What made it into this week’s column, linked here:
What, Bob Miller, just up and walk off at this point?
That’s not the frame of mind that the Hockey Hall of Famer and Kings long-time broadcaster says in these days, after he hosted the banner-raising ceremony Wednesday night at Staples Center, and just days before his 76th birthday.
In fact, a second Stanley Cup in three years has re-energized Miller as he starts his 42nd season with the team, sports a new Tiffany crafted championship ring, and is actually thinking about how to celebrate with the trophy when the Kings win it again.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Here’s a clip of Wednesday’s ceremony via Kings.NHL.com:
For those who saw the Stanley Cup make a dramatic entrance as it was lowered down from the Staples Center center-ice scoreboard, Miller quipped later: “I don’t know how that worked, but I told them, ‘If it falls, I’m not catching it.’ I said, ‘If it falls, I’m pushing (Kings mascot) Bailey underneath it and let it fall on him’.”
What info will be relegated to this blog post:
== Men’s Health could have started a healthy debate about how men could connect better with their better half by speaking their language of sport — fewer hard-core stats, more mushy stories — but it didn’t end up that way with its story “The Secret to Talking Sports with Any Woman.” Blowback from the story apparently led to the magazine taking the story off its website. The topic ended up as the first thing discussed on Episode 2 of “We Need To Talk” on CBS Sports Net last Tuesday night. “Can I tell you the secret to talking sports with women?” asked Andrea Kremer. “Don’t be intimidated that they may know more than you do. … I don’t want to hear that it’s just women who love stories. Women can love sports if they love it for the stats, or if they love it for the stories. It doesn’t matter. We love it, and we like to talk about it.” Added Summer Sanders: “I think it’s interesting how women are influencing sports television right now. You do see more stories (told) and it is because we love them.”
== The Sundance Sunset 5 on Sunset Blvd., in Hollywood is the only place around to see the new Focus Features documentary, “I Am Ali,” the latest about the life and times of Muhammad Ali, opening Friday, with director Clare Lewins and Hana Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali, appearing for a Q-and-A at the 7 p.m. showing. Mixed reviews from USA Today, The Village Voice, The Guardian, and, this, from LA Weekly: “It’s unfortunate that, even with this wealth of uncovered materials, I Am Ali still plays as a greatest-hits version of its subject’s life, offering little depth or insight into any one element of it. There’s no real cohesion, much less any sort of underlying thesis beyond ‘Muhammad Ali is interesting, and here’s some rare footage.’ The question of why this exact movie should have been made now is never broached, much less answered.”
== Because it happened 25 years ago, there is some need to revisit the 1989 Giants-Athletics earthquake-interrupted World Series, so ESPN has another documentary loaded up to deliver under the overused “30 For 30” umbrella called “The Day The Series Stopped,” airing Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Here’s a clip that’s from the doc, showing how ESPN reporters scrambled to get interviews with the participants as they were scrambling out of Candlestick Park at the time.
Meanwhile, consider as well going to http://dayworldseriesstopped.com for an update on a revised 43-minute film pulled together by Northridge documentary maker Jon Leonoudakis, a lifelong Giants fan who was in Candlestick Park at the time with his brother Tim, loaded up with his own VHS camcorder and Canon SLR.
Leonoudakis, executive producer and owner of Evzone Media +Experiential, LLC, will release his doc, “The Day The World Series Stopped” (note the near theft of the name by the ESPN folks), on DVD the same day he premieres the film in the Bay Area, also on Tuesday, at the San Francisco Main Library. He will also show it at several libraries in San Mateo County from Wednesday to Oct. 21 before the L.A. premiere on Nov. 7 at the South Pasadena Library. All screenings are free and open to the public.
Leonaudakis, who said ESPN actually contacted him last April to be interviewed for its project but their schedules did not work out, calls the two projects complementary since his is purely a fan attending the game perspective their ESPN is more of an overview. He did have a version of his film come out in 2009 on the 20th anniversary but he has found some lost footage. With a larger budget, he decided to update the piece by renting Candlestick Park to meet up again with his brother as well as a stranded fan from Alabama that they had rescued in the post-quake exit scrum and include that in the newer version.
“This is much more in depth, and a much improved version of the experience,” he said.
Leonoudakis admits that while it it a bit annoying the two docs have similar titles, it would have cost him thousands of dollars to clear his title, which was money that he needed to complete his project.
“My film features a fan who was there, their film features a fan who was 13 and at a supermarket when the quake struck,” Leonoudakis said. “Their director is a very accomplished filmmaker, and I have no doubt it will be a good film. I will Tivo it for sure. I will I say I probably had a lot more fun making my film, as it was a very personal journey with a lot of surprises. My budget was likely microscopic to theirs, and I called on many friends to help out in key disciplines.”
In 2012, Leonoudakis debuted his documentary, “Not Exactly Cooperstown” about the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary and it’s Shrine of the Eternals. Our Q-and-A with him at the time.
== Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Molly McGrath pontificate on the UCLA-Oregon college football game from the Rose Bowl (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11). When last heard doing a UCLA game, we recall Davis continually mis-referring to them as “GLBs — gritty little Bruins” during their win over Texas last month. Meanwhile, Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Tom Luginbill drew the short straw to get USC’s game at Arizona (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2), which could be the Trojans’ last game on a non-Pac-12 Network feed until at least mid-November.
== ESPN “College GameDay” circles back from its first visit to Ole Miss last week to its first trip to Mississippi State in Starksville, Miss., prior to AP No. 2 Auburn at co-No. 3 Mississippi State on Saturday (Channel 2, 12:30 p.m.). Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit then jet over to College Station, Tex., for the game between co-No. 3 Ole Miss at No. 14 Texas A&M (6 p.m., ESPN).
== Remember way back when Byron Scott was a coach-in-waiting doing studio analysis work on Lakers games for TWC SportsNet? With his departure, the Lakers-centric channel entering its third season of existence says it will sub in Antawn Jamison (a Laker from 2012-13; a Clipper from ’13-’14) to john James Worthy and Robert Horry in the rotation as the primary studio men. Jamison debuts on Oct. 22 for the Lakers-Blazers exhibition game.
== In light of how the Dodgers were virtually non-existent on local TV this regular season, this Associated Press piece on how “Baseball’s Local Viewership Stays Strong” seems difficult to fully digest.
== Not long after the MLB Network boasted about how its coverage of the Dodgers-Cards NLDS Game 2 from Dodger Stadium was the all-time most watched live baseball game in its give-year history, it came back to report that the Giants-Nationals NLDS Game 3 in San Francisco was the highest rated in the net’s existence at 2.0. Both games had an average of 1.8 million viewers (with the Dodgers-Cards registering a 1.7 rating) — probably half of what it could have it been if it was carried on a Fox national platform. The two playoff games that the MLB Network took for exclusive coverage this year was up in viewership by 100 percent over the two LDS series it had last season.
== How ESPN, with a “brand value” of $11.5 billion, landed No. 2 — again — behind the Swoosh in the Forbes Fab 40 Most Valuable Sports Brands. Sky Sports, YES Network and MSG also made the Top 10 from those representing the media.
== Ian Darke, Taylor Twellman and Monica Gonzalez call the U.S.-Ecuador international friendly soccer match featuring the final national team appearance by Landon Donovan (Friday, 3:40 p.m., ESPN, leading into the Washington State-Stanford college football game). The game in East Hartford, Conn., not so far from the ESPN headquarters, will have Bob Ley, Alexi Lalas and Kasey Keller doing pre-game, halftime and post-game studio work from Rentschler Field as well.
== There’s an 18-day free preview of the NHL’s “Center Ice” package that goes through Oct. 25. The cost when you actually pay for it: $159.96.
== Al Trautwig, Tim Daggett, and Nastia Liukin are on NBC’s tape-delayed coverage of the World Gymnastics Championships from China on Saturday (Channel 4, 11 a.m.) and Sunday (Channel 4, noon to 3 p.m.).
== Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg, Avery Johnson, Myron Medcalf and Tony Delk will represent ESPN at this strange event called “Kentucky Men’s Basketball Practice” on Friday, noon, ESPNU in Lexington, Ky. The premise is that the two hours of drills will include NBA scouts from all 30 teams to see a team loaded with 2015 draft prospects.
== A piece in Variety about the women behind the “Fox NFL Sunday” is an interesting element to the magazine’s “2014 Power of Women” issue.
== ESPN’s Shelley Smith discusses her recent breast cancer diagnosis with SI’s Richard Deitsch.
== Marc Kestecher, Jon Barry and Brian Windhorst are in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for the NBA exhibition game between Cleveland and Miami — yes, it’s LeBron James playing against Dwayne Wade in a far-away land (Saturday, 2 p.m., ESPNEWS).
== Those who lend their voices to the next NFL Network weekly documentary “A Football Life” focused on Eric Dickerson (Friday, 6 p.m., with many repeats) are his former USC and Rams coach John Robinson, former college and NFL teammates Craig James, Dennis Harrah, Leroy Irvin, Jim Everett, Brian Baldinger and Jackie Slater, former Rams VP John Shaw, pseudo reporter Jim Gray, and wife Penny. Actor Josh Charles narrates it.
== This week’s Frys.Com Open has significance in that it marks the start of the PGA Tour’s 2014-15 season, with Golf Channel in charge of handling this and eight other events through the balance of 2014. The Frys.Com Open from Napa starts Thursday at 2 p.m. with NBC’s Johnny Miller, one of the owners of the Silverado Resort and Spa, as the tournament honoree. Roger Maltbie is the coverage’s main analyst.