In addition to this mid-week column about Jiggs McDonald calling the Kings-Panthers game for Fox Sports West on Thursday, we have gathered these notes prior to the weekend:
== Last month, the N.Y. Islanders brought McDonald back to honor him and also thank him for filling in on games after his 2004 retirement. That ended up allowing McDonald to call an NHL game for 50 straight seasons – even though McDonald knew he was doing this Kings-Panthers game back in September.
The last game he called involving the Kings came in the 2003-04 season, when they made a trip to Sunrise, Fla.
“I’ve probably kept up with the Kings more than the Panthers lately,” he said. “I want to concentrate on the Kings so I recognize their lines, their power plays, getting injured players back.
“I’ve always said, ‘Don’t let me embarrass myself and don’t let me embarrass the game by hanging around,’ and if anything happens in respect to my health or my memory or a lack of identifying the team that has the puck, I’d take my leave and say thank you very much.
“I do know the broadcast booth at Sunrise is pretty far to the ice surface, so I just have to remember to watch the monitors.”
== Bob Miller, when asked for his favorite Jiggs McDonald story, relayed this one:
“In his first season with the Kings, at training camp in Guelph, Ontario, owner Jack Kent Cooke told him to find a restaurant that would feed the Kings three meals day for $10. Jiggs finally found a guy who said he would do it for $10.25. Jiggs thought Cooke would be pleased.
“Cooke said to him, ‘Dear boy, do you know the value of a quarter?’ No wonder Jiggs left for Atlanta.”
== McDonald will be the sixth play-by-play man that Kings analyst Jim Fox has worked with this season on a TV broadcast — he’s been with Miller, Gary Thorne, Chris Cuthbert and Ralph Strangis on FSW games, as well as with Randy Hahn for a Kings-Sharks game carried on NBCSN.
“There’s always an adjustment to make to the play-by-play man’s cadence and flow and energy, but I have to defer to him because he’s the lead guy no matter who it is and then just play off that,” said Fox, in his 26th season as a broadcaster, coming straight into the booth upon his 1990 retirement and joining Miller.
“When you’ve worked as long as I have with Bob, I don’t have to watch him but can just listen to him to know when it’s time for me to jump in. With each new partner, I just have to formulate a plan on when to speak, and sometimes it means I get a little more conservative as we try to feel each other out.”
== At some moment in the second half of UCLA’s college basketball game against Oregon at Pauley Pavilion (Thursday, 7 p.m.), Dick Enberg and Bill Walton will share a broadcast table.
Oh, m … you fill in the rest.
Since UCLA is honoring its former play-by-play man with a pre-game and halftime ceremony, someone thought it would be fitting that Enberg get to be on the ESPN telecast with Walton and Dave Pasch.
Enberg, who turned 82 last month, called eight of UCLA’s 11 national championship seasons in the 1960s and ’70s and is famous for the KTLA-Channel 5 late-night tape-delayed telecasts. After a long career at NBC, CBS and ESPN, covering every major event, he decided to retire from a five-year job he had with the San Diego Padres and move onto new adventures.
But first, a flashback to his days following John Wooden’s wonder years in Westwood.
“It will freshen many wonderful memories — nine years flying solo on KTLA,” said Enberg. “How fortunate. That may never happen again.”
Enberg has worked with Walton before during NBC’s March Madness coverage as well as inviting him into the Padres’ baseball booth before (see video above). Enberg doesn’t expect to get any favors thrown his way by the former Bruins star.
“Knowing Bill, it will be more of an eulogy than a basketball conversation,” said Enberg.
In addition to the TV appearance, Enberg is also scheduled to join Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray on the UCLA radio broadcast (570-AM) in the first half.
Students attending the game will also be handed an “Oh My!” Enberg T-shirt.
Pasch and Walton also have the Cal-Arizona game Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 this week.