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The Couch Potato Report: Supersized Long Weekend Edition

Dwight Howard (Image from ESPN.com)

UPDATE: Celtics Advance to NBA Finals, Beat Magic 96-84

Memorial Day weekend has finally arrived. As the unofficial start of summer, at least in my book, this weekend will surely be loaded with outdoor barbecues, families taking the covers off their swimming pools, and parades down the main streets of towns everywhere. Mother Nature is even going to help us out with some beautiful weather from beginning to end, which is rare… that woman never seems to hook us up with some sunshine when we really need it, so thanks Mommy Nature!

So while every sign points to being outside, soaking up some sun all weekend, I’m here to give you a bunch of reasons to do the exact opposite. It’s a long weekend, and so this week I deliver on a long article, super-sized with not the normal five TV picks, but ten! That’s right folks, ten TV tips for the shut-ins out there who won’t leave the couch this weekend… it’s time for the “Couch Potato Report,” C.P.R. for your sports-lovin’ heart.

Here we go, ten TV picks, in rapid-fire style. Eat it up!

#1 Celtics vs. Magic, Game 6 (and Game 7?)

When & Where Will I Find It?

Game 6 Friday @ 8:30pm on ESPN; Game 7 (if nec.) Sunday @ 8:30pm on ESPN

Why Should I Watch?

This series is starting to feel all too familiar, isn’t it? The hometown team races out to a seemingly unbeatable 3-0 lead, only to lose Game 4 in overtime, then get blown out in Game 5. Hmm… I think I’ve read this story before. I think we’re all hoping for this series to wrap up Friday night on the Garden parquet, but if the Magic top the C’s again, all bets are off in Game 7 Sunday night. Yikes…

#2 Red Sox vs. Royals

When & Where?

Friday @ 7:10pm, Saturday @ 7:10pm, Sunday @ 1:35pm, all on NESN

Why?

The Sox are heating up, that’s why! Fresh off a sweep of the Rays down in Tampa, the Sox return home to host the lowly Royals, a team that hasn’t been able to get out of its own way for the better part of two decades now. If the C’s don’t come through with a win this weekend, the Sox will be the only show in town, so maybe now’s a good time to start familiarizing yourself with the local ball team. Have you met Darnell McDonald and Joe Nelson yet?

#3 Indianapolis 500

When & Where?

Sunday @ 1pm on ABC

Why?

Let me start this section off by saying that you will rarely…VERY rarely see any auto racing featured in this article each week. I’m sure this point could be hotly contested, but I honestly have a hard time acknowledging auto racing as “sport.” Is it “entertainment?” Yeah, I could go along with that, but it’s a bunch of drivers, sitting behind the wheel, making left turn after left turn (at least in NASCAR). But the Indy 500 is one of the two great American traditions in auto racing, so it’s my duty to recognize that here. Will I watch? Probably not. OK, definitely not. But some of you will… let me know how it goes, I’ll pretend to care.

#4 French Open Tennis Tournament

When & Where?

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday at noon; Fri on ESPN2, Sat & Sun on NBC

Why?

Tennis is another unpopular sport that I just can’t excited about. And this tournament is in France, a country that I just can’t get excited about. There’s plenty of coverage for you tennis fans to enjoy though this weekend, so enjoy the crap out of it. Tell the Williams’ sisters I said “hi,” but don’t get too close, those dames pack a mean temper.

#5 NCAA Div. 1 Lacrosse Semifinals & Finals

When & Where?

Semis: Saturday @ 4pm & 6:30pm on ESPN2; Finals: Monday @ 3:30pm on ESPN

Why?

Now lacrosse IS a niche sport I can get into. Lacrosse is pretty popular in this area, especially at the high school & college level. Unfortunately there aren’t any local teams to root for in lacrosse’s “Final Four,” but tune in anyway. Saturday’s semis feature Cornell going up against Notre Dame, followed by an ACC rivalry, with Duke squaring off against Virginia.

#6 NHL Stanley Cup Finals

When & Where?

Game 1 Saturday @ 8pm, Game 2 Monday @ 8pm, both on NBC

Why?

Yes, you Boston-centric sports fans… the NHL playoffs are still being played, believe it or not. The high-flying Flyers invade Chicago to take on the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals this weekend. Who said you need an elite, big name goaltender to win a championship? Chicago has ridden the hot hand of youngster Antti Niemi in goal, while Philly has gotten there with the combination of journeymen Brian Boucher and the red-hot Michael Leighton, who put up three shutouts in the Flyers’ 4-1 series win over Montreal in the Eastern Conference finals. But, if it still hurts to watch hockey, I’ll understand if you watch something else instead.

#7 UFC 114

When & Where?

Saturday @ 10pm on Pay-Per-View

Why?

By 10:00 Saturday, the sun will have set, the beaches will be empty, and the grills will have cooled. It’s a perfect time to sink money you probably don’t have into ordering UFC 114, featuring a bout between Rashad Evans and a guy named Rampage Jackson, arguably the best new name in professional sports. So if you want to see the best in ultimate fighting, the best in take-downs and submission holds, and the best cauliflower ears in the business, pony up the cash and tune in.

#8 PGA’s Crowne Plaza Invitational

When & Where?

Coverage on CBS, Saturday & Sunday @ 3pm

Why?

The PGA tour heads to Ft. Worth, Texas this weekend for the Crowne Plaza Invitational, a tournament that doesn’t have the big name appeal, but does seem to reel in some of the game’s big names to play in it every year. You won’t find any big names atop the leaderboard after Thursday’s opening round however, with Blake Adams, Jason Bohn, and Jeff Overton sharing the lead at 7 under, but anything can happen with three rounds left to play.

#9 Turkey vs. United States, Soccer

When & Where?

Saturday @ 1:30pm on ESPN2

Why?

The U.S. World Cup team takes to the field in Philadelphia for a friendly tune-up match with the Turks on Saturday. We’re just a few short weeks away from the biggest sports tournament on the planet… even yours truly, one of the area’s biggest soccer haters out there, will probably tune in to check out the action. Ok, I’m betting on the games, that’s why I’ll watch… and that’s the ONLY reason I’ll watch. Unless you can promise me that I’ll see some crazy hooligan fan stuff in the stands… then I’ll watch more.

#10 NCAA College Softball

When & Where?

Seemingly all weekend long, on ESPN & ESPN2

Why?

That’s my question… why? Seriously, why is women’s softball on pretty much all weekend long? Are these games really bringing in the ratings and the advertising dollars for ESPN? If you want to check this out, go right ahead… you’ll have plenty of opportunities at basically any time over the next few days. Heck, kick a few drinks back, flip on the ol’ tube, and maybe, just maybe, if you’ve had enough to drink, you’ll find a pretty girl on one of the teams. Keyword: maybe!

This Week’s “Off the Field” Pick: “Maxim’s Hot 100 of 2010”

When & Where?

Friday night at 8pm on E!

Why?

I just told you about women’s softball, so I had to counteract that TV suggestion with this one, an hour filled with the hottest ladies out there! For you guys out there that have lived under a rock the past few years, every year Maxim magazine puts out their annual “Hot 100” list. Friday night at 8:00, the E! channel devotes one hour to highlighting this year’s list. Now, I might be classified as a “pig” by some of our female readers for making this my “Off the Field” pick this week, but look, there are sports figures on the list, so it makes this show relevant, see! At #58 on the list, you’ll find the lovely Erin Andrews, and at #25, auto racing’s own beauty, Danica Patrick. Personally, I’d take Andrews over Patrick any day of the week, but who am I and when will I ever get to make that choice, really? Anyway, tune in or DVR it, gentlemen… and if you haven’t seen the list yet, prepare for a big shocker at the top spot… BIG shocker!

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