Are you so starved for sports you’re staying up until the wee hours of the morning trying to understand the Korean baseball broadcast, like columnist John Romano?
Have you been watching The Last Dance and are wondering what you will do for entertainment after next Sunday’s final two episodes?
The AHL has canceled the remainder of its season. MLB is pitching a plan to owners and players for potentially resuming play in July. Shaquille O’Neal thinks the NBA should just cancel its season already.
That doesn’t exactly leave the sweetest taste in your mouth after 60 days without live sports, does it?
The sports staff of The Tampa Bay Times understands how you’re feeling. So, to help satisfy your craving, we’re compiling weekly lists of what 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:
“Road to the Cup”, 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 from each round on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through May 16.
“Pitch”, Hulu subscription, recommended by sports trending and outdoors reporter Mari Faiello
- I can’t believe it took me four years to find this show (which was pointed out to me by Lightning reporter Diana C. Nearhos). Ginny Baker is the first female to play in MLB. Despite the fact the show is from 2016, it feels like it was made in 2020 with some of the issues that come up. It also has many relatable moments that take you inside the life of an athlete. “I have no friends, no interests. I am a robot in cleats and I’m malfunctioning,” Baker cries out at one point. If you like baseball, watch this. If you don’t like baseball, still watch it. It’s that good. This 10-episode series was unfortunately canceled after its only season, but the rumor mill has said it might make a comeback on Disney+ since now that the company has acquired Fox.
NASCAR, Fox, recommended by college sports reporter Matt Baker
- NASCAR will be either the first or second major series to return from the coronavirus pandemic (depending on your feelings about UFC). Regardless, it’s actual, live sports! Even if you’re not a huge racing fan, that alone should be enough to check out 400 laps at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Darlington Raceway. The fact that it’s a practice-free weekend should make it wilder than usual.
Avett Brothers Concert, Braves Facebook page, recommended by sports columnist John Romano
- Forget the replays, documentaries and movies for a week. Expand your mind with something tangentially tied to sports. The Avett Brothers are playing a 45-minute concert on the Braves Facebook page at 10 p.m. on Thursday evening. Critics typically classify the Avett Brothers as Americana artists, but their music knows no labels. They’re fun, they’re passionate, they’re talented. And kudos to the Braves, who have hosted Avett Brothers shows on the field after games in recent seasons. Along with uber fan Jason Isbell, the Braves have cornered the market on quality songwriters.
TaylorMade Driving Relief, Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network, recommended by night sports editor Anthony Perez
- Isn’t it nice of Tom Brady to allow a foursome to use his new country club for some live golf? The exclusive Seminole Country Club in Juno Beach is hosting a $3 million two-man team skins event to benefit COVID-19 relief on Sunday at 2 p.m. Major champions Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson face PGA Tour winners, and Oklahoma State alumni, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in an 18-hole match to be broadcast on NBC, Golf Channel and NBCSN (think NBC knows the nation is frothing for sports to put it on all three networks?). Mike Tirico will do commentary from his home in Michigan, analysts Paul Azinger and Gary Koch will work from an off-site production set, and two reporters will be on the course. It’s the first time the Seminole Country Club course, located along steep sand ridges near the Atlantic Ocean in Palm Beach County, will be shown on TV. How exclusive is the club that reportedly accepted new Bucs QB Brady as a member last month and once was the golfing playground of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy? Jack Nicklaus was once turned down for membership.
- The fact that The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman can still crank out regular podcasts brimming with nuts-and-bolts college football information is a testament to 1.) how weird the sport is and 2.) how sharp they are. I learn something every time I listen, even now, with the sport at a standstill.
Tampa Bay Rays Podcast, recommended by Rays reporter Marc Topkin
- Radio pre-/post-game host Neil Solondz has been doing some really interesting podcasts with key players from Rays history, including Dan Johnson, James Shields and J.P. Howell, and his comforting interview style has gotten them to open up. You can find the interviews, along with those from current players, at raysbaseball.com/podcast. There are also video clips on the @RaysRadio Twitter account.
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 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.
“The Boys of Winter” by Wayne Coffey, recommended by sports trending and outdoors reporter Mari Faiello
- Take it back to one of the best moments in hockey and Olympic history, 1980′s Miracle on Ice. Author Wayne Coffey takes you inside every moment during the United State’s historic game against the Soviets and beyond. “... the way he braided creativity with a grit far greater than his five feet nine inches and 160 pounds would suggest,” Coffey writes. It’s this kind of writing you have to look forward to in this great read for hockey and non-hockey fans, alike.
Sports on the Air
Monday, May 11
- Peyton’s Places: The Super Bowl (Episode 29), 7 p.m., ESPN
- Peyton’s Places: Blame General Custer for the Patriots Dynasty (Episode 13), 7:30 p.m., ESPN
- 2014: Notre Dame vs. Duke (Championship) (Men’s lacrosse), 5 p.m., ACCN
- The Last Dance — Episode 5, 7 p.m., ESPN2
- 1186 to Omaha: 2015 Virginia Baseball, 7 p.m., ACCN
- The Last Dance — Episode 6, 8 p.m., ESPN2
- The Last Dance — Episode 7, 9 p.m., ESPN2
- The Last Dance — Episode 8, 10 p.m., ESPN2
Tuesday, May 12
- Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators (ESPN Classic Football), 11 a.m., SEC Network
- 2013: Syracuse vs. Louisville (Championship) (Big East Men’s Championship), noon, ACCN
- Penn State Volleyball Classic - 2018: Nebraska at Penn State, 1 p.m., BTN
- Korean Baseball: KT Wiz vs. NC Dinos, 2 p.m., ESPN2
- E60 Pro Basketball Stories, 6 p.m., ESPN2
- ESPORTS: NBA 2K League, 7 p.m., ESPN2
- Saturdays in the South: A History of SEC Football - Part Five: 1980-1989, 7 p.m., SEC Network
- 2001: Arizona Diamondbacks vs New York Yankees, 7 p.m., ESPN
- NCAA Football: SEC Storied: Before They Were Cowboys, 8:30 p.m., SEC Network
Wednesday, May 13
- Oregon Ducks vs. LSU Tigers (ESPN Classic Football), 1 p.m., SEC Network
- Korean Baseball: SK Wyverns vs. LG Twins, 2 p.m., ESPN2
- NCAA Men’s Basketball: Miami Hurricanes vs. Duke Blue Devils (Semifinal), 2 p.m., ACCN
- NCAA Football: The Bowden Dynasty, 4 p.m., ACCN
- #HockeyatHome “NHL Moms," 5 p.m.
- NCAA Football: 30 For 30: The U, 6 p.m., ACCN
- MLS: Orlando City SC vs. Atlanta United FC, 6 p.m., ESPN2
- MLS: 2015: New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS), 8 p.m., ESPN2
- 2017 Classic NBA Finals Game 3: Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Thursday, May 14
- 2017 Classic PGA Championship, noon, ESPN2
- Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Tennessee Volunteers (ESPN Classic Football), 1 p.m., SEC Network
- Korean Baseball: SK Wyverns vs. LG Twins, 2 p.m., ESPN2
- NHL Player Gaming Challenge, 5 p.m., NBC Sports
- On This Date “2010: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins," 6 p.m., NBC Sports
- NCAA Football: Florida State vs. Miami, 7 p.m., ESPN
- Greatest Games: NFL — 2004 Divisional: Packers at Eagles, 8 p.m., FS1
Friday, May 15
- Korean Baseball: Doosan Bears vs. KIA Tigers, 2 p.m., ESPN2
- Notre Dame vs. Duke (Softball), 2 p.m., ACCN
- 2019 Men’s B1G Championship: Michigan State vs. Michigan, 6:30 p.m., BTN
- Greatest Games: NFL - Super Bowl 36: Rams vs. Patriots, 7 p.m., FS1
- Greatest Races: NASCAR — 2013 NASCAR Cup Series: Fontana
Saturday, May 16
- All Access with Louisville Football, 10 a.m., ACCN
- SEC Inside: CFP National Championship Special, 11 a.m., SEC Network
- The Race: All-Star Series, noon, ESPN2
- Road to the Madden Bowl: Part 1, 3 p.m., ESPN2
- Road to the Madden Bowl: Part 2, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2
- Road to the Madden Bowl: Part 3, 4 p.m., ESPN2
- BTN Volleyball in 60 — 2019: Penn State at Nebraska, 4 p.m., BTN
- NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series — NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, 5 p.m., FS2
- Greatest Games: MLB — 1977 World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Yankees, 8 p.m, FS1
- NCAA Baseball: Florida vs. South Carolina (CWS Finals Game 2), 9 p.m., SEC Network
Sunday, May 17
- Hey Rookie: Welcome to the NFL, 10 a.m., ESPN2
- ESPN Original Documentaries, noon, ESPN
- No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 5 Louisville (Baseball), 4 p.m., SEC Network
- The Journey: Big Ten Basketball, 4 p.m., BTN
- No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 7 LSU (Softball), 7 p.m., SEC Network
- Greatest Games — 2014 MLS: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8 p.m., FS1
- The Last Dance — Episode 9, 9 p.m., ESPN
- The Last Dance — Episode 9 (profanity-free), 9 p.m., ESPN2
- The Last Dance — Episode 10, 10 p.m., ESPN
- The Last Dance — Episode 10 (profanity-free), 10 p.m., ESPN2
Contact Mari Faiello at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @faiello_mari.