It’s Out of the Question: What’s the silver lining to the NFL’s golden anniversary of Super Bowls?

Illustration by Jim Thompson/www.sportsbronze.com

Illustration by Jim Thompson/www.sportsbronze.com

Congrats on surviving long enough to witness the spectacle of the Super Bowl that should be sponsored by the letter “L” but instead is branded by the number “50” as well as the symbols “$” and “@” and “#” and other random acts of emojis.
What does 50 means to the NFL today?
Gold.
Appropriately enough.
To the league’s marketing department, this is a best-case scenario to celebrate, and hallucinate, a connection the sport has from its corporate partners to the pan-handlers in the street.
(Please, just this week, think of that later group as descendants from those who bravely came here in the mid-19th Century to pan for gold in this very spot where you too can set up a “Cash For Gold” pop-up store, with Joe Montana as your spokesman.)
More questions that can be possibly answered at this link …

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Weekly media notes Super Bowl 50 edition: X’s and O’s for consumers of the non-L game

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton has video taken of him on a phone during the media event in San Jose earlier this week. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton has video taken of him on a phone during the media event in San Jose earlier this week. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Coming up for Sunday:

We make an attempt to break down certain X’s and O’s of the media coverage for Super Bowl non-L with whatever Q’s and A’s are most effective. Covering the usual suspects, like Phil Simms’ track record with Broncos fans, the “rules analyst” issue and why the pregame show, at four hours, is more than enough.

What is worth delivering now, the Super Bowl 50 edition:

htra148_vv028_h== The esteemed Dick Enberg, who was a reporter for KTLA-Channel 5 for the first NFL-AFL title game at the Coliseum, tells the San Jose Mercury News about his most memorable Super Bowl moments — he broadcast eight of them and attended eight others, including the last one in his new hometown region of San Diego.
But then again, we have this one Super Bowl memory … Enberg, in the Coliseum locker room for NBC, interviewing the L.A. Rams quarterback after he led a miraculous comeback against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Super Bowl … but maybe that was just a movie
Maybe …
220px-Heaven_can_wait_poster“It was like having a Super Bowl experience without the added pressure from the media — and all my mistakes could be edited out,” Enberg recalled this week about shooting his scene for the 1978 Warren Beatty-Buck Henry movie, “Heaven Can Wait,” where Beatty starred as Joe Pendleton/Leo Farnsworth/Tom Jarrett after going from backup QB to the hero of the Super Bowl win with an out-of-body experience. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best picture, best director (Beatty/Henry), best leading actor (Beatty), best supporting actor (Jack Warden), and adapted screenplay. It won for best art direction/set decoration.
Enberg said his scene was in a revamped Coliseum locker room and his lines called for him to interview “Jarrett” amid the chaos of the celebration as well as Beatty’s character not focused on the questions because he was being told that his spirit was leaving Jarrett’s body.
(Please, rent the flick for a better encapsulation).
“We had some of the Rams players in the room as extras, as well as USC and UCLA players in Rams’ uniforms, and one of them was George Youngblood, a retired defensive back for the Rams in the ’60s,” recalled Enberg, the Rams’ radio play-by-play man from 1966 to ’77 before joining NBC full time.
enberg“I’m trying to interview Beatty — he was also the director, and as we shot scenes, we had video that we would go back and look at to see if we needed to reshoot it. There was  someone off camera reading James Mason’s lines to Beatty and Beatty’s answers to my questions don’t make any sense.
“At one point, Youngblood kind of got into the scene and as I held the microphone with my right hand, I kind of shooed Youngblood away with my left hand. Beatty saw that on the replay and said, ‘Enberg, let’s keep that in.’ He loved that shot, and they ended up using it in a lot of promotional material.
“Eventually, Beatty sent me a photo of that scene with a handwritten note that said: ‘Enberg, this is the scene where you’re turning down Dustin Hoffman’s part in “Ishtar”,'” Enberg said with a laugh, noting the reference to Beatty’s critically panned movie from 1987.
The other memorable moment from that day that took maybe a dozen takes and several hours of shooting was Enberg had to call an Angels’ game that night in Anaheim. He remembers that because they went through several cases of champagne to recreate a locker room craziness, that “the ‘athletes’ were at first kind of tame but as the day went on, they started drinking it, and breaking bottles and my blue sports coat was just soaked. I get to the Angels game and (broadcast partner) Don Drysdale smells me coming and says, ‘What did you do, fall in a (bleep) pile?’ I had to burn that sports coat.”
As fate would have it, the Rams and Steelers did play in a Super Bowl, just a year after the film’s release, and it was at the Rose Bowl instead of the Coliseum.
Foreshadowing?
“Maybe they should have entitled it, ‘Heaven Couldn’t Wait’,” said Enberg.

(Noah Graham/CBS)

(Noah Graham/CBS)

For the Mercury News series, the paper also quizzed Jim Nantz, Bob Costas, Leslie Visser, Peter King and James Brown on their Super Bowl memories.
And as part of CBS’ four-hour pregame show Sunday that begins at 11 a.m., the six living Super Bowl play-by-play men (out of 11) talk about their experiences: Enberg, Nantz, Joe Buck, Greg Gumbel, Al Michaels and Jack Whitaker, the later of which we profiled last week.

== The CBS pregame show starting at 11 a.m. has the usual studio crew (Brown, Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, Tony Gonzalez, Bart Scott). Plus Ian Eagle and Gumbel. Plus current NFL player Brandon Marshall. Plus former NFL QB Trent Green. Plus former Raiders CEO Amy Trask. Plus NFL Today “insider” Jason La Canfora, plus reporters Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn and Allie LaForce. Plus “contributor” Jim Rome.
But, ahem, no Visser? The 2006 winner of the Pete Rozelle Radio-TV Award by the Pro Football Hall of Fame hasn’t really done much for the CBS NFL production in the last few years, but will be on a special Saturday edition of “We Need To Talk” (CBSSN, 4 p.m.)

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Weekly media notes version 02.04.16: The non-Super Bowl edition

(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:

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

== 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.
hqdefaultIt’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.
_mgl5506Of 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.”

CaF5yG8UsAAl1OA== 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.

rpndex== 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:
USC1920jpg-3746299_768x432= 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?

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Dodger Stadium land, long before it was Dodger Stadium

A programming alert: KCET continues a TV documentary series “Lost LA” tonight with an episode focused on the surroundings of Dodger Stadium and the Elysian Hills called “Before The Dodgers.”
This piece of land known as Mount Lookout was raised up by tectonic forces and carved into deep ravines by the ancient precursor of the Los Angeles River. Long before residents moved into Chavez Ravine — and were then moved out in the 1950s –it was a region inhabited by Tongva Indians, a California tribe also known as the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, to escape the flooding.
The piece debuts tonight at 8:30 p.m. with replays at 10 p.m. and midnight, as well as Friday (8:30 p.m. and midnight). To find KCET on your system, check this out.
“Lost L.A.” will also stream on KCET.org/LOSTLA
One other gem revealed in this piece by filmmakers Ben Sax, Javier Barboza and Amy Lee Ketchum: Did you know the parking lot was shaped like a giant baseball glove?
Here’s another exclusive snippet:

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Play It Forward Feb. 1-7: The New(ton) and the old (Manning) meet up for Super Bowl 50

(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS:
SUPER BOWL 50
Details/TV: At Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Sunday at 3:15 p.m., Channel 2
Peyton Manning in a commercial for Papa John's PizzaYo, pizza man. How’s your delivery this Super Bowl Sunday? Peyton Manning supposedly told New England coach Bill Belichick after the recent AFC title game that “this might be my last rodeo.” The implication is that Manning’s Super Bowl appearance could also be the last time we see him in a Broncos uniform – kind of like what John Elway pulled on us years ago. Denver (14-4) didn’t really get this far because of the 39-year-old Manning, but almost in spite of him as he missed a batch of games with a foot injury before coming back in the last regular-season game, and then leading the team to a pair of playoff wins. Carolina (17-1), meanwhile, relied heavily on Cam Newton’s legs and arm – and swagger.
CYIdsGHWQAApTgVThe Manning-Newton show will be the headline grabber. They are No. 1 overall NFL picks – the first time a Super Bowl has featured that — yet more than 13 years apart in age, and maybe more in perception. This isn’t just a preference of cardboard pizza over some healthy Greek yogurt. Newton has already taken ownership of the storyline that he’s not really embraced by national fans of the game, saying: “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.” Manning, who won Super Bowl XLI with Indianapolis nine year ago, can be compared his younger brother, Eli, who already has two Super Bowl rings. Their pocket-passing technique somehow survives. “It seems like every year they say the pocket passer is a dying breed,” he said when asked about it. “I kept saying, ‘I hope that’s not true. I will be out of a job and my brother will be pretty close behind me.’ ”

In this Nov. 27, 2011, photo, injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning meets with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after a game in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)

In this Nov. 27, 2011, photo, injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning meets with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after a game in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)

ALSO THIS WEEK:
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UCLA at USC
Details/TV: At Galen Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network

USC's Jordan McLaughlin gets around UCLA's Tony Parker during the Trojans win at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 13. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

USC’s Jordan McLaughlin gets around UCLA’s Tony Parker during the Trojans win at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 13. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The Trojans’ impressive 89-75 triumph over the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion ended a six-game losing streak to their rivals and was highlighted by freshman Chimezie Metu (Lawndale High) going inside on Thomas Welsh and scoring 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting and taking eight rebounds. That was all coming off the bench. The Trojans also shot 45 percent from the arch (9 of 20) while UCLA was just 21 percent (4 of 19, including Bryce Alford’s 1-for-6 effort). UCLA only had Tony Parker (27 points and 12 rebounds) to brag about. But that could be different now. Parker came off the bench last Saturday when the Bruins (13-9, 4-5) tried a new look against Washington State, allowing sophomore Jonah Bolden to start instead. The Trojans (17-5, 6-3), who should be back in the Top 25 this week, are trying to build on their 13-0 Galen Center record so far this year.

THE REST OF THE WEEK
Wednesday is set aside for national signing day — when high school football players officially make their college choices … The Kings and Ducks meet at Staples Center for Round 2 of the season series on Thursday (7 p.m., NBCSN) … More at this link

 

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