A tale of the tape: L.A. vs. Houston, no problem whatsoever

Major League Baseball’s deceptive depth of statistical information might provide some illuminating comparisons between the Dodgers and Astros heading into the 113th World Series. But the tale of the tape below tells us more:

Sports Illustrated cover influence
Houston: In June, 2014, the cover included a shot of George Springer with the headline “Your 2017 World Series Champs”
L.A.: An issue last August declared the Dodgers might be the “Best. Team. Ever?” With a 91-36 record, they went on to lose 16 out of 17.
Edge: Astros. Remember how in 1987, “Back to the Future II” predicted the Cubs would win the 2015 World Series, and they were a year off? Now we have the FiveThirtyEight.com that sets everyone straight, and it gives the Dodgers a 55 percent chance of winning it all. It’s not as if they’ve ever been wrong in a political projection, right?

Historical NASA moment
Houston: “Um, Houston we’ve have a problem,” said by Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert in 1970.
L.A.: “Houston, we have a problem,” said by actor Tom Hanks, in the role of Jim Lovell for the 1995 film “Apollo 13.”
Edge: Blame Hollywood for changing the wording and giving it to the correct actor and longtime Dodgers supporter (you think they’d let Kevin Bacon deliver that line as Swigert?). Now it’s ranked No. 50 by the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. You’re welcome, Houston.

Hashtag branding for the postseason
Houston: #EarnHistory
L.A.: #ThisTeam
Edge: #Lame.

Celebrity endorsement
Houston: Kate Upton, President George H.W. Bush, Ric Flair.
L.A.: Everyone in Hollywood asking their assistants to run down and pick them up an L.A. cap.
Edge: Dodgers. It’s part of the territory and a product of mass inventory. Nonetheless, during Game 2, you’ll see more shots of Upton, the fiance of Justin Verlander, in a stadium suite than Magic Johnson ordering another Dodger Dog or Will Ferrell, Rob Lowe, George Lopez, Samuel L. Jackson, Ice Cube or (egads) Alyssa Milano trying to look naturally engaged in the action.

The full story at this link …

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Why Vin Scully says he feels he doesn’t belong at the 2017 World Series

There are at least a couple of petitions circulating among the fans asking that Vin Scully be part of the 2017 World Series coverage now that the Dodgers are locked in.
The retired Hall of Fame broadcaster, who turns 90 next month, is, at this point, staying away.
“I honestly don’t feel I belong there and I would not want anyone to think I was eager for a spotlight,” he told us Friday morning via email.

More at this link …

Related stories posted:
== TMZ
== YahooSports
== The Los Angeles Times

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Sports media notes version 10.18.17: Truthfully, Pierce wants to keep it real at ESPN, and more ….

Honestly, Paul Pierce still wants to tell the truth. As a TV talking head, that’s important and refreshing. Pierce, the former Inglewood High star living in Calabasas, and having just turned 40 last week, explains why he feels it’s a good time for him to take ESPN up on his offer to join them as a studio analyst. He got two years of practice working as a guest for ESPN during the NBA Finals (see video above)
So in addition that Pierce post linked here, we have this to serve up at almost mid week:

== ESPN has a “docuseries” that will debut Thursday at 4 p.m. called “Chris Paul’s Chapter 3,” where ESPN Films follows Paul in the offseason as he contemplates leaving L.A. for Houston, talking to everyone from Jay-Z to Bob Iger, and finally relocating his family right before Hurricane Harvey hits. The three episodes will air Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 5-6:30 p.m. on ESPN and be available on the ESPN App and on demand. More background at this link.

== NBA-related books worth finding as a prep for this season:
= “Basketball (And Other Things): A Collection of Questions Asked, Answered, Illustrated,” by Shea Serrano, illustrated by Arturo Torres (Harry N. Abrams, 240 pages, $19.99). Amazon.com already lists it at the best seller in the “sports humor” category — there really is one? — and it’s geared for the 8-to-12 year range (third grade to junior high). No wonder it’s our guilty pleasure read already of the season, worthy of a New York Times piece when it came out on Oct. 10.
As Serrano explains in the intro, this 33-chapter book (with Reggie Miller writing the foreword) that tackles a different question. Such as: “How many points should a shot actually be worth?” Or “How do players’ legacies change if we change their names?” (For example: Irvin “Magic” Johnson could have been “the third biggest illusionist in the Midwest”). Or spending six pages to determine: “Was Kobe Bryant a dork?” (answer: Yes). The “10 greatest hairstyles of all-time?” Bill Walton’s hippy ponytail seems to top Allen Iverson’s cornrows or Artis Gilmore’s Afro.
Our favorite: What are the 5 Best Playoff Buzzer Beaters of all time?
Serrano answers this with five slots that read: “I don’t know, but not the 0.4 shot Derek Fisher hit against the Spurs in 2004. That one was stupid.”
Serrano, if you can’t tell, grew up a Spurs fan.
(Also: Special editions of the book sold at Barnes & Noble include four player cards in the back of “players” you might not otherwise consider players).

Continue reading “Sports media notes version 10.18.17: Truthfully, Pierce wants to keep it real at ESPN, and more ….” »

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CFB Week 8 in the L.A. TV market: A South Bend in the road, with Tirico getting USC-Notre Dame for the first time

Mike Tirico, in the Notre Dame Stadium press box before a game against Georgia last Sept. 9. (Photo by: Jeff Schear/NBC Sports Group)

Mike Tirico decided to go online Tuesday to do some research on the USC-Notre Dame college football rivalry history — particularly to recheck his memory about the 2005 “Bush Push” game at South Bend, eventually finding the NBC broadcast with Tom Hammond and Pat Haden on the call.
“I’m just looking for a little detail,” said Tirico. “I ended up getting sucked into watching at least an hour of that game — the first drive, parts of the middle, the comeback, the last drive. I was on a tight schedule this week and that really ended up throwing me off.
“Before I knew it, I was looking back at that No. 1 vs. No. 2 match up in 1988, with Keith Jackson and Bob Griese on the call.”
Tirico’s voice started rising on the other end of the phone as he got more into it.
“But that’s the joy of this rivalry, going back to Rockne, the Notre Dame dominance, McKay, then the Pete Carroll era. The rivalry brings up so many different memories for people who’ve been watching college football for 10 years or 50 years. Something that happens (this Saturday) could be what people are talking about 10 years from now.”
This will be the first USC-Notre Dame broadcast for Tirico, who joined NBC from ESPN/ABC two years ago, specifically for the opportunity to do different big-time events like this, including the Olympics, golf, horse racing and Thursday Night NFL games as well as host the Sunday Night Football studio shows.
With Doug Flutie at his side, Tirico made the drive from his home in Ann Arbor, Mich., to South Bend, Ind., to do three Notre Dame games last season and the plan is for him to do six of the seven home games this season, missing one so he could be at the President’s Cup golf event recently.
He said the trick to doing what he calls “legacy games” is to sprinkle in the history around the body of the game, but keep in mind “you want people paying attention to this game, right now. You don’t want to be (in a clip of another game) and come back too late and  miss a snap — because any snap in this game could be that long-last moment for decades to come. You don’t mess up the future by talking about the past. It’s realizing you have to stay in the present.”

If you still have these shirts, and you’re making the trip, you may as well wear them, eh?


== USC at Notre Dame, Saturday at 4:42 p.m., Channel 4 (Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Kathryn Tappen)
== UCLA vs. Oregon: Saturday at 1 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron, Lewis Johnson)

== Arizona State at Utah, 12:30 p.m., FS1 (Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis, Tom Helfrich)
== Arizona at Cal, Saturday at 5 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Ted Robinson, Yogi Roth, Jill Savage)
== Colorado at Washington State, Saturday at 7:45 p.m., ESPN (Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boman)
Bye weeks: Washington, which faces UCLA on Oct. 28, and Stanford


Continue reading “CFB Week 8 in the L.A. TV market: A South Bend in the road, with Tirico getting USC-Notre Dame for the first time” »

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NFL Week 7 in the L.A. market: London calling (again) without the brutal wake-up call

What time is the Rams’ kickoff in London? Does looking at Big Ben even help?

Before looking ahead, we glance backward …
Sunday evening, as the Dodgers-Cubs NLCS Game 2 was understandably engaging most of the Southern California viewership — a 12.3 rating and 25 share, translating to 1.14 million viewers for TBS — it’s quite interesting to note that still some 526,000 other viewers were registered watching the N.Y. Giants-Denver NFL game on KNBC-Channel 4 (6.8 rating/13 share) going on at the same time.
(Maybe they even caught the Al Michaels-Harvey Weinstein “only in L.A.” joke reference that led to some on social media getting their Under Armor in a bunch).
What’s stranger is that the New England-N.Y. Jets telecast at 10 a.m. Sunday (via CBS) had the largest NFL rating of the day in L.A.: 8.2/21 share, with an average of 647,000 viewers.
However, the Chargers’ game in Oakland (Channel 2, 1:25 p.m.) still averaged more viewers — 679,000 — despite its 7.9 rating and 18 share because of how it was positioned.
Head-to-head with the Rams-Jacksonville game on Channel 11 (5.9/14 share/485,000 viewers), the Chargers can claim victory. But we all know it was the Raiders’ participation that made the difference, eh?
(And we’re pretty sure that Dick Stockton, calling that Rams-Jags game, may finally see the end of his broadcast career coming closer. The memo from Fox will likely come with some obvious bulletpoints like this one).

Pushing forward … Continue reading “NFL Week 7 in the L.A. market: London calling (again) without the brutal wake-up call” »

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