The Lineup: Wednesday, June 26
Tension around the Confederations Cup, no one wants to play in Wimbledon, people watch Necessary Roughness?
Hump day can also refer to the dent you leave in the couch cushions. (All times Eastern)
Soccer Confederations Cup Semifinal: Brazil vs. Uruguay, 2:30p.m. (ESPN & ESPN3)
Massive protests have been as big of a story as anything happening on the pitch during this tournament. Expect the scene inside Brazil’s Estadio Mineirão to crescendo to a similar level for this one. History lesson: Brazil invaded their neighbors in 1816, taking over the capital of Montevideo, within a year of Uruguay having gained independence from Spain. It was a douche move that will surely feature prominently in Bob Ley’s intro to the match.
Soccer U20 World Cup group play, coverage starts 10:47 (ESPN3)
Dan Snyder would probably be a little miffed to learn that New Zealand’s soccer team somehow gets away with calling themselves the All Whites, and nobody bats an eye. Today’s slate features some interesting match ups between countries that rarely face each other. Uzbekistan, of all places, seems to be the most interesting team to watch. You’ll want to see the goal at 2:15:
MLB Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees, 7:00p.m. (ESPN2)
This may end up being a classic “Who sucks less?” sort of contest. Yankees pitcher Andy Pettite has been awful in his four starts since returning from the disabled list. The Rangers’ starter, Justin Grimm, has a 9.90 ERA in June, and no convenient injury excuse to help him.
Tennis Wimbledon Day 3, coverage starts 6:30a.m. (ESPN2 & ESPN3)
There is still a whole lot of chaff still to be separated out before the recognizable names start facing each other. And if those recognizable names—a group that now includes Steve Darcis, for the moment—keep withdrawing, we’ll have lots more chaff tennis to watch before that happens.
TV Fightmaster: Bellator, 10:00p.m. (SPIKE)
Spike’s new MMA reality show is something like a hybrid of Ultimate Fighter and The Voice, where contestants choose one of four prominent fighters to be their coach throughout the season. For me it comes down to the decision between Blake Shelton’s technical grappling and the sheer striking force of Shakira.
TV Necessary Roughness, 10:00p.m. (USA)
Sadly, this is not a modern remake of the awesome 1991 Scott Bakula football movie. Instead, this drama features a sports psychologist who assists athletes whose deep-seated issues can conveniently be resolved within an hour of television time. We’re already two episodes into the third season (I’m as surprised as you are), so get caught up on Hulu.
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