You've finally made it through the rubicon of the Longest Week Ever and can't wait to throw off all your burdens (and pants) and flop in front of the telly for 72 hours of glorious wallowing in the mudhole of sports. Good on ya, pardner!
Except you've got two problems. First, you've got approximately 17.2 million sporting events to navigate for the weekend and your remote hand is weak from too little vegetating and too much report filing. You need a plan in front of that sexy digital beast you call a television or else it'll devour you and you'll watch two entire infomercials on kitchen accessories while missing the Indy 500.
Next, your family has also been yearning for your freedom from work-based tyranny for weeks as well. However, their desires directly conflict with yours. You want a steady diet of beer and pretzels laid at your raised feet; they want you to spend the weekend repairing every minor nagging detail in the home, like that underground swimming pool you didn't quite install but slowly appeared in the basement. Look, kids; it's totally safe! Just swallow a chlorine pill before you dive in.
Blogcritics Sports is here to help you. We've plotted out both your escape from new work and your road map to sports paradise. So grab the following items and print off this article to ensure your extended weekend bliss:
- Portable television
- Lawnmower (don't worry; you're not going to use it to cut grass)
- Various small tools
- Recorded home improvement shows (not the show Home Improvement; it all falls apart if you confuse these)
- Notepad and pencil
This is your prep time. You've got a relatively light plate (one MLB game, one WNBA game, NCAA softball regionals, and a slew of MLS games you probably can't see locally anyway).
Set up the lawnmower just outside the garage and pull a couple parts off it. Jam the umbrella into the handle of the mower. Position the portable TV so you can see it but the umbrella blocks it from view from the house.
Cue up a home improvement show on the DVR or VCR. Be sure to pause during a step-by-step instruction.
Now it's late afternoon; here are your options:
- Byron Nelson golf tourney (CBS): Tiger's not playing, despite what we said on the Blogcritics Sports Treehouse Fort podcast. 'Nuff said; this one's filler.
- Corning Classic LPGA golf tourney (Golf Channel): This is the last time they're playing this tournament with rich traditions. Even better filler.
- Baseball (4 pm ET, FOX): Most will see Philly/NYY; Texas will see their teams battle. As BC Sports chief Matt Sussman points out, check for Joe Buck before listening; he's like the droning uncle you're trying to avoid this weekend.
Since the baseball's on FOX, this is lawnmower time. Be sure to bang metal against metal occasionally, curse rarely, and stomp back into the house dramatically for another beer and another tool during commercial breaks.
- Baseball (check your local listings)
- Pittsburgh/Carolina NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 (7:30 pm ET, Versus)
- Los Angeles/Denver NBA WC Finals Game 3 (8:30 pm ET, ABC)
- UFC 98 (PPV)
Call up the home improvement show and have it poised. When your family walks into the room, switch to it and study it carefully. Take notes in horrible handwriting. Look puzzled and rewind occasionally.
When they exit, you're switching between the hockey and basketball games. You do not want to miss this.
If you're watching UFC 98, just switch over. Look, it's showing up on your bill next month; you'll just have to take the hit on that one. Hopefully, you've looked busy enough to deserve a break.
Didja drink too much last night? Need an excuse to drink at 10 am to feel better? Here's sports that traditionally are enjoyed with booze but start early because they're in Europe:
- French Open
- Formula 1 – Grand Prix of Monaco
- English Premier League (final weekend of the season)
Find them down your cable subscription channels and enjoy them while telling your family you can't go to church because you're not feeling well from too much sun exposure yesterday.
- Baseball (check local listings)
- Indy 500 (noon ET, ABC, but remember there's 87 hours of ceremonies)
- Detroit/Chicago NHL WC Finals Game 4 (3 pm ET, NBC)
- Byron Nelson (CBS)
- Corning Classic (Golf Channel)
Another day with the mower. If you're asked about the sounds coming from the television outside, tell them it's kinda starting up but kinda not and it's really not sounding all that great and so on.
- Coca-Cola 600 (5 pm ET, FOX, but 45 minutes of ceremonies)
- Cleveland/Orlando NBA WC Finals Game 3 (8:30 pm ET, TNT)
- Sunday Night Baseball (Milwaukee/Minnesota) (8:00 pm ET, ESPN)
You've worked hard for two days on that damned mower. Don't you deserve a break? If your family believes not, bring a huge part of the mower inside and set it on the coffee table (with a towel underneath) and poke at it with a screwdriver for an hour and throw up your hands in agony.
- Baseball (check local listings)
You should probably mow the lawn. After all, you lost your TV last night in the overgrowth.
- Los Angeles/Denver NBA WC Finals Game 4 (9:00 pm ET, ESPN)
A big bag of fail to the NHL for not having a game on Monday night. And a big bag of fail to you if you can't pull off one more game in this marathon. Switch to water, though; Tuesday's a work day. (Gack.)
If all else fails and your family doesn't believe the mower story or the DVR note-taking or the heat stroke, tell them you've started a second career as a sports blogger and you have to cover all the events this weekend. We here at Blogcritics Sports have it on good authority that this works. Mostly. Excuse us as we look for our umbrellas.