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The Couch Potato Report: Supersized Edition

Emmy Award

Nobody likes a whiner.

So I won’t start off this week’s “Couch Potato Report” whining about why there wasn’t a “C.P.R.” last week. I won’t tell you that my awkwardly big feet kicked the switch of my surge protector underneath my computer, powering down my PC and leaving my unsaved, nearly completed article left as just a figment of my imagination. I won’t whine about that though. I’ll just give you some words to live by… every few minutes, CLICK SAVE. You can’t click “save” too often… it’ll save you from swearing at an inanimate object like your computer.

But this week, I’m back in business. I have tied my feet up (stop thinking naughty thoughts over there, you dirty birds), to get them out of the way, and I’m here this week to make up for lost time. Normally each week, the weekly “Couch Potato Report” offers up five mouth-watering suggestions for your sports viewing pleasure. But this week, in an effort to win back my loyal audience (crickets chirping), I’m ready to double your pleasure and double your fun, with ten… count ‘em, TEN… TV picks for the upcoming weekend.

So enough jibber jabber. Let’s dive in head first to this week’s supersized edition of “The Couch Potato Report,” C.P.R. for your sports-lovin’ hearts.

#1 Sox vs. Rays

When Is It On & Where Can I Find It?

Friday & Saturday @ 7pm on NESN, Sunday @ 8pm on ESPN

Why Should I Watch?

You watch these pivotal games if you still are holding out hope that the banged-up Sox still have a shot at earning a playoff spot. What better way to catch the team you’re chasing than to sweep them yourselves. With a 5 ½ game deficit to make up in the final five weeks of the season, your BoSox need all the help they can get in order to catch the Rays or Yanks for the division or wild card spot. The pitching for the Sox lines up well for this series, with Jon Lester on the hill Friday night, legitimate Cy Young candidate Clay Buchholz pitching Saturday, and John Lackey throwing Sunday, who is coming off one of his better starts in a Red Sox uniform. Whether the offense can put up enough runs to deliver some victories remains to be seen, but the time is now for the Sox to make or break their season down in Tampa. On a side note, what’s the over/under on the amount of times the catwalks are hit in this series? Bet high, my friends.

#2 PGA’s FedEx Cup Playoffs: The Barclays

When & Where?

Friday at 3pm on Golf Channel, Saturday at 1pm on GC and 3pm on CBS, and Sunday at 12pm on GC and 2pm on CBS


Tiger Woods is a new man, after his divorce became finalized this past week. What’s he do to celebrate? He comes out on Thursday and shoots his best round of golf this year, with a 6-under 65, tying him for the opening round lead with Vaughn Taylor. Woods, who came into this tournament at the bottom of the rankings for the FedEx Cup, needs a strong showing this weekend to even qualify for next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship event at TPC Boston, down in Norton. The best of the best in the game of golf are all taking their hacks in this tournament… well, except Jim Furyk, who was disqualified after oversleeping Wednesday morning, causing him to miss his tee time for the Pro-Am tournament. Pretty bogus rule if you ask me, but that’s just me being bitter because he’s on my fantasy golf team. (Yes, there is such a thing as fantasy golf.)

#3 Little League World Series

When & Where?

Saturday at 1 & 4pm, Sunday at 3pm, all on ABC


The annual Little League World Series wraps up this weekend in Williamsport, PA. The International Final kicks things off in Saturday’s early game, with Chinese Taipei taking on Japan for the world’s crown. The U.S. championship will follow that, with the kids from Pearland, Texas taking on the winner of Friday’s Pool A final, featuring Columbus, Georgia and Waipahu, Hawaii. Then on Sunday, the International champ will face off against the U.S. winner for all the marbles. So if you’re not weirded out by watching pre-teen boys run around and sweat in tight baseball pants, with the possibility of them crying at the end when they lose, tune in! (Sorry, did I just ruin this for you???)

#4 NFL Preseason Football

When & Where?

Friday & Saturday @ 8pm on CBS, Sunday @ 8pm on FOX


Because they say that the third game of the preseason schedule is supposed to be meaningful, that’s why! And, you fantasy geeks will want to check out who blows a hammy or tears a knee before you look like a dunce drafting the guy for your fantasy team. Friday’s action includes the defending champion Saints hosting hot rookie Ryan Mathews and the Chargers. Saturday night, you can check out Tony Romo and the Cowboys take on Andre Johnson and the Texans in a Lonestar State battle. Then on Sunday over on FOX, take a gander at young RBs Rashard Mendenhall and Knowshon Moreno, with the Steelers facing the Broncos.

#5 High School Football

When & Where?

Seemingly all weekend long, on ESPN & ESPN2


I’m not sure why, to be honest. But if you look at ESPN’s programming schedule for the weekend, it’s got high school football all over it. Friday night on ESPN, start your night off with a Floridian battle, with Plant H.S. going up against Manatee H.S. At 10pm, switch over to ESPN2 for a west coast bout between Folsom, CA and Grant, CA, who features top prospect, DT Viliami Moala. Saturday at noon on ESPN, watch Byrnes, SC take on Hoover, AL, the school that was featured in MTV’s reality show, “Two-A-Days.” Saturday night at 7pm, you can check out two Texas powerhouses, with Steele taking on Madison. Then on Sunday, watch an interstate battle in Cincinnati, when St. Xavier, OH hosts Good Counsel, MD, at 3pm. Now, I know a lot of parents out there who dread having to sit through their own kids’ games… so unless you’re a scout or just a diehard fan of the game who can be entertained with a football game at any level, I’m not entirely sure why high school football is taking center stage this weekend. But hey, if it’s your thing… eat it up.

#6 UFC 118

When & Where?

Saturday night @ 10pm on Pay-Per-View


For the first time ever, UFC is coming to Boston! Saturday night at the TD Garden is the place, as Causeway Street will turn into MMA fan heaven. The main event of UFC 118 features a rematch between former champ B.J. Penn and current champ Frankie Edgar, who will duke it out for the lightweight championship. Other matches include Randy Couture taking on James Toney, and Kenny Florian going up against Gray Maynard. Now I’ll be the first one to tell you that I personally just haven’t gotten on the UFC bandwagon yet. But there’s no doubt that the excitement of the sport coming to the Boston area is at a super high level. If you can’t splurge for the fights on Pay-Per-View, and you aren’t lucky enough to have a ticket to Garden to see it live, grab a few of your meathead friends and hit your local sports bar, or better yet, check out the fights at a bar over near the Garden, so you can feel the energy of the atmosphere. Just don’t get cauliflower ear like the fighters get… that’ll just make you look goofy.

#7 FIBA World Basketball Championships

When & Where?

U.S. games on Saturday @ 12pm on ESPN Classic and Sunday @ 9:30am on ESPN2


I’m not sure many sports fans are all that interested in this thing, but nonetheless, for those of you who are, the FIBA World Championships start their pool play this weekend, and the Rajon Rondo-less U.S. team starts out with a game against Croatia Saturday afternoon from Istanbul, Turkey. Their second game of the weekend will be Sunday morning against Slovenia. Beyond Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose, I’m not all that impressed with the talent the U.S. team is trotting out there this time around. That doesn’t mean I don’t expect the Americans to fare well in this tournament, that just means I probably won’t watch a minute of it.

#8 WNBA Playoffs

When & Where?

Saturday at 1 & 3pm, Sunday at 8pm, on ESPN2


Speaking of meaningless basketball I won’t watch, the WNBA playoffs have begun… but I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you that, right? Sports fans everywhere have been glued to their screens all season long, and now it all comes down to this… you can cut the tension with a knife during these high energy playoff games. Dunks? No, you won’t see those. Girls? Yeah, you’ll see those… but don’t expect to see any bombshells running up and down the court. But if you are still reading this part of the article and really do want to know what’s on tap for WNBA playoff action this weekend, tune in Saturday for a doubleheader of Western Conference semifinal action with a pair of Game 2s. In the 1:00 game, Phoenix takes on San Antonio, followed by a 4pm duel between Seattle and Los Angeles. Sunday night, if necessary, the Eastern Conference will take center stage, with a potential deciding Game 3 featuring New York and Indiana. Ok ladies, you got your time in the spotlight… now back to dude stuff.

#9 Tennis: Pilot Pen Championships

When & Where?

Semifinals Friday on ESPN2 at 12pm & 7pm, Women’s Championship at 1pm Saturday on CBS, Men’s Championship at 7pm Saturday on ESPN2


Did I say “back to dude stuff?” Ok, maybe not quite yet. Tennis? Hey, I said I’d have extra picks for you this week, but I never said anything about how good they’d be. It’s “quantity over quality” week here at the C.P.R. Anyway, for you tennis enthusiasts out there, you can tune in this weekend to the Pilot Pen tournament from New Haven, CT. Now don’t “write” this tournament off (pun intended). This isn’t a major tennis tournament like Wimbledon, but there still are some big names serving up some entertaining tennis. Names like… Sergiy Stakhovsky? Thiemo de Bakker? Alright, maybe not. But the U.S. Open starts Monday, so just sit tight and get through this silly little tournament first.

#10 MLS Soccer: New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union

When & Where?

Saturday night at 7:30pm on Comcast SportsNet


Because the season’s almost over, and I really haven’t thrown the Revs a bone yet. So here it is, here’s their bone. Watch them. They’re not very good, but still, give them a shot. And heck, it’s always sweet to beat a team from Philly at anything, even if it’s just MLS soccer.

This Week’s “Off the Field” Pick: The Emmys

When & Where?

Sunday night at 8pm on NBC


It wouldn’t have been right for me to write an article about television without making any mention of this weekend’s Emmy awards. I wouldn’t be a good TV critic if I ignored them… if I can even consider myself a TV critic. Anyway, the actual award show starts at 8pm Sunday night, but you can tune in to E! pretty much all afternoon for their silly red carpet coverage. Hey, some people’s lives aren’t complete if they don’t see January Jones in an expensive dress or Alec Baldwin acting all successful compared to his brothers. But like so many of these award shows, they’re not entertaining unless you place some wagers on them. Hey, it’s a competition after all, so why not bet, right? My money’s on “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” to win the night… you heard it here first! No, you’ve probably read that everywhere by now… but I’m on their bandwagon too!

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