Dottie Pepper, having put in a full season as a course reporter for CBS, was prepared for whatever might happen during the network PGA Tour coverage last weekend at Pebble Beach — the rain went away, and it turned out to be a relatively beautiful Saturday and Sunday, and she avoided getting lifted up and tossed into a bunker again by Bill Murray.
Like everyone headed out to Riviera this weekend, she’s been apprised of the wet and cold weather forecasts, and again will come prepared.
She must, for survival’s sake.
In addition to the network-issued Adidas attire, she says she will have a Gore-Tex bucket hat, Sealskinz stretch-dry socks (long, not short) and won’t worry about carrying an umbrella.
Just like going to the High Sierras for a December weekend picnic during a snowstorm.
“If your top and bottom are dry, that’s how you survive,” the former LPGA star admitted Wednesday. “I learned that from playing. The umbrella is just too much for me to handle on top of holding a microphone and a yardage book.”
That’s the Pepper always-be-prepared plan, also based on local knowledge when she covered the 2010 event while working at NBC and “it poured buckets.”
It’s also her experience that “when the weather is bad, the guy who is willing to take all that Mother Nature can throw at him and still do it one better” will have the right mindset to survive the elements, just as Jordan Spieth did last week at Pebble Beach during the first two rounds.
“Riviera is a place that seems to be best for the ballstrikers who can carry the ball a long way and control it,” she said. “And with what they are expecting, it’ll also be someone who lets that water fall off a duck’s back.”
Pepper and Peter Kostis will have the CBS course duties on Saturday (noon-to-3 p.m.) and Sunday (noon-to-3:30 p.m.), with the usual network crew of high-and-dry Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo (18th tower), Ian Baker-Finch (17th hole) and Gary McCord (16th hole).
As it happened last week when weather delayed the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, things could extended either day on either the CBS affiliate, KCBS-Channel 2, or on Golf Channel each day.
Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer, Steve Milton is the direcotr and Harold Bryant is executive producer for the CBS coverage.
Faldo, who won his last PGA Tour title at Riviera 20 years ago, has this Q&A about the course and his memories with CBSSports.com.
== Terry Gannon, David Duval and Matt Gogel are the main broadcast team with on-course reporters Jim Gallagher Jr., Aaron Olberholser and Todd Lewis for Golf Channel’s live coverage of the Genesis Open starting with runs of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, with replays from 4-to-8 p.m. each night. Add to that the extended pre- and post-round coverage on Golf Central, including the live tournament windows that Golf Channel has on Saturday and Sunday from 10-to-11:30 a.m.
== Ted Robinson, Mike Montgomery and Lewis Johnson are on the Pac-12 Network call of USC at UCLA from Pauley Pavilion, Saturday at 7 p.m.
== ESPNU will carry No. 4 UCLA at No. 5 Utah in a regular-season women’s gymnastics meet, Saturday at 7 p.m. Bart Conner, Kathy Johnson Clark, Laura Rutledge and Holly Rowe will be on the broadcast team.
“”Over the past three years, ESPN and SEC Network have devoted significant resources to expanding and improving collegiate gymnastics on television,” said Brent Colborne, ESPN director of programming and acquisitions, in a statement. “Adding a match up of two teams that are consistently in the Top 5 deepens our regular-season schedule and further improves ESPN’s NCAA championship coverage.”
ESPNU and ESPN3 have carried the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships the last five years.
== More notable live events covered by the Pac-12 Net this week:
= UCLA men’s volleyball vs. Cal State Northridge, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (Kevin Barnett, Al Scates)
= USC men’s volleyball vs. Stanford, Thursday at 6 p.m. (Kevin Barnett, Mike Dodd, Pac-12 L.A. only)
= USC women’s basketball vs. Washington State, Friday at 6 p.m. (Anne Marie Anderson, Layshia Clarendon, Pac-12 L.A. only)
= UCLA women’s basketball vs. Washington, Friday at 8 p.m. (Krista Blunk, Mary Murphy)
= UCLA at USC women’s tennis, Saturday at noon (Brian Webber, Justin Gimelstob, Pac-12 L.A. only)
= UCLA women’s basketball vs. Washington State, Sunday at 11 a.m. (Christian Miles, Maylana Martin Douglas)
= USC women’s basketball vs. Washington, Sunday at 3 p.m. (Anne Marie Anderson, Elise Woodward)
== TNT’s 32nd year of All-Star Game coverage (Sunday, 5 p.m.) will include Marv Albert calling his 22nd All-Star Game, teammed with analysts Reggie Miller and Chris Webber, plus reporters David Aldridge and Kristen Ledlow.
TNT also has the Rising Stars Challenge (Friday, 6 p.m.) with Matt Winer, Grant Hill, Chris Webber, Rick Fox and C.J. McCollum.
Saturday’s dunk contest and three-point skills event (TNT, 5 p.m.) is covered by Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Kenny Smith and Kristen Ledlow.
In honor of the recent passing of Craig Sager, TNT sideline reporters will have a microphone flag that says “Sager Strong” through the weekend.
The NBA says the annual exhibition from New Orleans will be televised to 215 countries in 49 different languages.
== As part of NBC’s drive to cover “Hockey Day in America,” the coverage Sunday starts with two NHL games on Channel 4 — Washington at N.Y. Rangers (Kenny Albert, Brian Boucher, 9:30 a.m.) and Detroit at Pittsburgh (Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire, 12:30 p.m.). It is followed by two more on NBCSN — Chicago-Buffalo at 3 p.m. (Gord Miller and Joe Micheletti) and Boston-San Jose at 5:30 p.m. (Randy Hahn, Andy Brickley and Bret Hedican). College hockey coverage on NBCSN for the weekend includes Providence at Notre Dame (Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.)
Also part of the NBC coverage will be a feature on USC sophmore boadcast journalism major Jack Jablonski, who was left as a quadriplegic after taking a hit in a high school game in 2011 and currently runs his “All The Kings Men” podcast after every Kings game. That feature is presently slotted to air during the second intermission of the Blackhawks-Sabres game, and it will be followed up with commentary by NBC’s Jeremy Roenick, who has become friends with Jablonski.
Another feature will spotlight former Kings player Tony Granato, now the head coach at the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater, where he is also taking classes to complete his degree and graduate in May. This is scheduled to air during the first intermission of the Red Wings-Penguins game.
== Sunday’s ESPN “Outside The Lines” features reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada interviewing Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the former NBA star (born Chris Jackson) who converted to Islam in 1991 and refused to participate in the National Anthem presentation 20 years before San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started his protests of the song. The show debuts Sunday at 6 a.m. on ESPN with replays throughout the morning.