What we’ll get around to writing about for Sunday:
There are many, many, many, many golf traditionalists who find themselves concerned about how Fox Sports — yes, that Fox Sports — will go nontraditional in covering the 115th U.S. Open from Chambers Bay in Washington on Father’s Day weekend.
Loosen the grip on your shaft, boys. Don’t over think this.
What pungent sounds might be emanating from nearby Puget Sound? It will be Shark invested for sure, with Greg Norman on the network’s first major golf broadcast, taking cues from Joe Buck.
We’ll get more into all that, how the networks plans to present the event as well as a course that not many know about, and give it prime-time treatment (in the East, of course).
But first …
What’s best suited to be sent off into cyberspace at this moment and from this platform:
== Al Epstein, who just finished his 30th season as the voice of the Pepperdine Waves, was named to school’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2015 this week — long overdue.
Epstein, who has a streak of calling 908 consecutive men’s basketball teams, began his career at Pepperdine as a men’s basketball color man during the 1985-86 season. Since then, he’s seen changes from local radio to Internet to conference-driven digital TV platforms, and he continues to often be a simply the single voice calling anything from basketball to volleyball to soccer for the school — up to 75 events a year.
“It’s been a smooth transition over the years even as TV comes into a production with more and more people and cameras,” said Epstein, a West L.A. resident who went to Beverly Hills High and Cal State L.A. and, looking back on the process now, should have been on UCLA’s short list of candidates to replace the recently retired Chris Roberts as the voice of the Bruins.
Epstein remains the longest-tenured play-by-play in the West Coast Conference — Pat Olsen at the University of San Francisco (going into his 25th year) and Bill Johnson at the University of Portland (23 years) are next in line.
In 2003, Epstein received the West Coast Conference’s Sam Goldman Award, honoring a member of the media and he remains committed to play-by-play training for students learning the art of the broadcast, offering a co-authored textbook (with Lou Riggs) on the subject at his website.
What keeps Epstein busy in the school’s offseason? Polo.
You’ll find him at the Will Rodgers State Park on the weekends from early May to October calling the man-on-horse sport over the public-address system for matches that can draw as many as 1,000 spectators.
“When they first asked me to do this and wondered what I knew about polo, I told them that I had a Ralph Lauren shirt in my closet, but that’s about it,” said Epstein. “Now I’ve been doing it 21 years — Saturdays at 2 p.m., Sundays at 10 a.m., keeping stats and even working the scoreboard with the old wooden numbers just like Wrigley Field. It really takes you back in time.”
The Pepperdine Hall ceremony is set for Oct. 18 at Firestone Fieldhouse. The World Polo Hall of Fame induction is pending.
== Going into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) Class of 2015 induction ceremony on Sunday is the most brilliant Jim Lampley, holding down the “observer category” for his 27 years of working for HBO, capped most recently by his call of the Floyd Mayweather triumph over Manny Pacquaio.
In a column posted by the LA News Group boxing columnist Robert Morales, Lampley says he has “extremely mixed feelings because I’m a reporter and fame is not the goal. I would almost rather it were a Hall of Truth or a Hall of Diligence or something like that, you know what I’m saying? Because for me it was always about, ‘Do you do the work? Do you do the work in the right way? And do you properly honor those people who really count?’”
Lampley calls the “Boxing After Dark” card on Saturday at 10 p.m. (live ET/tape delayed PT) at Madison Square Garden before going to Syracuse for Sunday’s ceremony in Canastota, N.Y.
Also slated for induction is ESPN.com boxing columnist Nigel Collins. The former editor-in-chief of The Ring Magazine has a story about him by Brian Campbell of ESPN.com.