NFL Week 12 in the L.A. market: Destiny has put the Chargers in Dallas on Turkey Day

Your Chargers have put Los Angeles back on the Thanksgiving Day TV rotation.
We bow our heads and quietly ask:
The Chargers?
Why?
Because maybe, even at 4-6 after Week 11 and with a chance to broadside America’s Team on a national holiday, things can change quickly for them in the AFC West, which the Chiefs don’t necessarily seem to want to claim as desperately as it seemed.
And a Chiefs-Chargers game is coming up Dec. 16. Time to get the ducks in a row.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn says it’s “an honor” to play on Thanksgiving.
“It may be the second-largest game in the league, other than playing in the Super Bowl,” said Lynn.
But then there’s that dishonorable thing happening between Dish Network and CBS that could preclude subscribers of that service to see the contest.
Lucky for them?
Back in September, columnist Norman Chad declared them his “NFL team of destiny” for 2017.
“Their standout quarterback, Philip Rivers, generally stays healthy, but he is 59 years old.
“Their special-teams unit is the single most beleaguered organization in America, outside of the U.S. Postal Service.
“Their owner, Dean Spanos, makes Dan Snyder look like Art Rooney.
“They will play home games this year in a soccer stadium with 27,000 seats and no pylons.
“Anyway, when the Chargers run out onto the U.S. Bank Stadium field in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, 2018, they will become the first homeless franchise with a first-year coach in its first season as second fiddle in a second-rate big city to play in the Super Bowl.”
How’s that going for us so far?
Seeing the Chargers on Thursday might make those in San Diego feel a little heartbroken. Or angry. Or apathetic. It’s not a great look.
What’s also interesting is both games involving L.A. teams this weekend will have Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson on the CBS broadcast. Yet, in light of NBC passing on the Rams-Saints for a prime-time game, Sunday now just feels like leftovers.

== The gap in L.A. is quickly closing.
Bovada.lv announced its updated odds on all 32 team’s prospects of winning the Super Bowl.
On Nov. 15, the Rams were 9/1 and the Chargers were 200/1.
On Nov. 22, the Rams dropped to 18/1 and the Chargers improved to 66/1.
It matters.

== How this weekend plays out:

THURSDAY
== Minnesota at Detroit: 9:30 a.m., Channel 11 (Joe Buck, Troy AIkman)
== Chargers at Dallas: 1:30 p.m., Channel 2 (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)
== N.Y. Giants at Washington, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth)
Some thought an NBC promo with Lawrence Taylor and Joe Theisman was inspired funny. Some didn’t think so considering Taylor’s current disposition.
SUNDAY
= Buffalo at Kansas City: 10 a.m., Channel 2
This choice, made for Chargers’ followers knowing that a key Week 15 matchup is coming with the Chiefs, is picked ahead of Cleveland-Cincinnati and Miami-New England.
= Chicago at Philadelphia: 10 a.m., Channel 11
This choice, made for Rams’ followers knowing that a key Week 14 matchup is coming with the Eagles, is picked ahead of Tampa Bay-Atlanta, Tennessee-Indianapolis and Carolina-N.Y. Jets.
= Rams vs. New Orleans: At the Coliseum, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2 (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)
Moved to CBS so more eyes could get on it on the back end of a national doubleheader going to about 80 percent of the country, it also blocks out Denver-Oakland and Jacksonville-Arizona. Fox, which has only one game to show today, can’t deliver on Seattle-San Francisco.
= Green Bay at Pittsburgh: 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)

MONDAY
= Houston at Baltimore: 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)

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College football Week 13 in the L.A. TV market: A bleak UCLA predicament on Black Friday

We’ve seen the stories suggesting ways to navigate Black Friday 2017.
We have a few more particular to UCLA fans who plan to attend Friday night’s game against Cal:
* Discount coupons will be not be honored for any purchase of a new head football coach.
* Do not arrive at the Rose Bowl before dawn expecting to bust any doors down for early tailgating. There will be nobody to let you in the parking lots.
* Bring comfortable flip-flops, sunscreen and sunglasses for the hours before 5 p.m.. If you can not afford sunglasses, some free ones may be provided by basketball team members.
* Bring heavy blankets, ear muffs and mittens for the hours after 5 p.m. If you can not afford any of these, stop by Dicks Sporting Goods to take advantage of Black Friday sales.
* A bowl-eligible Victory No. 6 will come at a cost. Be prepared to overpay.

All rankings from the latest College Football Playoff poll:

THE LOCALS (with No. 11 USC (10-2, 8-1) in a bye week)
* UCLA (5-6, 3-5) vs. Cal (5-6, 2-6) at the Rose Bowl, Friday, 7:30 p.m., FS1 (Chris Myers, Evan Moore)
In the latest bowl projections by Sports Illustrated, Cal wins and goes to the Heart of Dallas Bowl on the Tuesday after Christmas, meaning UCLA stays home. The latest guesses at ESPN.com has Cal staying home and UCLA’s win putting it in either the Dec. 20 Frisco Bowl or Dec. 23 Birmingham Bowl, both which smell of desperation.

THE PAC-12:
* Arizona (7-4, 5-3) at Arizona State (6-5, 5-3), Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Pac-12 Net (Roxy Bernstein, Yogi Roth, Jill Savage)
ASU’s Todd Graham is reportedly “coaching for his job” in this Territorial Cup. The home team has won the last four meetings. Arizona leads the overall series, 49-40-1.
* Oregon State (1-10, 0-8) at Oregon (6-5, 3-5), Saturday, 4 p.m., ESPN2 (Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey, Alex Corddry)
The Ducks lead the Civil War, 63-4-10, but lost the matchup last year.
* No. 13 Washington State (9-2, 6-2) at No. 17 Washington (9-2, 6-2), Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 11 (Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Bruce Feldman)
The Huskies could win 10 games and have no dibs on the Pac-12 North because one of its two losses was to Stanford in Week 11 on 11/11.
* No. 21 Stanford (8-3, 7-2) vs. No. 8 Notre Dame, Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 7 (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
The Cardinal could fall out of the Top 25 after this but still win the Pac-12 North. Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be the first time this year that the Irish embarrass a Pac-12 foe.
* Colorado (5-6, 2-6) at Utah (5-6, 2-6), 7 p.m., FS1 (Guy Haberman, Petros Papadakis)
Each seeks a bowl-eligible sixth win, but both have lost two in a row. The Buffaloes have lost six of their last eight and the Utes have lost six of their last seven. Why would any deserve a bowl, then?

THE BEST OF THE REST
Thursday
* Mississippi at No. 14 Mississippi State, 4:30 p.m., ESPN (Dave Flemming, Greg McElroy, Laura Rutledge) Continue reading “College football Week 13 in the L.A. TV market: A bleak UCLA predicament on Black Friday” »

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NFL Week 11 in the L.A. TV market: Rams at least don’t have to worry about Carolina getting intel

A few things come into play here the week before we are encouraged by tradition to tear apart a turkey:

== Greg Olsen may not be a spy, but it would appear as if he’s playing one on TV this weekend.
The Carolina Panthers three-time Pro Bowl tight end has the week off, and he’s on injured reserve with a broken foot.
So as long as he’s sitting around, Fox asked if he’d like to join the TV booth for the regional coverage of the Rams-Vikings game in Minnesota this Sunday.
Great move, unless you’re the Vikings, and play the Panthers on Dec. 10.
Or, as Charley Waters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote: “Fox Sports has had the audacity — or ignorance — to allow a current NFL player to be a game analyst during a bye week for an opponent his team is still to play this season.”
More at this link …

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College Football Week 12 in the L.A. TV market: No USC-UCLA ‘GameDay’ … uh, sure … enjoy Badgerville, Wisc.

It’s not as if USC, or UCLA, or USC vs. UCLA, needs any extra validation.
But a visit this week by ESPN “College GameDay” … it would have been pretty bitchin’. …
Listen, there’s all kinds of shade we can throw on ESPN right about now. Like, we actually and literally can not even believe “GameDay” would pass on L.A. Maybe you’re just trying to stay away from gluten right now. Or you don’t tan well this time of year.
We should let Blake Griffin go Red Bull all over them:

More at this link ….

 

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NFL Week 10 in the L.A. TV market: Another overindulgent Sunday with Rams, Chargers bending the rules

You ran this obtuse Fox-CBS dueling doubleheader drill back in Weeks 4 and 5, and now it repeats here in Weeks 10 and 11.
The bottom line is that while either Fox or CBS takes its turn as the network with the scheduled double-header, the opposing network gets both the Rams’ and Chargers’ games as direct competition.
Making some even more squeamish is how KCAL-Channel 9 and KCOP-Channel 13 come into play again.
Both the Chargers at Jacksonville game at 10 a.m. and the Rams’ playing host to Houston at 1:05 p.m. are logically CBS AFC-road-team games, but because the rules stipulate that the entire game has to air in a home-team’s market, and the early game could go long into overtime, there has to be a contingency plan. Last time, it was the Chargers dumped onto Channel 9, but this time, it’s the Rams. Once the Chargers-Jags game end, the Rams-Texans will also air on Channel 2, but to assure there’s no overlap, it starts on Channel 9 and stays there as a simulcast the rest of the way for those too lazy to change.
Next Sunday, the Chargers-Buffalo and Rams-Minnesota games are both on Fox network stations, with Fox spill-over KCOP Channel 13 taking the start of the Chargers’ contest at 10 a.m. and the Rams beginning as scheduled on KTTV Channel 11.

Vin Scully, left, called NFL games for CBS with John Madden as one of his partners in 1981.  Scully worked for CBS on the NFL from 1975-82.

== Vin Scully made it onto ESPN’s home page by vowing to never watch and NFL game again, and Al Michaels’s attempt to explain the NFL’s frustrations over player protests going on during the National Anthem also got some traction.
As a result, there’s plenty of blowback for Scully (aside from this Deadspin.com headline, which solidifies our vow to never read the website again) and even more for Michaels.
The media’s role in all this: Stay on point. Don’t allow other media members to misread the intent of the players’ protesting, even if those with agendas want to take things with other narratives.
Wrote the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ann Killion:
I’ve always been a fan of Vin Scully. Thought he personified class and quiet dignity. So it was very disappointing to hear Scully misrepresent the anthem protests, telling an audience on Saturday night that he would never watch an NFL game again, because of his “overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war.”
As anyone following the story knows, the protests are a statement against racial inequality and police brutality, and they have nothing to do with the military.
I wonder what Jackie Robinson, whose games Scully was privileged to broadcast, would think about his old friend’s stance.
In his 1972 memoir, Robinson wrote: “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.”

== Last Sunday’s numbers: The Rams’ game at the N.Y. Giants (a 10 a.m. kickoff on KTTV-Channel 11) did a 7.1 rating and 18 share in L.A., with an average of 532,000 viewers. It was probably never going to challenge the NBC early evening Raiders-Dolphins game (5:30 p.m., KNBC Channel 4), which had a 10.3 rating/18 share and 832,000 average. But it should have logically topped the Chiefs-Cowboys game (1:25 p.m., KCBS Channel 2), which had a 9.1 rating/ 21 share and average of 733,000.
The Broncos-Eagles game, on KCBS Channel 2 opposite the Rams-Giants at 10 a.m., still managed a 3.9 rating/10 share, and 313,000 average.

== Which leads us to this weekend and includes your five-game Sunday: Continue reading “NFL Week 10 in the L.A. TV market: Another overindulgent Sunday with Rams, Chargers bending the rules” »

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