What is posted in this week’s sports media column:
The Internet Movie Data Base plot summary for the documentary “Voice of the King” explains that Hockey Hall of Fame play-by-play man Bob Miller has been “thrilling Kings fans with accurate, honest, no-schtick” descriptions of the game since 1973, making him “the most popular hockey announcer in the history of Los Angeles, if not the National Hockey League.”
What has got our interest most may be the last line in the paragraph: “The ending of the film will show you a part of Miller perhaps nobody knows.”
Really, Miller says it’s OK to bring kids to the screening, which debuts Friday at the LA Live’s Regal Cinemas near Staples Center, outshining other offerings such as “Interstellar,” “The Hunger Games” and “Dumb and Dumber To.”
“I haven’t seen the film yet, but I think I know what that means,” Miller admitted this week about that teaser. “That is a proper description — and it’s all clean. This is a family film.”
Filmmaker Charlie Minn, whose own IMDB.com resume is all full of documentaries about murder, mystery and mayhem, decided to take a shot at a Miller portrait anyway, and the result will be out there to witness and report to local authorities.
To expand on the information about who’s included in the film — with Ed Roski listed as the executive producer: Not only is Miller’s wife, Judy, included, but so are his son Kevin and daughter Kristen, KSPN-AM (710) sports-talk host and Lakers play by play man John Ireland, radio host Tim Conway, Jr. and, former FSW game producer Bob Borgen.
Of course we’re not the only ones writing (or doing TV interviews) about this thing:
== The OC Register
== Channel 11
== KSPN-AM 710’s Mason and Ireland
== The Kings website
== Strange to have to report that there is a report on FrozenRoyalty.net about how some Kings fans became upset when reporters were tweeting out a Slava Voynov sighting before a recent team practice — which resulted in a $100,000 fine for the franchise. The fans’ reasoning: The news would hurt the team, so it shouldn’t have been put out there. What maybe irked them more was that one of the three reporters present at the Tuesday morning skate was LAKingsInsider Jon Rosen, paid by the team to report on the team:
“I wonder where the NHL read about Slava skating with the team? ” wrote one Twitter user. “I hope the Kings take some of that $100,000 fine from your paycheck for deciding you had to share this with the world,” wrote another.
Listen, the reporters sensed something strange — maybe Voynov was approved to start playing and it hadn’t been announced. And they knew the difference between what they saw versus the individual time on the ice Voynov had been getting with an assistant coach while they all waited out his domestic violence legal matter. We’ll see, however, what kind of blowback comes to Jon Rosen, who may be between a rock and hard place, as current OC Register, former L.A. Daily News beat reporter and one-time LAKingsInsider Rich Hammond went though before leaving (story linked here).
What else is worth noting here:
== Taylor Twellman, the lead ESPN soccer analyst who just signed an eight-year contract extension with the network, will be paired up with Adrian Healey on play-by-play, and joined by sideline reporter Monica Gonzalez on the ESPN coverage of the Galaxy-New England MLS Cup on Sunday at noon.
And there’s no doubt Twellman will be reminded that, when he was a member of four Revolution teams that made it to the MLS Cup final over a six-year span from 2002-07, the team didn’t win any of them.
Of course, Alexi Lalas is up on his kickball history.
The star defender of the Galaxy team that won the MLS Cup in 2002 against New England, 1-0, in Foxoboro, Mass, was also a member of the Revolution from 1996-97. He was the Galaxy GM in 2005 when they again beat New England and Twellman, 1-0, in the 2005 MLS Cup.
“I have flashbacks every time L.A. and New England play — cold sweats, high fever, nausea … and not for good reasons,” Twellman said Thursday morning as he was driving in Boston to the airport to fly out to L.A. for the contest. “And Alexi will remind me that, for 90-minutes plus, he had me in his pocket during that 2002 championship game.
“It’ll all come up again this weekend. It has to. It’s part of the history. It’s got to be even a little weird for Alexi because he played for both teams. But you can be sure he reminds me of that history ever now and again … or at least once a month. And in fairness to him, everyone reminds me of that streak.”
Lalas won’t be far from fanning the flames. He’s joined by Max Bretos and Kasey Keller on the pre-game, halftime and postgame shows.
The start of Twellman’s pro soccer career runs almost parallel to Landon Donovan’s. Both were playing professionally in Germany in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Twellman went to the MLS with New England in 2002; Donovan had joined San Jose in 2001.
But for Twellman, missing the 2008 and ’09 seasons after a neck injury and then a serious concussion suffered in a game against Donovan and the Galaxy in Aug., 2008, the end came too soon, and he was forced to retire at the end of the 2010 season — and donate his brain to science after his death to see how multiple concussions affected his life.
As a commentator, Twellman shows no effect of slowing down. And his appreciation for what Donovan has accomplished is genuine.
“This must be his 17th ‘last game’ in a row, right?” Twellman asked. “That’s got to be the biggest storyline to this game, and it affects everyone. It actually takes a lot of pressure away from him. And it gives New England extra incentive — not that they need it — to spoil the party.
“This should really be an exciting final match — a very open game. New England tends to give up goals early — they gave up six already during the playoffs — and it remains to be seen if, after they give up chances to the Galaxy, will they get their chances against the team with the best defense in the league?”
Twellman adds that the Galaxy’s 5-1 regular-season win over the Revolution back in July only adds “a little insight” into what could happen this time.
“To say this is the same New England team, and the same L.A. team … no,” he said.
And to say Seattle may have deserved to be in this spot instead of the Galaxy, after the teams split a Western Conference final series but L.A. advanced on more road goals isn’t where Twellman would go with the conversation either.
“L.A. got through it with the away goals, but in reality, it was 2-2 (in total goals). They were so evenly matched, and that’s why it was so interesting to watch. The fact the Galaxy got through without goals from Donovan or Gyasi Zardes shows the strength of the team. Seattle had plenty of chances to score a road goal, but it didn’t come through.”
In all ESPN has 12 commentators at the game, including five who are doing the Spanish call, and Healey, Twellman, Lalas and Stuart Holden, a member of the U.S. Men’s National team, will be part of a 30-minute “ESPN FC” show to preview the game on the game (Friday, 3 p.m., ESPNEWS)
ESPN says it will debut a new “graphic telestration system” that can tracks the movement of players in real-time. It can be used live or in a replay to show what’s going on.
== Very sad news about the passing of St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist and HBO “Inside the NFL” contributor Bryan Burwell at age 59.
== ESPN’s fifth ombudsman, Bob Lipsyte, posts his final column as the arbiter of all that happens at the giant company. Without trying to give away the ending, the first line of his last story: “ESPN is an empire.”
OK, we have to say his most important suggestion this time is pushing the idea of the creation of a new newtork — call it ESPN-J — where journalism workshops are taught to inner-city high school kids, by ESPN people. And who might learn more about journalism in the process? Right, ESPN. Continue reading “Media column version 12.05.14: A doc fit for a King … and Bob Miller … plus, what does Taylor Twellman have to do to get Alexi Lalas off his back?” »