Whatever the topic for Sunday’s column, here’s what’s worth posting at this point:
== Ted Sobel, one of the most familiar names on the L.A. sports radio airwaves for decades, was on “The Beast 980” for its final day of operation this week. The longtime update man and reporter — and fill-in co-host — has one more project to finish, he explains in an email this week:
“I can tell you that as of the end of Monday, Feb. 29, ‘Super Tuesday’ was my first day of unemployment in almost a quarter of a century so it feels a bit strange. This ends almost 23 years (and over 40,000 sports updates) at KFWB, but I really do feel lucky to have survived the many changes there and get to work at station that as a kid was one of my favorites to listen to. I am working on a KFWB audio tribute for the new owners of the station and they plan on airing it as soon as I’m finished — which is still likely several days away. So strangely enough, even though I’m going down with the Beast 980 ship, I’ll still be on the new format (my fifth under these call letters) which is now called Desi 980. I was told that Desi (pronounced DAY-see) means ‘celebration’ or ‘party’ to those in India that the station will now be targeting.
“I must admit that I’m having fun gathering sound from as far back as FDR announcing D-Day on KFWB and I’ll have some unique audio from several different formats — and they said I can make this as long as I want. So at least it’s a great going away project that I can’t wait to hear the final product.”
More on the history of KFWB and switch to Desi 980 at mediaconfidental.com.
== What’s on tap: The Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony for the Clippers’ Ralph Lawler, which won’t be carried live on KFWB for some reason even though the team will plod along with airing games on the 980 signal, goes off at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday at 1708 Vine Street. The event will stream live at the Walk of Fame’s website. With any luck, new Clippers mascot Chuck the Condor will attend.
It’s terrazzo star number 2,575 and it will feature the radio logo. The Walk of Fame folks announced Lawler had been granted a star back in June of 2015.
The star will be near a sports bar named 33 Taps, which isn’t getting a whole lot of spectacular Yelp.com reviews if it’s considered for a post-ceremony brew.
== News flash from the Southern California Sports Broadcasters organization:
SCSB Announcement: Chris Roberts has been named as their new SCSB President pic.twitter.com/DrtBoaVgRx
— SCSB (@socalsportscast) February 12, 2016
== College basketball on the radar this weekend:
= The Pac-12 Network’s Guy Haberman and Don MacLean have USC vs. Oregon from Galen Center on Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by JB Long and Matt Muehlebach calling UCLA-Oregon State from Pauley Pavilion on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
= Cal at Arizona, Thursday at 6 p.m., ESPN (Dave Pasch, Bill Walton)
= Cal at Arizona State, Saturday at 5 p.m., ESPN2 (Dave Pasch, Adrian Branch)
= Colorado at Utah, Saturday at 6:30 p.m., ESPNU (Eric Rothman, Corey Williams)
= TWC SportsNet has Steve Quis, Casey Jacobsen and Kelli Tennant doing Pepperdine vs. USF in the West Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals (Saturday at 3 p.m., which follows BYU vs. Santa Clara. They’ll also call St. Mary’s versus the winner of Pepperdine-USF this on Saturday (7 p.m., ESPN2)
= Prime Ticket’s Kevin Barnett, Corey Maggette and Rahshaun Haylock have the call on Long Beach State vs. Hawaii at Walter Pyramid in the final Big West regular season game, Saturday at 4 p.m.
= Also: Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas call ESPN’s North Carolina-Duke game (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
== The Pac-12 Nets, in addition to USC and UCLA hoops, have one of its busiest weekend of this year putting live games on its variety of channels. Some, remember, may be on just the Pac-12 Los Angeles channel, but also be on the main Pac-12 national feed. Some cable systems have at least the L.A. channel:
“This is a big week for us at Pac-12 Networks, especially if you’re a USC or UCLA fan,” said VP of programming Dustin Rocke. “With bragging rights, postseason berths and conference championships on the line, it will be high stakes drama all weekend.”
= The women’s basketball conference tournament starts Thursday in Seattle, including the opening round of USC vs. Washington State (6 p.m., Krista Blunk, Mary Murphy, Jill Savage). In Friday’s quarterfinals, UCLA, with a first-round bye, faces Thursday’s Arizona-Oregon winner on Friday (2 p.m., Anne Marie Anderson, Tammy Blackburn, Jill Savage).
If USC wins Thursday, it advances to face Oregon State on Friday (6 p.m., Blunk, Murphy, Savage).
The Blunk-Murphy team and Anderson-Blackburn team have the Saturday semifinals at 6 and 8:30 p.m., with Sunday’s final at 3 p.m. airing on ESPN
= JB Long and Kevin Stocker are the broadcast pairings for the USC-UCLA Dodger Stadium Classic game (Sunday, 3 p.m.)
= Jim Watson, Amanda Borden and Greg Marsden have an important UCLA women’s gymnastics meet at Pauley Pavilion against Stanford and Georgia (Sunday, noon)
= Rich Burk and Jeff Commings have three days of tape-delayed coverage of the men’s swimming and diving championships from Federal Way, Wash., that began Wednesday. TV coverage is Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.. Online coverage is explained here.
== And how is it we didn’t get any kind of press release from USC on this?
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) March 1, 2016
== Fox Sports West has Sam Farber, Brad Holland and Lindsey Thiry describing the CIF Southern Section Open Division boys high school basketball championship between Chino Hills and Sierra Canyon from Anaheim’s Honda Center.
Leading up, the CIF division championships lineups for the PrepZone.com online:
= Friday (all at Azusa Pacific University):
Girls Division 4AA: Duarte at St. Paul, 5 p.m., Sam Farber and Tony Moskal
Boys Division 4AA: Serra at Notre Dame, 6:45 p.m., Rahshaun Haylock and Tony Moskal
Boys Division 3A: Chaminade at. Diamond Ranch, 8:30 p.m., David Caldwell and Tony Moskal
Girls Division 3AA: Orange Lutheran at Sonora, 9:30 a.m, at Azusa Pacific University, David Gascon and Greg Hayes
Boys Division 1A: Santa Monica vs. Temecula Valley, 10 a.m. at Honda Center, Fred Salax and Paul Westphal
Girls Division 2A: Agoura vs. Norco, 11:30 a.m. at Azusa Pacific University, Davis Gascon and Greg Hayes
Girls Division 2AA: Canyon vs. Newbury Park, 1:30 p.m. at Azusa Pacific University, David Caldwell and Tony Moskal
Boys Division 1AA: Long Beach Poly vs. Riverside North, 2 p.m. at Honda Center, Fred Salas and Paul Westphal
Girls Division 1A: Mira Costa vs. Crescenta Valley, 3:30 p.m. at Azusa Pacific University, David Caldwell and Tony Moskal
Boys Division 3AA: Bonita vs. Oak Park, 4 p.m. at Honda Center, Fred Salas and Paul Westphal
Girls Division 1AA: Ventura vs. West Torrance, 5:30 p.m. at Azusa Pacific University, David Caldwell and Tony Moskal
Girls Open Division: Long Beach Poly vs. Chaminade, 7:30 p.m. at Azusa Pacific University, David Caldwell and Tony Moskal
Boys Division 2AA: Edison vs. Ayala, 8:30 p.m. at Honda Center, Fred Salas and Paul Westphal
== Prime Ticket also offers replays of various finals that aired live on PrepZone. Such as:
Girls Open Division final: Wednesday, March 9 at 4:30 p.m.
Boys Division final TBD: Friday, March 11, at 5 p.m.
Boys soccer final, division TBA: Wednesday, March 16 at 4 p.m.
Girls soccer final, division TBA: Thursday, March 17, TBA
== Meanwhile, TWC SportsNet has Randy Rosenbloom and Kris Johnson calling the L.A. City boys basketball Open Championship (Narbonne vs. Weschester, Saturday at 8 p.m.) after doing the girls basketball Open Championship (El Camino Real vs. Palisades, Saturday at 6 p.m.) at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Both also live stream on TWCCommunity.com.
Other title games live streaming on TWCCommunity.com on Saturday:
Girls Division III: South Gate vs. Sotomayor, 9 a.m. (Dan Hellie and Frank Burlison)
Boys Division III: Lincoln vs. Vaughn, 11 a.m. (Dan Hellie and Frank Burlison)
Girls Division I: Garfield vs. Westchester, 1 p.m. (Randy Rosenbloom and Kris Johnson)
Boys Division I: Crenshaw vs. Hamilton, 3 p.m. (Randy Rosenbloom and Kris Johnson)
== An earlier post this week on bookish reads worth tackling.
== From a story in the Cal State Northridge Sundial, a reaction to Ross Porter’s arrival to do a slate of baseball broadcasts:
“I’m like a 12-year-old kid,” said CSUN baseball head coach Greg Moore, when he hears Porter call games. “His voice reminds me of when I was growing up listening to games, playing catch and throwing the ball at the side of the house.”
== As Peter King confides with college students how he’s trying to sort out how long he’d like to remain in the Sports Illustrate family of typists, the editor’s letter in the current issue of SI indicates that Rick Reilly is not just back to do this week’s cover story, but also more work in the future. The piece also does an interesting job to connect dots on Reilly, currently living in Hermosa Beach, linked up with SI from the Los Angeles Times way back when.
As far as the media ramping up verbiage on the Golden State Warriors: ABC synchronized things up to cover Steph Curry’s last NBA court appearance with Kobe Bryant on the Lakers-Warriors game Sunday (12:30 p.m., Channel 7, with Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Heather Cox). Tirico and Brown also call ESPN’s Lakers-Atlanta Hawks game Friday (7:30 p.m.)
Curry, meantime, has invested in a new social media venture.
== A Twitter poll posted this week:
What is the best way for me to improve as a media personality?
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) March 1, 2016
Sounds like some sick kind of social experiment. Stop messing with our heads here.
And add the option: “All of the Above.”
== Among the updates in the continuing testimony from Erin Andrews’ civil suit against the hotel in Nashville that allowed someone to film her through a keyhole in 2008 — updates you can catch on “Extra” or “Access: Whatever” on a nightly basis: Her time on the witness stand forced ESPN to have to defend itself in the media about whether they exploited her and directed her toward telling her story on an ABC-owned show (versus her taking it to Oprah).
== Just not sure how much ESPN will continue to support Curt Schilling, however.
== NBCSN squeezes in rugby coverage — again, it’s an Olympic sport this summer — with the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament in Las Vegas at 6 p.m. Friday., 4:30 p.m. Saturday and then, to Channel 4 and NBC network coverage on Sunday at 10 a.m., followed by the finals at 3 p.m. on NBCSN. Bob Papa, Brian Hightower and Tracy Wilson call it.
== A piece that SI.com’s Richard Deitsch did on the Twitter editor of “Freezing Cold Takes” (@OldTakesExposed) — reviving those predictions in sports that don’t come true, despite the authority behind the voice giving them at the time — is expanded in a story by Newday’s Neil Best this week. The first “re-tweet” of a Doug Gottlieb quote about Steph Curry is worth the price of admission.
== HBO felt an obligation to send out a press release this week:
“Next month Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. are scheduled to meet in a Pay-Per-View bout. We have an obligation to both fighters and, therefore, will proceed to produce and distribute that event. However, we felt it important to leave no uncertainty about our position on Mr. Pacquiao’s recent comments toward the LGBTQ community. We consider them insensitive, offensive and deplorable. HBO has been a proud home to many LGBTQ stories and couldn’t approach this event without clearly voicing our opinion.”
== The passing last week of Eddie Einhorn, who some remember as the former Chicago White Sox president and part-owner, only drew a couple of lines in the Los Angeles Times, points out former Chicago newspaper columnist Ron Rapoport on LAObserved.com.
But those in the media who remember his contribution to college basketball national coverage used the fad known as Twitter to provide more context:
RIP Eddie Einhorn, the man who made March Madness a TV thing: https://t.co/bQbQiewAH1
— Bryan Curtis (@curtisbeast) February 28, 2016
With 7 million games on every week, new fans can’t imagine how big putting UCLA-Hou on TV was and what we coll hoop fans owe Eddie Einhorn.
— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) February 28, 2016
Sad news. Einhorn dies. Eddie ahead of the times. Saw the early power of college BB popularity. 1968 Astrodome most important ever. RIP.
— Dick Enberg (@Deohmy) February 26, 2016
Add on Eddie…was an amazing visionary and saw basketball’s power long before the Networks. Every School in the Country should be thankful.
— Dick Enberg (@Deohmy) February 26, 2016
Dick called at least two classics for Einhorn’s TVS: UCLA-Houston in ’68 & ND ending UCLA’s 88-game W streak in ’74. https://t.co/ibwB9MxUvx
— Jay Posner (@sdutPosner) February 26, 2016
Among Einhorn’s contributions were bringing college basketball to national TV (UCLA/UHouston in Astrodome) & MLB Wild Card concept
— Dan Evans (@DanEvans108) February 25, 2016