A week before the 36th Breeders Cup took place at Santa Anita Race Track, we focused our sports media piece in the Los Angeles Times on how NBC would approach the recent history of calamity resulting in 36 thoroughbred deaths since last December.
After a Tuesday’s conference call with reporters, NBC allowed handicapper Randy Moss to add to the discussion: “I know the eyes of the world are on Santa Anita and are on the Breeders’ Cup, and it’s obviously critically important for the Breeders’ Cup that they get through this weekend without an incident, but an incident-free weekend doesn’t necessarily mean that the reforms are working, and an injury this weekend doesn’t necessarily mean that the reforms aren’t working.”
It wasn’t injury free.
Our followup story posted on how NBC covered the injury suffered by Mongolian Groom near the end of the Breeders’ Cup Classic — the horse was euthanized, but the announcement didn’t come until about two hours after NBC went off the air — is open for further interpretation. No matter how much NBC reporters may have prepared viewers for this possibility, when it did happen, it was still quite unnerving.
By Tom Hoffarth
Staples Center has gone platinum, for those who aren’t sure about the proper gift to present for someone’s 20th anniversary.
The date falls on Oct. 17, with a Kings’ game against Buffalo for some saber rattling. We often overlook these sort of celebratory moments. Not this time.
We’ve got the “centerpiece” story in the current issue of the Los Angeles Business Journal (the first quarter of it linked here) about how those who were around from well beyond the groundbreaking can’t believe the $32 billion economic impact the arena has had on the downtown South Park area.
We’ve noted in our latest L.A. Times weekly column our favorite life-intimidates-media moment from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in 2001 (here’s even more background), followed by a Lakers-Clippers game in 2017. The “Shaq” episode also made it on TheRinger.com’s 2017 list of the top “Curb Your Enthusiasm” shows of all time… as it should be. Read more
By Tom Hoffarth/Edited by Steve Lowery
Our latest piece for the Long Beach Post focuses on an 83-year-old marathon enthusiast who finds himself more about how to overcome hurdles along the course of life — such as overcoming cancer and dealing today with Parkinson’s Disease.
“To tell you the truth, I’m just happy I can still move through this earth and feel special about myself,” says Tom Pontac, who has run every Long Beach Marathon — and then some, in the race’s incarnations before that 1982 launch. Even if the last few appearances have been scaled back to the 13-mile half-marathon variety. Read more
By Tom Hoffarth
Jay Bilas isn’t leading a self-endorsed 2020 presidential campaign to head up the NCAA’s hierarchy.
It won’t stop others to crusade on his behalf.
Going into 25 years as an ESPN college basketball analyst, Bilas says he doesn’t believe “there’s a snowball’s chance” of him soon replacing NCAA CEO Mark Emmert, entrenched since 2010 and a frequent Bilas social media foil.