Q-and-A: When NBC’s Milbury wraps his head about the abolishment of NHL fighting, it may blow your mind

Mike Milbury acting as an advocate for the abolishment of fighting in the NHL might sound as likely as Tommy Lasorda coming out against cursing.
The ultra-aggressive Boston Bruins defenseman once known as “Mad Mike” had more than 1,500-penalty minutes in a 12-year playing career that ended in the late ‘80s. That stat was padded by participating in more than 70 on-ice brawls – not counting the most famous time when he went into stands to smack a defiant fan with a shoe.
But here’s the new punchline: The 62-year-old NBC Sports Network NHL analyst may be just the right voice at the right time in the sports’ evolution to start a dialogue of change.
It came on opening night of the NHL season, just before the Kings were to take on San Jose on Wednesday. On the “NHL Live” set, Milbury was asked if it was a telling sign that the rosters of teams these days that are consistently winning — like the Kings – are filled less and less with so-called enforcers.
milb“It’s telling me that it’s time to get rid of fighting,” Milbury said. “It’s telling me that it’s over. As much as I liked to get into a scrap in my day, too many issues here now involving concussions … let’s grow up and get rid of it.”
More stories are coming out about former NHL players having the same kind of post-concussions syndrome issues that medical professionals see with NFL retirees. A new book out this week by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times writer John Branch called “Boy Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard,” sheds more light on how the mental state of the former New York Rangers star deteriorated by head trauma, leading to his tragic death at age 28 in 2011.
If Milbury, also a former NHL head coach and general manager, feels strong enough to change his attitude about altercations, maybe it’s worth challenging him more to elaborate on it:

It's the Kings' Ratis Ivanas and Edmonton's Zack Stortini (R), circa 2009. Photo by Reuters.

A meet-and-greet between the Kings’ Raitis Ivanans and Edmonton’s Zack Storini, circa 2009. Photo by Reuters.

Q: What prompted you to use your TV position to take a stand on anti-fighting in the NHL at this point, even as there have been writers and others in the league perhaps saying this for some time now?
A: It’s been evolving. From time to time, I’ve had the conversation with my old boss (Hockey Hall of Famer and Boston Bruins president and GM) Harry Sinden, and I think we both have agreed that it’s not a necessary part of the game.
You hear a lot of comments about how fighting is a way of policing the game – which I’ve described in the past as logical hogwash. I think maybe many do enjoy the spontaneity of a fight as a way of getting immediate justice. But slowly and surely, it’s been eliminated as a tactic
broad-street-bullies1Back when the big, bad Flyers won (the Broad Street Bullies of the early 1970s), intimidating teams physically with their fighting, the league took steps appropriately to curb that. And since that time it’s been slowly diminishing. The recent difficulty of the enforcer to find work in the league has emphasized that.
In my era, we signed up for broken bones, bad knees and lacerations of any type. I don’t think any of us were really signing up to be mentally incapacitated in some form or another for the rest of our lives. Maybe you heard about that in boxing, but not in hockey. The overwhelming scare about concussions in our sport, and in sports in general, makes it a logical conclusion that if the behavior can be modified to protect against concussions, then we should absolutely find a way. The league has done that with cracking down on hits from behind, head shots, and a players safety committee that reviews this all the time. They’re doing the best they can to eliminate it. But they have only been nibbling at the fighting issue.

Q: And you can speak first-hand about how fighting can affect one’s health after the game?
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Media column version 10.10.14: Bob Miller’s ringing endorsement on why it’s better to stick around with the Kings these days than retire

Kings broadcaster Bob Miller shakes hands with team head of business operations and Hall of Fame player Luc Robitaille during Wednesday's banner-raising ceremony at Staples Center. (Photo by John McCoy Daily News )

Kings broadcaster Bob Miller shakes hands with team head of business operations and Hall of Fame player Luc Robitaille during Wednesday’s banner-raising ceremony at Staples Center. (Photo by John McCoy Daily News )

What made it into this week’s column, linked here:

What, Bob Miller, just up and walk off at this point?

That’s not the frame of mind that the Hockey Hall of Famer and Kings long-time broadcaster says in these days, after he hosted the banner-raising ceremony Wednesday night at Staples Center, and just days before his 76th birthday.

In fact, a second Stanley Cup in three years has re-energized Miller as he starts his 42nd season with the team, sports a new Tiffany crafted championship ring, and is actually thinking about how to celebrate with the trophy when the Kings win it again.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Here’s a clip of Wednesday’s ceremony via Kings.NHL.com:

For those who saw the Stanley Cup make a dramatic entrance as it was lowered down from the Staples Center center-ice scoreboard, Miller quipped later: “I don’t know how that worked, but I told them, ‘If it falls, I’m not catching it.’ I said, ‘If it falls, I’m pushing (Kings mascot) Bailey underneath it and let it fall on him’.”

What info will be relegated to this blog post:

1412649909000-Screen-Shot-2014-10-06-at-104451-PM== Men’s Health could have started a healthy debate about how men could connect better with their better half by speaking their language of sport — fewer hard-core stats, more mushy stories — but it didn’t end up that way with its story “The Secret to Talking Sports with Any Woman.” Blowback from the story apparently led to the magazine taking the story off its website. The topic ended up as the first thing discussed on Episode 2 of “We Need To Talk” on CBS Sports Net last Tuesday night. “Can I tell you the secret to talking sports with women?” asked Andrea Kremer. “Don’t be intimidated that they may know more than you do. … I don’t want to hear that it’s just women who love stories. Women can love sports if they love it for the stats, or if they love it for the stories. It doesn’t matter. We love it, and we like to talk about it.” Added Summer Sanders: “I think it’s interesting how women are influencing sports television right now. You do see more stories (told) and it is because we love them.”

i-am-ali-poster== The Sundance Sunset 5 on Sunset Blvd., in Hollywood is the only place around to see the new Focus Features documentary, “I Am Ali,” the latest about the life and times of Muhammad Ali, opening Friday, with director Clare Lewins and Hana Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali, appearing for a Q-and-A at the 7 p.m. showing. Mixed reviews from USA Today, The Village Voice, The Guardian, and, this, from LA Weekly “It’s unfortunate that, even with this wealth of uncovered materials, I Am Ali still plays as a greatest-hits version of its subject’s life, offering little depth or insight into any one element of it. There’s no real cohesion, much less any sort of underlying thesis beyond ‘Muhammad Ali is interesting, and here’s some rare footage.’ The question of why this exact movie should have been made now is never broached, much less answered.”

A panoramic view of Candlestick Park taken by Jon Leonodus just after the earthquake occurred on Oct. 17, 1989, interrupting the World Series between the Giants and Athletics. Photo by Jon Leonodisu.

A panoramic view of Candlestick Park taken by Jon Leonoudakis just after the earthquake occurred on Oct. 17, 1989, interrupting the World Series between the Giants and Athletics. .

== Because it happened 25 years ago, there is some need to revisit the 1989 Giants-Athletics earthquake-interrupted World Series, so ESPN has another documentary loaded up to deliver under the overused “30 For 30″ umbrella called “The Day The Series Stopped,” airing Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Here’s a clip that’s from the doc, showing how ESPN reporters scrambled to get interviews with the participants as they were scrambling out of Candlestick Park at the time.
10689972_374407802709402_2984710185384076674_nMeanwhile, consider as well going to http://dayworldseriesstopped.com  for an update on a revised 43-minute film pulled together by Northridge documentary maker Jon Leonoudakis, a lifelong Giants fan who was in Candlestick Park at the time with his brother Tim, loaded up with his own VHS camcorder and Canon SLR.
Leonoudakis, executive producer and owner of Evzone Media +Experiential, LLC, will release his doc, “The Day The World Series Stopped” (note the near theft of the name by the ESPN folks), on DVD the same day he premieres the film in the Bay Area, also on Tuesday, at the San Francisco Main Library. He will also show it at several libraries in San Mateo County from Wednesday to Oct. 21 before the L.A. premiere on Nov. 7 at the South Pasadena Library. All screenings are free and open to the public.
Leonaudakis, who said ESPN actually contacted him last April to be interviewed for its project but their schedules did not work out, calls the two projects complementary since his is purely a fan attending the game perspective their ESPN is more of an overview. He did have a version of his film come out in 2009 on the 20th anniversary but he has found some lost footage. With a larger budget, he decided to update the piece by renting Candlestick Park to meet up again with his brother as well as a stranded fan from Alabama that they had rescued in the post-quake exit scrum and include that in the newer version.
“This is much more in depth, and a much improved version of the experience,” he said.
Leonoudakis admits that while it it a bit annoying the two docs have similar titles, it would have cost him thousands of dollars to clear his title, which was money that he needed to complete his project.
“My film features a fan who was there, their film features a fan who was 13 and at a supermarket when the quake struck,” Leonoudakis said. “Their director is a very accomplished filmmaker, and I have no doubt it will be a good film. I will Tivo it for sure. I will I say I probably had a lot more fun making my film, as it was a very personal journey with a lot of surprises. My budget was likely microscopic to theirs, and I called on many friends to help out in key disciplines.”
In 2012, Leonoudakis debuted his documentary, “Not Exactly Cooperstown” about the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary and it’s Shrine of the Eternals. Our Q-and-A with him at the time. 

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Play It Forward: Oct. 6-12 on your sports calendar — The Kings, a banner, another ceremony … deal with it Sharks


The way it was in January, 2013 -- the first Kings title banner. No. 2 goes up Wednesday.

The way it was in January, 2013 — the first Kings title banner. No. 2 goes up Wednesday.

Details/TV: Staples Center, Wednesday at 7 p.m., NBC Sports Net:

Details/TV: Thursday at 4 p.m., Prime:

An excerpt from the SBNation.com home for the San Jose Sharks, also known as www.FearTheFin.com: “As if watching the Los Angeles Kings win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons after trailing San Jose 3-0 in the first round (last season) wasn’t bad enough, the NHL’s schedule maker has decided to empty several shakers worth of salt into the Sharks’ still-open wound. The Sharks will be forced to bear witness to the Kings raising their Cup banner to the Staples Center rafters prior to Los Angeles’ home opener … and commemorate the Cup win that the Sharks should have never allowed to happen. … At least we can look forward to the Sharks (suffering) a gritty, hard-fought 5-1 loss.” If we remember all the way back to the regular-season opener a couple years back – Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, to be precise, following that ridiculous labor dispute that pushed the ceremony back a few months – the visiting the Chicago Blackhawks weren’t so accommodating when forced to watch the Kings raise their first championship banner, size up their Tiffany rings and then skate around again with the Stanley Cup amidst a fired up Staples Center crowd. Chicago scored three goals on Jonathan Quick in the first period and cruised to a 5-2 victory — then went on to win the 2013 Stanley Cup, eliminating the Kings in the Western Conference final. The Kings’ Summer of Cup II Tour was more subdued, as will be 30-minute ceremony planned in the building for this celebration that won’t include the players out on the ice for more than 12 minutes, followed by a three-minute warmup skate before the puck drops, according to Kings officials. “(The ceremony) just went on a little bit too long, I think, last time,” Kings defenseman Matt Greene told LAKingsInsider.com’s Jon Rosen recently. “We really weren’t too ready to come out and play, and Chicago came out and just beat the doors off us. I think we want to make sure we’re ready to go out more on point than we were … This is huge starting off in the division and against a team that we’re going to be fighting to make the playoffs against.” The next night, those Anaheim Ducks of Anaheim, who also couldn’t put the Kings away in the recent playoffs, must begin the season on a bruising four-game road trip that finds them in Pittsburgh, with a new coach and higher expectations. Both the Ducks and Penguins are listed as 12-1 odds to win the Cup by OddsShark.com. That is, if you can trust any Shark-related information at this point.

Also this week:
Kings at Arizona, Saturday at 6 p.m., FSW
Ducks at Detroit, Saturday at 4 p.m., Prime
Kings vs. Winnipeg, Staples Center, Sunday at 7 p.m., FSW

Other NHL games on opening night:
Montreal at Toronto, 4 p.m.; Philadelphia at Boston, 4:30 p.m., NBCSN; Vancouver at Calgary, 7 p.m.


Associated Press photo

Associated Press photo

Oh, right. The Dodgers are in St. Louis, not so much on the cusp of elimination, sending Hyun-Jin Ryu out for Monday’s Game 3 (6 p.m., FS1), with a Game 4 on Tuesday (2 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., FS1) and, if necessary, a Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Thursday (5:30 or 6 p.m., FS1). Then comes the start of the NLCS on Saturday. In college football, UCLA plays host to Oregon (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11) while USC goes to face undefeated Arizona (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2), and then the Lakers and Clippers start exhibition games. It’s posted here.

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Media column version 10.03.14: More biz strategy behind forcing Dodgers fans to find FS1, MLB Net after the SportsNet LA fiasco

1955-Nov-Radio-TV-News-REMOTESWhat is in this week’s media column linked here:

091114-mlb-2014postseason-pi-mpAfter a season on the brink where Dodgers fans were asked to endure the non-distribution of the team’s SportsNet L.A. channel, the post-season doesn’t bring a whole lot more comfort — can anyone name, off the top of their head, where Fox Sports 1 and the MLB Network is on their cable or satellite menu? If not, you’re apt to miss both Games 1 and 2 of the Dodgers-Cardinals NL Division Series.
You can’t be serious. You’ve just broken my vintage remote control.
We’ll explore why it is what it is — don’t expect any pretty answers — and other notes related to the Dodgers’ new deal with KLAC-AM (570) and the possibility of the NFL blackout rule going away.

What you’ll have to read here instead of elsewhere:

== More aftermath of the Dodgers-SportsNet L.A. six-game regular-season-ending preview on KDOC last week: The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint has a litany of media consultants talking about the future of Time Warner Cable’s gamble, while KPCC’s Ben Bergman assesses the winners (DirecTV, the Angels, Fox Sports and KLAC) and losers (TWC, the Dodgers, the fans) from a business perspective. Continue reading

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Where art thou, MLB Net? Battle-fatigued Dodgers viewers are already asking

453There’s enough angst in a Dodgers fans’ world just trying to re-remember where Fox Sports 1 was put on their TV machine so they can see Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cardinals on Friday. But come Saturday, the search could get more dicey as Game 2 will appear exclusively on the MLB Network.

64f8f5403f9ab129ff7f7a2157440c1aMaybe you have yet to crack this code. The channel is there, somewhere, on your remote. You may just not know it, or, perhaps, may have to upgrade your monthly cable bill to get it.

As part of this year’s baseball post-season arrangement, the league-owned channel decided to keep two division series games to itself. That’s also what it did in 2012 and ’13. Now, all of the sudden, it matters more, because they’ve tagged the Dodgers, the largest TV market among all post-season teams involved.

The MLB Network has a website – www.FindMLBNetwork.com — to make things more clear about where to find the channel. For a more detailed approach:

= AT&T U-verse: MLB Network is available in the “U300” package or higher — Channel 634 (standard def) and 1634 (high def). Contact: (800) 288-2020 or www.att.com/uverse

= Bright House (in L.A., Bakersfield, Tehachapi, Santa Barbara): Channel 111 (standard) or 1111 (high def). Contact: (800) 734-4615 or www.brighthouse.com.

= Charter (in L.A., Palm Springs, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara): On Basic (“Select”) package or higher, channels vary by market. Contact: (888) 438-2427 or www.charter.com

= Comcast (in L.A. and Santa Barbara): On “Digital Preferred” package or higher, chanels vary by market. Contact: (800) 934-6489 or www.comcast.com

= Cox (in L.A., Palos Verdes, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Las Vegas): On Digital Basic package or higher, channels vary by market. Contact: (877) 206-4210 or www.cox.com.

= DirecTV:  On “Choice” package or higher, Channel 213 (standard and high def). Contact: (888) 777-2454 or www.directv.com

= DISH Network: On  “AT 200” package or higher, Channel 152 (standard and high def). Contact: (800) 823-4929 or www.dish.com

= Time Warner Cable (In L.A., Palm Springs, San Diego, Santa Barbara): On Digital Basic package or higher. Channel varies by market. Contact: (800) 431-8878 or www.timewarnercable.com

=  Verizon FiOS (in L.A. and Palm Springs): On Extreme HD or higher, Channel 86 (standard) and 586 (high def). Contact: (888) 591-6075 or  www.verizonfios.com

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Play It Forward — Sept. 29-Oct. 5 on your sports calendar: An MLB postseason fit for a So Cal dentist

orenstein_Candyland-1949THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:


Details/TV: At Dodger Stadium, Game 1: Friday, 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

Details/TV: At Angel Stadium, Game 1:  6 or 6:30 p.m., TBS

091114-mlb-2014postseason-pi-mpIf we’re going to continue to excite ourselves in this mental sweet spot and jump three giant steps head on the Candyland board in anticipation of the first World Series/Freeway Series title match up between the Dodgers and Angels, now is the time to check your insulin levels. Fill all cavities with realistic data and properly brush up on just what hurdles lie ahead before venturing through the Gumdrop Mountains. A year ago, the Cardinals became nothing more than a Molasses Swamp for the Dodgers, with Yasiel Puig’s meltdown coinciding with how  Clayton Kershaw’s final pitching performance felt like a root canal for the entire city. “That experience will help, especially since we have basically the same team,” Kershaw said Sunday morning before the final game of the regular season. “For me, personally, all of what happened will give me a better idea on what’s coming up.”  In nine post-season appearances (six starts), Kershaw has just a 1-3 mark and 4.23 ERA, with two of those losses to St. Louis a year ago. There’s no sugar coating the Angels’ three-year post-season drought, either. They may have the big-league’s best record going in, but there’s doubt if Josh Hamilton will be healthy enough. baseball-lollipopTo get through the Lollipop Woods here, make sure veteran ace Jered Weaver sets the tone in his Game 1 start. Weaver has a 2-1 career mark and 1.88 ERA in his division series appearances from 2007, ‘08 and ‘09.  The 18-game winner, who’ll next pitch on the day before he turns 32, has lost just three games since the All-Star break, one of them in what was essentially a tune-up against the Mariners in his final start. The Angels won 10 of the 19 meetings against Oakland this season as the two battled for the AL West title for a long while.

Continuing the NLDS for the Dodgers this week:
Game 2: At Dodger Stadium, Saturday, 6:30 p.m., MLB Network

Continuing the ALDS for the Angels this week:
Game 2: At Angel Stadium, Friday, TBA, TBS
Game 3: At Oakland/Kansas City, Sunday, TBA, TBS

AL Wildcard game: Oakland at Kansas City, Tuesday at 5 p.m., TBS
NL Wildcard game: San Francisco at Pittsburgh, Wednesday at 5 p.m., ESPN
NLCS: San Francisco/Pittsburgh at Washington, Game 1: Friday, TBA, Fox Sports 1
ALCS: Detroit at Baltimore, Game 1: Thursday, TBA., TBS


They’ve figured out that after USC plays Arizona State at the Coliseum on Saturday (4:30 p.m., Channel 11), then UCLA can play host to Utah at the Rose Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN), which also works well for those Westwood fans who celebrate Yom Kipper. plus the Lakers and Clippers start training camps. Need more? It’s linked here.

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Media column version 09.26.14 — Now if only TWC can get out of its own way on trying to give So Cal its Dodgers coverage

The post-game coverage of Wednesday night's TWC SportsNet L.A. game, as shown on KDOC-Channel 56, captured Dee Gordon jumping into the stands down the right-field line at Dodger Stadium to shower himself, and fans, with champagne.

The post-game coverage of Wednesday night’s TWC SportsNet L.A. game, as shown on KDOC-Channel 56, captured Dee Gordon jumping into the stands down the right-field line at Dodger Stadium to shower himself, and fans, with champagne.

The focus this week has become a two-part project:

It’s only been about six months since we’ve seen what a Time Warner Cable SportsNet L.A. telecast of a Dodgers game actually looks, sounds, tastes and smells like.
You digging in?
We’ve talked to pre- and post-game analyst Orel Hershiser and game producer Glenn Diamond about the productand why it seems TWC can’t get out of its way in trying to spread good will with its efforts to make the product available the last week of the regular season. The link to that column, which appears on A1 of today’s editions, is here.

In the sports section, we examine the need for a new “We Need To Talk” female-driven sports show that CBS Sports Net launches on Tuesday, as well as Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket vice president Steve Simpson talking about about how the Angels have fared this season without a lot of direct competition from Dodger viewers, and why it took so long for ESPN to suspend the guy who calls himself the “Sports Guy.” Again. The link to that column is here.

What will be relegated to blogospheric notations:

(Notes updated Friday morning:)

== Is Simmons a victim of his own un-edited star-system success? Ethics expert Kelly McBride at the Poynter Institute lays it all out there. And I’m in full support of Ed Sherman’s headline that classifies this as a classless rant by Simmons with a link to an updated and well-crafted response by ESPN ombudsman Bob Lipsyte.

== Phil Simms has to do a Washington-N.Y. Giants game tonight for CBS/NFL Network. And he’s standing behind his declaration of independence not to utter the nickname for the home team during the telecast.

== Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore and Jessica Mendoza have USC’s football game at the Coliseum against Oregon State on Saturday (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)

== Morgana, the famous “Kissing Bandit” from the 1970s and ’80s, is the focus of ESPN “E:60″ half-hour special to air Friday at 4:30 p.m. The network press release says she “breaks her silence” after 15 years, with the help of reporter Wright Thompson. A quick preview here with a clip that includes Dodgers manager Don Mattingly chiming on what she did way back when. Maybe ESPN got the idea for this from the 2013 documentary on her by Adam Kurland called “Always Leave Them Wanting More” that made it onto Roopsigo.com. Morgana denied Kurland an interview:
morgana2== Are the Chicago Cubs next to launch into a team-own channel? They’re chewing on it.

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Play It Foward — Sept. 22-28 on your sports calendar: How much longer do the Dodgers’ stretch the suspense?


Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen goes cannon-ball into the Arizona Diamondbacks' pool after the Dodgers clinched the NL West last season at Chase Field. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen goes cannon-ball into the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pool after the Dodgers clinched the NL West last season at Chase Field. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Details/TV: Dodger Stadium, Monday-Wednesday, SportsNet L.A., KDOC-Channel 56, ESPN:

Details/TV: Dodger Stadium, Friday-Sunday, SportsNet L.A. and KDOC-Channel 56:

If not now, then when? This game of playing capture the NL West flag was already a done deal a year ago. The Dodgers’ leap into the Arizona Diamondbacks right-field pool happened in game No. 153, giving them nine days to figure out how they wanted to approach the postseason circus. Tell us again how that turned out. This time, it could go down to all the way down to Fan Appreciation Day in game 162. Or, a sweep of the current second-place Giants may add up to something more productive. Especially with NL Cy Young lock Clayton Kershaw not only pitching the final game of the series, trying to record his 21st victory in his 27th start and end all the arguments about his MVP candidacy, but he would also be on regular rotation when October starts roll around. Closing out this thing at home also has this quirky twist – while the Dodgers have the best road record in all of baseball, they’re just five games over .500 at Dodger Stadium. To start the final homestand, Tommy Lasorda celebrates his 87th birthday on Monday, with Frank Sinatra Jr. set to sing the national anthem.
The series vs. San Francisco: Each night at 7:10 p.m. (games Tuesday and Wednesday also on ESPN)
The series vs. Colorado: Friday at 7:10 p.m., Saturday at 6:10 p.m., Sunday at 1:10 p.m.


hi-res-5675394_crop_northUCLA trips over to Arizona State for a Thursday night game (7 p.m., FS1), while USC stays up late to host Oregon State on Saturday night (7:30 p.m., ESPN); the 40th Ryder Cup heads to Scotland for some middle-of-the-night exposure starting Thursday; the Kings and Ducks practice against each other at Staples Center, and Santa Anita gears up for its Autumn meet that concludes with the Breeders’ Cup. The link is here.

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Media column version 09.19.14: What would you do if you were starting up a sports-talk radio station in L.A.? It’s news to KFWB

BxM0mAMCYAAb9ix.png largeWhat made it into the main event this week, linked here:
KFWB, the former “news 980″ station, will finally complete its transformation to “The Beast” on Monday morning with a new all-sports lineup, most of it made up of local hosts surrounding Jim Rome’s syndicated CBS Radio show from 9 a.m. to noon.
Best of luck, Beastie Boys. (And girls, like Jeanne Zelasko).
Our top five suggestions on how to make this work in a market that can be somewhat fickle about its sports-talk of the last 20-plus years.

We also had this note that somehow got misplaced so we’ll run it here:

== Starting with Fox taking Saturday’s game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field (Channel 11, 10 a.m., with Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz and Jon Paul Morosi), all but one Dodger game (Sunday at Chicago, only on SportNet L.A.) will be available on TV to Southern California viewers no matter what cable or dish provider they have, for as far as the team goes in the playoffs. The Time Warner Cable orchestration of having the final six regular-season games – it could be cut to five if Fox takes the last Saturday game – is small consolation to the season-long rights-fee issue that has seen nearly three-quarters of the region blacked out from Dodgers games in 2014, after the launch of the team-owned channel that has been handed off in distribution negotiating to TWC Sports execs. Consider these KDOC games a TWC walk of shame, especially after it has taken out full-page newspaper ads claiming that they are “putting fans first” with this arranged marriage. No irony in that the final telecast Sunday is of the Dodgers’ Fan Appreciation Day from Dodger Stadium. So this is how you appreciate your fans? Maybe during the KDOC broadcasts that interrupt its regular repeats of the old ABC sit-com “Cougartown” and starts with the three-game series against San Francisco on Monday, Vin Scully can do a retrospective of the season that most missed. What this KDOC coverage will eventually prove, as it includes the SportsNet LA pre- and post-game shows, is that this gesture should have taken place maybe in April, May and June – giving viewers a taste of what the coverage looks like and perhaps enticing them to switch over to TWC. You don’t miss what you never see, right? TWC plans more wraparound coverage of the Dodgers games in the playoffs as well. Looking forward, Dodgers’ playoff games would take place on ESPN (an Oct. 1 wild-card game), Fox Sports 1 or the MLB Network (during the NL Division Series) and then Fox-Channel 11 (during the NL Championship Series and World Series). The Angels’ involvement in American League playoff games would all be on TBS until the World Series that would begin Oct. 21 in Anaheim. And then KDOC can go back to claiming itself to be the home of the MLS’ Chivas USA squad.

What is relegated to becoming a mere footnote:

== The column we churned out earlier this week on the Time Warner Cable disingenuous decision to simulcast its SportsNet L.A. Dodgers games with KDOC-Channel 56.

7ac3b7bd711d7aaa95d9ce9b5f7d0dac_400x400== After working as a morning-drive sports reporter for 34 years, going back to KNX radio in 1981, Rich Marotta announced Wednesday that he’s retiring from doing updates on KFI-AM (640)’s Bill Handel Show. Marotta had been part of that show for the last 21-plus years. The former Kings TV analyst, inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011, has also spent much of his time lately growing the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame that he founded a few years ago.
“The KFI job has been a fantastic experience, but now I’m going to get some sleep,” Marotta said. “I’m just happy because I feel I’ve done as well as I could, grew in a lot of areas, having lost too much on my fastball and I’m leaving on my terms — not being fired. This is a retirement from radio, but I’m also hoping to get back into the loop in TV boxing. I’ve had to turn down a few gigs in the last year and I know if you keep saying no, then pretty soon they stop asking. So I’m hoping promoters, producers and sports networks will work me back into the equation.”

== Why wouldn’t you support Dick Enberg for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford Frick Award? Continue reading

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Thanks again, TWC and the Dodgers, for reminding us about just how little you care

7113c85e0fe01f3482bde6a7a0a61a4dIf the Dodgers are in the business of scrambling to do a little good will hunting during the last two weeks of the season, the announcement made by Time Warner Cable this morning that it has suddenly figured out a way to simulcast the team’s final six home games from its SportsNet L.A. feed to KDOC-Channel 56 between Sept. 22-28 could not be a more empty, condescending gesture.

Dodger fans should be considering another kind of gesture in reply.

Here’s more where that came from …




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