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November 22, 2014

The Week in TV Sports: July 23-29

by Scott Harris, posted Jul 22nd 2010 3:30PM
Usually when people talk about the long and winding road they've traveled down, they mean it metaphorically. But when the winner of this year's Tour de France is crowned on Sunday, he'll be able to rightly claim to have traversed one of the longest and windiest roads in all sports, with over 2263 miles ridden through fields and over mountains, all while perched on the back of a spindly little bicycle.

Just who will be wearing the coveted maillot jaune, however, is still up in the air, with Spain's Alberto Contador leading Luxembourg's Andy Schleck by just eight skinny seconds in the overall classifications. Contador is widely expected to drop the hammer during Saturday's individual time trial, but accidents and equipment malfunctions -- such as the slipped chain that cost Schleck his lead to begin with -- do happen, meaning it's still anyone's race.

But if international bike riding somehow isn't enough sports action for you, don't worry: we've got a whole week worth of hand-picked competitions right here for you. So even if you never graduated from your Huffy 3-speed, we're sure there's something of interest to you in our roundup of The Week in TV Sports.


Times for live events are Eastern unless otherwise noted:

Friday, July 23: The World Cup of Women's Softball continues on ESPN at 8PM with play between the U.S. and Japan. Just think how much could have been avoided if we had settled World War II that way. Meanwhile, ESPN2 airs a rarity in this day and age: a live boxing match in the light heavyweight division, beginning at 10PM. And for the early birds, stage 18 of the Tour de France is carried live on Versus at 8:30AM.

Saturday, July 24: No, College Football hasn't yet started, but thanks for asking. Instead, you can treat yourself to events like golf (The RBC Canadian Open on CBS at 3PM) and Major League Baseball (most will get Mets vs. Dodgers on Fox at 4PM). In the evening, ESPN has some car racing in the form of the Nationwide Series Kroger 200 at 8PM, while ABC simultaneously airs the family-friendly football comedy 'The Game Plan.' And in the morning, after you catch the sunrise, you can stick around for the Tour de France's all-important individual time trial, which takes place at 8:30AM on Versus.

Sunday, July 25: The Tour de France concludes with the annual progression down the Champs Elysées in Paris. Usually it's ceremonial, but with the race as tight as it is, we could see a rare attack on the race's final day. You can find out beginning at 8AM on Versus. How empty is the rest of the sports schedule this week? At 2PM CBS airs 'The Road to the PGA Championship,' which is a preview of a golf event that takes place three weeks later. Yikes. But if thinking about future golf isn't your thing, you can watch current golf (the end of that RBC Canadian Open) on CBS starting at 3PM, while ESPN Sunday Night Baseball has the Cardinals and the Cubs at 8PM.

• Monday, July 26:
Monday Night Baseball on ESPN highlights a light slate of action, with the Tigers and the Rays facing off at 7PM. Versus has UFC action at 9PM, while USA counters with 'WWE Raw,' which technically isn't a sport, but what else are you going to do? Watch the Tigers and the Rays? Yeah, we didn't think so. Luckily, AMC replays the classic golf movie 'Tin Cup' at 8PM, so the evening isn't a total wash.

• Tuesday, July 27:
Like Monday's wrestling matches, poker technically isn't a sport. But we still enjoy watching it, which is why we're excited that ESPN is finally getting around to airing coverage of the World Series of Poker, which (spoilers!) is basically already over. You can see what millions of internet users found out weeks ago by watching the 2010 Players Championship beginning at 8PM. Meanwhile, ESPN2 has a WNBA double-header, with San Antonio and New York at 7:30PM and Phoenix and Seattle at 9:30PM. Save your DVR space.

• Wednesday, July 28:
Soccer is back on the menu in a big way, as the blokes from Manchester United come across the pond to face off against the MLS All-Stars on ESPN2 at 8:30PM. Meanwhile, ESPN has Wednesday Night Baseball between the Cardinals and the Mets, beginning at 7PM and ESPNU really pushes the boundaries of sports ethics in America by hyping the 'High School Football Skills Competition' also at 7PM. Because why wait until college to exploit student athletes for money when we can start in high school?

• Thursday, July 29:
One of the greatest sports movies of all time can be found on CMT at 10PM, as 'The Bad News Bears' closes out the sports week in style. Meanwhile, ESPN kicks off the X-Games with their new 30 for 30 documentary 'The Birth of Big Air' at 7PM, followed by live extreme sports beginning at 8PM. And a nation weary of this long summer cries out to the NFL for some sign of rescue. Soon, friends, soon.

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