What made it into this week’s column linked here:
Former UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland may not be in the Dick Vitale bubble conversation about gregarious, made-for-TV game analysts, but that’s the path of least resistance that he’ll take for the 2014-15 season — NBCSN will announce today that he’s been hired to do a package of Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association games, starting with the Barclays Center Classic event in Brooklyn (Virginia, Vanderbilt, La Salle and Rutgers) on the day after Thanksgiving.
On the eve of a full-court scramble of the first night of college basketball on TV — ESPN and the Pac-12 Networks are the ones to have blazing Friday — we’ve talked to Howland, who is also returning as a studio analyst on Fox Sports 1, about how this works into his schedule a full season removed from Westwood, still living in Santa Barbara, and no doubt still considered a viable coaching candidate somewhere.
What seems just about right to log in here:
== We’re in full agreement with Deadspin.com about declaring Daniel Tosh the winner based on scientific evidence for how rebuttal rip-off of ESPN’s “Sports Science,” in response to how an ESPN fellow stole his “web redemption” segment for that singer who tripped and fell while doing the Canadian national anthem. When we saw the “Tosh.0″ episode as it ran on Comedy Central Tuesday, we couldn’t want to see the blowback. We did appreciate the one responder to the Deadspin.com post who wrote in headline style: “Guy Whose Entire Show Is Ripping Off Other People’s Content Upset That Someone Ripped Off His Content.” That’s how it works in today’s world o’ borrowing. And ESPN says it did not do anything wrong in trying to offer a snarky response.
== NBCSN says this morning that Wednesday night’s Kings-Ducks game from Anaheim had a 1.01 rating in L.A. — the second-best rating for an NHL regular-season game in the L.A. market on the cable channel. The first: Last season’s Kings-Ducks game from Dodger Stadium (2.38 rating). Better perspective: The 1.01 rating is more than 400 percent better than what the Ducks did on an NBCSN game in L.A. last season (0.2) and nearly 100 percent better than what the Kings did on NBCSN games in L.A. a season ago (0.55).
== More on the Dead-o-Spin radar: “The funniest man at ESPN” is, of course, Norman Chad, having just wrapped up the World Series of Poker for his 12th year at the network calling this thing. Almost as funny is how it took 4,400-plus words to quantify that obvious fact in a profile on him posted Tuesday about Chad.