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The Couch Potato Report: Manny, Monkeys, and More Vuvuzelas!

Manny Ramirez (Photo from

We’re down in the dumps. We’re beaten. We’re depressed.

Bostonians over the last five weeks have had to suffer through not one, but two epic defeats, after Thursday night’s disappointing loss by the Celtics out at Staples Center in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, at the hands of bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. Couple that with the shocking collapse of the Bruins just over a month ago, and one could argue that these are the darkest days the Boston sports scene has seen in a long while.

But don’t fret too much sports fans! Simply grab your remote and flip your TV on, as this weekend is filled with big time sporting events that will lift your spirits and turn that frown upside down in a jiffy.

It’s time for this week’s Couch Potato Report, C.P.R. for your sports-lovin’ heart… and if there’s any week your heart needs a little TLC, this has to be the week.

Let’s turn our attention to highlighting some of the bigger “must see TV moments” coming up this weekend…

#1 “Manny Returns,” Red Sox vs. Dodgers

When & Where Will I Find It?

Friday at 7pm on NESN; Saturday at 4pm on FOX; Sunday at 8pm on ESPN

Why Should I Watch?

As if we’re not tired of facing L.A. already, the baseball version of the Boston-L.A. rivalry heats up at Fenway this weekend with the long awaited return of Dodgers left fielder and former Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, as the Dodgers come to town to continue MLB’s interleague play. The Sox are coming off a relatively easy sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks this week, while the Dodgers are looking to climb up the N.L. West ranks to catch the surprising Padres, who sit atop the division. But all that aside, this series is all about Manny: do you boo or do you cheer?

#2 World Cup Soccer

When & Where?

7:30am, 10:00am, & 2:30pm, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, on ESPN and ABC


Highlighted by Friday morning’s U.S.-Slovenia match (2-2 draw), World Cup’s opening round play continues this weekend with a full slate of games starring the sport’s best and brightest stars, as they vie for soccer’s most important prize. Watch at your own risk however, as your ears may bleed from the incessant honking of the now famous vuvuzelas, the horns that fans have blared from beginning to end of each match in this tournament. Don’t adjust your set fans, that annoying noise is there on purpose.

#3 PGA’s U.S. Open Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach

When & Where?

Friday 1-3pm on ESPN, 3-5pm on NBC, 5-10pm on ESPN; Saturday 4:30-10pm on NBC; Sunday 3-9pm on NBC


Tiger’s off to a rough start, shooting a +3 in his opening round Thursday at Pebble Beach, but that only puts him five shots back of the early leaders, Shaun Micheel, Brendon de Jonge, and Paul Casey, as the entire field only features nine golfers who should rounds under par on Thursday. The field is wide open heading into Friday’s play, and the weekend is shaping up to be anyone’s game, as golf takes its place in prime time on NBC, which in my mind is pretty darn cool.

#4 College World Series

When & Where?

Saturday and Sunday, 2pm and 7pm, on ESPN and ESPN2


Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska will host its 60th and final College World Series starting Saturday, with eight teams vying for the title. In Saturday’s games, the surprising TCU Frogs take on Florida State, followed by the Florida Gators taking on UCLA. Sunday’s pair of games feature the Sooners of Oklahoma matching up against South Carolina, then the top-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils facing Clemson. Look, the bottom line is, hockey’s over, basketball’s now over, baseball is all we’ve got left until NFL training camps begin. If you’re not going to get out of your house and enjoy the summer weather, you’re left with watching either baseball or summer reality TV like “So You Think You Can Dance” or “The Bachelorette.” I think your choice is easy… Play Ball!

#5 AVP Volleyball, Virginia Beach Open Women’s Championship

When & Where?

Sunday at 2:00 on ESPN2


Look, my plan was to make #5 be the Celtics’ victory parade, but I don’t think Mayor Menino will get his chance to host a “rolling rally” this weekend. But on the flip side, do you really need a reason to watch women’s volleyball? Athletic girls wearing next to nothing, sweating under the hot Virginia sun, bumping and spiking balls at each other. Did you hear all that? Girls handling balls, wearing next to nothing! ‘Nuff said.

This Week’s “Off the Field” Pick: Several Good Movies, Sports or Not

When & Where?

All weekend long on a ton of stations up and down the dial


Sometimes, when you’re fresh off a major disappointment in the sports world like Thursday’s Celtics loss, you need to not only get away from hoops, but the hurt is so overwhelming that you need to escape sports altogether. That’s understandable, I mean, we’re only human, right? So to escape the pain, turn to the world of film to perk up your weekend. There are seemingly hundreds of movies on TV this weekend, and some are even related to sports. At the top of my list would be “Caddyshack”… at the bottom of my list, “Caddyshack II.” In between, you have “Remember the Titans,” “Blades of Glory,” or for the kids, one of my all-time favorites, “MVP: Most Valuable Primate.” Come on, what’s more enjoyable than a lighthearted monkey movie, right? If “MVP” doesn’t break your Celtics-induced depression, then there’s just no cure for you!

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