NFL Week 8 in the L.A. TV market: Let’s rest up, dress up and drink pumpkin beer, pretending to care

hanggesA week after they lost in London, and two weeks after they lost in Detroit, and three weeks after they lost ….
The point is: The Rams’ current hangover may result in not really knowing what city, state or country they belong in at this point, but they have their only bye week of the NFL season to enjoy at this point.
Nothing to do Thursday, Sunday or Monday except give the No. 1 draft pick more reps and re-calibrate until Week 9. (Same for N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh, Miami, San Francisco and Baltimore).
So what 6-6 tie game is left to focus on? And what game could possibly distract us from the Presidential race this weekend? (Because the latest investigative report/panicked speculation on why NFL ratings are falling has to do, of course, with our obsessive nature concerning who’ll become the next president. There is something to note about today’s TVs: They come with remote controls that allow one to leave an NFL game and go to TVLand whenever necessary).
Fox is bestowed with what amounts to a triple-header on Sunday, thanks to another London affair. CBS takes one for the team — and it has to pick between San Diego and Oakland to send to the L.A. market.
Here’s how it was decided, along with the Halloween-night contest where cheerleaders are allowed to dress as cheerleaders but usually go with some other kind of classy costume:

= Jacksonville at Tennessee, 5:25 p.m., NFL Network (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson)
= Washington vs. Cincinnati at Wembley Stadium in London, 6:30 a.m., Channel 11 (Kenny Albert, John Lynch, Pam Oliver)
= Seattle at New Orleans, 10 a.m., (Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman). It goes to 64 percent of the country, but Fox skips over a contest that seems more obvious: The Rams’ NFC West rival Arizona playing at Carolina (10 a.m., going to just 9 percent), as the Panthers play the Rams in Week 9. Also bypassed here: Detroit-Houston.
= San Diego at Denver, 1:05 p.m., Channel 2 (Greg Gumbel, Trent Green). CBS has five choices here, and the obvious one seemed taking Oakland at Tampa Bay in the 10 a.m. slot, considering the Raiders’ new-found success. Instead, they are still aligned with the San Diego market as a Southern California-adjacent entity. So the Chargers will go up against Fox’s designated nationally-televised afternoon contest, and CBS also passes on  Kansas City-Indianapolis, N.Y. Jets-Cleveland and New England-Buffalo in the early window.
= Green Bay at Atlanta, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11 (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman). Every market but Denver gets this one. Even San Diego. That’s 98 percent coverage.
= Philadelphia at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
= Minnesota at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)

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Play It Forward Oct. 24-30: Kobe Bryant ain’t walking through that door

(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

So this is what life looks like without Kobe Bryant.
Too soon?
The Lakers’ 57th season in Los Angeles undergoes one of its largest Beverly Hills-suggested facelifts in many years, and we get our first look at the future when the Lakers face Houston in the NBA 2016-17 regular season opener Wednesday at Staples Center (7:30 p.m., ESPN). Former role player Luke Walton, just removed as one of the key assistants on the Golden State Warriors, was summoned back with his hard hat to help with a major reconstruction that was beyond Byron Scott’s expertise. Win twice as much as the franchise-low 17 games like last year, and it would be considered major progress.
Now, let’s flip the equation.
The Clippers, in their 32nd Los Angeles season, start the season in Portland, where last season it ended in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers have been to the post-season on schedule the last five straight years, three of them with Doc Rivers in charge.
More at this link …

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Sunday media: Fame is going, but not gone, with Ken Levine’s play set in the Dodger Stadium press box

Ken Levine, center, with actors, from left: Troy Metcalf, Dennis Pearson, David Babich and Annie Abrams (from

Ken Levine, center, with actors, from left: Troy Metcalf, Dennis Pearson, David Babich and Annie Abrams (from

In “Going …. Going … GONE!”,  the new play that’s out at the Hudson Theater in Hollywood, one might find a connection to the 1970s play “Bleacher Bums,” about a group of fans who commiserates and tolerates each other in the Wrigley Field stands.
img_6901Playwright Ken Levine also seems to channel a bit of the Disney movie “Inside Out” to examine how emotions like joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust battle with each other. Not just in someone’s head here, but in a diluted press box setting that creates its own angst as it continues on a trend of downsizing with the realism of newspaper layoffs and changing technology.
We saw the play Friday and saw how, as a sportswriter, it does hit home with a lot of truism about how the media, in the role of messenger and historian, may not take the time to internalize their own self worth or, most interesting, how others might view their legacy when they’re long gone.
Here’s our review of the play starring Amy Abrams, David Babich, Dennis Pearson and Troy Metcalf, directed by Andrew Barnicle and continuing a run through Nov. 20.

More info:
= Hudson Guild Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles 90036
Tickets ($30): 323.960.5521 or
Current schedule of performances:
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18
Saturdays at 8 pm.: Oct. 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19
Sundays at 3 p.m.: Oct. 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20
= A story by SCNG feature reporter Sandra Barerra with Levine as the play began its run.
= Our recent media notes story about Ken Levine’s tribute to Vin Scully.

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It’s Out of the Question: Who’s upset with Chief Wahoo? Indians’ logo goes before court of public opinion again

cropped_gettyimages-453254716What again is so, so wrong with the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo, the one that the World Series-bound team wears on their caps, uniforms, socks, pullover sweatshirts and whatever else it can sell out?
Oh, right. It’s the logo.
This red-faced character, which continues to be used with Little League teams across our country without much of a second thought, at least isn’t as cartoon-racist as that one from the late 1940s: Yellow-brownish face, exaggerated nose, wide grin and delightful rounded eyes. It’s also one of the hot T-shirt sellers of the so-called “Cooperstown Collection” in many online stores.
We actually picked one up during a trip to actual Cooperstown. Because, you know, it’s classic. Part of the game’s fabric. Appalling and appealing at the same time.
Read more at this link …


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Weekly media notes version 10.20.16: Who gets thrown under the Buss Family when it goes outside the lines?

In addition to what posted at the website, we have these worth getting out there heading into the weekend:

smlakergirl-1200dpi= As long as you’re up for the Rams-Giants game Sunday morning, here’s the ESPN blurb on what’s coming up for “Outside The Lines” (6 a.m., ESPN with repeats throughout the day):
(The show) will focus on the last three years, the worst in Los Angeles Lakers history, with last season’s 17 wins an all-time low. The once-dominant franchise of late owner Jerry Buss, who won 10 NBA titles, now embarks on the post-Kobe Bryant era with its fourth head coach since Phil Jackson stepped away in 2011. Reporter Steve Delsohn’s examination of the decline of the Lakers and the turmoil at the top includes an in-depth interview with team president Jeanie Buss.
ESPN will have the interview posted on its site Thursday.

== An update on Vin Scully’s 2017 scheduled appearances in the Distinguished Speaker Series: The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (appearing March 22) is sold out, the Pasadena Ambassador Auditorium (March 20) has less than 15 seats left, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (March 21) has less than 100 left and Beverly Hills Saban Theatre (March 19) stop has plenty to go.
The way ticket sales works: One must buy the whole series per site — they include, in this round, appearances that include Steve Martin, Diana Nyad and astronaut Scott Kelly. Some who buy the series and can’t attend all six events will post tickets for sale on the site. If you’re only interest is in the Scully appearances, check the site for ticket consignment — either resales, or request to buy just one event. Entire series tickets range from $660 to $340.

== This:

== And this, on Fox’s Joe Buck, before the Dodgers-Cubs series.

== A Washington, D.C., native, Rudy Gersten, shares a story about the anniversary of the 1988 Kirk Gibson World Series home run — and a connection to the ball itself.

== How NFL teams “skirt” the highlight video policy by using inanimate objects.

== Apparently, be careful of what NFL apps you upload on your phone. Could they be spying on you?

Continue reading “Weekly media notes version 10.20.16: Who gets thrown under the Buss Family when it goes outside the lines?” »

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