Today’s counterprogramming schedule is light on sports, with club soccer taking a break this weekend, but the NBA preseason is ramping up, there’s playoff baseball, a Star Wars marathon, a fair amount of pre-Halloween programming, and, hey, Blade Runner 2049 is really, really, really fucking good. There are rumors swirling that NFL teams are implementing rules requiring their players to stand for the pregame national anthem. Know what happens when the anthem protests end? No matter why they end, or when, our shitheel of a President will take a victory lap, and not because he addressed the issues and brokered a satisfactory conclusion, but because he bullied the participants into capitulation. Are you ready for that? It’s coming!
This will be marginally easier to take if you just ignore the whole damn NFL spectacle altogether. It’s bliss.
12:30 p.m. — Golf Network — European PGA Tour Golf: Final Round, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
From the Old Course at St. Andrews. I’ve gotta say, watching guys golf in jackets and beanies, in gloomy, grey, cold weather, is depressing as shit.
2:30 p.m. — ESPN — FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying: Norway vs. Northern Ireland
No club soccer this weekend, with World Cup qualifying going on.
2:38 p.m. — FOX Sports 1 — Baseball: Astros @ Red Sox
The Astros have a 2-0 lead in this ALDS series after outscoring the Red Sox 16-4 in two games in Houston. And the Red Sox have Doug Fister on the mound today, which is not real great!
3 p.m. — NBA TV — NBA Preseason Basketball: Cavaliers @ Wizards
This NBA preseason has been pretty fun so far. The Wizards aren’t among the many NBA teams with important roster differences to start the season, except that Markieff Morris will be out for a few more weeks after sports hernia surgery, which means the team is trying out Jason Smith and Mike Scott in the starting lineup. As for the Cavs, no one will really know their full powers until probably after the All Star break, when it is hoped at least that Isaiah Thomas will be back and healthy.
3 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Preseason Basketball: Melbourne United @ Thunder
Russell Westbrook has played 10 total minutes in the preseason, but Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have gotten plenty of burn. Backup point guard still kinda looks like a sore spot for the Thunder—Raymond Felton really had a bad time filling in as the starter against Chris Paul and the Rockets, and he wasn’t a whole lot better against the Pelicans. You have to assume Billy Donovan will stagger the minutes of his big three in order to minimize the ball-handling and shot-creation duties of Felton, or whoever winds up taking those minutes.
7 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Preseason Basketball: Pelicans @ Bulls
Well, the Bulls are putrid. And so far all New Orleans lineups featuring Rajon Rondo have been pretty putrid, too. Can that crazy starting lineup even make it to the start of the regular season?
7:30 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Preseason Basketball: Knicks @ Nets
If Porzingis is back in action, this is worth watching. Not all NBA preseason games are televised, even locally, so your options include stinkers like this one, but not the marginally more interesting Blazers-Clippers or Nuggets-Spurs games this afternoon. Bummer
7:38 p.m. — FOX Sports 1 — Baseball: Indians @ Yankees
This has almost certainly been the most interesting divisional series so far, after Friday’s wild 13-inning contest. It’s do-or-die for the Yankees tonight.
9 p.m. — ESPN — NBA Preseason Basketball: Kings @ Lakers
I urge you to seek out Ohm Youngmisuk’s early Ball-era Lakers coverage, so that you can see what happens when a gigantic international media company assigns a man the task of keeping it in good standing with one single sports parent. It’s really incredible. He wrote an article this week about how this game, being played in Las Vegas, is a return to “where it all started” for Lonzo Ball, which is to say, where he played some Summer League games literally a couple months ago. It’s the most shameless shit. You will not believe how desperate it is.
1 p.m. — USA — Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
A return to normalcy after USA’s unfortunate Chicago PD marathon last Sunday. Don’t fuck with the program, USA.
1 p.m. — TV Land — The Golden Girls
As per usual, enough episodes to cover the early games.
1 p.m. — UP — America’s Funniest Home Videos
The regular Sunday all-day marathon.
4 p.m. — FXX — The Simpsons
Episodes today include the over-the-top-but-still-funny “A Streetcar Named Marge,” the very sweet and funny “I Love Lisa,” and then a bunch of regrettable junk.
4 p.m. — Logo — Married ... with Children
Logo dumped their early afternoon Roseanne mini-marathon in favor of a run of episodes of Alice.
6 p.m. — Spike — Friends
I guess this is a thing now! This mini-marathon goes until 9 p.m., whereupon Spike switches to Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
8 p.m. — ABC — America’s Funniest Home Videos
This is a Sunday evening staple.
Noon — CMT — Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Not one of CMT’s best Sundays. They’re following this with the sequel, Honey, I Blew Up the Kids, which frankly would’ve been a lot more interesting if the dad had actually exploded the children and then had to, like, escape to Mexico.
12:30 p.m. — Spike — The Shawshank Redemption
Damn, it really is autumn, isn’t it.
12:30 p.m. — TNT — Star Wars: A New Hope
Welp, TNT has a winner today.
1 p.m. — FXX — Star Trek Into Darkness
1 p.m. — Viceland — Leon: The Professional
Didn’t we used to just call this movie The Professional? At any rate, it’s good.
2 p.m. — FX — The Amazing Spider-Man
FX is doing a Spider-Man marathon today, so if you get there early you can watch the end of the unbelievably awful Spider-Man 3. Stick around after this for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
2 p.m. — Comedy Central — Half-Baked
I’m just gonna use this space to point out that Syfy is doing something vaguely Halloween-ish, with a series of mostly crummy horror flicks (stuff like the 2010 The Wolfman remake, with Benicio Del Toro) if that’s your bag.
2 p.m. — VH-1 — White Men Can’t Jump
In all likelihood this movie is gonna be cut to shit to squeeze it onto Sunday TV, and that’s a damn shame.
3 p.m. — FXM — Paranormal Activity
FXM is also doing a Halloween-ish thing, so if you get there early you can watch the utterly baffling and hilarious House on Skull Mountain from 1974. Later, at about 4:45 p.m., you can catch Paranormal Activity 2, as FXM shifts into a Paranormal Activity marathon that extends past primetime.
3:14 p.m. — TNT — Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Yes, they’re running the original Star Wars trilogy, in marathon form. Killer.
5:30 p.m. — AMC — Total Recall
This is the bitchin’ Arnold Schwarzenegger version. AMC leads into this with a Rambo marathon to start their day.
6 p.m. — TNT — Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi
TNT switches from here to a marathon of The Last Ship, if you’re interested.
6 p.m. — BBC America — Mission: Impossible III
This is the one with Philip Seymour Hoffman as the villain.
8 p.m. — A&E — Con Air
A&E doesn’t usually get in on the Sunday movie programming, but here they are, with friggin’ Con Air.
8 p.m. — Ovation — The Silence of the Lambs
Immediately following The Last of the Mohicans, if you’re up for that.
Or you could go apple picking. ‘Tis the season.