What made it into the column posted Friday:
Ever heard Andrew Catalon call a game? If you’re familiar with Olympic curling, he’s been on your radar. The 34-year-old Syracuse grad may be the eighth seed in the CBS-Turner eight-team broadcasting roster, but there are bigger plans for him, including calling UCLA’s NCAA tournament opener Friday in San Diego (approx. 7 p.m., truTV).
We also have notes on the latest with the Dodgers-SportsNet LA launch, Fox’s coverage of the Auto Club 400 from Fontana and some updates on local sports-talk coverage. And here’s a link to our conversation with Vin Scully early Friday (Australia time).
What could have made it into the column but will do just fine here:
== More from Fox’s Darrell Waltrip about how Fontana has evolved as a hot-spot for NASCAR racing fans, with the Auto Club 400 taking place: “We try to make that Hollywood connection, and quite honestly, that’s part of coming to L.A., but as much as we think we’re for the Hollywood crowd, our base is more ‘Beach Boys’ — guys who drove the Woodies, blue collar truck drivers and hot rodders who identify with what we do. For a place to race where we’ve had some drivers say it was the ‘most boring race on the schedule’ and ‘why do we keep going there?’ a lot of them sure came back after the great race we had last year. And there’s a lot of buzz for that kind of race again. A lot of that is attributed to the way the new cars are performing on a track like this. They’ve made adjustments to where there’s more downforce which creates more grip and on this track you need all the grip you can get. This year it’ll even be better.”
== The Los Angeles News Group editorial that appeared in Thursday’s editions showing concern that the Dodgers’ new TV plans could shut out the team from younger fans in poorer areas of the city who don’t have cable or dish access.
== Former UCLA and Pepperdine coach Jim Harrick, whose local basketball career included a successful run at Morningside High in Inglewood where his teams had a 103-16 record in the 1960s and ’70s, will be part of the Southern California Section CIF regional basketball coverage from Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario that TWC SportsNet airs on Saturday. Harrick will do the boys’ Open Division final (Mater Dei vs. Westchester) at 8 p.m. as well as the boys’ Division I final (Chino Hills vs. Centennial) at 4 p.m. and the boys’ Division II final (St. John Bosco vs. Compton) at noon. Tracy Warren starts as the analyst on the girls’ Division II final (West Torrance vs. Chaminade) at 10 a.m., followed by the girls’ Division I final (Alemany vs. Canyon Springs) at 2 p.m. and the girls’ Open final (Long Beach Poly vs. Etiwanda) at 6 p.m. Steve Quis does play-by-play on the first two games, while Larry Burnett calls the last four. The games will also stream live on www.twcsportschannel.com and www.cifstate.org. Winners of these regionals go onto the state championships in Sacramento next weekend.
== ESPN reports more than 11 million brackets were submitted to their website tournament challenge, passing last year’s record of 8.15 million. Nearly three of every four brackets chose Florida to win the national championship
== John Strong calls the MLS Galaxy-Real Salt Lake match (Saturday, 1 p.m., NBCSN) with former Jamaican National Team player Robbie Earle and host Russ Thaler at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. It comes on after the NBCSN’s Premiere League coverage. Sorry for that letdown.
== Kevin Harlan, Steve Smith and Ric Bucher are on TNT’s call of the Lakers-New York game from Staples Center on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.), a shift from the usual Thursday network coverage because of Turner’s involvement in the NCAA Tournament.
== The Universal Sports Channel (625 on DirecTV) has a two-hour highlight package from the FILA Freestyle World Cup wrestling event that took place at the Forum on March 15, airing Monday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs won all five of his matches for the U.S. in the event for a 15-0 record in his World Cup career.
== Has ESPN been doing too much hard-news journalism? Its more vocal fans — at least the ones contacting ESPN ombudsman Bob Lipsyte — seem to be expressing that to some degree, to which Lipsyte responds in his latest column: “What, exactly, is ESPN’s role and responsibility here? Should ESPN be giving its customers what many of them say they want or what ESPN thinks they need or what’s trending at the moment? This is a major topic that will not be covered adequately in a single column, but right now, halfway through my scheduled 18-month tenure as ombudsman, it’s worth a drive-by, especially given that I don’t think ESPN is actually shoving enough of that stuff in enough faces often enough. The coverage of issues that jump the white lines tends to be hit-and-run, treated as isolated events rather than as a web of Jock Culture attitudes and politics that are connected and need continual attention.”
== An update by the ombudsman for National Public Radio, and the organization’s decision not to mention the nickname of the NFL’s team in Washington.