Friday, January 28, 2005

The least wonderful time of year

No football this Sunday. No baseball, either. No major sporting events. Just the final round of meaningless golf events and maybe some unbelievably unexciting NBA games.

Get used to it. Aside from Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 6, the next meaningful weekend in sports television doesn't occur until March. And that's only because you can't change a channel without seeing college basketball. Conference tournaments, then the Selection Show, then March Madness tournament. That's a real triple crown, minus the legal gambling in every state.

Some will argue the NBA All-Star game is good viewing. These are likely the same people who organize their schedules around the NFL Pro Bowl and still eat ramen.

So we are stuck this weekend. Find a project quick. Go to the track. Pay attention to your wife. Do something, because there's no football and staring at the screen like the girl from Poltergeist won't help anyone.

This dark Sunday in between the AFC and NFC championship games and the Super Bowl is designed to make the Super Bowl fall in television's sweeps week, where commercial rates are set for the coming months. Is it fair to viewers? No, but then again, when was is the viewer's choice factored into anything except the MTV VMAs?

There will be an NBA game or two, UConn women vs. Notre Dame, and motorcross on television during the normal football viewing hours. If not for Geno Auriemma's wind-defying hair gel, I might unplug my television on Sunday. Sorry, but I'm waaaaay too young to appreciate non-major golf tournaments. And now that Phil Mickelson has already won a major, it's no longer fun watching him miss an 8-foot putt to blow the lead and lose the tournament.

We can only hope for ESPN to run a "Tilt" marathon -- all three episodes -- followed by "Hustle." Or maybe TBS will have a "Brewster's Millions" viewing, followed by every John Landis '80s movie. With any luck, Anthony Michael Hall as high school football legend Johnny Walker will grace my television screen in "Johnny B. Goode."

Gee, I wish there was some hockey on this weekend. Psych!