot tub away from an XFL game. (Ask anyone at NBC with a short memory if they get that reference).

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

We did fear the worst with an outdoor rinky-dink event like this. It couldn’t possibly live up the hype we kept giving it, right? Especially after the Ducks put two quick goals up on the board in the first period and took the Dodger Stadium crowd out of it, and even a Kyle Clifford-Tim Jackman second-period “brawl” seemed to be as contrived as anything else.

To those who went out, enjoyed themselves, had a rare January Dodger Dog and come home wondering what that Kabuki Theater thing was all about, bless you. If it brought Wayne Gretzky out of NHL hibernation and in front of Kings Nation one more time, all the better.

(Where were the fans, by the way? We hardly heard a peep out of anyone in the crowd, let alone saw anyone there. It’s a huge difference when there are no folks crowded around the glass. Go back to that ’91 game in Vegas. At least they let people see the game up close in grandstands built near the playing surface.)

For those like us who ended up watching at home, confusing NBC’s camera work on KISS with a stadium “Kiss-Cam,” and then logically wondering, “What ever happened to Spinal Tap?” we admit we did miss Bob Miller and Jim Fox on the call (Anson Carter?), but at least we didn’t have to high-stick the traffic coming home.

We asked NHL COO John Collins last week if he worried that this whole event would come off as being too “tricked up” for those watching around the country trying to figure out why people still live in L.A., he replied.: “The core presentation is the game, and once the puck drops, there’s two points on the line and the game is ultimately what matters. I don’t think it’s a three-ring circus.”

 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

But then why did all that other stuff seem to keep getting mentioned, shown, replayed and treated as if it was an essential part of what happened? Even the broadcasters kept wondering if the “pomp and circumstance” had an affect on how sluggish the Kings came out in the eventual 3-0 loss.

There’s got to be some second guessing as to why KISS and its hydrological stage antics were really necessary to be involved in any of this. The real fear had to be which would melt first: The ice, or Gene Simmons’ makeup?

Vanilla Ice might have been less archaic and more name-suitable for this venue. Along with LL Cool J, if you’re trying to tap into someone a little more contemporary with the Grammy Awards crowd chilling out before Sunday’s ceremony.

Can we get another shot of Tom Arnold, by the way? We had him already deceased in our latest dead pool. Thanks for the clarification. Send him over to the volleyball court with all the other burnouts.

At the end of the night, this outdoor game kind of reminds us of the Donald Trump golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes. The surroundings, the weather and the atmosphere are really pretty perfect as it is. But then the orange-haired mogul decided the first hole needed a huge built-in waterfall next to the green. Another hole on the back nine also has a big, noisy water pageantry. Because we need a distraction from the true beauty of the Pacific Ocean view?

There’s no need to re-invent it, then overcharge for the privilege of playing the course. Same for fans who just want to see two So Cal rivals play each other under the stars of a downtown L.A. evening.

Dial it back, focus on the game, and it’s just as cool. Do it again in L.A.? Sure, try the Coliseum next. Or even a more intimate StubHub Center, where the shape is more inclined to watching hockey. Go easy in the ticket prices and parking. And make sure we’re staying green with all this planning.

They just poured some 30,000 gallons of water to make that portable rink, yet they’re telling us to take five-minute showers because California is in dire drought conditions. That’s just the icing on the whole evening.

Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller throws his bottle into the crowd after an Saturday's win against the Kings at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller throws his bottle into the crowd after an Saturday’s win against the Kings at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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Weekly media column version 01.24.13: A cool-down period for the media covering Kings-Ducks on NBC Sports Net

kissesWhat made it into this week’s media column, posted on the website:

The media convergence onto Dodger Stadium for Saturday’s Kings-Ducks outdoor game may seem like a fish-out-of-frozen-water experience, but there seems to be more excitement than anxiety related to how it will be covered.

What also could have been included in the notes, but are here instead:

== A Time Warner Cable Sports spokesperson confirmed today staff layoffs took place within its division devoted to local high school coverage on the SoCal 101 channel, but the number of employees involved was not disclosed.
“While the decision to make changes to our local sports operations was a difficult one, it was strictly about better utilizing our resources,” spokesperson Amy Millstone said. “SoCal 101 will continue to honor its existing sports programming commitments and continue to provide in-depth coverage of the CIF. During a transition period, we may have to slightly adjust our programming schedule.” Continue reading

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