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The Couch Potato Report: C’s, Sox, and Soccer Goes Global

Jozy Altidore (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Another sports-filled weekend is upon us, and of course, all eyes are focused on South Africa, where the world’s most popular sport takes center stage in the biggest tournament of them all, the World Cup. Locally, Americans don’t hold this event nearly in as high a regard as the rest of the world, but with the huge U.S.-England match coming up on Saturday, even the casual sports fan has to be captivated by what’s to come over the next few weeks.

Even for those of you who have sworn off soccer, vowing to turn a blind eye and refusing to embrace the month-long “futbol” event, there’s quite the menu of other sporting events to wet your whistle this weekend. There’s some sort of basketball thing going on at the TD Garden on Sunday night, some Irish team I think, taking on a bunch of “fancies” that wear purple. Not sure if that’s something you’d be interested in, but it’s there to catch if that’s your kind of thing.

Anyway, by now you’ve realized that you’re reading “The Couch Potato Report,” C.P.R. for your sports-lovin’ hearts. This is where sports fans go every Friday, to find out what’s happening in the world of weekend sports programming. We’ve already chatted a bit about the two biggest events of the weekend, but let’s officially dive in and highlight some more.

#1 Celtics vs. Lakers, Game 5

When & Where Will I Find It?

Sunday at 8pm on ABC

Why Should I Watch?

With the help of the bench players Thursday night, the C’s were able to even this best-of-seven series at two games a piece, heading into a pivotal Game 5 on Sunday night. Led by the efforts of Glen “Don’t Call Me Big Baby” Davis and Nate “Coo-Coo-Ca-Choo Mr.” Robinson, the Green topped Kobe and the Lakers 96-89 in Game 4, reducing this Finals series to a best-of-three going forward. Winning Game 5 before heading back out to the left coast would be huge for their chances… lose, and they’re faced with having to find a way to win not one, but two games at the Staples Center to earn the trophy.

#2 U.S. vs. England, World Cup

When & Where?

Coverage begins at 1:30pm Saturday afternoon on ABC, 2:30 game start

Why?

ABC hits the jackpot this weekend with a double dose of major sporting events, leading off with the most hyped of all the World Cup matches Saturday afternoon, when the United States team takes on England in opening round pool play. England is one of the top ranked teams in the tournament, while the U.S. also has legitimate hopes of advancing far into this tournament. Beyond this game, you soccer-lovin’ hooligans can enjoy seven other games between Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s action, with all games covered on either ABC or ESPN.

#3 Red Sox vs. Phillies

When & Where?

Friday @ 7:10pm on NESN, Saturday @ 4:10pm on FOX, and Sunday @ 1:35pm on NESN and TBS

Why?

Major League Baseball shoves interleague play down our throats for the next few weeks, and the Sox begin their interleague slate with a trio of games at Fenway, hosting the National League champion Phillies. Boston’s coming off a split of a four-game series against the lowly Cleveland Indians, leaving the Sox still struggling to make up any ground on the division-leading Rays and wild card-leading Yankees. For fans going to one of these games against the Phils, try not to taunt the Philly fans too much about the Flyers losing the Cup this week to the Blackhawks… I think they’ve got a bit more verbal ammo to fire back at us after beating the Bruins to a bloody pulp. So be smart out there, taunters of Boston… don’t say anything stupid.

#4 NCAA Baseball Super Regionals

When & Where?

All weekend long on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU

Why?

Because even though there’s soccer and basketball and all sorts of other stuff going on, it’s still June, which means it’s still baseball season. As a lover of baseball my whole life, I know there are people out there just like me, that can enjoy watching a baseball game at any level, no matter who the teams and players are. This time of year is a great time to be a baseball fan, with the Major Leagues in full swing, this NCAA college baseball tournament on TV seemingly all weekend long, and even locally, with high school baseball finishing up their tournaments and leagues like Babe Ruth and American Legion kicking into high gear. So if the weather is nice, get out and catch a game at your local ballfield… if it’s not so nice out, stay in and watch the best collegiate players in the nation duke it out for a chance at advancing to Omaha for this year’s College World Series.

#5 PGA’s St. Jude Classic

When & Where?

Third and Fourth Round Coverage on CBS, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm

Why?

Memphis, Tennessee’s TPC Southwind is the sight for this week’s PGA tour event, the historic St. Jude Classic. 156 golfers started this tournament on Thursday, with England’s Lee Westwood grabbing the lead after round 1, shooting a 63 for 7-under par, one stroke better than relative unknown Casey Wittenberg at 6-under and everyone’s favorite nutty Irishman, Padraig Harrington, who is two strokes back at 5-under. Many big name golfers use this event as a tune-up for next weekend’s U.S. Open tournament, which thankfully, will be Tony Romo-less.

This Week’s “Off the Field” Pick: The World Cup Kickoff Concert

When & Where?

Friday night at 8pm on ABC

Why?

Who doesn’t love a little pop music, right? Hello? Anyone? Ok, well Friday, the worlds of sports and music collide in Johannesburg, South Africa for the World Cup Kickoff Concert. They lure you in with big names like the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Shakira, and a pregnant Alicia Keys, but if you’re thinking there’s any more big acts behind that foursome, you’ll be sadly disappointed. But who am I to downplay this concert… maybe there is a huge following for the likes of Amadou & Mariam, K’Naan, and the Mzansi Youth Choir, all of whom will be performing in Friday’s big show.

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