Do you find yourself bored at home? Stuck solely with the company of your family or maybe trying to get through your own solitary confinement?
You might be at the point where you’ve cleaned every square inch of your home. Or maybe you can’t find enough flour in the grocery store to bother breaking out your apron. Perhaps you’ve already finished binging Tiger King or the new season of Ozark.
You’re not alone.
The sports staff of The Tampa Bay Times is in the same position. So, we’re compiling a weekly list of things we’re watching, streaming, recording on our DVRs (assuming you still have one), listening to and reading.
Here are some of our recommendations for the week:
Friday Night Lights on NBC, Amazon Prime (with subscription), YouTube TV (with subscription), STARZ (with subscription), Sling TV (with subscription) and Hulu (with subscription), recommended by colleges reporter Matt Baker and sports reporter Mari Faiello.
- You can nitpick some of the football scenes — if the Dillon Panthers are shaky at fullback, why are they still using the I-formation? — but it’s an entertaining series filled with compelling, flawed characters. Five seasons, 76 episodes at 44 minutes a pop. And you’ll be better equipped if bar trivia ever returns: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose," said with a bad Texas accent.
Home Run Derby, on YouTube, recommended by sports columnist John Romano
- Make sure the kids are asleep and the blinds are closed. Pray that the Internet doesn’t crash. Then go to YouTube and search for “home run derby classic.” It is a baseball fan’s greatest guilty pleasure. A syndicated TV show that ran for one season in 1960, it features some of the game’s greatest sluggers against each other in a nine-inning contest at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles (where the expansion Los Angeles Angels played their first season). The camera angles are terrible, the announcing is comical, and the player interviews are straight out of a Leave it to Beaver episode. And it might be the greatest baseball series ever produced.
Road to the Cup, on Fox Sports Sun, recommended by Lightning reporter Diana C. Nearhos
- Are the details of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup run a little foggy after 16 years? Fox Sports Sun is airing the victories of the first two rounds each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through May 2. The conference final and Stanley Cup final will follow, but Fox Sports Sun has not yet announced the schedule.
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The Last Dance, on ESPN, recommended by night sports editor Anthony Perez
- The Last Dance debuts at 9 p.m. Sunday on ESPN, which will air two hourlong episodes every Sunday night through May 17. It’s a 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan’s final season (1997-98) of the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty. It has gotten rave reviews for its never-before-seen footage and its candid interviews that pull back the curtain on one of the greatest dynasties and, arguably, the greatest player in NBA history. The series was supposed to premiere in June but was moved up by the network to help feed these sports-starved times. The series will air a profanity-free version of the docuseries on ESPN2, while the original (with profanity) airs on ESPN, according to a Variety news report.
Peyton’s Places, on ESPN, recommended by pro sports enterprise reporter Eduardo A. Encina
- We could all use something that will make us laugh right now, and Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning is a funny dude, an off-the-field side of himself he’s shown since hosting Saturday Night Live several years ago (Remember the United Way skit?). In this series, Manning visited several of the biggest names in the NFL in a 30-episode series released last year in conjunction with the league’s 100th-year celebration. Whether you binge watch or check out just one episode, it’s fun for any football fan. Bucs fans will want to watch Episode 26 with Tom Brady, in which the two greats break into Jim Nantz’s house and reminisce about their rivalry while playing golf in Nantz’s back yard. Brady, always coming through in the clutch, predicts Nantz’s gate code to get inside.
MLB, on YouTube, recommended by pro sports enterprise reporter Eduardo A. Encina
- While MLB’s YouTube account typically contains fresh content throughout the season, it’s still a great landing spot for full-game coverage of some of baseball’s most memorable contests. In recent days, the account has offered “streams” of Pedro Martinez’s 17-strikeout game against the Yankees in 1999, Bryce Harper’s home-field Home Run Derby win in 2018, the Cardinals’ Game 7 NLCS win over the Mets and the Royals’ Wild Card game comeback over the A’s. They are all archives, so the library builds every day. It’s not live baseball, but watching some of these games reminds us why we love baseball while it’s gone. For the gamers and simulation fans, this is also a landing spot for MLB The Show 20 sims games and Players League streams, where major leaguers battle head-to-head.
- Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde and Pete Thamel have been providing the right blend of football and fun for the craziest offseason of our lifetimes.
- The ESPN-based podcast airs every weekday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. It’s the most offbeat sports radio/TV show in the land, mocking and eviscerating the very industry it thrives in. It’s everything that hot-takes sports shows with their screaming talking heads and breakdowns of Day 3 of the NFL draft are not. If that’s what you want, “You don’t get the show.” Anything that can lay claim to Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach being frequent contributors as Friends of the Show is gold.
SportsDay Tampa Bay, recommended by Bucs reporter and host Rick Stroud
- SportsDay Tampa Bay is a daily podcast (Monday-Friday) produced by The Tampa Bay Times that focuses on the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, USF, college sports, motorsports, golf and other local and national sports news. Hosted by Times writer and Bucs reporter Rick Stroud and producer Steve Versnick, it’s fun, smart sports talk when you want it. We also have regular guests that include many of our Tampa Bay Times beat reporters, who take you behind the scenes of their latest stories, as well as area sports personalities, players, coaches and general managers. You can interact with us on Twitter at @SportsDayTB, and we will answer your questions in our weekly mailbag segment. It’s available on iTunes, Tampabay.com or wherever you get your podcasts.
- A good book in bite-sized chunks: Life is absurd right now, and maybe you don’t feel like you have time to sit down and read a whole book. “Game Changers” is comprised of easy-to-read, one-page biographies of “the unsung heroines of sports history” (including Manon Rheaume, who played in two preseason games with the Lightning, in 1992 and ’93).
Sports on the Air
Wednesday, April 15
- The Journey: Big Ten Football, 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on BTN
- Wednesday Night iRacing, 7 p.m. on FS1
- Greatest Races — 1998: NASCAR Cup Series Racing: Phoenix, 8 p.m. on FS1
- Homecoming with Titus O’Neil, 8:30 p.m. on SEC Network
- 2010 NBA Finals Game 7: Boston Celtics vs. L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m. on ESPN
- No. 7 Duke vs. North Carolina (men’s basketball), 10 p.m. on ACCN
Thursday, April 16
- ACC Traditions: Florida State, 8:30 a.m. on ACCN
- Upon Further Review: 1990 Florida State vs. Clemson, 11 a.m. on ACCN
- Florida State vs. North Carolina (NCAA women’s soccer championship), 5 p.m. on ACCN
- Formula E’s Top 100 Moments, 5:30 p.m. on FS2
- College Football 150 — The American Game, 7 p.m. on ESPN
- NFL’s Greatest Games — 2016 NFC Divisional Playoff: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys, 8 p.m. on FS1
- 2016: Michigan vs. Ohio State, 8 p.m. on ESPN
- 2014 BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn, 9 p.m. on ACCN
- WWE Ruthless Aggression — Enter John Cena, 9 p.m. on FS2
- WWE24 — WrestleMania: New Orleans at Midnight, on FS1
Friday, April 17
- ACC Traditions: Georgia Tech, 12:30 p.m. on ACCN
- The Journey: Big Ten Football 2016, 3 p.m. on BTN
- WNBA Draft, 7 p.m. on ESPN
- NFL’s Greatest Games — Super Bowl XLII: New England Patriots vs. New York Giants, 7 p.m. on FS1
- Connecticut Sun vs. Washington Mystics (Finals, Game No. 5), 9 p.m. on ESPN
Saturday, April 18
- E:60 Profile: Mike Evans, 8 a.m. on ESPN2
- The Journey: Big Ten Football 2017, 4 p.m. on BTN
- All Access with Louisville Football, 5 p.m. on ACCN
- 2004: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers (Stanley Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinals Game 1), 8 p.m. on FOX Sports Sun
- 2013: Louisville vs. Florida, 9 p.m. on ACCN
- Greatest Games: MLB — 2004: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 10 p.m. on FS1
- Greatest Games: College Football — 2017: Penn State at Ohio State, 11 p.m. on FS2
Sunday, April 19
- 2013: North Carolina vs. Miami ( Championship, ACC Men’s Tournament), 5 p.m. on ACCN
- FIFA Women’s World Cup: United States vs. Japan, 6:30 p.m. on FS2
- 2002: Rose Bowl — Nebraska vs. Miami, 7 p.m. on ACCN
- eMLS Tournament Special — Week 1, 7 p.m. on FS1
- No. 11 Florida vs. No. 4 Alabama (Championship, SEC Softball Tournament), 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network
- Peyton’s Places: Tom Brady (Episode 26), 8 p.m. on ESPN
- 2002: Florida State vs. Miami (football), 9 p.m. on ACCN
- The Last Dance - Episode 1, 9 p.m. on ESPN
- The Last Dance - Episode 2, 10 p.m. on ESPN
- The Journey: Big Ten Football — Michigan State, 11 p.m. on BTN
Contact Mari Faiello at email@example.com. Follow @faiello_mari.