Weekly sports media notes version 06.09.16: The SoCal Prep Legends Awards show blazes a new trail in high school sports coverage

What’s worth posting today for the weekend ahead:

As part of the SoCal Prep Legends Awards show, KABC-Channel 7's crew had Dodgers manager Dave Roberts meet with Upland High’s Jacob Beltran for a segment that will appear on Friday night's show at 8:30 p.m.

As part of the SoCal Prep Legends Awards show (Friday, 8:30 p.m.) KABC-Channel 7’s crew arranged a special meeting between Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Upland High’s Jacob Beltran.

== All the moving parts are in place for KABC-Channel 7 to carry the first SoCal Prep Legends Awards show in collaboration with the Southern California News Group of 11 regional media outlets. The show Friday at 8:30 p.m. after Game 4 of the NBA Finals is the focus of this preview story.

== If you missed the latest non-breaking news:

This photo provided by the Nevada Department of Corrections shows O.J. Simpson. Prison officials in Nevada have released a new photo that shows a smiling Simpson. He is serving a sentence of nine to 33 years in a Nevada prison for a 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping conviction. He is eligible for parole next year. (Nevada Department of Corrections via AP)

This photo provided by the Nevada Department of Corrections shows O.J. Simpson. Prison officials in Nevada have released a new photo that shows a smiling Simpson. He is serving a sentence of nine to 33 years in a Nevada prison for a 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping conviction. He is eligible for parole next year. (Nevada Department of Corrections via AP)

LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) — Prison officials in Nevada have released a new photo that shows a smiling O.J. Simpson.

Perhaps he’s been given time to conjugally visit early reviews of the five-part ABC/ESPN documentary series, “O.J.: Made in America” that had a limited theater release and finally gets to TV screens (where Simpson can theoretically watch it) with the Saturday opener (Channel 7, 9-11 p.m.) and continuing on ESPN at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, June 17 and June 18.
In a GQ review, Chuck Klosterman says “this is as good as storytelling gets. It’s the finest film ESPN has ever produced and the absolute pinnacle of its 30 for 30 ideology: If you want to understand why sports matter so much to the fabric of our society, there is no clearer illustration than this documentary.”
In an Entertainment Weekly review, it’s “a brilliant work of long-form reporting with (director Ezra) Edleman carefully plotting an outcome that seems inevitable only in hindsight. Watch it now. You’ll be thinking — and talking — about it all summer long.” A second review of the piece in another part of the same June 3/10 issue gives it an “A+” grade, as “the lesser-known players, including jurors and marketing agents, .. provide the most provocative insights into a tragic saga of compounding historical injustices that implicate all of American culture.”
The Washington Post posted a story under the headline: “ESPN’s ‘O.J.: Made in America’ is nothing short of a towering achievement”
ojEven the Onion’s A.V. Club calls it “a journalistic marvel, assembling fact after fact and observation after observation into a portrait far more complex overall than it appears at any given moment. What emerges is a bracing look at life in a country where the way we process what we see and hear is too often determined by who we are.”
(Our own SCNG writer Rob Lowman also has high praise for it, as well as pointing out some of its journalistic flaws with some need of follow up questions).
And after all that’s said and praised, we’re still not sure we want to dedicate eight hours of our life (even without commercials) to this whole thing again.
Call is Juice Fatigue.
NPR makes sure we know that the series is more “about America, not O.J.” and that seems fair. We know we’re setting up the DVR to capture this moment. But we’re just not sure that after the mess FX did with the recent “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” we are ready to consume more of it — and we hardly watched a minute of that either.
(And by the way: Why were graphic crime scenes included in this ESPN piece, but nothing from Kato Kaelin?)

== TWC SportsNet surely has plenty of pictures of a smiling Dave Miller.
Maybe not any more going forward.
Continue reading

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Sunday media: How ‘The Last Gold’ tells a story that’s 40 years in the making

The 1976 gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic women’s 4x100 meter freestyle relay team – from left, Jill Sterkel, Wendy Boglioli, Kim Peyton and Shirley Babashoff – is the focus of a new documentary called “The Last Gold,” debuting Monday at the L.A. Film Festival. It was the one and only time the foursome swam together as a team in competition. Heinz Kluetmeier /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

The 1976 gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic women’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay team – from left, Jill Sterkel, Wendy Boglioli, Kim Peyton and Shirley Babashoff – is the focus of a new documentary called “The Last Gold,” debuting Monday at the L.A. Film Festival. It was the one and only time the foursome swam together as a team in competition. Heinz Kluetmeier /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

The “greatest untold story in Olympic swimming history” is the not-so-subtle subtitle attached to the new documentary, “The Last Gold,” making its world debut at the L.A. Film Festival on Monday night before an already close-to-sold-out theater in Culver City.More to the point: It’s a story that perhaps needed 40 years of perspective to tell it correctly. So now it has happened.
More on this story at this link.

Also at the LA Film Festival: Staff writer Bob Strauss reviews “Trackdown.”

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Weekly sports media notes version 06.02.16: Josh Lewin in as new voice of UCLA, Bill Roth moves back East

What’s worth posting up now:

Josh Lewin has been calling San Diego Chargers games the last 12 years and Mets games the last five seasons.

Josh Lewin has been calling San Diego Chargers games the last 12 years and Mets games the last five seasons.

== Bill Roth’s longing to return to the East Coast, and Josh Lewin’s desire to merge into a new family in Southern California, has resulted in UCLA changing play-by-play men on its radio football and basketball games for the 2016-17 season.
The move had been in the works for the last several weeks before UCLA announced it Thursday morning.

Bill Roth called 27 seasons at Virginia Tech before coming to UCLA for the 2015-16 season.

Bill Roth called 27 seasons at Virginia Tech before coming to UCLA for the 2015-16 season.

“When you have the chance to add a Hall-of-Fame broadcaster as accomplished as Bill to your program, you obviously have to give that serious consideration,” said UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero in the school’s statement.  “Bill expressed tremendous interest in this position and his confidence in his ability to switch coasts ultimately gave us confidence in this choice.  With his pedigree, it was impossible to say no.  Unfortunately, Bill was unable to make this transition and has decided to return back home to the East Coast. We thank him for his hard work and professionalism over the past year and wish him all the best.

“Fortunately, as we all know, UCLA attracts exceptional talent. Josh made us aware of his interest in the position a couple years ago, but the timing simply wasn’t right with his other broadcast commitments. Currently with more flexibility in his other duties, it quickly became apparent, given the extensive search we conducted not all that long ago, that Josh is now an ideal fit. …
“Josh is the future of our UCLA broadcasts, and our future is bright.”
It was only a month after the Bruins’ 2015 college basketball season ended, and Chris Roberts’ retirement was official following a 23-year run at the school, when UCLA worked with media rights holder IMG and decided to hire Roth, who had spent the previous 27 years calling sports for Virginia Tech.
Lewin, who has been the San Diego Chargers’ radio voice since 2005 and callings Mets games since 2012, was on UCLA’s short list of candidates as well.
So what happened? It’s no coincidence that “Josh Lewin, voice of the Bruins” has a ring to it.
We have more on it at this link …

== Notable Vin Scully-related media-generated things over the last week: Continue reading

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Sunday media: How the UFC Fight Pass tries to put its best interface forward

ufc-fight-passLAS VEGAS >> This is the unglamorous part of the Nevada desert where they still secretly test stuff.
Like, the UFC Fight Pass website, for example.
Just a bit West of the Vegas Strip, in a rather nondescript, soon-to-be-abandoned office complex behind an In-N-Out on Sahara Avenue, Eric Winter would not say he’s at a point where his patience is also being tested.
AR-160529501.jpg&maxh=400&maxw=667The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s senior VP, general manager and multi-media guru just wants to make sure that when the proper moment arrives, the subscriber-service website will have as many bugs as possible eliminated from hundreds of beta testers and ultimately remain true not just to its original launch claim in 2013 of being the “Netflix of the combat sports business” but also continue a revolutionary evolution in becoming something much more cutting edge.
“Like any company, you’re always iterating on your product, and we’ve got all these chefs in the kitchen putting their finger in sauce trying to see if we need more salt,” said Winter. “With the technology we have now, it needs to get better and it needs to get better for one, three, five years from now.”
More on this column at this link …

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It’s Out of the Question: A Cuban Missive Crisis in his Veep candidacy

cuban

There’s the scene from “Back to the Future,” when Doc Brown gets blue in the face, highly doubtful Marty McFly somehow traveled back from 1985 to crash land in present-day 1955.
“Then tell me, future boy, who’s President of the United States?”
“Ronald Reagan.”
“Ronald Reagan? The actor?”
Doc laughs in disbelief.
“Then who’s vice president? Jerry Lewis?”
And now Mark Cuban is willing to provide the punchline 30 years from now?

Our Saturday “It’s Out of the Question” column is linked here, with columnist Norman Chad already adding more logs to the fire:

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