Sunday, July 31, 2011

ESPN3 Digest

Editor's note: This is the first in what will be a regular series here at No Fours. Every Monday you'll get a guide to some events of note that will be streaming (legally) during the upcoming week on the internets.

Guys1, we live in the future. There are pluses and minuses to this: smartphones are awesome, but cars are not as sexy as the used to be. You can get television channels you would never have dreamed could exist, but we're slowly poisoning the planet and ourselves. Mixed blessings all around! One such blessing is ESPN3, the Worldwide Leader's outpost on the information superhighway. They stream any manner of odd sporting events that might have gotten airtime in the 90s when there was one ESPN channel, but which these days can't break through the wall of noise and triple windsor tie knots airing every hour on the hour. ESPN3 Digest is here to tip you off to the events you might not yet know you need to be watching, either when they air or on replay. All times are Eastern, all events are non-essential2.
1: Guys in the gender-neutral sense, of course.
2: When I lived in rural Vermont, my ISP was the local telephone company, which was not part of the ESPN cartel. If you are one of the people locked out of the free video, I'm sorry. I would suggest that these events are indeed non-essential, but also that a dedicated and devious mind may be able to find less legal sources for video feeds if need be.

Monday, August 1st
12:00 PM: AAU Boy's Basketball: 11th Grade Divison II National Championship
Ideas about amatuerism are, admittedly, to some degree inherently outdated and sepia-toned. The NCAA is a system by which doughy middle-aged white men earn large salaries because of the sweat and labor of unpaid "scholar-"athletes. But there is a line, somewhere, over which sport should be the private realm of children, playing to learn and because it is fun to play. I haven't read Play Their Hearts Out yet, so I don't really have anything incisive to say about AAU basketball as a thing, but I cringe every time high school sports is nationally televised. Maybe this is naïve, but I think the horizon of hype and money shouldn't eclipse players before they're out of high school. Please don't watch this game, I guess?3
3: We're off to a good start!

Tuesday, August 2nd
2:40 PM: International Friendly: Olympique de Marseille vs. Manchester United
There is, for whatever reason, a spate of interleague soccer occuring right now. The World Football Challenge saw European teams travel to the US for the express purpose of beating MLS teams. (I recently saw West Bromley Albion F.C.4 roundly defeat the Portland Timbers. It was underwhelming, both because the end result seemed utterly preordained and because the match seemed to have no teleology.) Here is such a match, but without being part of a tournament. Just a good old-fashioned "who's better?" kind of friendly. If we're lucky, Marseille will be wearing their alternate orange uniforms, which wow.
4: Could there be a more British name!?

Thursday, August 4th
7:30 PM: Canadian Football League: Montreal Alouettes vs. Toronto Argonauts
CFL games are wide-open and built more for skill players than the jumbo-sized bruisers of the NFL. This has its charms, but mostly I want to list off the CFL team names for you:
  • Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • Montreal Alouettes
  • Toronto Argonauts
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  • BC Lions
  • Calgary Stampeders
  • Edmonton Eskimoes
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders

What more could you want?

Friday, August 5th
5:40 AM: Aussie Rules Football: St. Kilda vs. Fremantle
Remember back when ESPN hadn't realized that talking heads were a cheap way fill their airtime and any time you flipped to the channel during off-peak hours there was a 50/50 chance you were going to get World's Strongest Man footage or Aussie Rules Football? I don't know where Magnus von Magunsson is these days, but Aussie Rules Football, with its short shorts, manly men, seemingly random punting and fedora-ed finger guns-shooting uprights judges, is still going strong.

Friday and Saturday, August 5th&6th
8:30 PM: International Archery Foundation: Archery World Cup Days 1 and 2
This is the #1 pick of the week. What other sport is worried about PEDs that slow down your heart? Where else can you be scouting for the modern-day Robin Hood? I have no real idea what the Archery World Cup entails, but you can bet whatever you like that there will be targets, twangs, and probably some weird sunglasses. What more do you want?

1 comment:

  1. Can we work a Shropshire in there as well? Ridingham?
    I quite fancy those orange jerseys, personally.


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