A sign of the (L.A.) Times: What chance does the XFL have in 2020? Depends on who you’re betting on … (bet on Joe Cohen)

By Tom Hoffarth
In last weekend’s ESPN.com story post about the perceived viability of the XFL relaunching in the spring of 2020, USC professor of sports business and principal of The Sports Group David Carter offers up a quote:
“Anybody that thinks that there’s an unquestionable market for spring football is delusional. There have been some credible people throwing time and resources at it without the result they anticipated. While you can step back and say that XFL 2.0 — with all of its changes, all of the learnings and the takeaways from over the years to include their own missteps — is positioned far more favorably than anyone else, it’s certainly not a guarantee.”
No one is guaranteeing anything. But with Vince McMahon’s second shot at this, 18 years after his first try with NBC as its partner and now using ABC/ESPN and Fox as his wingment, we asked the same sort of questions to cable industry pioneer and McMahon longtime business partner Joe Cohen in our latest Los Angeles Times sports media column.

 

Can you hear me, Long Beach? Episode 2 of the podcast on this weekend’s Dew Tour, a qualifying event for the 2020 Olympics and why Long Beach is Skate City USA.

That’s Steve Lowery, second from left, with Tim Scanlan (Long Beach Skate Co.),  Mark Hibdon (Dew Tour creative director) and Adam Cozens (Dew Tour General Manager) as they get ready to talk on the Long Beach Post’s podcast at this link, gearing up for this weekend’s Dew Tour. Here’s the event schedule.
Local band Asi Fui also stops by to talk about the release of their first album, a Friday night show at Alex’s Bar, their connection with Ikey Owens and what was going on in those giant paper machete bear heads? Listen to more with Lowery,  Tim Grobaty and Asia Morris.

A SIGN OF THE (L.A.) TIMES: WHEN CLAYTON KERSHAW WANTS TO EXPOSE CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING, ESPN BECOMES EMBEDDED

By Tom Hoffarth
It might not be the ideal time or place to look into the window of Major League Baseball’s soul. But if a lugubrious subject like children sex trafficking fits into a conversation on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” telecast, would everything be cool if Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen were the driving force behind it?
When the Dodgers face the Chicago Cubs on the upcoming Father’s Day national telecast from Dodger Stadium, there’s a decent chance this topic will come up.
Please don’t balk.
ESPN baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza found herself embedded on a trip to the Dominican Republic in January with Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, a learning tour about what actually happens in this lurid criminal world far beyond a baseball diamond.
The result is this video and our account of it in the weekly L.A. Times media piece:

 

The Aly Wagner Way: Fox Sports soccer analyst reflects on making history in Russia, watching more happen in Paris, and future of the U.S. women’s game … back in L.A.?

By Tom Hoffarth

No matter what trajectory the favored U.S. team might take during the Women’s World Cup, the smart investment is on Aly Wagner soccer stock the next four weeks.
The Fox Sports analyst will call her fifth global soccer event since 2015, this time with JP Dellacamera. It started with France’s 4-0 win over South Korea on Friday and continues with all U.S. games and others of importance heading toward the July 7 final in Lyon, France.
In our weekly Los Angeles Times sports media piece, we used Wagner, the former USWNT midfielder from Santa Clara, as the entry point into how Fox and Spanish-language Telemundo plans to cover this.

Read more

A SIGN OF THE (L.A.) TIMES: WHEN MEDIA COMPANIES MARRY UP WITH MONEY/GAMBLING/VEGAS … ESPN CROSSES THE LINE AGAIN

By Tom Hoffarth

Some day, someone will try to convince us that John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success has been actualized by the iconic Luxor Hotel and Casino sitting proudly on the Las Vegas Strip. Where sports and money and the sports media now seem to have a more-than-normalized relationships.
That’s what happens when you put all your frogs in a kettle of luke-warm water and just keep the flame going.
This week’s Los Angeles Times sports media rant goes at the core of why ESPN is all in with Caesars Entertainment and will put a studio inside the Linq Hotel and Casino in the Vegas Strip just in time for the NFL’s prison transfer of the Raiders to Vegas.
It continues a troubling relationship that, not so long ago, all shied away from but now embrace like a crazy ex-wife. You already know why. But why sacrifice credibility and trust? The power of the green-tainted pool.

 

A sign of the (L.A.) Times … and N.Y. Times … and the Washington Post … who reads their sports sections, and why, compared to 20th Century consumption?

In addition to the L.A. Times piece we crafted this week about John Schulian’s new book, “The Great American Sports Page: The Greatest Writers, the Greatest Games, All on Deadline,” we wanted to touch on several other things discussed that didn’t actually fit into print — yes, that happens:

Sculian admits that when he grew up in Inglewood in the late 1950s, he delivered  77 editions of the Los Angeles Herald-Express each day before heading out to baseball practice — it was an afternoon edition, which are all but non-existent now. Mr. Lockwood was his route manager.
6a00d8341c630a53ef015432135150970cBut it wasn’t until Schulian moved in 1958 to Salt Lake City with his family that he found Jim Murray, a syndicated writer who started working at the L.A. Times in 1961 after a run at Sports Illustrated and Time magazine.
“Whoever plucked him out of relative obscurity did a great service to sports writing,” said the 74-year-old Schulian the other day from his Pasadena home. “When I read him as a kid, he spun my head around. No one was doing that kind of writing in Salt Lake City.” Read more

A sign of the (L.A.) Times: Will Dan Patrick’s legacy be ESPN, the DP Show, or PMR? His wife thinks perhaps the later

By Tom Hoffarth
In our latest Los Angeles Times sports media piece, we led Dan Patrick explain how he’s engineered a new game plan for this week.
After he finishes his syndicated sports talk radio show in Connecticut on Thursday morning — heard locally from 6-to-9 a.m. on KLAC-AM (570), DirecTV’s Audience Network and BRReport.com, he and his wife, Susan, will fly cross country to LAX. He will meet up with his daughter for a SoulCycle fitness workout. He may seek out sportscaster Jim Gray to see if he can cash in a standing invitation to play a round of golf at Riviera Country Club, where Gray is a member.
Saturday, it’s a drive to Ventura to meet for the first time with a renowned homeopathic doctor to ask about new ways to combat polymyalgia rheumatic, an autoimmune disease that Patrick has been dealing with the last seven years.
“If you told me a year ago I’d be looking forward to working out, going golfing, seeing some alternative medicine doctor … there’s no way,” Patrick said Sunday night from his home. “But this is how far I’ve progressed.” Read more

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