Beth Mowins, above, discusses a recent time in her ESPN career when she had an 18-day road trip that involved seven games across five events.
After a week off, we’ll generate some more media-ness for this Sunday. But until then, the notes that are worth noting at this point:
Los Angeles Oakland Raiders’ exhibition opener against the visiting Los Angeles St. Louis Rams (tonight, 7 p.m., Channel 5) comes with the notation that Beth Mowins, most recognizable for her work on college basketball, softball and college football at ESPN, has been given the chance to do play-by-play.
The first, and last, woman to broadcast an NFL game was when NBC had Gayle Sirens did a late-season Seattle-Kansas City game in 1987.
Working with former Raiders Tim Brown and Matt Millen on three of the four exhibition games, Mowins recently told SI.com’s Richard Deitsche that it probably didn’t hurt that she’s a Syracuse graduate — as was former Raiders owner Al Davis, who has been known for giving many females high-profile positions in his organization. Davis’ son, Mark, the current owner, said he did not want to do simply a radio simulcast on the exhibition games. Those games come to the L.A. market on KLAC-AM (570) (along with the Chargers) or KEIB-AM (1150) with Greg Papa and Tom Flores.
“Beth is an accomplished woman and I congratulate her and wish her all the very best,” Amy Trask, a CBS Sports NFL studio analyst and the first female CEO of an NFL team when Davis hired her for the Raiders, told Deitsche. “That said, you asked me how significant I believe her hire to be. The most significant moment will be when we stop referring to the hiring of qualified women (and racial, ethnic and religious minorities) as significant. In other words, when qualified people are hired without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, religious or other differentiating characteristics, that will be the most significant, indeed momentous, event of all. My experience with Raiders fans was that my gender was of no concern to the vast majority of them and I believe and hope that will be Beth’s experience as well.”
Mowins said in an Associated Press story this week that “to be able to do it with the Raiders is pretty cool. I’m friends with Gayle Sirens so it’s pretty cool that it has come back full circle and the opportunity is there for me.”
Mowins also told the San Jose Mercury News that growing up, she wanted to be Pat Summerall. She told the San Francisco Chronicles Ann Killion that “you have to have a hard shell and be able to take it and bounce back.”
Now, we’ll see where this leads. We also second Deistche’s suggestion on MMQB.com that ESPN should go so far as to put Mowins instead of Chris Berman on the network’s Vikings-49ers telecast on Sept. 7, the second of a Monday night opening doubleheader.
The Raiders’ exhibition schedule continues at Minnesota (Saturday, Aug. 22) and ends at Seattle (Thursday, Sept. 3) with a game at Oakland against Arizona on Sunday, Aug. 30, that NBC televises nationally with its’ “Sunday Night’ crew.
The Raiders’ replayed games are often found on NFL Network as well.
== Colin Cowherd showed up at a recent USC football practice this week adorned in a Trojans cap and T-shirt?
So …. welcome to L.A.? Officially. Just keep getting free shirts and you may never have to do laundry again.
Fox Sports detailed his arrival at the company this week in his post-ESPN career, which starts with bringing “The Herd” to Fox Sports Radio — including KLAC-AM (570) –on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
He’ll take the 9 a.m. to noon hole right after Dan Patrick.
But according to sources who know that the Dodgers insist there be seven hours of local programming on the station now that the team has made an investment in it, it goes against logic that Jay Mohr will be the odd voice out. His current syndicated noon-to-3 p.m. slot will be commandeered by the two currently fumbling their way through the 9 a.m.-to-noon window — Bill Reiter and Leeann Tweeden — and becoming the Cowherd post-game show won’t help at all as they become buried even further trying to survive against KSPN-AM (710)’s Steve Mason and John Ireland, or even Fred Roggin over on The Beast 980.
Mohr, who has more than a year left on his radio deal after replacing Jim Rome way back when, will still be accessible through the IHeartRadio.com stream, but just no where in the L.A. market on the radio dial. That could drive the well-known comic off the rails.
This new version of “The Herd” — it had been known as “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” when it launched on the West Coast in 2004 — will also go simulcast live on Fox Sports 1. That means the simulcast of the Mike Francessa radio show moves to FS2. Is that still a channel?
The other element of the job for Cowherd is becoming part of the Fox NFL Kickoff show team on Sundays on FS1 from 8-to-9 a.m., leading into the “Fox NFL Sunday” show (on Channel 11). The show has yet to announce its full team.
“Colin is the first person I hired for my first daily studio show at ESPN (‘SportsNation’ in July, ’09), so it’s fitting that he’s the first one I’m hiring at FS1,” said recently installed Fox Sports National Networks president Jamie Horowitz. “Colin is a unique voice in sports media with a loyal following of fans, and we’re looking forward to building our daytime programming around him.”
Cowherd said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that it wasn’t vital that he have “a presence” on the FS1 NFL pregame show, because “I’m not somebody that demands a presence. I would rather be on a thoughtful [program]. I don’t need to be the star. My radio show obviously is built around my personality. To me, radio is about making you uncomfortable. Television is about making you comfortable: Who do you like? Who do you want to be friends with? So I don’t need to tower over people in television. If I can be a part of a really great project, I’m all in.”
== Nomar Garciaparra takes a detour from his Dodgers’ SportsNet LA channel duties to rejoin ESPN for its Little League World Series coverage starting Thursday. Garciaparra will be a game analyst through the tournament with Karl Ravech, Kyle Peterson and Jaymee Sire through the Aug. 30 championship on ABC. Before coming to SportsNet LA, Garciaparra joined ESPN in 2010 right after his retirement.
== Coming from a renowned courtroom sketch artist, this depiction of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from a Deflategate hearing might look a little sketchy.
So is “bullying” her online is the way to let the eye of the beholder known? She took the witness stand and made her case on Thursday’s edition of the Dan Patrick radio show (clip above).
== For the Fox Sports 1 coverage of the Angels’ game in Kansas City (Saturday, 4 p.m.), the net has decided to keep the Angels (and former Royals pitcher) Mark Gubicza as the game analyst, pairing him with Joe Davis and Ken Rosenthal. For ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” coverage at 5 p.m. the next day, it’s back to Dan Shulman, Curt Schilling, John Kruk and Buster Olney.
== An app called Gridiron Grunts that was developed by former UCLA linebacker Ryan Nece and one-time Tampa Bay Bucs teammate Jeb Terry, allowing NFL players to capture behind-the-scenes video, has been bought up by Fox Sports Digital in hopes of expanding it to more sports.
With the deal, Terry also becomes a VP of Program Management for Fox Sports Digital as it explores how to use this with its MLB, soccer, golf and UFC digital deals. Nece, the son of former NFL and USC star Ronnie Lott who studied economics and poli sci at UCLA, came up with the startup became called StraightCase Media when he and Terry participated in the NFL’s Business Management and Entrepreneurial programs at Harvard and Stanford. NFL players such as Richard Sherman, Rob Gronkowski and Marshawn Lynch have used the app to connect with fans. Fox, ESPN and NFL Network have done work with StraightCast Media in the past.
“This technology gives athletes an easy way to create and upload video content that Fox Sports can then share across multiple platforms to give fans greater behind-the-scenes access,” said Devin Poolman, the Fox Sports Digital senior VP of product development. . “We’re excited to have Jeb join Fox Sports Digital and look forward to him leading the efforts to expand this athlete-driven content to more sports.”
== Dew Tour coverage of its three-day L.A. stop this weekend starts at 4 p.m. today on DewTour.com with the skateboard vert, but NBC chops it up and edits it into four hour-long specials starting Aug. 30 through Oct. 4.
== Showtime says it is doing its own version of “Hard Knocks” with “A Season With Notre Dame Football” all-access documentary that premieres on Sept. 8 at 10 p.m., just days prior to the Irish opener against Texas. The 30-minute weekly episodes are to air every Tuesday night.
== A segment on the latest episode of “Real Sports” (HBO, Tuesday, 10 p.m.) has Andrea Kremer trying to get new Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan to open up.
As has been the case during this season of “Real Sports,” the comedian asked to give his spin on something this time will be Dodgers fan George Lopez, talking about Latinos in the MLB.
== Pleased with how NBC has marketed and covered its games for the last two seasons, the Premiere League extended its U.S. rights deal with the network through 2021-22 earlier this week, keeping the matches on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, Telemundo and NBC Universo, plus live streaming. Fox and beIn Sport had also been in the bidding for the rights. Estimates are that NBC will pay as much as $1 billion for this deal.
Makes pure sense (and dollars) to NBC as well. The network reported more than 4.2 million viewers turned into the six telecasts it had to offer for last week’s Premiere League opening weekend, up from 3.3 million for five games a year ago.
Meanwhile, U.S. men’s national team goal keeper Tim Howard joins Arlo White to call Sunday’s Manchester City-Chelsea Premier League match for NBC (8 a.m., Channel 4), just a day after Howard plays for Everton in a match against Southampton (Saturday, 4:45 a.m., NBCSN).
== A story on RollingStone.com that needed six co-bylines this week to determine the 30 greatest sports movies of all time — why? why not — determined that the 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams” about William Gates and Arthur Agee in pursuit of an NBA dream, as captured by Steve James, Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marx, stands up as No. 1.
Best non-fiction: The 1976 Oscar winner “Rocky,” which is at No. 2.
Some of our favorite docs that were slotted: 1966 “The Endless Summer” (No. 16), 2005 “Murderball” (No. 14) and 2014 “No No: A Dockumentary” on Dock Ellis (No. 30).
== As part of Fox Sports’ college football coverage this season, Petros Papadakis will be move involved with the network’s Big Ten game package, starting as an analyst with play by play man Justin Kutcher doing the Purdue-Marshall game on Sunday, Sept. 6 at noon on FS1.
== Al Trautwig, Tim Daggett, Nastia Liukin and Andrea Joyce cover the P&G Gymnastics Championships for NBC that will determine the U.S. champion and national team one year out from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. This event from Indianapolis has primetime viewing of the women’s all-around final on Saturday (8 p.m., delayed) and the men’s all-around on Sunday (noon)
== Al Michaels, having to piece together a one-minute-plus eulogy during last Sunday’s NBC broadcast of the Pro Football Hall of Fame telecast, referred to former ABC “Monday Night” partner Frank Gifford as the man who “no matter what was going on around him, he was always the coolest guy in the room.”
Reflecting back on his story through the 1993 memoir “The Whole Ten Yards” (with Harry Waters, Random House), Gifford talked in the first chapter about how he abruptly was paired with Michaels in 1986.
After 15 years of doing “MNF” from 1971-85 as the play-by-play partner for Howard Cosell and Don Meredith, then babysitting Joe Namath, Fran Tarkenton and O.J. Simpson, Gifford was asked to become an analyst so Michaels could come in and do play-by-play.
“I didn’t get mad, but I was hurt,” Gifford said in the book. “It bruised my pride. On top of that, it was a traumatic time in my personal life. My brother had just died, my mother was seriously ill and I was going through a tough divorce. … I seriously considered packing it all in and starting a new life in Santa Fe.”
New ABC Sports chief Dennis Swanson then “appealed to the player in me” to take this to help the team. “Then he offered me a four-year contract with a whole lot of zeros. It goes without saying what that did for the poor kid in me.”
Gifford went on to call Michaels “the best play-by-play man in the business. He’s really almost perfection.”
In Michaels’ recently published autobiography, “You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories and The Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television,” he said of that first year with Gifford as they worked in a two-man booth: “The season was a lot of fun. Frank and I got along great — Frank even got married in the middle of the season to Kathie Lee. … I thought that the show had regained some cachet — at least the drumbeat of articles about ‘saving’ the show has begun to fade away.”
Michaels had a few hours to prepare his words about Gifford, who would have turned 85 on this Sunday. CBS’ Jim Nantz delivered this during the PGA golf telecast, pointing out that Gifford started his career at that network and also did the Masters for CBS at one point: