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After a brief vacation week last week, mostly spent failing to stay cool, I return with a vengeance this week to bring you a hearty helping of weekend TV picks in today’s edition of “The Couch Potato Report,” C.P.R. for your sports-lovin’ hearts.
Well the World Cup is finally over, NHL and NBA free agency has died down a bit, and Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is a thing of the past, meaning we have officially entered what’s called in the sports world, a “dead zone.” Until the NFL really gets rolling again, sports fans are left with mighty slim pickings on the ol’ TV set. But, as I’m asked to do, I have searched long and hard (that’s what she said!), to find you a cornucopia of sporting action to sink your teeth into and enjoy.
So without further ado, let’s march on with this weekend’s TV highlights…
NESN has all three games this weekend, at 7pm Friday and Saturday, and 1:35pm on Sunday
The Sox come out of the All-Star break looking up in the standings at not one, but two teams in the AL East. With ground to make up, Boston hopes some home cookin’ will do their bodies good before heading out to the West Coast for their longest road trip of the season next week. Texas comes to Fenway for a four-game series sitting atop the weak AL West. The banged-up Sox dropped the first game of the series Thursday 7-2, after Tim Wakefield blew up early, giving up six runs before the Red Sox had an at-bat. The Sox are the only show in town right now, so winning is a must to lure back all those fans that had their attention focused on other things… like blowing their vuvuzelas!
National broadcasts Saturday at 4pm on FOX and Sunday at 1pm on TBS
Sox fans get the chance to watch the two teams Boston is chasing in the standings duke it out face to face this weekend, with the Yankees hosting the Rays at the Stadium. Needless to say, it has been a terribly sad week for Yankee Universe, marked by the passing of long-time PA announcer Bob Sheppard Sunday, followed by Tuesday’s death of owner George Steinbrenner. Despite the rough patch the Yankees have hit off the field, New York continues to thrive on the field, enjoying the best record in baseball coming out of the break. The nice thing is that if the Sox can split their series over Texas, at least the Sox can gain ground on one of these two teams.
Seemingly all weekend long, with early morning coverage on ESPN Friday through Sunday, followed by afternoon coverage switching to ABC at 3pm Saturday & Sunday.
This year’s British Open is being played at the birthplace of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Golf goes as far back as the 16th century at St. Andrew’s, and this year many hopefuls aim to add their name to the list of greats who have won the British Open. After Thursday’s impressive opening round 63, 21-year-old phenom Rory McIlroy enjoys an early lead in the tournament, with several players still very much in the hunt, including Tiger Woods, who comes into Friday just four shots back. If there’s a golf tournament worth getting up early for on a hazy summer morning, it’s the British, so load up on the java and soak in all that St. Andrew’s has to offer… remember what Mike Myers’ character on SNL used to say, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!”
Friday at 3pm on ESPN; Saturday & Sunday at 3pm on NBC
I told you there were slim pickings on TV this weekend. Anyway, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada is the scene for the biggest celebrity golf tournament of them all, the American Century Championship, owned and broadcasted by NBC Sports. More than 80 of the biggest sports and entertainment stars around will take their swings, aiming at taking home their share of the $600,000 purse. You’ll see sports greats like Charles Barkley, Tony Romo, Michael Jordan, and Ozzie Smith, and faces from the entertainment world such as Don Cheadle, Stone Phillips, and Taylor Hicks. See, I told you the biggest stars were playing in this thing! Taylor Hicks will be there! To add some local flavor that might entice you to watch bad golf on TV, retired former Patriot Rodney Harrison will be hitting the links, as well as former Red Sox pitchers Bret Saberhagen, David Wells and John Smoltz, former Celtic Wally Szczerbiak, and recently re-signed current Celtic Ray Allen. Oh, and did I mention Alfonso Ribeiro will be there too? You know, “Carlton” from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”? Again, the BIGGEST stars around will be there… so you can’t miss this!
Cycling has taken over the Versus channel, this race is on all weekend long, beginning at 8:30am on Friday & Saturday and 7:30am on Sunday
Because the only channel that comes in clear on your TV is Versus… that’s the only reason why I’d be watching the frickin’ Tour de France. But for all you cycling enthusiasts out there (Hello? Is this thing on? Are you out there?), tune in to watch dudes in spandex pedal past stinky French people. For some, that might sound entertaining. For me, I think I’d rather see Betty White in spandex on a bicycle. (Think of how many hits this article is going to get now… I mean, I search “Betty White in spandex on a bicycle” 5-10 times a day, I don’t know about you… maybe I’m just different. Ok, definitely I’m just different.)
VH1 airs these shows all weekend, headlined by a marathon on Sunday night
Because these guys need your attention in order to feed their mega-sized egos, that’s why! Look, Chad Ochocinco is looking for love and VH1 is there to help… what’s wrong with that? In all, 85 women started in this reality dating competition, but the Cincy receiver has the group dwindled down to his sweet sixteen. Tune in before his show, and his career, are over… not sure which one’s ending first. Also featured on VH1 is Terrell Owens in the second season of “The T.O. Show.” I have yet to tune in to this train wreck, mainly because I just don’t see why Owens is still relevant, in either the sports world or the entertainment world. I heard he mentioned in an interview he would like to come to the Patriots this season. Sure, that’ll happen… right after the Lions win a Super Bowl, Michael Strahan gets braces, and Betty White rides a bicycle in spandex!!!
Tags: Alfonso Ribeiro, Betty White, Bob Sheppard, Boston Red Sox, British Open, Chad Ochocinco, Charles Barkley, Don Cheadle, George Steinbrenner, Michael Jordan, New York Yankees, Ozzie Smith, Stone Phillips, Tampa Bay Rays, Taylor Hicks, Terrell Owens, Texas Rangers, Tiger Woods, Tony Romo, Tour de France