What we anticipate writing about for Sunday’s weekly media column:
The 14th Special Olympics World Games, spanning nine days in Southern California with the events beginning Saturday, has a powerful media partner with ESPN committed to not just covering it an event, but giving credence to it as an athletic endeavor.
A daily 30-minute recap of the events will start on Sunday, with Dustin Plunkett, a former Special Olympics World Games athlete and coach and global messenger, involved in the ESPN production as a reporter.
We’ll get into the details about the content of those shows and who is involved.
Here is also a link to the Los Angeles News Group continued coverage.
What we feel is prudent to get out into circulation now:
== Prior to the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies on Saturday — ESPN starts at 5 p.m. with the special by Robin Roberts, then at 6 p.m. with the official event, which is then repeated from 9 p.m.-to-midnight on Channel 7 — a documentary called “Brave in the Attempt” airs.
Maria Shriver is the executive producer on this half-hour piece that focuses on her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and the creation of the Special Olympics in 1962 based on her sister, Rosemany Kennedy’s struggle with inclusion — airs on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Maria Shriver was on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” this week to talk about it (video above).
Peabody- and Emmy-winning filmmaker Fritz Mitchell is the director for the Shriver Films company producing the story, whose title comes from the Special Olympics Athlete Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt.”
The film will appear on Grantland.com starting Tuesday and re-airs several times throughout ESPN’s coverage of the Special Olympics World Games, concluding with the closing ceremonies on Aug. 2.
Roberts’ one-hour special that airs Saturday also airs thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
== As part of ESPN’s multi-platform coverage of the Special Olympics, a 2 1/2-minute video story has just posted about how some athletes have dealt with bullying and name calling during their lifetime and how they’ve used that to fuel their pursuits.
There’s also this piece by Steve Wulf about the “R-word” as it relates to Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden and his brother, Jake.
== As John Strege reported for Golf Digest in 2014, part of the sales pitch to push members of the Los Angeles Country Club in approving the 2023 U.S. Open golf championship coming to their Wilshire Blvd. venue bordering Beverly Hills was how big an event this would be in concert with Fox Sports’ recent 12-year contract with the USGA.
Fox’s network studios, you see, are just a couple miles as the crow flies, or a 25 minute drive in rush hour traffic away, depending on if you take Beverly Glenn, Avenue of the Stars or detour through the Holmby Park Lawn Bowling Club.
When it became official Wednesday that the USGA reached an agreement with LACC, those who matter most at Fox were overjoyed.
“Nothing like a home game!” wrote Bill Wanger. Executive Vice President Programming, Research and Content Strategy for Fox Sports, in an email. “Having the U.S. Open in our back yard about a mile from the Fox lot will allow us to utilize every single resource in our arsenal to provide the ultimate coverage of our national championship.
“LACC is one of the true treasures on the west coast that most American audiences have never seen. It was designed by George Thomas, who also designed Riviera Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club. Many consider LACC the best of the three.”
Fox’s deal with the USGA began with last month’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in Washington.