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SPORTS WEEKEND | TV-RADIO

Rain Could Keep Channel 13 on the Run

March 02, 2001|LARRY STEWART

No one seems to want any more rain, and it is the last thing KCOP-Channel 13 needs for its five hours of L.A. Marathon coverage Sunday at 8 a.m.

For one thing, rain can play havoc with all the sensitive camera equipment. But even worse than rain is bad visibility. A low ceiling would ground the four helicopters the station uses to cover the race.

One helicopter carries a camera, and the other three are used to transmit microwave signals from motorcycle cameras back to a receiver at the Channel 13 studios.

"We have an alternate plan in place," Channel 13 producer Dave Goetz said.

One problem with the alternate plan is that tapes must be hand-delivered to the station, meaning the coverage would be shown on about a half-hour delay.

Channel 13 has televised all 15 previous marathons--last year's was run in the rain--and it is a huge undertaking for a local independent station. Goetz says there are 32 camera positions, with 14 at the start-finish line, and the production staff numbers more than 200.

The on-air crew is a large one as well. Barry Tompkins and Larry Rawson will anchor the coverage from the Channel 13 studios, and they will be joined by two-time wheelchair winner Bob Molinatti. The crew at the start and finish and along the race route will include race experts Toni Reavis and Kathrine Switzer and Channel 13 staffers Rick Chambers, Michelle Bonner, Geraud Moncure, Gina Silva, Kent Ninomiya, Hal Eisner and Danny Romero.

Something new this year will be digital cameras at the finish line that will allow participants to download footage of themselves from http://www.kcop.tv.

SHEFFIELD TAKES HITS

From Bob Costas about Gary Sheffield on his "On the Record" HBO show Wednesday night: "When the Dodgers finally rid themselves of the cartoonishly self-absorbed Sheffield--a guy with a career-long rap sheet of putting his own perceived interests above that of his team--there will be no feeling in L.A. or anywhere else that a 'Dodger' has left town."

Mark McGwire, in the first of a two-part interview on ESPN's "Up Close," had this to say about players whining to renegotiate: "If you have three or four years left on your contract, there's no complaining. It just amazes me--just go to camp, play, keep your mouth shut, and put your numbers up."

Jim Rome was bashing Sheffield on his radio show Wednesday when Arizona pitcher Curt Schilling, on his own, called in toward the end of show. Rome asked him to call back Thursday, which he did.

Schilling said the criticism baseball players are taking angers him because the public puts them all in one group. He sort of defended Sheffield, saying he knows him and believes there is more behind his demands than what the public knows.

Schilling said McGwire, whose contract extension was announced Thursday, deserves to be the highest-paid player in baseball.

And asked if the fans would come back if there were another work stoppage, he said, "I don't think we can afford to find out."

RECOMMENDED VIEWING

In its latest edition of "Outside the Lines" today at 4 p.m., ESPN looks at the influx of foreign students playing basketball at American high schools. The show will be repeated Sunday at 9 p.m.

One segment deals with Lakewood Artesia High forfeiting two championships and the school's coach, Wayne Merino, losing his job because of ineligible foreign players. Another story is about Charlie Rodriguez, a popular student from the Dominican Republic and star player at Clovis West, outside Fresno. Rodriguez has two birth certificates, one that shows he is 21. Rodriguez tells reporter Jeremy Schaap he doesn't know why there are two birth certificates.

IMPRESSIVE GUEST LIST

Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian had quite a week on ESPN Radio (1110). Kevin Malone came on Tuesday and aptly faced his critics, Jeanie Buss came on Wednesday even though Krikorian has said her love affair with Phil Jackson has been a distraction for the Laker coach, and Mike Tyson, who is making the rounds, was a surprise guest Thursday. Tyson, almost overly courteous, said he yearns to get back in the ring and would like to fight Lennox Lewis. Tyson, who will be on ESPN's "Up Close" Monday, said he feels good and is doing great. "I think I grew up," he said.

SHORT WAVES

This weekend's Toshiba Senior Classic at Newport Beach Country Club is on PAX today at 2 p.m. and CNBC Saturday and Sunday at 3. The Toshiba is the sixth of 33 senior tournaments on PAX and CNBC this year. CNBC spokesman Jonathan Klein said his network is satisfied with the ratings because of the type of viewers golf brings to the business news network. . . . The Golf Channel had three golfers wearing microphones for its coverage of the Myrtle Beach Open in South Carolina last weekend, and one of them was alternate Eamoon Brady of Ireland, who happened to win the tournament. It made for fascinating TV. . . . KFWB's Joe Calla and Eric Tracy will file reports from this weekend's Golf Expo at Fairplex in Pomona.

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