Not much else to add to the bluster of prose surfacing in the wake of Frank Deford’s passing over Memorial Day weekend.
Deford make it look easy and stylish as Clark Gable with a typewriter, getting to the human stories and nuances, finding the hypocrisy and the beauty of the subject at the same time, and the rest of us were duped into thinking we might try to do it just as suavely.
We are left with snippets of things we’ve collected over the last few days that resonated with us. Like this tweet from the SCNG’s Joey Kaufman:
When the Series Manager on the DVR is in need of serious management, it’s time to pause.
What’s still relevant? What is becoming stale? What needs to go? This sports subset of our working list, as it turns out, was clogged full of electronic dust bunnies. Keep HBO’s “Any Given Wednesday” or CBSSN’s “Rome,” but only for trivial reasons? Nope.
At a time when ESPN is purging, FS1 is submerging, other nets are converging and what’s left is too many other uploaded shows floating downstream, we’ve tried to rationalize this process on what stays and what’s deleted based on current needs, wants and guilty pleasures.
Compare and contrast to your own menus and make your cases:
Anything might happen at an Aviators’ game at Occidental College’s Jack Kemp Stadium. At their last home contest, player Zach Theodore, a third-year pro out of Long Beach State, delivered a surprise marriage proposal on the field after a game to his girlfriend and team statistician Evie Herzfeld.
The pass was completed with the utmost of integrity, of course.
But in addition to that, Boorstin believes the product they’re putting on the field as a family-friendly win-win situation, with “highly balletic plays – I like that word, putting ballet and athletic together,” with highlights that often make it into an ESPN “Top 10” SportsCenter highlight feature. A UK cable sports channel known as Eleven Sports Network will be putting the Aviators’ June 10 home game against Seattle on the air for wider exposure.
“It’s one of the world’s fastest-growing sports and we want to keep it growing until the demographics catch up,” Boorstin said. “For starters, it’s an affordable sport to play: Just one disc, eight cones.”
Prior to the launch of the Sunday media column, we’ll put this out into the universe:
== In the 12 minutes or so spent toward the end of episode 5 of HBO “Real Sports” season 23, a piece on Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster and Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin entitled “A Beisbol Life” that launched Tuesday night may not reveal anything new. Those who already know a lot about the story of this 81-year-old engaged in his 59th season with the team are pretty much already up to speed.
It’s just that the national exposure is gratifying to see for someone so deserving, and if more can be told about the relationship he has had with Vin Scully, all the better. That said, the piece takes a few of side tracks that, in the end, allows Jarrin to reveal more of his true, stoic character and ability to deflect attention to himself. A true Scully trait. First, Bryant Gumbel decides that there needs to be a light shined again on how Chavez Ravine had to be “cleared out of over 1,000 families” when the Dodgers moved here from Brooklyn. It supposedly laid the groundwork that led to a backlash from the local Hispanic community about the team’s arrival. But that was never clear. Instead, it gave Jarrin, a former newspaper reporter, a chance to clarify the incident by saying that “the Dodgers didn’t cause that problem. It was the City Hall. They were supposed to relocate those families. And they never did.”
Gumbel attempts to open a wound in Jarrin’s life by talking about how he lost a son at age 29. When Gumbel went on that sort of same line of questioning for a piece about Scully in 2004, it upset that Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster so much, because he had asked that subject not be broached, yet Gumbel did anyway. Scully reportedly vowed never to do a piece for HBO again, but in this case, for Jarrin, he acquiesced (and apparently as long as it wasn’t Gumbel asking the questions). Jarrin instead explains how he family needed a 10-year healing period before they could really get back on track.
Later, Gumbel declares that Jarrin is “an immigrant success story at a time when the present administration is fond of demonizing and vilifying immigrants.” Jarrin is deft in a response: “Let’s talk about sports,” he says with a smile, trying to defuse the seriousness of the situation. He finally relents to admit how “it hurts to see my people, the Latino people, being so afraid of everything.”
HBO debuted the segment on Tuesday’s show, with many reairs through the week, including Thursday at 8 a.m. and 4:25 p.m., Friday at 1 p.m., Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and next Tuesday at 11 p.m. More at www.hbo.com/realsports
== Retired Kings play-by-play voice Bob Miller, in an appearance Tuesday on “Mason & Ireland” KSPN-AM (710), learned that he will be the 2018 recipient of the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award by the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association.
In addition, Miller’s name will be attached to the annual best TV play-by-play award going forward.
Miller, the five-year SCSB president, was on the show with current organization president Rand Elkins to present Steve Mason and John Ireland with their 2017 best radio sports-talk show award some five months after the ceremony.
As for the fact that Miller’s close friend, Pete Weber, is four wins away from calling his first Stanley Cup championships with the Nashville Predators eliminating the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, which we covered last Sunday, Miller told us Tuesday: “I am delighted to see my former partner have a chance to broadcast a NHL Final series and I hope he has a chance to celebrate with the Stanley Cup at the end of this season. Pete was a valuable addition to our Kings telecasts and in every game he brought accuracy and humor to his announcing and he is still doing the same thing in Nashville.
“He has been the Voice of the Predators since the teams inception in 1998 and he’s done a marvelous job of teaching the game of hockey to the fans in that non-traditional hockey area as witnessed by the fans enthusiasm we are seeing in the Arena on a nightly basis. It’s great to see the fans in Nashville embracing this exciting game taught to them by Pete and his first partner, ex NHL two time Stanley Cup winner Terry Crisp.
“Pete, and his wife Claudia, are close friends of ours and they both visited us when the Kings won their second Stanley Cup in 2014. At that time I told him if they ever won the Cup we would attend his party in Nashville. I hope we have that opportunity.”
Even with a couple of chord changes to tweak the twang, Pete Weber’s broadcasting career in Nashville shouldn’t sound like the starting point for another tired country western song.
It’s hardly been a long, lonesome 20 years behind the microphone, be it on TV, radio or even CB Radio, for the original and still-going-strong voice of the NHL’s Predators. The 66-year Weber, who got up to speed on the pro hockey game during a three-year run as the colorman for Bob Miller on the Kings’ broadcasts from 1978-81 between Rich Marotta and Nick Nickson, has belted out scores in Buffalo, Seattle, Albuquerque and Rochester. He’s worked on the NFL Bills’ broadcasts during their run of four straight fruitless Super Bowl outcomes.
He’s even had his heart kinda broken — a serious heart procedure in 2014 to be exact — but it’s kept on ticking.
And now, if things break right, he could be making his first championship call. The Preds’ first Stanley Cup win could come as early as mid-June, but that won’t be the time to drop the mike.
“I’m a little too selfish to see what could follow,” Weber said beforeo Saturday’s Game 5 of the Ducks-Predators Western Conference finals. “I have another year left on my contract and they’ve already asked me if I want to continue. I do. And once the first one happens, I’ll be going for at least two.” More at this link….