Sometimes, all it takes is well-place Whip, a noteworthy Nae Nae and a delicious Dap to vault the viewership of women’s college gymnastics to the next level.
The incredible social media attention that has come this week cascading over UCLA senior gymnast Sophina DeJesus specifically, and the sport in general, probably caught many off guard. But DeJesus’ hip-hop energized floor routine that capped off a dual meet win over Utah at Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 6 and carried by the Pac-12 Network continues to resonate loudly whether or not viewers are up to speed with everything she mashed up into it.
As UCLA pointed out in a banner promo on its athletic website prior to tonight’s meet against visiting Oregon State, DeJesus’ routine has “26 million views … and counting … Experience it live!” More at this link …
Ross Porter will do 18 games for Cal State Northridge baseball. (Photo by Lee Choo/CSUN Athletics)
There is some instant credibility for the Cal State Northridge baseball program in having former Dodgers play-by-play man Ross Porter agree to call 18 home games this season for the CSUN Sports Network, beginning with the season opener Friday, Feb. 19 against Cal State Bakersfield.
Matadors head coach Greg Moore may have found that out by accident recently.
“He told me that when he was at a recruit’s home, it came up in the conversation that I would be doing some of the games, and he said the player’s father just brightened up ‘like I just gave him a $10 bill,’ ” Porter said. “I told Greg that I hope I’m not causing any NCAA violations. I can see how parents might remember me, but wouldn’t the players have had to be pretty young?”
Ross Porter does an interview before throwing out the first pitch before a Dodgers’ game in 2013. (mlb.com)
It’s been 11 years since Porter last called a Dodger game – the end of a 28-year run – but the 77-year-old former KNBC-Channel 4 sports anchor has kept occupied calling games for high school football Internet streaming services as well as developing his own “Real Sports Heroes” radio venture. The last baseball game he called of note was when Fox Sports West hired him to do the 2013 CIF Division II and III baseball championships from Dodger Stadium that streamed on their PrepZone.com site. Continue reading →
Photo from www.Twitter.com/eddieonfox, from Fox Sports Radio news anchor Eddie Garcia.
Funeral services are planned for Sunday in Mission Hills to honor Frank Polak, the longtime Lakers radio producer/engineer back during their run on KLAC-AM (570) as its flagship station.
Polak, 61, who had been working at Fox Sports Radio network studios the last six years, was found dead at his home in Lake Balboa on Sunday. The cause of death was not officially given, but speculation ranges from a heart attack or the result of a blood clot from a recent injury to his leg while playing hockey.
Polak had a 30-year-run with the Lakers broadcast, 23 of them with Chick Hearn. The Lakers Hall of Fame play-by-play man who died in 2002 often mentioned Polak’s name in the opening and closing credits.
From the Twitter account of Fox Sports Radio’s Eddie Garcia.
Polak was also an engineer for the Jim Healy show, as well as working on Kings’ NHL games when the team simulcast them on radio and TV.
Polak was an avid hockey fan and continued to play the game in local leagues.
Spero Dedes, who called Lakers games on KLAC from 2005-11, says he woke up the other day to text messages and calls from game analyst Mychal Thompson, statistician Doug Mann and program director Brian Blackmore, relaying the news.
Polak was one of the first people at KLAC that Dedes met after he landed the Lakers job.
“I still remember that very first day in L.A. — a brief pit stop at the Lakers facility to meet everyone and then driving out to KLAC’s building in Burbank, a whirlwind meeting all those people in the span of a few hours, but Frank was the one I spent the most time with that first day,” said Dedes.
“He had this incredibly friendly smile and disposition. He was the type of guy you’d meet and after five minutes felt like an old friend.” Continue reading →
Coming up for Sunday:
Sometimes, all it takes is a well-placed Whip. Neatly-inserted Nae Naes.Cap it off with a dastardly Dap.
And people will take notice to what happens in a televised college gymnastics meet.
Even days after the fact.
The social media attention that came cascading over UCLA senior gymnastSophina DeJesus at the start of this week after a very non-routine floor routine — the first of her college career — during the Bruins’ dual meet win at Pauley Pavilion last Saturday against Utah on the Pac-12 Network seemed to start with a fan-inspired Facebook post.
The attention level rose so quickly that media outlets like NBC and The New York Times and then USWeekly, ESPNw and NPR decided to follow up on all the commotion in the days after it.
Some are calling her “badass” and the routine as “insane.”
Still, it was was only third-best on her team that day by the judges’ tally. A version put up on YouTube (above) by NastiaFan101take12 already has 7.5 million views. Jim Watson and Amada Borden are on the call.
To show how much this even took the TV crew by surprise, Watson misidentified DeJesus at the beginning of the routine because he was given a different list of competitors from UCLA, but it was changed right before she went on.
In a roundabout way, this brings to light the fact that women’s gymnastics are the third-biggest attraction on the Pac-12 Network, behind college football and not that far back of men’s college basketball. The same trend is apparent on the ESPN-owned SEC Network, as the two conferences have the strongest women’s gymnastics programs in the country. The Big 12’s Oklahoma, which has a meet at UCLA on March 13, currently holds the nation’s No. 1 ranking.
Eleven of the 12 UCLA meets in 2016 have been or will be live on the Pac-12 Network, including a home meet against Oregon State on Saturday at 8 p.m. (with Rich Burk and former UCLA gymnast Samantha Peszek on the call).
The Bruins are ranked No. 7 nationally. USC does not have a women’s’ gymnastics team.
We’ll get more into this and how those providing the TV pictures may react to this going forward.
Also: More on the Ross Porter hiring at Cal State Northridge to do a slate of home baseball games starting next Friday.
== KFWB-AM (980) will stay on as “The Beast” and its all-sports format until the end of the month now — initial reports is that it would cease mid-February — and the Clippers have not said yet what their plans will be in regards to staying put or going somewhere else through the end of the season. Owners of the city’s 5,000-watt station, Charles Banta’s Mercury Capital Partners, have a track record for buying stations and changing them to foreign-language barter programming. Filing reports show the company purchased KFWB at a rather bargain-basement price of $8 million considering its once-prominent stature in Southern California.
“As of this time, we anticipate that we will close on March 1st, subject to FCC approval,” said Diane Sutter, the KFWB Asset Trust trustee who was part of the sale negotiation announced in early January.
The Clippers, a KFWB flagship tenant since 2009, are in the first of a five-year deal with the station, no matter who owns it, but it has the opt-out clause if ownership/formats change. Bill Saurer, the president and CEO of Principle Broadcasting Network, a division of Universal Media Access and owner of the station, said via email he was “not at liberty to disclose our plans specifically, but KFWB will not be a sports station.” Don Martin, the vice president and program director for all-sports KLAC-AM (570), said he has conversations in the past with the Clippers, and iHeartRadio in Los Angeles has three AM and five FM stations that could accommodate them, but “it has to add up financially for both sides to come off.” == Our phone records show that Google maps is already up to speed (and what is the speed limit?) on the new Vin Scully Avenue (although we thought it still needed some official approval by any citizens who might want to protest it … maybe it’s clear and free to put up the street name on the map, but they’ve yet to change the actual signs)
== The college basketball TV pops worth noting:
= ESPN thankfully has Dave Pasch and Bill Walton on Friday’s UCLA-Arizona game at 6 p.m., one day after the two are in Berkeley for the Oregon-Cal coverage.
= Roxy Bernstein and Steve Lavin call the Pac-12 Network coverage of USC at Arizona State on Friday at 5 p.m.
= Lavin motors to Tucson and comes back with Aaron Goldsmith on FS1 for the call of Sunday’s USC-Arizona game at 5 p.m.
= ESPNU has Bernstein staying in Tempe and teaming with Corey Williams to do UCLA at Arizona State on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
With CBS’ Jim Nantz, left, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning holds the Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 50 win against Carolina on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
There’s a not-so-peculiar rumor peculating in NFL TV business circles that as soon as Peyton Manning says he’s retiring from the game — which could have happened by now — CBS will have a contract ready to go for him to sign up as its A-team game analyst, the new partner for Jim Nantz.
Which would mean Phil Simms could retire as well.
That may be the logical circle-of-life conclusion to the network’s otherwise uneven Super Bowl 50 coverage Sunday of Denver’s equally sloggish 24-10 win over Carolina in Santa Clara. Those consistently consumed with criticism of Simms had plenty of material to throw against the wall as he plodded through his eighth Super Bowl TV analyst appearance. Typically choppy, twangy, contradictory … a dot-dot-dot string of thoughts and half-thoughts … often ending with that awkward silence where he clearly hopes Nantz picks up the conversion and tries to end the paragraph.
Simms had his moments of OK-ness, his times of pedestrian observations.
If the game-turning moment was of any indicator, here’s what transpired on Cam Newton’s fumble with 4:04 to play and the Broncos hanging onto a six-point lead: “Here it comes, No. 58 Von Miller (as the wide end zone replay beings, the yellow arrow appears) against (Carolina right tackle) Mike Remmers one more time … “Cam Newton didn’t feel it, didn’t step up. The football just taken out of his hand.”
Actually, it was batted down. More silence. Simms then noted that Newton did not attempt to go after the loose ball on the ground.
Nantz interjected: “He jumped away from it … instead of (going) into the pile!”
Simms: “Yup. He made the decision it wasn’t worth going in there to get it. Shoulda dove in. Had a chance to recover it.”
There was Simms’ moment to be assertive and relevant, but he was more hesitant, even in watching it as a replay, as if he again didn’t trust his view of the play. More on this at this link ..