College football Week 8 in the L.A. TV market: What will UCLA fans do when they see the sun?

rose-bowl-overview-landingWe chimed in last week to explain the scheduling rotation in how Pac-12 games are slotted by network and kickoff time.
As a result, UCLA must suffer the indignity of a game played under full sunlight for the first time in months. Bring plenty of tanning butter.
sunshine-3001Saturday’s contest at the Rose Bowl against Utah has a more alum-friendly 1 p.m. start on Fox (KTTV-Channel 11) with Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Shannon Spake.
Just don’t get used to it heading into a bye week.
USC takes its own bye week to realign body clocks in preparation for next Thursday’s ESPN prime-time game against Cal. Arizona also takes a respite after losing its first four conference games.

The rest of the Pac-12 schedule goes this way:
= Oregon at Cal: Friday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN (Allen Bestwick, Mike Bellotti, Kris Budden)
= Colorado at Stanford: Saturday at noon, Pac-12 Network (Greg Wolf, Glenn Parker, Jill Savage)
= Oregon State at Washington: Saturday at 3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Ted Robinson, Yogi Roth, Cindy Brunson)
= Washington State at Arizona State: Saturday at 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron, Lewis Johnson)

The best of the rest:
Continue reading “College football Week 8 in the L.A. TV market: What will UCLA fans do when they see the sun?” »

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NFL Week 7 in the L.A. TV market: A 6:30 a.m. wake-up call for tea, crumpets and Keenums

1281675_ertv_tab_mainKevin Harlan and Dan Fouts got the call (Rich Gannon was scheduled to go but opted to stay home for some family reasons) for the Rams-N.Y. Giants gathering on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium in London, known more as a home to the sport of rugby.
It goes nationally on the NFL Network, as well as to the L.A. market on KCBS-Channel 2 and WCBS-Channel 2 in New York.
cac21ba88e1b4552a3ea0636afa11bc9One last minor detail: It’s a 6:30 a.m. kickoff. That translates to 2:30 p.m. in the U.K., so what’s the issue?
Oh, and the Rams give up a jolly-good home date for this honor.
Who has the edge in these kind of games, as far as travel and preparation?
“Some teams go early, some go late minute,” said Fouts, who planned on leaving from his Oregon home for the long haul on Wednesday afternoon. “Both approaches seem to work, but usually it comes down to the team with the best players still wins.”
He then laughed at the simplicity of that statement. And the fact that, at the moment, he isn’t sure which team is best: The 3-3 Rams or 3-3 Giants.
Fouts, who normally has AFC games to watch during the season, says based on last week’s games, Rams quarterback Case Keenum “reminded me of when I used to see him play at Houston, when I covered college games, and they threw the heck out of the ball. He had a lot of confidence. That’s as good as you’ll see him.”
The Rams, for those who missed it, dropped a 31-28 decision at Detroit because of a late field goal and then a Keenum pick. Prior to that, Keenum, threw for a season-best 321 yards on 27 of 32 attempts and three TDs, also setting a franchise record with 19 straight completions.
Since CBS has the doubleheader on Sunday, the net actually gets to show three games in L.A. this time, plus one more Thursday, as things map out:

Thursday:
= Chicago at Green Bay, 5:25 p.m., Channel 2 and NFL Network (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson)
Sunday:
= Rams vs. N.Y. Giants in London, 6:30 a.m., Channel 2, NFL Network (Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts)
= Oakland at Jacksonville, 10 a.m., Channel 2 (Greg Gumbel, Trent Green). This is the choice going to more than 75 percent of the country, over Indianapolis-Tennessee, Cleveland-Cincinnati, Miami-Buffalo or Baltimore-N.Y. Jets
= San Diego at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m., Channel 11 (Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston), going to about 25 percent of the country. Maybe a kooky choice given that the prime game is Minnesota-Philadelphia in the 10 a.m. window (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman), going to more about 50 percent of the country. But since Fox has only once choice, it picks this L.A.-adjacent team even though it compete with a more marquee game on the other channel. Fox also skips, in the 10 a.m. slot, New Orleans-Kansas City and Washington-Detroit as well as Tampa Bay-San Francisco (1:05 p.m.)
= New England at Pittsburgh, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2 (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms). It’s the only game in CBS’ afternoon window, and everyone gets it. Except those in L.A. or San Diego who insist on sticking with the Chargers.
= Seattle at Arizona, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Monday:
= Houston at Denver, 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)

Bye week: Dallas and Carolina

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Vin Scully memories from the media: Geoff Witcher

vin-scully-and-geoff-witcherThey have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the media. As while the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster has already called his last game, more want to share their interactions and stories. So we happily and graciously continue:

Geoff Witcher is on the exclusive list of broadcasters who have called Dodgers game in the L.A. market, handling play-by-play for the ON-TV channel back in the 1980s, as well as hosting “DodgerTalk” on KABC. Witcher and Scully even appeared in the same movie, “For Love of the Game”: As Scully was doing the TV call, Witcher’s voice was used as the Detroit Tigers’ radio broadcaster.
The Cal State Northridge grad has been heard lately as a sports anchor on KNX-AM (1070) after a run at KFWB-AM (980), and continues a career with voice-over work, commercials and TV spots. He shares these stories about his career as it relates to Scully:

“My story is very similar to other broadcasters that have such fond memories of Vin Scully over the years. I was born and reared here in Los Angeles, so as a young boy who liked sports I listened to Bob Kelly call the play-by-play of the Rams on radio.  And then when the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to play in Los Angeles in 1958, I was in seventh heaven.

“I knew I wanted to be a sportscaster when I was around 10 years old. Vin Scully was one of my inspirations.  It’s a given that every baseball announcer has to have a home run call, and like all of Los Angeles, I fell in love with Scully’s calls …
“Snider swings and belts it to deep right field…Clemente going back…awaaay back…to the track…to the wall….sheeee is gone!!

“I still get goosebumps to this day when I hear Vin call a home run. I had the pleasure of interviewing Vin a couple of days after Vin Scully Appreciation Weekend at Dodger Stadium, and one of the questions I asked him was where he came up with his home run call.  He told me it just happened and explained that most of the time the outfielder will tell you whether it’s a home run or not. Continue reading “Vin Scully memories from the media: Geoff Witcher” »

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Play It Forward Oct. 17-23: Jake Arrieta … Dodgers fans remember that guy?

mlbf_432973683_th_45Jake Arrieta, the Cubs’ scheduled starter as the series moves from Chicago to L.A. for Tuesday’s Game 5 of the NLCS, merely went 18-8 with a 3.13 ERA this season as a followup act to his 2015 Cy Young winning campaign. His most famous moment of that ’15 season was probably at Dodger Stadium, throwing a no-hitter against the Dodgers on a nationally-televised Sunday night game before finishing 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA.
But talk about a luxury that the Cubs have this year — Arrieta was only needed for one appearance in their four-game NLDS against the Giants, and despite giving up just two runs in six innings, he got a no-decision in a 6-5 13-inning loss where he also had a three-run homer off Madison Bumgarner.
More on the week ahead for the Rams, UCLA, Lakers, Kings, Sparks and Galaxy at this link …

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Sunday media: Holly Rowe, and the WNBA support group for her cancer battle

roweIt started with a freckle on her chest. And under her arm pit.
“I really didn’t know much about melanoma,” Holly Rowe said. “I wish I did. I’m a sun baby and would have covered up more. It doesn’t always start with the exterior.”
The rare desmoplastic melanoma that the 50-year-old ESPN sideline reporter has been having treated at UCLA is something that typically happens to a 65-year-old farmer who spends long hours in the sun.
rowe-holly-660x400“I also lived in Utah my whole life, and it turns out they have the highest cases of melanoma — it has to do with the elevation and difference in the air,” she said.
Rowe’s connection to covering the WNBA has been a huge help in her recovery process, and she also finds herself able to talk to female athletes about the dangers of skin cancer, based on her experiences.
“I’ve been trying to remind young softball girls — no suntan is worth what I’m going through,” she said. “Having a whole new armpit constructed is not fun. If you really want to stay cute, cover up and be healthy.”
We caught up with Rowe before her recent weekend where she covered a Mississippi-Arkansas college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., on a Saturday night and then flew to L.A. for Game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Staples Center. As the Sparks-Lynx series moves to a decisive Game 5 in Minneapolis on Thursday, Rowe will be there as well before heading out to her next college football assignment.
More at this link.

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