As for the times they actually lost their voices …

imagesWe went on a mission to gather remedies on how to keep a broadcaster’s vocal cords in top shape during this crazy time of year. But in the process, we also were passed along some war stories by those who lost their voices at some point in their career and how they scrambled to get it back.
If this makes you feel any better, they survived to tell these:

Dick Enberg:
514PlPcbUNL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Baseball Hall of Famer notes that in his 60 years of broadcasting, he never once missed an assignment because of losing his voice. But on pages 132-133 of his 2004 autobiography “Oh, My!” he tells a story about how he tried to bail out, but his partner wouldn’t allow it. During the 1979 NCAA basketball tournament, he and Al McGuire were doing did four games in two days — in two different cities. They did the first two games in Providence, Rhode Island on the first Saturday, and Enberg noticed his voice was getting tired. “By the end of the second game I was reduced to a whisper,” writes Enberg. They had to go to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for two more games on Sunday “and “I refused to talk to anyone on the plane and didn’t utter a peep to anyone in the hotel. All I did was gargle and suck strong lozenges trying to protect what little was left of my voice. …”
By the time they made it to the Tennessee-Notre Dame game — the fourth one of the weekend — Enberg said he was “sounding like something between a man and a toad” … and “not only did my throat hurt me, it hurt me to hear myself.”
i-e70a35ad41ffaa42b4574385fb591b15-z483e0567ee466fac882574a3006155521At halftime, he declared his voice to be dead. He turned to McGuire and whispered: “Coach, I can’t go any longer. You have to take over. Here’s what I’ll do. I know you don’t know all the players, but I’ll assist you by pointing them out on my spotting boards, and I’ll underline any statistics that are important. I’ll be right here next to you.”
Enberg finishes the story: “With total insensitivity, Al said without a blink: ‘Dicksie, if you’re goin’, I’m goin’.” That was all he said. I did the rest of the game. He was too smart. He was really saying, ‘You think I’m going to try something I can’t do on national television? I’d rather watch you die on television. I’m not going to die, too.’ Typical Al. The Fox.”
When recalling that story this week, Enberg added: “That game in 1979 (which led to the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird NCAA final) was just prior to my first Wimbledon. I was reduced to a whisper with no sympathy from Al. But come to think of it … it’s yet another reason why Wimbledon was and is my favorite event. In an obtuse way, the Championships and Meggezones (where he could find his favorite throat medicine) may have saved my career.”

Bob Miller:
142_1024x1024 Continue reading

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It’s Out of the Question: It’s college football, where flexibility means waiting on USC-UCLA kickoff

blessed-are-the-flexible-facebook-timeline-coverHey, hon, do you think we should stay an extra night at Aunt Ginny and Uncle Ferd’s house in Eureka on Thanksgiving weekend?
Or would it be more prudent to up and leave behind the family we rarely get to spend quality time with on Friday afternoon instead of Saturday morning so we make it back in time for the UCLA-USC kickoff at the Coliseum?
By the way, anyone know when the game actually starts?
OOwBOTIThis is college football we’re talking about here. Grab a wishbone and hope for the best.
The answer may not come until Monday, because technically, that’s what the TV contracts stipulate at this point in the season.
Larry Scott’s Pac-12 decoder ring, aligned with how ABC, ESPN and Fox needs to see how UCLA-USC fits best with their “inventory,” have narrowed a kickoff down to either 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m.
At least the options of 12:59 p.m. on Black Friday, 3:15 a.m., 7:45 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday or sunrise Sunday aren’t in play. For now.

Ronda Rousey is tended to by a medical staff member after being knocked out by Holly Holm in their UFC 193 bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia last Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

Ronda Rousey is tended to by a medical staff member after being knocked out by Holly Holm in their UFC 193 bantamweight title fight in Melbourne, Australia last Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

== All the negative stuff about Ronda Rousey now after she’s forced to make a walk of shame out of the Octogon — this is some kind of come-
uppance for the arrogance she showed leading up to this point? All because she wouldn’t touch gloves with Holly Holm before the bout?
In the long run, isn’t the UFC better off having someone other than Rousey lug around that large belt around for awhile – and actually create a rivalry that might last a few more years?

== How long before this 3-on-3 NHL overtime format catches on with other sports?
Pay attention, NBA. Imagine a sudden death, full court game. Golden State’s best three against the Lakers’ best three, with everyone casting off 3’s.
Or do the Lakers even have a best three?

== President Obama, underpaid for the standard $400,000 he’s given each year, plus a $50,000 expense account, a $100,000 travel account and $19,000 for entertainment, joked this week that he can’t believe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell makes $44 million a season.
Because it probably should be more?

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

== Six months after he was in the running for NBA Coach of the Year after dragging the Houston Rockets past the Clippers and into the Western Conference finals, Kevin McHale is out as the team’s head coach following a 4-7 start.
Or would it be more accurate to say he was clotheslined?

More questions to be answered at this link …

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Weekly media notes version 11.19.15: No auditions this week for “The Voice”

speech-bubble-156056_640What’s on the schedule for Sunday’s weekly column:

We’ve butted heads this week with a nasty cold and, so far, we have lost.
The voice, especially, is the biggest loser.
It’s been one of those things that no matter how many packages of Alka Seltzer Plus Severe Cold and Flu we stirred in with Mucinex Sinus-Max Nighttime Maximum Strength syrup and added it all to the oversized bowl of chicken-and-lemon soup, the arduous battle has carried on for days.
(Perhaps one particular concoction was too hot — it actually knocked one of our crowns out, and we almost swallowed it. So if there is to be a doctor involved in the curing  process, it’ll start with the my DDS, Dr. Les Lattner over in Westwood).
labeled1For us, this isn’t such a major occu-
pational hazard. But for a pro-
fessional play-by-
play man, what happens when the money maker stops on them?
This is the time of the year that tries play-by-play men’s vocal cords — with the change in season, airline cabin pressure adjustments, stuffy hotel rooms and the warm-to-cold-to-warm issues that come from going to busses to press boxes to arenas this time of year. There has to be something the common viewer/listener at home can learn from their experiences.
Lakers’ KSPN-AM 710 radio voice John Ireland lost his voice last weekend. He was sidelined when the team went to Phoenix after an aborted attempt to do his daily radio show on KSPN-AM 710 with Steve Mason. Ireland ended up seeing Chick Hearn’s old ear, nose and throat man, Dr. Joe Sugarman, this week in Beverly Hills in hopes of returning for Friday’s game, but that included a complete shutdown of talking.
On a five-game road trip back East, the Kings’ radio voice, Nick Nickson, admits he’s been fighting a head and chest cold and can’t really raise his voice to the level needed at times.
We quizzed many of the best, local and national, to see if they’d give up some trade secrets on how to both prevent the voice from disappearing and, if it does, how to get it back.
(Such as: Start with keeping hand sanitizes near by. Germs are not your friend).

What’s worth posting right about now:

== How this critical Week 12 of the college football season lands for L.A. TV screens:
= Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, Tom Luginbill have No. 24 USC at No 23 Oregon on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. for ESPN.
= New Dodgers play-by-play man Joe Davis is joined by Brady Quinn and Kris Budden to call UCLA’s game at No. 13 Utah on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on Channel 11.
In addition to the column we did on Davis upon his announced hiring last week, Sports Illustrated and the L.A. Times have posted subsequent conversations with him, so perhaps the car wash is complete.
(By the way, we won’t get started again on why the Pac-12 allows USC and UCLA games to go head-to-head on TV. It’s a disservice to SoCal football viewers). Continue reading

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Play It Forward Nov. 16-23: Destiny, and whether USC, UCLA can control any of it

The USC band mascot hands a sword to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to have him lead the band after the Trojans' win at Colorado on Friday night in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The USC band mascot hands a sword to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to have him lead the band after the Trojans’ win at Colorado on Friday night in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Details/TV: Saturday at 12:30 p.m., ESPN
Details/TV: Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Channel 11:

UCLA head coach Jim Mora yells as he walks the sideline during the second half of Saturday's loss to Washington State at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

UCLA head coach Jim Mora yells as he walks the sideline during the second half of Saturday’s loss to Washington State at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

As for whether or not one can control their own destiny, that’s always been something ripe for debate. Destiny itself is a predetermined thing, right? But then there’s the quote from Jack Welch, the retired chairman CEO of General Electric: “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” The “destiny” discussion comes back into play as the next-to-last regular season Pac-12 Conference games are set for No. 22 USC (7-3 overall, 5-2 in conference, 4-1 under Clay Helton)  and UCLA (7-3, 4-3) — if either team wins this week, and next, they can lay claim to the South title and qualify for the Dec. 5 conference championship.
Of course, the “next” after this is UCLA at USC on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
The Trojans and Ducks each have pulled themselves together at an opportune time, as each has a four-game winning streak coming into this matchup. The Trojans’ task may be tougher without injured linebackers Cameron Smith and Lamar Dawson, while No. 23 Oregon (7-3, 5-2) has been sparked by the return of quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who led the team to 436 yards on 48 plays in a win last week over Stanford.
USC’s last trip to Eugene was back in 2011, a 38-35 win that snapped the Ducks’ 21-game home win streak and knocked them out of the national championship race. A year later, Oregon posted a 61-54 win over USC at the Coliseum. They haven’t met since.
No. 18 Utah (8-2, 5-2) comes off a 37-30 double OT stumble against Arizona. The Utes claimed a 30-28 win over then UCLA last year in Salt Lake City when Andy Phillips kicked a 29-yard field goal with 34 seconds left, and UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn missed two field goal tries, from 50 and 55 yards, with no time left.


The MLB 2015 awards announce this week include the NL Cy Young (Wednesday, 3 p.m., MLB Network) and the AL MVP (Thursday, 3 p.m., MLB Network), which have some Southern California candidates …  The Clippers get another shot at Golden State, this time at Staples Center (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., TNT) … The NASCAR Sprint Cup season comes to a close at Homestead (Sunday, noon, Channel 4) … Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez have an appearance to make in Las Vegas (Saturday, 6 p.m., pay per view) … the Kings start a five-game road trip in Philadelphia (Tuesday, 4 p.m., FSW) … More at this link.

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Sunday media Q&A: Angelo Pizzo dives deeper into what went into making “My All American”

Freddie Steinmark, from 1969.

Freddie Steinmark, from 1969.

As an extension of the story we did in Sunday’s editions on the upcoming film “My All American,” here is more Q-and-A with director/screenwriter Angelo Pizzo about the project, which came in at No. 12 in the box office projections for the weekend with a limited number of screenings in its first week according to

Q: Something about Jim Dent’s book had to resonate with you before you agreed to write the screenplay. Did you see another version of “Rudy” in Dent’s account of Freddie Steinmark?
Before I write anything, I have to have a personal connection to it, and it has to have a great ending. Movies are all about the impact it has on you when you’re walking out of the theater, into the parking lot and into your car. I try to make a movie that won’t evaporate by the time you get to the parking lot. When an emotional experience is created, it’s for the audience. I thought there was a real possibility with this one. There were a number of reasons why I was drawn to it – One, is a tremendous admiration for Freddie. I fall in love with movies when the hero is like El Cid and Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia and John Wayne, characters that had nobility, focus and courage and never gave away the power to let other people define what they could or couldn’t do. Ultimately, they were also selfless and humble. Freddie, to me, is a modern-day, authentic real hero, and I always missed that in movies. He was somebody I felt was a great role model as well. I found him a compelling character. I think the universal element here is that how he lived his life impacted so many other people to the point where, it’s 45 years later, and he lives on. They honor him before every Texas game. He lived 22 years and the impact he had on the people around him carries on and will for generations to come. If that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is?

Q: Is another reason to be involved because it’s been too long for this story to be told and you get to be the one to tell it to many who don’t even know about it?
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