The NFL sucks. Watch this instead.
This is not a commentary on the entertainment value of the NFL's product (although there's certainly plenty to be said about the profoundly negative psychological effects of spending several hours listening to Dan Dierdorf produce his "analysis"). The National Football League is a bad thing. Its commissioner is an ogre, as are his bosses the 32 team owners. The league has managed to come down on the wrong side of virtually every labor issue, from PEDs and recreational drug use to domestic violence to concussions to post-retirement benefits to racism.
The NFL loves screwing the fans, too. Stadium deals bring strong-arm negotiations that hijack millions of dollars in tax revenue; just this summer the Oakland Raiders used the hospitality of San Antonio as leverage in negotiations for a new stadium in the Bay Area. The NFL's broadcast blackout arrangement punishes fans for availing themselves of television contracts that are worth billions of dollars to the league, even while the in-stadium experience becomes increasingly miserable for attendees.
Screw that. What follows is a guide to the best of Sunday's slate of NFL counterprogramming, for those of you who are maybe this close to turning your back on the whole damn thing: better sports and good movies and favorite syndicated reruns. So if you're ready to kick the NFL habit, but not quite so with regard to spending 14 hours in front of a TV on Sundays, use this guide to plan a whole day of not watching people violently shorten their lives for the obscene profit of 32 reprehensible billionaires. You can do it!
10:00am — NBATV — FIBA World Cup Basketball Round of 16
NBA TV will be showing this tournament virtually all day. There might not be an easier time to ignore the NFL than right now.
12:00pm — Showtime West — Boxing - Broner vs. Taylor (replay)
Skip it Saturday night and watch it Sunday. Or watch it again. Whatever.
12:30pm — ESPN2 — US Open Tennis Men's Doubles Championship
Absolutely nothing that could happen in this match will benefit Jerry Richardson in any way.
1:00pm — ESPN — FIBA World Cup Basketball Round of 16
It is incredibly unlikely you will see anyone suffer permanent brain damage while playing in this tournament.
1:00pm — TBS — Baseball - Royals at Yankees
The Royals(!) are a first place club, while the Yankees are battling for wild card position. In a possibly related story, up is down.
2:00pm — NBC — PGA Tour Golf from Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
For today only, golf is a sport.
2:00pm — WGN — Baseball - Pirates at Cubs
Pittsburgh is scrapping for a shot at a Wild Card, while the Cubs are, well, you know.
2:30pm — ESPN2 — UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier - Portugal vs. Albania
Portugal will be playing without Cristiano Ronaldo, making for a significantly more pleasant viewing experience.
2:30pm — Fox Sports 1 — UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier- Germany vs. Scotland
Germany will surely pound the shit out of Scotland, but it will be fun to watch.
2:30pm — ABC East — World of X-Games - Surfing
Yes, there is televised surfing.
3:30pm — ABC East — Basketball - WNBA Finals Game 1
Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury square off against the Chicago Sky in a game you aren't reading this anymore, are you? Give it a chance, dammit!
11:00am — USA — Law & Order - Special Victims Unit
USA is showing SVU all day long. If you go for the lesser of the Law & Order shows, you're covered.
1:00pm — WeTV — Roseanne
Binge watching Roseanne will get you all the way through the 1pm games.
4:00pm — FXX — The Simpsons
Eight episodes in a row will cover you for the 4pm games.
4:45pm — TVLand — The Cosby Show
That's quality counterprogramming. Who the hell doesn't like The Cosby Show? Watch all the way until 9:15pm.
5:00pm — AMC — Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad fans will be covered all the way through Sunday night football.
6:00pm — Chiller — The X-Files
Good ol' Mulder and Scully, chasing ghosts and aliens or whatever, from 6pm to 2am.
11:00am — A&E — Goodfellas
Not gonna lie, this movie is excruciating to watch on television. The funny guy scene is a [expletive deleted] mess.
12:00pm — SYFY — The Bourne Ultimatum
Unlike the NFL, the overreaching villainous suit behind it all is eventually thrown in jail.
12:15pm — AMC — The Fugitive
This is exquisite counterprogramming. The Fugitive is a wonderful movie.
1:00pm — FX — Avatar
This abomination will cover you all the way through the 1pm games, although it will feel much longer.
1:30pm — TVGN — A League of Their Own
More brilliant counterprogramming: this movie is perfect for television and is impossible to turn off.
1:45pm — TMC — East of Eden
The classic tale of Cain and Abel, told with an absolute minimum of people getting JACKED UP.
2:00pm — CMT — Road House
The dramatic tale of a legendary ... road house … bouncer. Fun fact: Getting brain damage from watching this movie is morally superior to watching NFL players give each other brain damage.
2:00pm — BBC America — The Living Daylights
2:30pm — SYFY — Quantum of Solace
4:30pm — TNT — Inglourious Basterds
Christoph Waltz carries this film. There, I said it.
4:30pm — BBC America — For Your Eyes Only
4:30pm — Centric — Do The Right Thing
Far and away the best non-documentary movie Spike Lee ever made. Terrific counterprogramming.
4:45pm — Comedy Central — Super Troopers
This is one funnier-than-hell movie, and you should watch it.
5:00pm — SYFY — Waterworld
Consider this the last possible resort. Woof.
6:45pm — Comedy Central — Half Baked
"You ever suck some dick for marijuana?"
6:45pm — HBO East — 12 Years A Slave
Don't be the asshole who won't watch this astonishing movie.
7:30pm — BBC America — A View to a Kill
Our fourth and final Bond movie. Bond fans can pretty much cover all football this Sunday.
8:00pm — SYFY — Terminator 2: Judgment Day
I'm not saying Dan Snyder should be shot with a grenade launcher into a vat of molten steel, but ... well, yeah, I'm saying that.
8:00pm — TNT — Saving Private Ryan
DID YOU KNOW two of the landing craft in the Omaha Beach scenes were actually in use in World War II? Also, this movie is crap.
8:00pm — TMC — Planet of the Apes
Unbelievably, the line "take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!" came from this movie and not from Donald Sterling in a post-game handshake line.
8:00pm — ABC Family — Forrest Gump
Let this hokey crap carry you right through Sunday night football.
There you have it. Strong counterprogramming options from Sunday morning through the nationally televised primetime action and beyond. Now is the time! Finally turn your back on the pile-of-crap NFL, starting with Week 1.
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