This is a really good time of the year for non-football fans. The weather is lovely, and the sports are good: European soccer is still sorting itself out, so you’ve got circumstances like Real Madrid starting their La Liga campaign like a bunch of busters, and Real Betis looking awesome; the golf season is still ongoing, as is a bitchin’ Presidents Cup; baseball’s regular season is wrapping up, and playoff match-ups are taking shape; and the NBA preseason is revving up as basketball season approaches. The NBA’s earlier start means we can start watching by-God professional basketball games right now, today.
And this is also a good time to look away from the NFL. Anthem protests have been hijacked and diverted into grotesque and meaningless “unity” displays, some featuring the same yucky owners who were mewling behind closed doors about the fractional hurt to their pocketbooks the ongoing protests might represent; and the league just served up another brutal reminder of the sport’s capacity for breathtaking, destructive violence. If you were not much a fan of the NFL before this week, you are not likely to be one today. So the good news is, if you’re not going to be looking at the NFL this beautiful Sunday, there’s plenty else to look at:
Noon — beIN Sports Connect — Serie A Soccer: AC Milan vs. AS Roma
These sides are tied at 12 points, but Roma have a much stronger goal differential. Still, this should be a fun one. Weird that it’s not on the main channel.
Noon — FOX Sports 2 — Bundesliga Soccer: FC Köln vs. Leipzig
It’s hard to overstate just how disastrously bad Köln have been over their first six league matches. They’ve allowed 13 goals—the most in the Bundesliga—and scored exactly one. Leipzig aren’t all that frisky, but they should absolutely destroy Köln today.
Noon — NBC — PGA Golf: Final Round, 2017 Presidents Cup
I’ve gotta say, the Presidents Cup rules, even if it’s brutally one-sided. The smaller number of golfers means you see more of each individual’s shots, and not just their best shots and their putts. The more aggressive style of match play always makes for good television, and Liberty National is goddamn GORGEOUS. Even if you’re not much of a golf fan, this is pretty damn good to watch.
12:15 p.m. — beIN Sports Connect — La Liga Soccer: Valencia vs. Athletic Bilbao
Remember that Connect is a streaming service, and that Valencia are a point ahead of Real Madrid on the table right now.
12:15 p.m. — beIN Sports Connect — La Liga Soccer: Villareal vs. Eibar
Nothing to see here.
1 p.m. — ESPN — MLS Soccer: Seattle Sounders vs. Philadelphia Union
The Sounders should rampage in this one.
2:45 p.m. — beIN Sports — La Liga Soccer: Real Madrid vs. Espanyol
For as crappy as they’ve been over their first six league matches, Madrid still have a chance to jump back into the top four with a win this afternoon.
2:45 p.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Serie A Soccer: Atalanta vs. Juventus
Paulo Dybala is a good reason to turn on a soccer match. He is fun as hell.
3 p.m. — beIN Sports Connect — Ligue 1 Soccer: OGC Nice vs. Marseille
Couple of solid mid-table French sides.
3 p.m. — TBS — Baseball: Dodgers @ Rockies
There is nothing left to be settled, playoff-wise, in the National League today.
6 p.m. — NBA TV — NBA Preseason Basketball: Hawks @ Heat
I expect the Heat to be really fun this season. Eric Spoelstra has them playing a really intense, aggressive style at both ends, and healthy seasons for Josh Richardson and Justice Winslow would give them a whole additional layer of upside and athleticism. The Hawks are in rebuilding mode, but they’ve got a good coach and one or two interesting players of their own.
8:30 p.m. — ESPN — WNBA Finals, Game 4: Minnesota Lynx @ Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks hold a 2-1 lead in the series after grabbing Game 3 Friday night.
1 p.m. — Logo — Roseanne
The usual Sunday mini-marathon to cover the early games. Logo switches to Married ... With Children after this.
1 p.m. — TV Land — The Golden Girls
As per usual.
1 p.m. — UP — America’s Funniest Home Videos
You could do worse! This is a day-long marathon, and is almost certainly, at this point, a regular Sunday thing.
3 p.m. — FXX — The Simpsons
It’s cool that FXX has extended its regular Sunday Simpsons mini-marathon earlier into the day. Now if only they could start throwing some actual good Simpsons episodes in there.
6 p.m. — Spike — Friends
A mini-marathon that gets you all the way through primetime.
Noon — CMT — The Goonies
Problematic! Data, Chunk, and Sloth are all real problematic.
Noon — AMC — Moneyball
AMC usually does well when they drop the day-long Walking Dead marathons.
Noon — Viceland — The World is Not Enough
You knew somebody would be showing Bond movies today.
12:30 p.m. — Sundance — 2001: A Space Odyssey
This is the kind of thing Sundance should be showing, so they won’t be hacking movies to bits all the damn time.
1 p.m. — TNT — The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
TNT shifts from here to Avatar at 5:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m. — CMT — Ghostbusters
CMT is just really, really good at programming against the NFL.
2:45 p.m. — BBC America — In the Line of Fire
This movie seems like it should be a regular on Sunday afternoons. It’s broadly appealing, with a good, grownup cast, and pretty solid thrills.
3 p.m. — Viceland — GoldenEye
Hardly a Sunday goes by without a couple Bond movies showing up. Shame they had to be Pierce Brosnan entries.
3:30 p.m. — Ovation — Contact
A really solid counterprogramming option—long, silly, diverting, and perfectly workable on network television.
4:10 p.m. — Comedy Central — Happy Gilmore
This comes immediately after Billy Madison on Comedy Central’s Sunday lineup.
5 p.m. — FXM — Captain Phillips
The inspiring story of how the U.S. Navy sent billions of dollars of military hardware to rescue a single man from the clutches of Somali pirates in various stages of starving to death.
5 p.m. — CMT — Ghostbusters II
CMT is running back The Goonies after this, if you missed it the first time.
5:30 p.m. — BBC America — Crimson Tide
The dumber of the two major 90s submarine movies, but well-acted.
5:30 p.m. — Sundance — The Grey
A little silly and pretentious, but still interesting. Also, Sundance is showing their own Pierce Brosnan Bond movie (Die Another Day) after this.
7 p.m. — Ovation — Lethal Weapon
The finale, where Riggs murders Gary Busey, would be hard to get into a movie nowadays. I mean he just straight up murders him, in a suburban front yard, with a bunch of cops standing around cheering. Also, Ovation has Lethal Weapon 2 immediately after this.
8 p.m. — FX —X-Men: Days of Future Past
Not a super strong day of counterprogramming for FX.
8 p.m. — BBC America — The Hurt Locker
A pretty solid lineup for BBC America, today.
If you dare to bitch about autumn on a day like today, I will find you and punch you.