Play It Forward Jan. 9-15: Jalen Hurts plays like DeShaun Watson, but has some Jamelle Holieway, too

3f18c92c-jaken-hurts-600x338Jalen Hurts certainly didn’t hurt the Alabama in its season-opening win against USC in early September. Three drives into the game at Arlington, Tex., coming in to replace redshirt freshman Blane Barnett, the 18-year-old Hurts completed 6-for-11 passing for 118 yards and a couple of touchdowns and also ran for two scores in the 52-6 victory.
Barnett, the former No. 1 high school QB recruit out of Santiago High in Corona, left the team five games into the season (ending up at Arizona State) when it was apparent he lost his job. Hurts, 227 of 351 passing for 2,649 yards and 22 touchdowns against nine interceptions, plus 891 yards rushing in 181 carries for 12 TDs, earned the spot. And as it stands now for the 14-0 Crimson Tide, ranked No. 1 and about to face No. 2 Clemson in the College Football Playoff championship game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. (Monday, 5 p.m., ESPN), Hurts can become only the second true freshman QB to lead his team to a national title.
The last time it happened was in 1985 with Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway, fresh off the campus of Banning High in Wilmington. But Holieway had some time to adjust. He ran Barry Switzer’s Wishbone only after sophomore starter Troy Aikman broke his leg in Week 4 during a loss against Miami (yes, Aikman then transferred to UCLA when it was apparent that Holieway had the job, capped off by a 15-point win over No. 1 Penn State in the Orange Bowl).
“”I love the kid,” Holieway told ESPN this week. “He doesn’t break under pressure. He keeps his cool. He makes plays when he needs to, and gets the ball to his playmakers.”
We’ll have to see there are any hurt feels with Hurts about the departure of offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, who recruited Hurts out of Channelview, Tex. Instead, another ex-USC head coach, Steve Sarkisian, will be sending in the signals.
More about the week’s worth of events at this link …

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Sunday media: Raiders’ La La Land bump on TV ‘can be misleading’ contends Amy Trask

10904917_1000116993350001_1731805741_n-850x560The wall shall be constructed appropriately, with old twisted TV antennas and rusted-out satellite dishes, stacked as high as the rooftops, all bound together with high-speed cable. If more materials are needed, submit a requisition to your local provider, which has that secret discretionary account from all those monthly surcharges for those who add extra regional sports channels.
If L.A. NFL fans build this barrier around the perimeter of the city, do the Chargers dare come?
The nuts and Bolts in all this suggest that, along with the Rams, this is about to be a two-team pro football town again, co-tenants in Stanley Kroenke’s Inglewood Wal-Mart/Performing Arts Center. We could know as soon as this week.
Two runners-up for the price of one major TV headache.
There’s more at this link …

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It’s Out of the Question: Maybe we find him on the ‘Kiff Cam’?

ar-170109683-jpgmaxh400maxw667Where might Lane Kiffin soft-serve Alabama best Monday night as the Crimson Tide goes after its second consecutive college football national title without their no-offense-taken offensive coordinator?
A) Weasel his way into the Raymond James Stadium assistant coaches’ suite and make play-call suggestions to best pal Steve Sarkisian between bites of a hero sandwich?
B) Wrangle his way into the ESPN broadcast booth with the intention of getting his own “Kiff Cam” platform in the “Megacast” coverage — he will mumble X’s and O’s into a plastic-coated sheet of paper placed in front of his face and fans at home can guess along which complex play he would have just sent in to mess with his 18-year-old freshman QB?
C) Whimper his way into the Boca Raton-adjacent Dave & Busters, take a booster seat into a booth with his new box of Crayolas and adult coloring book and try not make eye contact with 90-year-old boosters as he turns his new Florida Atlantic visor around and sneaks peeks at flat-screen TVs near the air-hockey tables?
More at this link. …

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In an L.A. TV world of Raiders, Rams and Chargers, who wins? We know who loses

imagesIn a perfect NFL TV world for Los Angeles, the Rams drag tail back to St. Louis even as Stan Kroenke builds a new stadium in Inglewood, the league finances a facility in San Diego to keep the Chargers anchored, and the Raiders detour past Las Vegas and pull up the Winnebago right down the street from the Hollywood Park Casino.

But then the Chargers appear to be on the precipice of messing this all up. The nuts and Bolts in all this suggest L.A. fans get more screwed up.

If a two-team combo ends up sandwiching L.A.’s NFL schedule in the fall of 2017, the city will be on double secret probation lock-down mode as far as a lack of choice for best-available games. Unless the NFL offers some leniency to the KCBS and KTTV affiliates, or some somehow the Raiders break things open. Continue reading

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Weekly media notes version 01.05.17: A tale of two broadcasting legends

A New Year’s Resolution: Let broadcasters determine their own legacy. Our commentary isn’t needed.
Except, maybe, in these two cases.
Exhibit A: It was a noble gesture by ESPN to bring 88-year-old Keith Jackson into the Rose Bowl booth during Monday’s telecast of the USC-Penn State contest, seeing as how the facility is known now as the Keith Jackson Broadcast Center (since 2015). It gave Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit a couple of precious moments to pay homage to him.
And then they asked him to talk.
Continue reading

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