Any faithful list of activities preferable to watching the NFL Pro Bowl must include pastimes like slamming your head in a car door, eating hair, and broiling your dick.
The Pro Bowl has always been pure shit; now that it necessarily excludes anyone good enough to make it to the following week’s Super Bowl, it doesn’t even function as a nominal showcase. The event exists to potentially devastate the knee ligaments of also-rans. You weren’t good enough to make it to the Super Bowl, but at least you can possibly jeopardize your career in the most meaningless sports exhibition of them all. The reward for being almost good enough is a gauntlet in which your potential career earnings are offered to the cruel whims of fate, with a prize of ... $61,000.
You should have no trouble whatsoever finding better things to do than tuning in. Anything is better. Down below is the best of what can be found on your trusty television. Enjoy!
7 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Basketball: 76ers @ Bulls
Here comes a whopper: since the calendar flipped over to 2017, the Philadelphia 76ers have a positive net rating and have won more games than all but one other team in the Eastern Conference. Partly this is because the rest of the conference has been playing like complete ass in 2017, but the net rating is no joke—only three of their games in January have come against teams who weren’t in the thick of the playoff picture in one conference or the other. In other words, all but one or two of their opponents this month would normally be picked to beat them. For the Sixers, scratching out a 10-win month against any opposition is an accomplishment; that this feat did not come exclusively at the expense of the Nets and Knicks is a no-bottled-oxygen free-solo ascent of, say, Annapurna. Now they get to take their guts and gumption to Chicago, where they will have a real chance of sending the stumbling and fractured Bulls to hell.
7 p.m. — NBA League Pass — NBA Basketball: Mavericks @ Spurs
There is absolutely no reason to think the Mavs can hang with the Spurs. They were very sad to watch Thursday night, when an injury to someone named Pierre Jackson and foul trouble for guys named Nicolas Brussino and Salah Mejri left them in a bind that is somehow worse than giving real minutes to guys named Pierre Jackson, Nicolas Brussino, and Salah Mejri. They’ve actually played fairly respectable .500-ish basketball for the last couple weeks, but the Spurs are great, and would crush the Mavs under any circumstances. Still, this game will feature two of the savviest coaches in recent NBA history, and a San Antonio squad that is quietly within striking distance of the Golden State Warriors at the top of the Western Conference.
8:30 p.m. — ESPN U — NCAA Men’s Basketball: Stanford @ California
A whopping six of Stanford’s nine losses this season have been to ranked teams. None of them were particularly close—they lost to Arizona by 39 points—but they’ve seen enough top talent by now to feel comfortable, if not relieved, to be facing a solid but unexceptional Bears squad. Also, Cal sophomore Ivan Rabb is one of the best players in the country and a legit NBA lottery prospect.
9 p.m. — NBA TV — NBA Basketball: Warriors @ Trail Blazers
This game is the second leg of a back-to-back for the Warriors, who just wrapped up a four-game road trip Wednesday night. This isn’t exactly one of those brutal schedule alert games, but it’s not nothing. Even if it is nothing, the Blazers have a couple of electric scorers of their own, an outstanding home crowd, and a roster that, despite its miserable defensive performance to date and a complete lack of rim protection, is nonetheless weirdly suited to matchup against some of Golden State’s most aggressive lineups. They’re going to lose, but this has a chance of being a fast and massively entertaining shootout.
8 p.m. — Comet — Mystery Science Theater 3000
Situated perfectly for all your Pro Bowl-ignoring needs.
8 p.m. — USA — Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
The regular Sunday all-day marathon.
8 p.m. — FXX — The Simpsons
Episodes tonight include the acceptable “Duffless,” and a bunch of junk.
7 p.m. — Ovation — The Matrix
Part of a pretty good Sunday of movies for Ovation, if you’re looking for shit to watch.
7:30 p.m. — REELZ — The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The climactic graveyard sequence is so goddamn awesome. Sergio Leone lets the dramatic buildup stretch and stretch and stretch, to the point of absurdity and beyond, like an Andy Kaufman bit. And Eli Wallach’s twitchy performance as Tuco Ramirez is fucking magnificent.
7:30 p.m. — CMT — Twister
CMT has a bitchin’ day of movies lined up, featuring O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Tombstone before this shameful-ass guilty pleasure queues up opposite the NFL.
8 p.m. — FXM — The Wolf of Wall Street
The hopelessness of producing a remotely faithful cut of this movie on basic cable is absolute. You might as well read a Wikipedia plot summary.
8 p.m. — BBC America — A Few Good Men
Goddammit. I have watched regular-ass channels in Europe go straight to actual porn after primetime. BBC America can damn sure play the climax of A Few Good Men without content edits.
8 p.m. — HD Net Movies — Mystic River
I cannot vouch for the actual existence of this channel.
8:30 p.m. — AMC — First Blood
TNT and TBS are airing the Screen Actors Guild Awards tonight, starting at 8 p.m., if that’s your thing.
The real test is next Sunday, friends. Until then!