Following up on a column that posted Wednesday about Eric Dickerson and the media-related situation he finds himself in with the Rams, here’s what’s worth posting right here and right now:
Circling back to the column last Sunday that used Chick Hearn’s 100th birthday anniversary as a launching point to give thanks to all the Southern California play-by-play men who have made news this past year and reflect on how this changing of the guard is taking place.
We connected Chick Hearn to Bob Miller, and then to Vin Scully’s and Dick Enberg’s retirement honoree tour.
If we’re chiseling out the proverbial Mt. Rushmore of SoCal sportscasters, there is of course room for only so many to get a piece of the rock.
That’s where readers chimed in for their loyalties.
Jeff White of Palmdale said he always appreciated the classic calls of Bob Starr on the Rams and Bill King on the Raiders when both teams were going head-to-head for L.A. attention decades ago. And if we’re expanding the Southern California boarder, the Padres’ Jerry Coleman deserves recognition.
There was more than one nominee for Nick Nickson, the Kings’ radio man and recent Hockey Hall of Fame honoree. And for Ross Porter, after his long run with the Dodgers and then agreeing to do games for Cal State Northridge baseball.
Then there’s perhaps the biggest unintentional bypass: Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster and Baseball Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin, who agreed to extend his contract with the team to where he plans to soon enter his 60th, and perhaps, final season. “The Latino Vin Scully,” as a headline in The Guardian proclaimed earlier this year, is not lost on the Los Angeles landscape of the team connecting with the fanbase.
We are thankful, again, for the breadth and depth of what we have, what we once had, and what we have coming up. We embrace the idea of an extended group hug.
== Stu Lantz, who still keeps Hearn’s final press pass in his wallet, has almost been doing Lakers games as long without Hearn as he did with him after Hearn passed away in 2002. Lantz was very honest with our Mark Medina about his memories: “He did a remarkable job of letting me be me. We butted heads every once in a while. But that’s a part of everything. You don’t always have to agree with somebody. But you can at least respect their opinion. That’s how it turned out with Chick. He didn’t always agree with me. I didn’t always agree with him. But boy did we respect each other’s opinions. I owe quite a bit to Chick.”
== It was not lost on some listeners of Chicago’s WGN broadcast of the Kings-Blackhawks game last Saturday: As the camera focused on the Kings’ booth of Miller and Jim Fox, Blackhawks broadcaster Pat Foley commented about Miller’s recent heart surgery, and also made a comment about Hearn: “Chick is no longer active.” Well, sure, since Hearn passed away about 14 years ago. Foley may be familiar to those NHL followers who once tore apart former Blackhawks defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev during a broadcast that some say should have gotten him fired. A few years later, Kapovtsev was killed in a plane crash with other hockey players in Russia.