Elizabeth and Joe McDonnell, at a Southern California Sports Broadcasters awards ceremony. (Photo: www.twitter.com/socalsportscast
Never, ever shy in front of a microphone, Joe McDonnell would have delivered an acceptance speech worthy of a Richter scale measurement after waiting impatiently for years to get inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
The annual awards luncheon happens Monday at the Lakeside Country Club in Toluca Lake. But curses — McDonnell, who died last March at the age of 58, won’t be afforded that opportunity to speak.
Joe McDonnell, right, with Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Photo by Jill Painter Lopez (www.twitter.com/jillpainter
Receiving this recognition “was on the top of his bucket list,” said his wife, Elizabeth McDonnell.
“It was something he talked about for years. Joe often spoke about his Golden Mics being his greatest accomplishments, but getting a Hall of Fame induction would be the only thing that could compare to that.
“It was his greatest wish and I’m so grateful that it can happen for him.”
Former UCLA play-by-play man Chris Roberts will make McDonnell’s acceptance speech on his behalf, with Elizabeth McDonnell seated nearby at a table full of family and friends.
“I know he’s with us in spirit, and his smile is sooo very big,” she said. “His eyes are filled with joy and his heart is full knowing that other people think so highly of him.”
Along with the annual awards for best play-by-play, analysts, sports-talk hosts and sports news teams, the SCSB will also induct Kings TV analyst Jim Fox and KABC-Channel 7 sportscaster Rob Fukuzakiinto its Hall, which began honoring local broadcasters in 1992, starting with Tom Harmon. More on this column at this link.
It should now be obvious that, when the NFL owners were recently trying to resolve this Inglewood-Carson quandary, de facto commissioner Jerry Jones tossed up one of those giant manhole covers they use to determine kickoffs in overtime, the thing obviously didn’t flip (by design) and it hit the ground in favor of the “Rams.”
“Chargers” never had a chance. Heads down. Tails, they lose.
Still in the formation stages of a Sunday media piece, but until then, what’s worth collecting and posting now:
== In the days since Monday’s passing of Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, a CBS video has been circulating from 1985 when the Dodgers’ Vin Scully was asked to coach Frey in the Dodger Stadium booth and help direct him through a call of an inning as part of an MLB marketing idea that linked music to baseball.
We asked Scully what he recalled from that meeting. He responded via email with a peaceful, easy feeling: “30 years ago means over 3,500 games ago. I do remember he was very down to Earth, highly excited about doing an inning and very sincere about his longtime desire to become a sportscaster. “When Guerrero hit the home run, he really lost it for the moment and we both had a good laugh. He was genuine and very, very nice. Little did I know he would become a worldwide major talent. What a loss.”
== With Friday marking the 10th anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against Toronto at Staples Center, NBA.com has launched a microsite tribute and NBA TV says it will replay that game Friday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.
And yes, the game tape used here is the one Bill Macdonald and Stu Lantz called for Fox Sports West at the time. Macdonald was subbing in for TV play-by-play man at the time, Joel Meyers, who made the call to bail out on this game to accept an assignment for the NFC championship game on Westwood One radio instead.
And for whatever reason, Macdonald is in his fifth season as the Lakers’ TV voice on TWC SportsNet, and Meyers …
Working still in New Orleans? Meanwhile, ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose (pictured behind Bryant celebrating in that game) has a particularly personal take, and lesson learned, of Bryant’s performance in his new book, “Got To Give The People What They Want: True Stories and Flagrant Opinions from Center Court.”
To set the stage, Rose first writes about when he was with Indiana Pacers in 2000, facing the Lakers in the NBA championship.
Rose had to guard Bryant in Game 2 with the Lakers up, 1-0, in the series. “With about three minutes left in the first quarter, Kobe went up for a jumper on the wing. I turned around to look at the shot, and I felt something land on my foot. I heard a crunch and as I ran back up the floor, I had to step over Kobe, who was suddenly curled up on the floor screaming in pain. Oops. Casualty of war. … Unwritten Rule No. 1: Never stick your foot out underneath a guy after he takes a jumper. Anything could happen — a twisted ankle, a sprained foot, even a break. Remember: The ones who know the rules best are the best at breaking them.”
Bryant was out for Game 3, played little in Game 4, but the Lakers won the series in six games behind Shaquille O’Neal.
Fast forward to about 5 1/2-years later and Rose is writing on page 214 about his time in Toronto. “The 2005-2006 season had some crazy twists and turns — starting with a night in Los Angeles, when you might say Kobe Bryant got his ultimate revenge on me for the Finals a few years earlier. “(Toronto coach) Sam Mitchell had the idea to defend him with a 1-2-2 zone, and it kind of worked in the first half. Kobe had 26 points, but we were up 14. After halftime, the Black Mamba decided he wasn’t going to lose to the last-place Raptors and went to work like arguably no one in the history of the NBA. He scored 55 on us in the second half — it almost sounds impossible — to finish with an immortal 81 points. … “Kobe didn’t say a word that night. Not one word. But way in the back of my head, the voice I heard was simple. This is basketball karma. This is what you get — even five years later — when you mess with Kobe Bryant.”
== Forbes declares the Lakers are the NBA’s “most profitable team” based on its $3.6 billion, 20-year deal with Time Warner Cable Sports. It also notes that SportsNet LA ratings “were off more than 50% for Lakers’ games during the 2014-15 season with Bryant sidelined by injuries most of the year, but the average audience size of 122,000 viewers per game was still the second highest in the NBA.”
Gracie Gold skates at the 2015 ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Shanghai last March.
THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS:
U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS LADIES’ FREE SKATE Details/TV: At St. Paul, Minn., Saturday at 6 p.m., Channel 4 (delayed) Twin sisters Gracie and Carly Gold moved out of their suburban Chicago home with their mom back in 2013, and they’ve been sharing a bedroom in Redondo Beach as they train together in El Segundo with renowned skating coach Frank Carroll. Gracie, you may be familiar with. The 2014 U.S. women’s figure skating champion, who finished second last year to Ashley Wagner, has designs on making it to the 2018 Olympics after a fourth-place finish in Sochi two years ago. Carly, who finished one spot away from qualifying for last year’s nationals, recently won the Pacific Coast Sectionals in Burbank, so that means she gets into the field for the 2016 nationals — and the result is the 20-year-old sisters will be competing against each other. The last time that happened at nationals was in 2003, with Alissa Czisny (who was 10th) and twin Amber Czisny (who was 20th). “Nationals has been my goal since I was 10,” Carly Gold said in a recent interview with USA Today, as both are also targeting the ISU World Figure Skating championships in April, set for Boston. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Wagner, who continues to train in Orange County, could be a four-time U.S. champ by the time this plays out, and she would also become the oldest U.S. woman to claim this title since Maribel Vinson in 1937. Others up for the challenge: Karen Chen (third last year), Polina Edmunds (fourth last year), Courtney Hicks and Mirai Nagasu (third in 2014). On the men’s side, decided by the free skate Sunday, it’s something of an open field since defending champion Jason Brown had to pass on this competition with a back strain. Ready to step up is 2013 champion Max Aaron (fourth last year, third in 2014), Adam Rippon (second last year), Nathan Chen and Richard Dornbush.
Also: The ladies’ short program is Thursday, with the men’s short program on Friday and the long program on Sunday (1 p.m., Channel 4). The pairs dance and free skate finals are Saturday (noon, Channel 4). Also Friday: Evan Lysacek, Sasha Cohen, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto will be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
More info: www.2016uschampionships.com
ALSO THIS WEEK:
New England and Denver have the AFC title game (Sunday, noon, Channel 2) followed by the NFC title game between Arizona and Carolina (Sunday, 3:30 p.m., Channel 11) … The Clippers’ game at Cleveland (Thursday, 5 p.m.) goes to TNT … USC and UCLA make the Oregon road trip .. More at this link.
You’re under no obligation yet to adjust your TV settings, radio buttons or Twitter handles just because the Rams, by all recent accounts, are putting together a comeback tour in L.A.
What’s next is as much going on practical logistics as problematic speculations.
So if you’d like to play along, here’s what we don’t know, and really don’t know yet and what we wouldn’t mind see happen before this fall: Go to this link for more …