Sunday media: At least, can NBC Sports spare a Zika expert?

The Olympic rings cast a shadow on the sand as visitors pose for photos along Copacabana Beach ahead of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. The iconic Copacabana beach will be the starting point for the road cycling race, marathon swimming and triathlon competitions during the Olympics. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The Olympic rings cast a shadow on the sand as visitors pose for photos along Copacabana Beach ahead of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. The iconic Copacabana beach will be the starting point for the road cycling race, marathon swimming and triathlon competitions during the Olympics. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

If NBC really wanted to be honest about its marketing of the upcoming 2016 Olympic Summer Games, and if it’s been paying attention to how ABC has been recently gathering viewers with its retro-game show revival, this 17-night miniseries coming up might be better packaged as “Fear Factor: The Rio Book of Revelations Tour.”

Factor in everything that has made competitors, visitors and even NBC employees fearful about boarding a plane pointed toward South America this time of year. Comedian Denis Leary eventually tweeted out: “Let’s just go all out n have a Biblical Olympics – Zika mosquitoes, poisonous snakes, random floods & fireballs released during all events.”

God help us if a Sharknado episode occurs during the polluted open water swim, and NBC fishes out a ratings winner.

What, NBC worried?

More at this link …

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Weekly sports media notes version 07.28.16

A week out from the 2016 Rio Games, trying to set our body clocks to NBC’s delayed broadcasts starting with the Opening Ceremonies, we’ve got these media notes worth posting at this point in real time:

mason_ireland_300x300== The Lakers-centric TWC SportsNet and KSPN-AM (710) have developed a TV simulcast of the 10 a.m.-to-noon Mychael Thompson and Mike Trudell radio show as well as the noon-to-3 p.m. Steve Mason and John Ireland show.
The five-hour block starts Wednesday.
Ireland and Trudell already work as TWC SportsNet reporters on the Lakers’ coverage.
Senior Vice President and General Manager of Time Warner Cable Sports Mark Shuken said in a statement: “We’re excited to add the Thompson & Trudell and Mason & Ireland shows to our programming block.  Not only are both shows highly entertaining, but they’re also a great fit to our programming lineup, especially given our existing relationship with John Ireland, Mike Trudell, Mychal Thompson and the Lakers.”
From Scott McCarthy, VP and GM of ESPNLA: “We are thrilled to work with Time Warner Cable SportsNet to increase the shows’ exposure, allowing Los Angeles sports fans to see another side of our fantastic personalities.  The synergy of our Lakers broadcast relationships makes this a natural fit and will provide fans compelling content on a daily basis.”
Ireland also made the announcement on KSPN today.

== Two interesting takes on the new documentary “Gleason,” about former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason and his post-career battle with ALS since he retired in 2008, from the Associated Press’ film critic Jake Coyle and another by the AP’s Mark Kennedy, who gives it four stars out of four. The doc made a splash at the recent Sundance Film Festival.

Former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason appears with his son Rivers in a scene from the documentary "Gleason." The film follows Gleason and his wife, Michel, into the maelstrom of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, as the couple adjusts to their fluctuating reality and makes way for their son, Rivers. (Open Road Films via AP)

Former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason appears with his son Rivers in a scene from the documentary “Gleason.” The film follows Gleason and his wife, Michel, into the maelstrom of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, as the couple adjusts to their fluctuating reality and makes way for their son, Rivers. (Open Road Films via AP)

The Landmark (10850 W. Pico, near Westwood Blvd) is the lone L.A. theater showing this, starting Thursday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. It also has a brief opening in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and New Orleans. The doc opens nationwide on Aug. 12.
Gleason and his wife Michel appeared with Michael Straham on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday:

== This week in Vin Scully-related news:
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Another priceless (and telling) moment from Vin Scully during Wednesday’s broadcast

FullSizeRenderThere was this moment before the fourth inning of Wednesday’s SportsNet LA telecast of the Dodgers-Rays game — as the simulcast was over, and the TV coverage resumed with a photo of Walter Alston, Walter O’Malley and Pee-Wee Reese as Vin Scully did the commercial reads over it, as happens on a regular basis.
But this year, SportsNet LA has been putting archival photos to jog Scully’s memory on times and dates and stories.
“Celebrating after the Dodgers clinched the pennant back in 1956 …” Scully began with this one, and then paused.
“And I say that and it just rolls off the tongue, right? And then it hits me — that’s 60 years ago. And you were there, dummy. You were right amongst them. Sixty years … I have nothing to say about yesterday. It’s incredible, everything now that I begin to talk about is 50 and 60 years ago. So it’s time to throw the net and bring ’em in.”

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Sunday media: Those little things Vin Scully says, and Mark Langill remembers

Photo by John McCoy/Southern California News Group

Photo by John McCoy/Southern California News Group

All those years of listening to Vin Scully tell stories — over the air, and to him personally — has given Dodgers team historian Mark Langill his own qualified story-telling set of skills.
Langill told about a dozen Scully-related stories to a group of library visitors last Tuesday in Sierra Madre, some of which we touched on in the story on him in Sunday’s editions, and some may be ones you’ve heard before.
But we’ll let Langill tell them again.

== “One of the things that I think are telling about what made him a success is the story he tells about when he was Fordham Prep school in New York, and Larry Miggins, a classmate who was a couple of years ahead of him, were sitting around one time talking about their futures. Vin knew he wanted to be a sportcaster. Miggins was one of the school’s best athletes. Would it be something, Vin said to him, if you were in the major leagues? And wouldn’t that be something, Miggins said, if you were an announcer and I hit a home run when you were behind the microphone.
“Now it’s 1952. Miggins was with Cardinals in 1948, but Vin didn’t join the Dodgers until 1950. The Cardinals and Dodgers meet in May of ’52. Miggins is a reserve outfielder, and Vin is only calling two innings a game on the radio. So the chances are things aren’t going to happen as they once talked about. In the fourth inning, Larry comes into the game, and Vin happens to be behind the mike. And guess what happens?
“As Miggins is circling the bases on his home run, Vin says it’s the only time he had difficulty keeping his composure as it all comes back. He called Larson’s pefect game (in the 1956 World Series), Kirk Gibson’s home run (to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series), but he’s always had that Larry Miggins moment. Just try to plan that.”
And here’s the box score.

Mark Langill, right with Spanish broadcaster Jorge Jarrin, left, and manager Dave Roberts during a Jackie Robinson presentation in Pasadena last January. Photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Mark Langill, right with Spanish broadcaster Jorge Jarrin, left, and manager Dave Roberts during a Jackie Robinson presentation in Pasadena last January. Photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

== Before anyone could bring it up, Langill told the audience: “People always ask: Who’s going to replace him? You won’t, because the format will not exist any more. As far as one person talking on the air, which goes back to Red Barber, we were lucky when (Walter) O’Malley was trying to sell baseball to the West Coast and he asked Scully if maybe he could cheer a little more for the Dodgers on the air. He tactfully said: ‘I was taught to be neutral as a reporter,’ and O’Malley was OK with that. You don’t see Vin making appearances on all kinds of TV shows, you’re not sure what his political slants is, he doesn’t tip his hand too much — because he wants you to enjoy the broadcast, to think of the game and of baseball. That’s the amazing thing about him.”

== On whether Scully should or shouldn’t have been involved in Fox’s All-Star Game broadcast: “It’s important to let him end this on his terms. Earlier this season, there was talk of ‘Let’s have Vin do the All-Star game,’ and there were petitions signed. But what people don’t realize is that had Vinny been on the Fox telecast, it would have been Vinny. He’s a soloist. To ask him to be part of an ensemble wouldn’t have been fair. It’s not not him to be another talking head.
“Plus, he’s 88 years old. Maybe he wanted that time with his grandkids, be at home and rest. I don’t know any other 88-year-old who can do nine innings and sound wonderful and still have amazing recall on the air. The other day, he was asked to do a lunch that was planned for the upcoming Notre Dame-USC football game, the Friday after Thanksgiving. He couldn’t make it, but as he was thinking, he started a story about taking a flight to Dallas … and USC was playing Notre Dame, and USC was losing so badly early, but when the plane landed, the pilot announced to everyone that the Trojans had won, ‘but we thought he made a mistake.’ It turned out to be the 1964 game.”

Mark Langill, right, appears with the Dodgers' Andre Ethier during an appearance at Dodger Stadium.

Mark Langill, right, appears with the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier during an appearance at Dodger Stadium.

== On his approach to calling baseball, a sport he played in college: “Once he was scheduled to do a tennis match, so he went out and took lessons. He wasn’t a natural tennis player. He could do a golf broadcast, because he was a golfer. As for football, he didn’t play it, but he hired Jack Faulkner, an assistant coach with the Rams (defensive line, 1971-’79, then became the general manager) who taught him the fundamentals. John Madden became Vin’s partner in the CBS booth, and people thought that Vin could then yield to John when it came to football questions. But part of Vin’s genius was he knew it was easier to ask a question if you already knew the answer. He wanted to know as much about the game so that when he set Madden up with a question, it wasn’t a blind question.”

== Two more snap shots that revealed something:
“I remember one time when someone bright in an index card that had been signed by Red Barbar, and they asked Vin to sign it. He was particular about signing his name always below Barber, never above it.
“Another time, I remember him doing all the booming introductions to an Old Timers’ Game. And afterward he was about to leave. I asked him, ‘You aren’t going to watch the game?’ He replied with something that wasn’t stern but it was direct: ‘I prefer to remember them the way they were.’ That’s just a special way of thinking. He saw players in the bigger context. It was never about the stats.”

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