Following up on a column that posted Wednesday about Eric Dickerson and the media-related situation he finds himself in with the Rams, here’s what’s worth posting right here and right now:
Circling back to the column last Sunday that used Chick Hearn’s 100th birthday anniversary as a launching point to give thanks to all the Southern California play-by-play men who have made news this past year and reflect on how this changing of the guard is taking place.
We connected Chick Hearn to Bob Miller, and then to Vin Scully’s and Dick Enberg’s retirement honoree tour.
If we’re chiseling out the proverbial Mt. Rushmore of SoCal sportscasters, there is of course room for only so many to get a piece of the rock.
That’s where readers chimed in for their loyalties.
Jeff White of Palmdale said he always appreciated the classic calls of Bob Starr on the Rams and Bill King on the Raiders when both teams were going head-to-head for L.A. attention decades ago. And if we’re expanding the Southern California boarder, the Padres’ Jerry Coleman deserves recognition.
There was more than one nominee for Nick Nickson, the Kings’ radio man and recent Hockey Hall of Fame honoree. And for Ross Porter, after his long run with the Dodgers and then agreeing to do games for Cal State Northridge baseball.
Then there’s perhaps the biggest unintentional bypass: Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster and Baseball Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin, who agreed to extend his contract with the team to where he plans to soon enter his 60th, and perhaps, final season. “The Latino Vin Scully,” as a headline in The Guardian proclaimed earlier this year, is not lost on the Los Angeles landscape of the team connecting with the fanbase.
We are thankful, again, for the breadth and depth of what we have, what we once had, and what we have coming up. We embrace the idea of an extended group hug.
== Stu Lantz, who still keeps Hearn’s final press pass in his wallet, has almost been doing Lakers games as long without Hearn as he did with him after Hearn passed away in 2002. Lantz was very honest with our Mark Medina about his memories: “He did a remarkable job of letting me be me. We butted heads every once in a while. But that’s a part of everything. You don’t always have to agree with somebody. But you can at least respect their opinion. That’s how it turned out with Chick. He didn’t always agree with me. I didn’t always agree with him. But boy did we respect each other’s opinions. I owe quite a bit to Chick.”
== It was not lost on some listeners of Chicago’s WGN broadcast of the Kings-Blackhawks game last Saturday: As the camera focused on the Kings’ booth of Miller and Jim Fox, Blackhawks broadcaster Pat Foley commented about Miller’s recent heart surgery, and also made a comment about Hearn: “Chick is no longer active.” Well, sure, since Hearn passed away about 14 years ago. Foley may be familiar to those NHL followers who once tore apart former Blackhawks defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev during a broadcast that some say should have gotten him fired. A few years later, Kapovtsev was killed in a plane crash with other hockey players in Russia.
== How did Scully end up landing five minutes of interview time with host John Dickerson on CBS’ “Face the Nation”?
== The best of Twitter we found sports-media related pertains to something we learned from the Baseball Hall of Fame directors about what Scully donated to them from his final season:
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) November 23, 2016
== ESPNU has Jenn Hildreth and Julie Foudy calling the NCAA women’s soccer Final Four in San Jose (aka, the Women’s College Cup) with the Friday semifinals featuring USC against Georgetown (Friday, 4 p.m.), following North Carolina-Virginia (Friday, 2 p.m.) The winners play in the championship on Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.
== It’s kind of a shame that the Pac-12 Network can’t take over and cover USC and UCLA in the NCAA men’s water polo semifinals at Cal on Friday. Instead, the games stream on NCAA’s website. The No. 1 seeded Trojans face UC Davis/Harvard at 3 p.m., with the No. 2 seeded Bruins facing Cal/Pomona-Pitzer at 5:12 p.m. The championship match goes off at 3 p.m. Sunday at Cal.
== ESPNU has Steve Quis and Brad Daughtery calling USC-BYU basketball from Staples Center on Saturday (5 p.m., ESPNU) following No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Arizona (ESPN, 2:30 p.m., Dave Flemming and Jay Bilas) in the Hoophall LA event.
== UCLA and USC open the NCAA women’s volleyball playoffs with a first-round matches Friday. UCLA, a No. 10 overall seed, draws a match at Pauley Pavilion against Murray State at 8 p.m. streaming on UCLA Live Stream. If it advances, if faces the winner of San Diego-Baylor on Saturday at 7 p.m.
USC is in the same bracket of 16 and opens against Hawaii at Minneapolis on Friday at 2:30 p.m., streaming on GopherSports.com. If the Women of Troy win, they face the winner of No. 2 overall seed Minnesota vs. North Dakota first-round match on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the second round. USC and UCLA could meet in the national quarterfinals on the weekend of Dec. 10-11. UCLA defeated USC, 17-25, 25-20, 20-25, 30-28 and 17-15 on Nov. 26.
== Highlights of the Pac-12 Network live events this weekend:
= UCLA women’s basketball vs. Hawaii, Sunday at 2 p.m., (Krista Blunk and Ros Gold-Onwude).
== Fox Sports West has Sam Farber, John Jackson and Chris Rix on the St. John Bosco vs. Mater Dei rematch for the CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship on Saturday from Angel Stadium at 7:30 p.m., while Farber and Jackson call the Division 2 championship of San Clemente-Murrieta Valley on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on FSW and Rix is with Fred Salas for the Division 3 Edison-La Mirada contest, Friday at 8 p.m. delayed on Prime Ticket.
All other Division championships will be on the FoxSports.com PrepZone streaming Friday or Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Friday slate:
Div. 4: Corona del Mar vs. Serra (David Caldwell and Tony Moskal)
Div. 6: Paraclete vs. Los Altos (Paul Westphal and Chris Hale)
Div. 7: Norte Vista vs. San Gorgonia (Dennis Ackerman and Lorenzo Booker)
Div. 8: Burbank vs. Yorba Linda (Robert Brender and Ralph Brown)
The Saturday games:
Div. 5: Calabasas vs. Capistrano Valley (Westphal-Hale)
Div. 11: Valley View vs. Quartz Hill (Caldwell-Moskal)
Div. 12: Rancho Mirage vs. Arroyo (Ackerman-Booker)
Div. 13: Santa Ana vs. Rancho Christian (Salas-Brown)
== NBC decided that the Jan. 29, 2017 NHL All-Star Game from Staples Center would go on the over-the-air network (instead of NBCSN as originally planned), and then pointed out that this kind of national coverage hasn’t happened since 2004.
There was the game last year in Nashville that NBCSN drew enough attention for that it was the most-watched star-studded exhibition since the network got the NHL package for 2005-06.
Of course, it had something to do with John Scott playing in it and a new rule that “sucks all the fun out” of the fan balloting.
NBC justified the move with exec producer Sam Flood saying in a statement: “As the NHL celebrates its Centennial, we’re excited to bring the pace and energy of the NHL All-Star Game to a network-television audience for the first time in more than a decade.
“This move, combined with the addition of games featuring rising young stars like Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, as well as our upcoming ‘Star Sunday’ matchups, continues to illustrate our commitment to showcase the best talent in the NHL and grow the game of hockey in America.”
NBC hasn’t done the All-Star game since 1994 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The 1990 game on NBC was the first U.S. national TV broadcast to feature Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
== Fox Sports released a statement this week concerning the plane crash in Columbia: “We are deeply saddened to report that Fox Sports has lost six members of our Fox Sports Brazil family in the tragic plane crash outside of Medellin, Colombia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the passengers and crew, and the sports community who lost members of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team.”
Authorities reported there were 21 journalists among the 81 on board, 75 of whom were reported dead, with six survivors, including three players.
== Tiger Woods’ back-to-playing story has Golf Channel and NBC planning to be all over it, should it actually happen Thursday morning and beyond. The 18-man, no-cut Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, which also has Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson as a backup headliner, goes to Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday (10 a.m.-to-1:30 p.m. live, with Steve Sands, Curt Byrum, Gary Koch, Notah Begay and Jerry Foltz. Golf Channel also has early live coverage Saturday (9-to-11:30 a.m.) and Sunday (8-to-11 a.m.) before NBC takes over Saturday (11:30 a.m.-to-2 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) with Dan Hicks and David Feherty as the main voices. And if Woods bails out after nine holes, NBC always has the Bahamas to show those back in the East braving pre-winter temps.
== Marv Albert, Chris Webber and David Aldridge have the Clippers at Cleveland on TNT (Thursday, 5 p.m.), going head to head with Ralph Lawler’s call on Prime Ticket. (TNT follows it with Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Lewis Johnson on the Houston-Golden State game at 7:30 p.m.)
== The NFL Network’s next subject in “A Football Life” documentary is on Troy Aikman, the former No. 1 pick out of UCLA who became a Hall of Famer in Dallas and has spent some quality time in the NFL broadcasting world, we understand.
Among those currently in the media who are part of the narrative here are former Cowboys teammates Michael Irvin and Daryl Johnston, former coach Jimmy Johnson, former UCLA coach Terry Donahue and current Cowboys radio broadcaster Brad Sham.
Aikman’s one-hour piece produced by NFL Films, debuts Friday at 6 p.m. Here’s a trailer: