Media column version 10.17.14: Spanning Colin Cowherd’s globe, as it circles the SoCal stratosphere

"The Herd" producer Vince Kates, left, joins Colin Cowherd to discuss show topics as the syndicated radio show simulcast on ESPNU begins Thursday morning from the ESPN 710 studios in L.A. Live.

“The Herd” producer Vince Kates, left, joins Colin Cowherd to discuss show topics as the syndicated radio show simulcast on ESPNU begins Thursday morning from the ESPN 710 studios in L.A. Live.

The stuff that will be remembered for minutes, maybe even days, from this week’s media column posted here:

Colin Cowherd has a thought about the difference between a USC and a UCLA fan.
And he’ll even share it.
“I’ve always felt UCLA was international — engineering, medical school — and USC was the wealth center for kids in L.A.,” the ESPN Radio weekday morning host said from the KSPN 710 L.A. studios across the street from Staples Center. “It always felt like a USC kid was part of a Southern California family. Or at least domestic. UCLA was Pacific rim.
“Now I will say because of private donations over the last decade, USC is really elevated as an international school in the business field, communications, film schools. Reading U.S. News and World Report, it feels like USC has made big strides. The people who went there say they couldn’t get into USC now.
“So, if you take both schools by the sports, USC football guy has a lot of East Coast passion in him. He’s more willing to call and yell. L.A. may not be a ‘fire the coach’ town, but even when Lane Kiffin was here and with all the chaos, they still won 10 games because the university is uniquely imbedded in the community. UCLA basketball maybe used to be that way. You don’t get that sense of urgency at UCLA. People are very satisfied with Mora at UCLA. Even the losses are pretty good.”
Surely, he’s said this before in the course of his show, but having him assess it while on L.A. turf, outside his Bristol, Conn., surroundings, seems to make it a little more relevant.
We had some time with Cowherd during his visit this week, which ends with a show on the USC campus Friday morning — and he’s heading out before Saturday’s USC-Colorado homecoming game, because TV shows that he has to host beckon.

The stuff we’ll post here, in hopes it lasts at least a quarter of a 24-hour news cycle:

51CN431yjNL== One more Cowherd-related take, as it pertains to critics of his work, and how it may become a chapter in the new book he’s working on these days, as a follow up to the one he released last year: “You know, they’re really your best friend. Most of them are educated and are looking for an elevated experience, and the truth is, I’ve used critics through the years to become a better broadcaster. I do have thick skin. I don’t take things personally. But we’re all human. I don’t think people like reading criticism. When I was a kid, Howard Cosell was my favorite sportscaster and I decided early in life I was not going to let the media dictate what the truth is to me. Now I’m supposed to think Conan O’Brien is funny. I think Jimmy Kimmel is funner. I will use critics as a way to prove myself, too. ‘Really, you think I’m this? I’ll prove it.’ I tell young broadcasters: Believe in yourself and use critics as motivation. Don’t curl up and don’t ignore them.”
We could be critical of that comment, but …. why?

Screen-shot-2014-10-15-at-6.05.39-PM== Thanks to a capture by AwfulAnnouncing.com, and we get what NBC was trying to ask. They updated the tweet:

Watch the video clip, but we’ll tell you right off that Milbury didn’t quite get his thoughts across as sharp as he did when we talked to him about this late last week, asking him about embellishing on his previous observations.
The points that caused us to ponder this more from the other side came from newly added NBC analyst McKenzie, who, unfortunately, painted the realistic picture of why progress hasn’t been made on this issue.
A brief transcript:
nbcotoMilbury: “The league has recognized that concussions are a problem…now go one step further. If you think head shots should be eliminated…then you must be on my side. Because if a punch to the head is not a head shot, what is? If you don’t jump on that bandwagon, I think you’re being a hypocrite.”
McKenzie: “Well, count me the hypocrite, I guess. I’m not for fighting – I’m not really against fighting either…To me, this argument is a tired argument. … We always talk about it when somebody like yourself who was for fighting suddenly stands up and says, ‘I’m no longer in favor of fighting.’ But here’s the reality of the situation – the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players Association, most of the coaches who coach the game…they do not want to go and cross that line that (exists) in every other sport (and eliminate fighting) — if you fight, you’re out of the game. So if the stakes holders are now willing to cross that line, then what you say or what I say or what anybody says in the media (doesn’t matter).”
After Milbury tried to cite two doctors whose research is proving that concussions are getting worse, McKenzie said he fully agreed but then added: “There are two possibilities that would force the National Hockey League to alter their perspective on fighting. Number one is a (long-term) legal liability  … but so far that hasn’t happened. The other would be, and God help it if it ever happened, a catastrophic injury, a death, a player brain dead from a fight. Then nobody who is pro-fighting could say, ‘Well, it’s part of the fabric of the game. They did it in 1917, so they do it now.'”
Milbury concluded: “Those are two really bad reasons to wait for change to happen. I’ve been trying to be a little forward thinking here.”
And also check the link from the Toronto Globe and Mail interviewing former Kings’ well-educated winger Kevin Westgarth, who isn’t really partying on with the Calgary Flames these days. Our Q and A with Westgarth from four years ago that spilled over to the blog — and two years before he would left off the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup playoff roster but still included in the party because of his regular-season contributions.

== The Pac-12 Network’s Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker and Jill Savage have USC-Colorado from the Coliseum at 3 p.m. Saturday; Bob Wischusen, Matt Millen and Quint Kessenich have UCLA at California (12:30 p.m., Channel 7, split national game.
ESPN “College GameDay” goes to Tallahassee, Fla., for the second time this year prior to the ABC coverage of No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0) at No. 2 Florida State (6-0) allowing Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit to stay in one place.

== The most interesting show we may never see as DirecTV subscribers — “The Drive,” on the Pac-12 Network — is at least worth checking at this link, about what goes on during a UCLA football practice. For those who already are plugged in, it airs Wednesday at 7 p.m. with repeats during the weekend.

== The Oct. 13 issue of Sports Illustrated included Richard Deitsch used a space in the “Scorecard” section to make “The Case for …” CNN’s Rachel Nichols, saying the “40-year-old … is at the moment the country’s most impactful and prominent female sports journalist (as opposed to a television personality such as Erin Andrews of Fox Sports).” No need to quanify it. Point understood. Yet, at the moment, Nichols is without a show since her weekly “Unguarded” was canceled in a cost-cutting move (along with “Crossfire” by Turner Broadcasting, according to Variety.

== Been following the “intrigue in motion” since ESPN has reinstated Bill Simmons? Nor  have we. The New York Times has,  saying the 45-year-old “could become something of a litmus test for the rising power of individual brands in a rapidly shifting media landscape. The drama will unfold at a time when sports have never been a more influential cultural and economic force, and venture-capital seed money is freely flowing into new-media start-ups.” Let us know how it all shakes out and we’ll act surprised when he a) leaves ESPN, b) starts his own media platform, c) gets some traction, d) has no financial backers, e) dies a quiet death, f) he returns to ESPN, g) seeks counseling from Keith Olbermann (who has moved onto his own website after leaving ESPN again), h) opens a recycled iPhone store in Boston.

== Part 1, followed by Part 2, of an interview SI’s Deitsch did with ESPN’s Keith Olbermann. Because, in talking to KO, you can’t stop his train of thought, you can only hope to contain it in less than three parts. Our most compelling takeaway, on how long he plans to stay at ESPN: “I have given it no thought whatsoever. (Description of his past jobs, etc). … and what I have learned is never having accurately predicted my future in terms of this business, I could be here another year or another 20 years. I have no earthly idea and it is almost insulting to everyone to say, “Oh this time I really think I am going to be here forever.” (More on his former jobs and) … When you can say I made boastful or inaccurate predictions about how long I was going to be at one company in two different stints in two different centuries, it’s time to stop predicting.”

== ESPNU’s three-hour coverage of the “Midnight Madness” part of college basketball’s first day of practice — Friday at 9 p.m. goes to San Diego State, Gonzaga and Arizona as well as Kentucky and Florida. More coverage on ESPN3.com includes UConn, Harvard, North Carolina State and Florida Gulf Coast.

== ESPN has made its “30 for 30” documentary series available on Netflix. It has been five years since the series was launched as a continuation of a project that celebrated the network’s 30th anniversary in 2009. Films that are part of the current run on ESPN will be on Netflix three weeks after their broadcast premiere.

== More insider information on how Tom Verducci will carve a new niche for himself as a Fox World Series analyst starting next week, from Ed Sherman and the National Sports Journalism Center, via the ShermanReport.com

== Long story short: NBC launched Wednesday a new micro-site withing NBCSports.com called NBC SportsWorld dedicated to long-form storytelling, essays, documentaries and short films. The name writers involved are Joe Posnanski and CSN Bay Area’s Ray Ratto.The name of the site comes from the NBC series from the 1980s, described here in the site intro story by Posnanski. Click here. On the “Cultural Relevance of YouTube,” Eric Angevine examines how the social media phenomenon has changed the way we experience sports. Click here.

== Highlights of the next HBO “Real Sports” includes two Jon Frankel pieces: One looks into the link between athletic-generated brain trauma and domestic violence, and the other is about the lack of MLB profits are failing to reach the minor-league levels so much that 32 players, led by former San Francisco Giants minor leaguer-turned-lawyer Garrett Broshuis, have filed a lawsuit against the league to overhaul the system.

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