(Above: Jim Fox and Brian Hayward get together on a Kings/Ducks telecast from 2012. As Hayward pulled out his Stanley Cup ring, he said he wasn’t sure if the Kings were ready to win one of their own. They did a few months after this aired. As well as 2014, when they defeated the Ducks in the playoffs).
The Super Bowl 50 related notes come sooner or later this afternoon.
But now, we’ve got these to pass on:
== As NBCSN grabbed the Kings-Ducks game from Staples Center for its coverage at 7 p.m. tonight, the network also saw it fitting to have the Kings’ Jim Fox take his usual Fox Sports West TV booth seat and work as the analyst with play-by-play man Gord Miller, who does most of his work at TSN in Canada. Also, the Ducks’ longtime Prime Ticket analyst Brian Hayward will serve as the “Inside The Glass” reporter.
It’s the first time Fox and Hayward have ever done a game together, and NBC folks say they believe it’s the first time they’ve paired “rival” broadcasters on a national telecast of an NHL game.
“I understand and commend NBC for thinking market-related it would even be possible to do this,” said Fox this morning. “I think it’s fair to say the Kings and Ducks broadcasts are very different in style and focus and that probably won’t come through (tonight) because we are in very different roles. I probably won’t have the same Telestrator or be on during intermissions. But no one knows the Ducks like Brian and if can say the same about me with the Kings, so it will be a very well-rounded broadcast.”
Fox did one game for NBC last season — the Kings’ last game of the year against San Jose, working with Sharks’ play-by-play man Randy Hahn. Heyward has worked for several years on NBC regional NHL games.
Of course, much of Fox’s thoughts will also be with Kings’ 77-year-old Hall of Fame play-by-play man Bob Miller, who underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery on Tuesday and is said by all measures to be recovering well. Miller is supposed to have a five-day stay at Cedars Sinai Hospital before going home.
“I understand for Bob that it’s not a ‘Get Well Soon’ situation — it’s just get well,” said Fox, who has been getting updates from Miller’s wife, Judy, as well as the team. “There is no need for him to rush back. If all goes normal, I would expect him back at the end of the season (in April) and the playoffs. It’s not something were you get an X-ray and you’re back in six-to-eight weeks. The shock to the body has to be incredible.
“As I do this game, I think most people will agree that the broadcast Bob and I do (with the Kings) is objective, so this (NBC) assignment isn’t a huge adjustment. If anyone puts a label on us, it’s that we do a game ‘down the middle,’ which goes back to how Bob has always set the tone for the broadcast. The viewers may know who we may want to win, but it’s Bob who has always been as objective as possible for a local broadcast.”
== The postscript to NBCSN’s coverage of Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game was that it drew 1.595 million viewers (a 0.9 rating) and peaked in the 3:30-3:45 p.m. PT at 1.89 million. That’s the most who’ve ever seen this exhibition on the network. Los Angeles, which gets the event in 2017, tied for ninth with the best TV market rating at 1.6. Buffalo and Pittsburgh were tops at 3.7.
And big ups to NBCSN for capturing this moment when All-Star Game MVP John Scott was congratulated by Chris Sutter, the son of Kings coach and Pacific Division coach Darryl Sutter, at the end of the telecast.
== Cal State Northridge will soon announce that former Dodgers play-by-play man Ross Porter will be involved in broadcasting Matadors’ baseball games this spring on the CSUN Sports Network.
The first CSUN game will be Friday, Feb. 19 against Cal State Bakersfield. Brandon Marcus, who will also share in calling CSUN baseball and softball this season, will join the 77-year-old Porter on that first broadcast. Porter will do 18 of the 28 CSUN home games this spring
More details to come …
== College basketball on the radar this weekend:
= Ted Robinson and Don MacLean have UCLA at USC from Galen Center, tonight at 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network.
= Roxy Bernstein and Corey Williams have Pepperdine playing host to Portland, tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
= Beth Mowins and Brad Daugherty have Gonzaga at Pepperdine for ESPN2 on Saturday at 9 p.m.
= A wildcard: Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke and Maria Taylor have ESPN2’s coverage of No. 1 UConn at No. 2 South Carolina on Monday. That’s women’s basketball if you didn’t read between the lines.
== Why North Carolina coach Roy Williams isn’t fond of ESPN guys talk about “green room” players. What does that even mean?