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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Weekly media notes version 12.28.16: You’re looking live at a bowl semifinal that, again, is backwards through Musburger’s bifocals

brent-musburgerSomeone had to ask. And someone, like Brent Musburger, may as well reply.
What does he have to lose anymore?
On a conference call Wednesday afternoon with reporters, the question about the bowl lineup was phrased: “January 1st means a lot to the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Do you believe college football is best served by these two bowl games following the (two semifinal) playoff games (on New Year’s Eve) in the years when the semifinals aren’t in the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl?”
Said Musburger, who’ll be calling Monday’s Sugar Bowl, which ESPN airs right after the Rose Bowl, and has been the voice of many national championship games in the past:
2017-rose-bowl-ticket-one-ticket“In a word, no. The last three games of the college football season, as it is now structured, should be the two semifinals and then the championship game. You don’t go to any professional league and have regular-season games after the playoffs start.
“Now, I know, I got it, love the Rose Bowl, love the Sugar Bowl. I fully understand where they’re coming from. Let’s play those games on New Year’s and have the two semifinals after New Year’s, then the championship a quick week later. It would give it a much better buildup if you do it that way.”
Except the only way around it with the current calendar would have made the Rose and Sugar go back to Saturday’s New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, and the Peach and Fiesta semifinals would go on Jan. 2 — again, skipping over Sunday’s New Year’s Day.
That’s not a scenario Pasadena would go for.
If the Rose and Sugar could stay with the adjusted Monday stage, and the two semifinals went on Tuesday, Jan. 3, that wouldn’t leave enough time before the Monday, Jan. 9 title game in Tampa, Fla.
So … do we ask Katherine Webb to untangle this web we’ve weaved?
Continue reading

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NFL Week 17 in the L.A. TV market: The end, and just the beginning

article-2252051-169aed17000005dc-51_634x420New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday. No college football bowl games.
But unlike last weekend, when Christmas landed on Sunday, and most of the games were pushed up to Saturday, the NFL embraces this holiday as the final day of the regular season — including a night game — before next weekend’s wildcard round.
Both Fox and CBS get to air doubleheaders, but like last weekend, KCBS-Channel 2 has picked a Raiders game over a Chargers’ home game to go up against the Rams on KTTV-Channel 11.
And why not?
Last Saturday, KCBS had a 7.7 rating and 20 share in L.A. for the Raiders’ home game against Indianapolis — an average of 740,000 viewers. At the same time, KTTV was obligated to show the Rams’ home game against San Francisco and did a 5.4 rating/14 share (490,000 average viewers).
The Chargers may claim L.A. as a secondary TV market, but that only applies for the team’s road broadcasts. The NFL granted an exemption last Saturday when the Chargers were in Cleveland.
Here’s how this Sunday lays out:
== Dallas at Philadelphia, 10 a.m., Channel 11 (Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch). Passing over Carolina-Tampa Bay and Chicago-Minnesota
== New England at Miami, 10 a.m., Channel 2 (Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts). Passing over  Cleveland-Pittsburgh, Jacksonville-Indianapolis, Buffalo-N.Y. Jets, Houston-Tennessee and Baltimore-Cincinnati.
== Rams vs. Arizona at the Coliseum, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11 (Chris Myers and Ronde Barber, going to a measly 7 percent of the country). It can’t show N.Y. Giants-Washington (Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, which 76 percent of the country can get), New Orleans-Atlanta or Seattle-San Francisco.
== Oakland at Denver, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2 (Jim Nantz and Phil Simms) passing over Kansas City at San Diego
== Green Bay at Detroit, 5:25 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth)

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Sunday media: Why ’16 wasn’t so sweet in the sports media world

usatsi_9563607In a span of a dozen months that sometimes felt like a half dozen years, we had the retirement tour of Vin Scully, the Department of Justice come down on AT&T/DirecTV for its colluding on the Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A. distribution, a health scare by Bob Miller, some weird hirings at FS1 …
Need we go on?
It’s all here in black and white.

Also:
== Sports Illustrated’s media year in review, including Vin Scully as the media person of the year.

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