It’s Out of the Question: In this ‘Fight for LA,’ where do the Raiders fall in?

Has anyone really explained why, having to babysit two NFL teams around here at this point in our history, all of a sudden it means there has to be a “Fight for L.A.?”

The transplanted San Diego Chargers and nomadic St. Louis Rams have been given orders by the NFL schedule-makers to stage home games at temporary housing facilities in Southern California on a Sunday that for years has been set aside in these parts for the Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. Live – that Staples Center-adjacent area where someone once thought they could build a new football stadium but couldn’t push it through.

And because of all this, we’re led to believe this is some kind of Karma-geddon — punishment because we begged the NFL to please give us a couple of franchises since our Sundays were otherwise void of substance and purpose.

Yeah, now we have an embarrassment of riches. Emphasis on embarrassment.

More at this link …

 

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CFB Week 3 in the LA market: At a loss to explain USC’s 4-0 record vs. Texas? Why not ask the right questions?

Maybe it started with a Texas Longhorns blog post wondering how USC wasn’t taking any credit for its loss in the 2006 BCS title game at the Rose Bowl, spinning it off a curious tweet from a “sports reporter and news anchor” at Spectrum News in Austin. Others followed by retweeting it and claiming something looked fishy.
Maybe it was perpetuated with a Deadspin.com post, and with a Sports Illustrated post, continuing to imply that USC was misrepresenting its loss in that title game.
Maybe all someone had to do was ask USC what the deal was here, as ESPN finally did, and which caused SI to try to backtrack.
Maybe it all makes sense when Petros Papadakis tried to explain it on today’s “Petros & Money” show on KLAC-AM (570):
“It’s not USC saying, ‘We didn’t lose to Texas.’ It’s the NCAA saying, ‘You can’t say you played in that game.’ It’s stupid, but that’s the NCAA. If you want to be an SC fan and say, ‘Hey, we’re undefeated in BCS games … ha, ha, ha,’ way to go. You got it. You did. OK? We all saw the game. We all know what happened.
“It only became a story this week where people — Sports Illustrated — is tweeting out, ‘Bad look, USC.’ Look, I’m the first guy to jump on SC, but this is an NCAA thing, it has nothing to do with USC. Continue reading “CFB Week 3 in the LA market: At a loss to explain USC’s 4-0 record vs. Texas? Why not ask the right questions?” »

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NFL Week 2 in the L.A. TV market: Will we ever see Sergio Dipp again?

Illustration by Jim Thompson

There are no more plans for either the Rams or Chargers to make an ESPN Monday Night Football. Nor should there really.
That said, we’re wondering if we’ll ever be compelled to watch a MNF game again if it doesn’t include Sergio Dipp.
There really shouldn’t be any other incentive.
Since he was included in the Chargers-Broncos MNF contest for Week 1, and made one memorable appearance from the sidelines as part of the Beth Mowins-Rex Ryan broadcast team, we marked at moment by sending out a Tweet:

We also found this and added to the discussion:

That was rather tame compared to what followed (warning: people being mean can also be funny … even if he shouldn’t have been the target of the punchlines): Continue reading “NFL Week 2 in the L.A. TV market: Will we ever see Sergio Dipp again?” »

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Sunday media extra: What they’re saying about Beth Mowins’ ‘MNF’ Chargers assignment

Beth Mowins and Matt Millen work a recent Raiders’ exhibition game in Dallas.

Let’s just call it what it is: Beth Mowins is the right person at the right time at the right network to write some history. A ready-for-prime-time player. Status quo, you’ll rightfully be shaken.
As she prepares to call the Chargers-Broncos game as the second half of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” upcoming doubleheader — and in addition to the story we have posted about her in our Sunday column — we asked several broadcasters in the business who have a vested interest in seeing Mowins succeed talk about their thoughts leading up to this moment:

AL MICHAELS
The ABC and NBC prime-time football play-by-play man since 1986
“This chance is well-deserved. When I’ve listened to her in the past, it’s clear that she is extremely well-prepared. The irony in her MNF debut is that’s she’ll be the veteran and Rex Ryan will be the ultimate rookie calling his first-ever game. I think it’s terrific that women in my business are getting more and more opportunities. I’ve worked with three — Lesley Visser, Andrea Kremer and Michele Tafoya — who I’d put up against any reporter covering the NFL. I’m rooting for Beth to do a terrific job. Just hope she gets a good game to cover and not something like 41-3.”

ANDREA KREMER
Chief correspondent for the NFL Network, NBC sideline reporter on “Sunday Night Football” and HBO “Real Sports” reporter
“I was at a symposium at the University of Maryland last year on a panel that included John Skipper, the ESPN president. At one point, I turned to John and said: ‘What’s it going to take for a woman to call play-by-play in an NFL game?’  He predicted it would happen – and needless to say, I think it has been a longtime coming, but I’m thrilled she’s getting the opportunity she deserves. I hope I’m not naïve in saying this, but her ascending to this role has an ‘Oh, by the way, she’s a woman’ aspect to it. Her role is magnified by the fact they’ve picked a novice analyst – that’s huge. This isn’t a D-game where she’s breaking in an analyst. She is being put in a position to succeed and is highly qualified. Plus she has a voice that really cuts through.”

Jessica Mendoza, center, with Beth Mowins, right, and Michele Smith at the 2014 College Softball World Series. (ESPN)

JESSICA MENDOZA
ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” analyst the last two seasons
“The fact that I got into (prime-time MLB) baseball a few years ago and she still hasn’t crossed into the NFL until now… I’m surprised it’s finally happened in 2017. She’s always been the right person for this. I know her like family. When ESPN first considered me as a softball analyst in 2006, I was an Olympic athlete with zero interest in TV and just trying it out. They flew Beth into a studio to work with me in Charlotte, N.C., because of all her softball experience, and here’s my first introduction to all this. We ran through the game, and they hired me the next day. And maybe 85 percent of all the softball games I’ve done since then over the last 11 years have been with her – all that from the beginning.
“I remember a spring training baseball game when she did the call with John Kruk and we talked then about getting into the men’s sports TV field. That was six years ago. We wondered what it would be like to even do a game together.
“She has been a huge influence for me. I’ve always looked up to her. She’s no BS – she won’t rah-rah you. But she’s always been there for me, telling it me it won’t be easy. But some of the best things in live never are.”

LESLEY VISSER
Ground-breaking reporter at CBS, ABC and ESPN and first woman to be an NFL analyst (on radio), only woman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a broadcaster with an autobiography coming in December entitled “Sometimes You Have to Cross When It Says Don’t Walk: A Memoir of Breaking Barriers”

David M. Russell/CBS

“Beth is a goddess –I’m serious. To have the courage and the skill to defy what many people are saying and thinking, to be singular in her talent … she is all that. When I was the only woman covering the NFL, waiting in the parking lot after games, seven years before provisions for equal access, people thought I was crazy, but I loved the game and the challenge, and I’m sure Beth feels the same. She is talented, honorable, kind, and her time has come – champagne all around.”

LISA SALTERS
ESPN “Monday Night Football” sideline reporter
“Last time I saw her in Cleveland (for a practice game), I just told her: ‘Crush it like I know you’re going to.’ It’s a little amusing to me there’s even a question about it. You’ll see that it’s even unnecessary to ask about it.”

MICHELE TAFOYA
NBC “Sunday Night Football” sideline reporter who also did “Monday Night Football” at ESPN and ABC
“She has worked a long time on her play-by-play career and has earned this opportunity.  It takes courage to put herself into the spotlight this way.  No doubt there will be detractors.  My hope is that she focuses only on her job and ignores the noise.  Beth’s assignment to this game is another sign that sports broadcasting continues to evolve. … Developments like these cannot be forced.  It would have been unfair to put someone in this position who was unprepared.  Beth is clearly ready.  And I think this will encourage more women to try play-by-play.  I worked play-by-play on college basketball — men’s and women’s — and the WNBA, and it’s a blast.” Continue reading “Sunday media extra: What they’re saying about Beth Mowins’ ‘MNF’ Chargers assignment” »

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Sports media notes version 09.06.17: You know it don’t come easy

Media notes heading into the weekend, and coming out hot from the Labor Day Break, keeping in mind that back in the early ’60s, the Green Bay Packers’ offensive couldn’t start until Ringo snapped the ball to Starr:

 

 

PRO FOOTBALL

== Week 1 of the NFL TV situation in L.A. has the Rams on Channel 2 and the Chargers on ESPN and Channel 7 … goofy enough?:

== For those who need some closure in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

== Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” studio guest Ray Lewis was trying to break some news on the season debut of the show Tuesday night. Does anyone believe him?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

== Fox reported Wednesday afternoon that the UCLA-Texas A&M prime-time game with a Sunday night unobstructed college football viewing window had 3,190,000 viewers, the network’s most-watched game ever on Labor Day Weekend.
Viewership peaked (4.38 million) from 8:15 to 8:27 p.m. PDT as UCLA completed its comeback.
About an hour later, ESPN spoke back.
It reported that it “generated the two biggest audiences among cable networks,” as the Ohio State-Indiana game on Aug. 31 had 5.4 million total audience (between the regular telecast and a MegaCast multi-network additive) and also got 5.268 million for Tennessee-Georgia Tech on Monday.
Then they’ll throw in what ABC did: 12.5 million saw Alabama-Florida State on Saturday’s prime-time window, and there were 7.8 million total viewers for Michigan-Florida in the afternoon Saturday window.
To punctuate that, ESPN/ABC “generated the largest audiences across all networks throughout college football’s kickoff weekend” combining for the five most-watched games, and “factoring in the full slate, ESPN and ABC combined to air 11 games throughout the five days, averaging 4,400,000 viewers, 189% greater than seven game average on FS1/Fox.”
Not that anyone’s counting.

== Week 2 of the college football TV landscape in L.A. has USC prime-time on Channel 11 and UCLA having a luau on the Pac-12 Net:

BASEBALL Continue reading “Sports media notes version 09.06.17: You know it don’t come easy” »

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