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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Sunday media: Will ’17 be the year when SportsNet L.A. goes full tilt? We’ll see …

9ESPN investigative reporter TJ Quinn sent out a tweet recently: “Maybe in 2017 I’ll get some idea of why people seem to ignore real conspiracies and cling to false ones. But I’m guessing not.”
That’s worth investigating.
Some find it difficult to hold certain post-truths to be self-evident. From our experience, we still hold on to the theory — conspiracy or not — that when some know-it-all produces a list of predictions, the opposite tends to happen.
Taking what we know about the sports media world, throwing in trends, timing and Tarot cards, this is our best guess as to what’s about to unfold over the next 12 months:
The Dodgers’ SportsNet LA has full coverage by Opening Day?
Common sense has come into play here, but egos took a huge hit when the U.S. Department of Justice filed a surprising lawsuit last November against AT&T, the current caretaker of DirecTV.
It has “game changer” written all over it. But is this really the end game? More at this link.

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Vin Scully: 2016 Southern California News Group’s Sports Person of the Year is an easy call

small-scully-siIn 2005, Daily News sports columnist Kevin Modesti decided it was about time to recognize a newsmaker in Southern California sports in the same way that Time magazine acknowledged its Person of the Year.
It didn’t have to be someone who was famous. Or an individual. Or even human. Time has given out its award to those who have had extraordinary impact positive or negative
As the award has evolved from just being one named by the Daily News, or the Los Angeles News Group and now the Southern California News Group, it has included athletes like UFC fighter Ronda Rousey (2015), coaches like the Clippers’ Doc Rivers (2014), an ownership team like the Dodgers with Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson (2012), an executive like AEG’s Tim Leiweke (2011) and Thousand Oaks teenaged sailors Zac and Abby Sunderland (2009).
Reggie Bush has been recognized twice — with celebrated USC teammate Matt Leinart (2005), and then five years later, when his name was the flashpoint of an NCAA investigation that led to his Heisman taken away and the Trojans’ program going on probation (2010).
plaqueAnd then we come to those members still of the Vin Scully Marching and Chowder Society.
Although the Baseball Hall of Fame has an annual broadcaster and writing award for lifetime achievement, there’s the suggestion that Major League Baseball could also recognize someone each year for their craft of storytelling.
As Tim Williams of SportsTalkFlorida.com continued to flesh out his idea, he landed on calling it the W.P. Kinsella Award, after the author of novel “Shoeless Joe,” which was turned into the movie “Field of Dreams.” Kinsella died last September. This could honor him.
As Williams then narrowed down the field of nominees, it became quite evident that Vin Scully was best tailored for it.
“The last week of Vin Scully’s broadcasting career might have been the best work he has ever done, refusing to overshadow the games even when the games stopped to honor him, even when the Dodgers made him the man of the hour during their final home stand,” Williams wrote. “He delivered his goodbye eloquently, and joyfully, as he always conducted himself. We learned a lot about the man in that last week.”
Dodgers infielder Micah Johnson, an accomplished artists, posted two stunning original designs as a tribute to Scully and his “It’s Time for Dodgers Baseball” phrase.
Earlier this year, Jonah Gardner did a post for BaseballReference.com that outlined a fascinating journey of Scully’s career through the sabermetrics of games that he called.
Craig Calcaterra just posted a really piece on NBCSports.com’s HardballTalk as to why Scully’s retirement was the No. 3 story in baseball this year.
Our attempt to explain why Scully was our choice for the Southern California News Group Sports Person of the Year at this link.

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