Weekend Watchdog: The world arrives in South Africa
Column by Mike Judge
It’s an event held every four years, but this time it’s unique.
The World Cup comes to Africa for the first time in its 80-year history, and host South Africa opens play against Mexico Friday at 9:30 a.m. Uruguay takes on France at 2 p.m.
The United States team has its first contest Saturday at 1:30 p.m., facing on England on ABC. Earlier in the day on ESPN, it’s South Korea vs. Greece at 7 a.m. and Argentina-Nigeria at 9:30 a.m.
Sunday, the day begins with Algeria vs. Slovenia at 7 a.m., then Serbia vs. Ghana. ABC brings Germany against Australia at 1:30 p.m.
Play continues daily through the opening round, with the final set for July 11.
Getting you ready for the action, ESPN2 shows D.C. United’s visit to Seattle Thursday at 10 p.m. The NBA Finals continue Thursday with Game 4 from Boston, starting at 9 p.m. on ABC. Game 5 will be Sunday at 8 p.m. in the Celtics’ final home game of the series. And maybe the last NBA game of the season.
The NHL season is over, but minor league hockey continues. Comcast will show Game 5 of the American Hockey League’s final – Hershey at Texas – Friday at 8:30 p.m.
It’s time for interleague play in baseball. The Orioles start a series with the Mets on MASN, while the Nationals visit the Indians on MASN2.
Nationally, the battle of Chicago between the White Sox and Cubs gets the national attention on FOX Saturday and ESPN Sunday night. The Red Sox and Phillies are the other FOX offering, and the game featured on TBS Sunday afternoon.
College baseball is down to the Super Regional level, with eight series determining the eight participants in next week’s College World Series. Virginia hosts Oklahoma, playing Saturday at 3 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m. on ESPN and Monday (if necessary) at either 1 or 7 p.m.
The ESPN family of networks starts the fun Friday afternoon with Vanderbilt-Florida State and Texas against TCU on ESPN2. Florida faces Miami at 7 p.m. on ESPN, then it’s UCLA and Cal State-Fullerton on ESPN2 at 10:30 p.m.
The best available games will fill the time slots Saturday and Sunday, with four finals possible on Monday.
The PGA tour is in Memphis for the St. Jude’s Classic. CBS has coverage Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
The Mystics host the New York Liberty Saturday at 7 p.m. on Comcast.
Saturday afternoon, ESPN2 offers Major League Lacrosse at 3 p.m. (Denver vs. Boston) and women’s pro softball (Chicago vs. Florida) at 5 p.m.