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The Week in TV Sports: July 16-22

by Scott Harris, posted Jul 16th 2010 3:00PM
For fans of soccer it's a sad time, as the long, four year countdown begins to the next World Cup. But while you're packing away your Kaká jerseys and rolling up your hand-stenciled Landon Donovan banners, don't shed too many tears. Because, after all, there's one bright side: the end of the World Cup means more time to watch other sports.

Like, say, the British Open, which began yesterday in the legendary birthplace of golf, St Andrews, Scotland. Folks have been queuing up there for a round on the Old Course for 500 years or more, braving the rain and harsh winds off the North Sea for a chance to experience golf in its purest form. And now, at last, the sport has finally evolved to the point where you can enjoy the spectacle in high definition without ever having to leave your couch. Now that's progress.

Of course, the World Cup, British Open and the Tour de France aren't the only sports going on this month; here in the U. S. of A. we still have some good old fashioned American sports like baseball to watch as well. But whether you're a traveler of the world or a traveler to the kitchen to get a bag of Cheetos for the next NASCAR event, we've got your guide to the week in sports television right here.

As always, all times are Eastern unless otherwise noted:

Friday, July 16: They say the early bird gets the worm, but if you actually wake up at 4AM to watch the second round of the British Open on ESPN, you deserve a whole bucket of night-crawlers. Don''t worry though, if you miss anything, ESPN will be blanketing cable and the internet with coverage, as will the Golf Channel, which will be reporting live from St Andrews from 7PM until midnight with all the recaps. Other events: HBO2e has the NASCAR pipe dream 'Death Race' at 8PM, while the Tour de France can be found on Versus beginning at 8:30AM.

Saturday, July 17: The third round of the British open kicks off at 7AM on ESPN, but coverage (mostly highlights) moves to ABC starting at 3PM, allowing ESPN to showcase even more soccer, this time a friendly between San Jose and Tottenham. Fox has it's weekly Saturday game at 4PM, featuring the Rays vs. the Yankees or the Dodgers vs. the Cardinals depending on your location. Other events: the Tour de France can be found on Versus beginning at 8:30AM.

Sunday, July 18: Final round coverage of the British Open starts at 6AM. Will you be watching? Will Tiger be in contention? Does the former depend on the latter? All questions will be answered on ESPN, as the conclusion of a major is aired on a cable network for the first time ever. Other events: ABC has Indy Car action from Toronto starting at 12:30PM, while ESPN Sunday Night Baseball has the Phillies and the Cubs at 8PM. FX is showing the classic football farce 'Waterboy' at 9PM, and the Tour de France can be found on Versus beginning at 7:30AM.

Monday, July 19: With golf safely behind us, America's eyes can turn back to the diamond, assuming anyone still cares about the sport after that snooze-fest of an All-Star weekend. ESPN tests the waters with Monday Night Baseball between the Phillies and the Cardinals beginning at 8PM. Other events: the Tour de France can be found on Versus beginning at 7:30AM.

Tuesday, July 20: The World Series may still be months away, but the World Series of Poker is in full swing right now. ESPN has their preview of the 2010 card playing extravaganza at 8PM. Other events: ESPN follows up poker with an all-access, behind the scenes look at the Milwaukee Brewers at 9PM. Yep, it must be a Tuesday night. ESPN2 has WNBA action between New York and Connecticut at 8PM, while the Tour de France can be found on Versus beginning at 6:30AM.

Wednesday, July 21: More baseball! ESPN has Wednesday Night Baseball between the Nationals and the Reds at 7PM, which must mean that Stephen Strasburg is pitching. That's the only possible explanation for the Nationals being on television. Other events: ESPN2 has another soccer exhibition, this time between Man U and and Philadelphia at 7:30 PM, while the Tour de France actually has a day off. Whew.

Thursday, July 22: Would you believe that women's softball headlines the Thursday night sports lineup? Well, it does, with the U. S. vs. Canada on ESPN at 8PM. Other events: The WNBA presents Los Angeles and Indiana on ESPN2 at 7:30PM, while at 11PM, ESPN Classic replays the 30 For 30 documentary 'Straight Outta L. A.' about the Raiders move to Los Angeles in 1982. And the Tour de France can be found on Versus beginning at 6:30AM.

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