Where is Champion Broadband and why do we care it signed up for the Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A. channel? (Hint: We don’t)

nothing_to_see_hereThe Dodgers and Time Warner Cable have actually used real human resources to craft  out a press release announcing simultaneously this morning that a company purported to be named Champion Broadband, with customers rumored to exist without forcible existence in Arcadia and Monrovia, have accepted the terms of agreement to carry SportsNet L.A. in advance of the team’s season opening games in Australia.

They’ve tried to pass this off as breaking news. And we’ve just written about it. We’ve both just embarrassed ourselves.

Dominoes did not fall. Floodgates did not open.

The clouds did not part and the voice of Vin Scully did not deem this a moment in Dodger history that could rival anything Kirk Gibson could have imagined possible.

Tommy-Lasorda-sleepingTommy Lasorda still slept through it.

For that Champion Broadband customer who will now get the channel — the company’s dynamic Wikipedia page is a mere 29 words short — please reveal yourself. You are a true champion. If you have the service and didn’t even know it, that’s more likely. Check your phone line. That busy signal may connect you to Yasiel Puig tonight at 1 a.m.

For those who have DirecTV, Dish, Cox, Comcast, Charter, AT&T Uverse, Verizon FiOS or a couple of tin pipes connected to your gas-powered microwave oven, operators are sitting by. You still don’t have the channel, and probably won’t until at least in early April. That’s just how it is, as you may have seen with weekly updates we’ve provided since before the Feb. 25 launch even took place.

Please resume your normal Friday. There’s nothing else to see here. OK, here’s another story about it if you really need an update. And another about how the Dodgers like to spin it. But there’s nothing really to update.

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Media column version 03.21.14: As UCLA fans will find out, Catalon’s rising play-by-play career leaves no stone (or broom) unturned

Andrew Catalon, left, with Steve Tasker, on a CBS NFL game from 2011. (photo by www.timesunion.com)

Andrew Catalon, left, with Steve Tasker, on a CBS NFL game from 2011. (photo by www.timesunion.com)

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:

NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Darrell Waltrip celebrates the 1982 Winston Cup Championship after the Winston West 500 at the Riverside International Raceway.

NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Darrell Waltrip celebrates the 1982 Winston Cup Championship after the Winston West 500 at the Riverside International Raceway.

== 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. Continue reading

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Pair up Vin Scully with a koala and how do you lose? Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster reports no fresh-water croc sightings this time



Vin Scully says he and his wife Sandy and his daughters once made a three-week trip to Australia some 20 years ago.

“We went parasailing, where they take you out in a speed boat, get you up in the air, drop you in a river and then the boat comes back and scoops you up,” Scully was explaining on the phone from his hotel in Sydney, Australia on Friday morning, the day before the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks start the season with a two-game series at the famed Sydney Cricket Ground.

“I was the first to try it, then Sandy, then the kids. And when it was over, I said to the boat captain: ‘You don’t waste any time getting us up out of the water.’ He said, ‘That’s because of all the fresh-water crocodiles.’ It was nice of him to just throw that in there.”

Vin Scully, right, with wife Sandy, to his left, watch Dodgers players come off teh Quantas Airlines flight. (twitter.com/dodgers)

Vin Scully, right, with wife Sandy, to his left, as the board the plane leaving Phoenix for Australia. (twitter.com/dodgers)

No crocs, kangaroos or koalas have been injured in the making of this Dodgers’ trip, Scully reports, as a photo of him with one of the Australian natives has circulated over Twitter during an outdoor meet-and-greet Wednesday night.

Whatever reservations some players may have had about making this trip should be gone soon, he thinks.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be playing  Arizona, and that will all be forgotten,” he said. “It’ll be the first game of the season, against a rival team in the division, after what happened last year, they’ll no longer be tourists and they’ll go to work.

Continue reading

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Why can’t imperfection be rewarded as well? Take this, Warren Buffett — you’re just wrong

image.american-apparel-unisex-athletic-tee.athletic-blue.w380h440z1p1The more we contemplate the ridiculousness of this Warren Buffett $1 billion-backed offer to produce a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket by filling out all 63 games correctly, there must be equal opportunity for those reverse-psychology thinkers who live for moments like this.

Au contraire.

Thus, we propose: The Perfectly Wrong Bracket.

imperfectionIt can’t be that tough, right? Take a bracket and fill it out all the way through, only picking losers. In actuality, all you need to do is have the imperfect first (or now they call it second) round games — that’s 32 games incorrect, because going forward, you’ll remain perfectly imperfect all the way to the title game.

Here’s your won shining moment, Wofford.

So, if the odds for a perfect bracket are really 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, wouldn’t it be much easier — say, 1 in couple hundred million — to pick 32 losers in a row?

Back to our perfect bracket, we’ve got Creighton defeating UCLA in the title game.

In the new imperfect bracket we’ve just filled out, we’ve got Coastal Carolina coasting to the title. And it doesn’t even matter to us whether it’s North or South Carolina who takes credit for it.

We’re willing to take this one step further: Should you fill out the imperfect bracket, we’ll reward you with a gift card to the Home Town Buffet. No strings attached. Our lawyers are working on the contest rules as we speak. Submit all wrong brackets before Thursday at 9 a.m. to thomas.hoffarth@langnews.com.

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The $1 billion bracket has been revealed, and it’s free (you’re welcome)

3c36c3500a42bd60883a91e605ee594b3ab2c9f555c80ee14b96cdc2cbe7f667There are more than a bajillion reasons why you’ll never pick a perfect NCAA college basketball tournament.

It matters not how many blank bracket sheets you go through, or by what excavation methods you dig through Doug Gottlieb’s gobbly goop on TV.

But this year, there are a billion reasons why you’ve got at least make one half-cocked attempt at it.

buffettWarren Buffett, without putting his pinkie finger to the corner of his mouth, has put up $1 billion of his own cash (estimated net worth: $53.5 billion), betting that you can’t go to a legal loan shark’s website and produce a flawless forecast of how 63 games will play over the next few weeks.

The odds are stacked in his favor, as usual. Anyone attempting this feat with some willy-nilly strategy has a 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 of getting it right. And if you actually do know something about the sport, the odds are greatly reduced to 1 in 128 billion – or not as good as flipping a coin 37 times and having it come up heads in each instance.

Read more of this column on the Daily News website.

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