Play It Forward Feb. 15-21: Trust in Hahn as he defends his L.A. PGA Tour stop title against Spieth, McIlroy, Watson

James Hahn, center in gray, gets doused with beer by Jason Oh (left) and Noh Seung-Yul (right) after Hahn won his first PGA Tour event, the Northern Trust Open at Riviera last February. (Mark J. Terrell/Associated Press)

James Hahn, center in gray, gets doused with beer by Jason Oh (left) and Noh Seung-Yul (right) after Hahn won his first PGA Tour event, the Northern Trust Open at Riviera last February. (Mark J. Terrell/Associated Press)

THIS WEEK’S BEST BET

GOLF: PGA NORTHERN TRUST OPEN
Details/TV: At Riviera Country Club, Thursday-Sunday, Golf Channel, Channel 2:
tournews_northerntrustJames Hahn must have felt like the mayor of Los Angeles on a rainy Sunday in February last year.
Not the James Hahn who actually was the L.A. mayor some 15 years ago. This James Hahn, who had had been on the PGA Tour without a win until he somehow survived a three-man playoff, had a weekend to remember.
Remember that?
“I remember a lot,” he said the other day.
First, he recalled how he and Dustin Johnson were on the back nine of the final round going back and forth in the lead, but then Hahn he hit his ball in high grass about 30 yards short of the green on No. 12 and told his caddie: ‘If we don’t find this ball, we’re done’ because he’d likely take a triple-bogey when all was said and done …
OK, you can fast forward a bit. Sergio Garcia, the tournament leader playing in the group behind those two, bogeyed his final two holes. All of the sudden, there’s a traffic jam on the leaderboard with Hahn, Johnson and Paul Casey.
Bring the umbrella, we’re going to extra holes.
“I’ve re-watched it about 20 times,” Hahn said.
They all scramble for a par on 18 again on the first sudden death.
Casey then falls out on the 10th second hole because his par can’t match the ridiculous birdies put up by Hahn and Johnson. Hahn’s flop shot in wet grass over the back bunker behind the green sets him up for a 10-foot putt to stay in it.
Now on the par 3 14th, Hahn hits a 6-iron into the mist and wind and he’s on the green about 25 feet away. Hahn aimed left of the hole and said he “just trusted that it was the correct read. Hopefully, it wasn’t that it had hit a patch of poa annua and it broke right. … Hit a perfect putt, had perfect speed and it went in.”
Johnson then missed his birdie try from 12 feet.

James Hahn holds up his trophy after winning the Northern Trust Open in 2015. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

James Hahn holds up his trophy after winning the Northern Trust Open in 2015. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Hahn didn’t even both to do his usual “Gangnam Style” dance. He was too humbled.
The 33-year-old born in South Korea who attended Cal won a trip to the Masters for the win.
The Northern Trust Open (which is the last year this even will go under this sponsor heading) is marking 90 years as the L.A. stop on the PGA Tour. Harry Cooper won the 1926 event when it was simply called the Los Angeles Open. Hahn finds himself defending it in a field that includes Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and 2014 winner Bubba Watson.
“This will be the first time that I’ve had to go back as a defending champion,” Hahn said. “I’ve already gotten multiple texts from people sending my pictures of my face on the side of buses and at shopping malls and billboards.  It’ll be interesting.  I’ve never had that happen before.”

THE REST OF THE WEEK:
The Clippers come off the All Star break facing the trade deadline (Thursday, noon) with home games against San Antonio (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., TNT) and Golden State (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., Channel 7) … The Daytona 500 starts the NASCAR Sprint Cup season (Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 11) … USC and UCLA play host to Utah and Colorado in college basketball … More at this link …

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Sunday media: So you think you can dance the Pac-12 Net, UCLA women’s gymnastics into our hearts, just like that?

1960141Sometimes, all it takes is well-place Whip, a noteworthy Nae Nae and a delicious Dap to vault the viewership of women’s college gymnastics to the next level.
The incredible social media attention that has come this week cascading over UCLA senior gymnast Sophina DeJesus specifically, and the sport in general, probably caught many off guard. But DeJesus’ hip-hop energized floor routine that capped off a dual meet win over Utah at Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 6 and carried by the Pac-12 Network continues to resonate loudly whether or not viewers are up to speed with everything she mashed up into it.
As UCLA pointed out in a banner promo on its athletic website prior to tonight’s meet against visiting Oregon State, DeJesus’ routine has “26 million views … and counting … Experience it live!”
More at this link …

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

The value of having Ross Porter calling CSUN baseball? Meet the parents

Ross Porter will do 18 games for Cal State Northridge baseball. (Photo by Lee Choo/CSUN Athletics)

Ross Porter will do 18 games for Cal State Northridge baseball. (Photo by Lee Choo/CSUN Athletics)

There is some instant credibility for the Cal State Northridge baseball program by having former Dodgers play-by-play man Ross Porter agree to call 18 home games this season for the CSUN Sports Network, beginning with the season opener Friday, Feb. 19 against Cal State Bakersfield.
Matadors head coach Greg Moore may have found that out by accident recently.
“He told me that when he was at a recruit’s home, it came up in the conversation that I would be doing some of the games, and he said the player’s father just brightened up ‘like I just gave him a $10 bill,’ ” Porter said. “I told Greg that I hope I’m not causing any NCAA violations. I can see how parents might remember me, but wouldn’t the players have had to be pretty young?”

Ross Porter does an interview before throwing out the first pitch before a Dodgers' game in 2013. (mlb.com)

Ross Porter does an interview before throwing out the first pitch before a Dodgers’ game in 2013. (mlb.com)

It’s been 11 years since Porter last called a Dodger game – the end of a 28-year run – but the 77-year-old former KNBC-Channel 4 sports anchor has kept busy calling games for high school football Internet streaming services as well as developing his own “Real Sports Heroes” radio venture. The last baseball game he called of note was when Fox Sports West hired him to do the 2013 CIF Division II and III baseball championships from Dodger Stadium that streamed on their PrepZone.com site.
Continue reading “The value of having Ross Porter calling CSUN baseball? Meet the parents” »

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Remembering Frank Polak, a KLAC asset during and after their Lakers’ run

Photo from www.Twitter.com/eddiegarcia

Photo from www.Twitter.com/eddieonfox, from Fox Sports Radio news anchor Eddie Garcia.

Funeral services are planned for Sunday in Mission Hills to honor Frank Polak, the longtime Lakers radio producer/engineer back during their run on KLAC-AM (570) as its flagship station.
Polak, 61, who had been working at Fox Sports Radio network studios the last six years, was found dead at his home in Lake Balboa on Sunday. The cause of death was not officially given, but speculation ranges from a heart attack or the result of a blood clot from a recent injury to his leg while playing hockey.
Polak had a 30-year-run with the Lakers broadcast, 23 of them with Chick Hearn. The Lakers Hall of Fame play-by-play man who died in 2002 often mentioned Polak’s name in the opening and closing credits.

From the Twitter account of Fox Sports Radio's Eddie Garcia.

From the Twitter account of Fox Sports Radio’s Eddie Garcia.

Polak was also an engineer for the Jim Healy show, as well as working on Kings’ NHL games when the team simulcast them on radio and TV.
Polak was an avid hockey fan and continued to play the game in local leagues.

Spero Dedes, who called Lakers games on KLAC from 2005-11, says he woke up the other day to text messages and calls from game analyst Mychal Thompson, statistician Doug Mann and program director Brian Blackmore, relaying the news.
Polak was one of the first people at KLAC that Dedes met after he landed the Lakers job.
“I still remember that very first day in L.A. — a brief pit stop at the Lakers facility to meet everyone and then driving out to KLAC’s building in Burbank, a whirlwind meeting all those people in the span of a few hours, but Frank was the one I spent the most time with that first day,” said Dedes.
“He had this incredibly friendly smile and disposition. He was the type of guy you’d meet and after five minutes felt like an old friend.”
Continue reading “Remembering Frank Polak, a KLAC asset during and after their Lakers’ run” »

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly media notes version 02.11.16 — How might a Nae Nae on the UCLA gymnastics floor whip up more TV viewers

Coming up for Sunday:
Sometimes, all it takes is a well-placed Whip. Neatly-inserted Nae Naes.Cap it off with a dastardly Dap.
And people will take notice to what happens in a televised college gymnastics meet.
Even days after the fact.
The social media attention that came cascading over UCLA senior gymnast Sophina DeJesus at the start of this week after a very non-routine floor routine — the first of her college career — during the Bruins’ dual meet win at Pauley Pavilion last Saturday against Utah on the Pac-12 Network seemed to start with a fan-inspired Facebook post.
The attention level rose so quickly that media outlets like NBC and The New York Times and then USWeekly, ESPNw and NPR decided to follow up on all the commotion in the days after it.
Some are calling her “badass” and the routine as “insane.”
Still, it was was only third-best on her team that day by the judges’ tally.
dejesuseA version put up on YouTube (above) by NastiaFan101take12 already has 7.5 million views.
Jim Watson and Amada Borden are on the call.
To show how much this even took the TV crew by surprise, Watson misidentified DeJesus at the beginning of the routine because he was given a different list of competitors from UCLA, but it was changed right before she went on.
In a roundabout way, this brings to light the fact that women’s gymnastics are the third-biggest attraction on the Pac-12 Network, behind college football and not that far back of men’s college basketball. The same trend is apparent on the ESPN-owned SEC Network, as the two conferences have the strongest women’s gymnastics programs in the country. The Big 12’s Oklahoma, which has a meet at UCLA on March 13, currently holds the nation’s No. 1 ranking.
Eleven of the 12 UCLA meets in 2016 have been or will be live on the Pac-12 Network, including a home meet against Oregon State on Saturday at 8 p.m. (with Rich Burk and former UCLA gymnast Samantha Peszek on the call).
The Bruins are ranked No. 7 nationally. USC does not have a women’s’ gymnastics team.
We’ll get more into this and how those providing the TV pictures may react to this going forward.
Also: More on the Ross Porter hiring at Cal State Northridge to do a slate of home baseball games starting next Friday.

What’s worth posting now:

== Posted Wednesday on Jim Fox’s Twitter account:

== KFWB-AM (980) will stay on as “The Beast” and its all-sports format until the end of the month now — initial reports is that it would cease mid-February — and the Clippers have not said yet what their plans will be in regards to staying put or going somewhere else through the end of the season.
11351944_758681104261708_1762795621_nOwners of the city’s 5,000-watt station, Charles Banta’s Mercury Capital Partners, have a track record for buying stations and changing them to foreign-language barter programming. Filing reports show the company purchased KFWB at a rather bargain-basement price of $8 million considering its once-prominent stature in Southern California.
“As of this time, we anticipate that we will close on March 1st, subject to FCC approval,” said Diane Sutter, the KFWB Asset Trust trustee who was part of the sale negotiation announced in early January.
The Clippers, a KFWB flagship tenant since 2009, are in the first of a five-year deal with the station, no matter who owns it, but it has the opt-out clause if ownership/formats change.
Bill Saurer, the president and CEO of Principle Broadcasting Network, a division of Universal Media Access and owner of the station, said via email he was “not at liberty to disclose our plans specifically, but KFWB will not be a sports station.”
Don Martin, the vice president and program director for all-sports KLAC-AM (570), said he has conversations in the past with the Clippers, and iHeartRadio in Los Angeles has three AM and five FM stations that could accommodate them, but “it has to add up financially for both sides to come off.”
IMG_5211== Our phone records show that Google maps is already up to speed (and what is the speed limit?) on the new Vin Scully Avenue (although we thought it still needed some official approval by any citizens who might want to protest it … maybe it’s clear and free to put up the street name on the map, but they’ve yet to change the actual signs)

== The college basketball TV pops worth noting:
= ESPN thankfully has Dave Pasch and Bill Walton on Friday’s UCLA-Arizona game at 6 p.m., one day after the two are in Berkeley for the Oregon-Cal coverage.
= Roxy Bernstein and Steve Lavin call the Pac-12 Network coverage of USC at Arizona State on Friday at 5 p.m.
= Lavin motors to Tucson and comes back with Aaron Goldsmith on FS1 for the call of Sunday’s USC-Arizona game at 5 p.m.
= ESPNU has Bernstein staying in Tempe and teaming with Corey Williams to do UCLA at Arizona State on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

Continue reading “Weekly media notes version 02.11.16 — How might a Nae Nae on the UCLA gymnastics floor whip up more TV viewers” »

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email