The Lineup: Thursday, July 4
Patriotic pigging out, a racing spectator gets the people's elbow and ... Canada
All I see is red, white and blue. I think my TV might be broken. (All times Eastern)
Competitive Eating 2013 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest 12:00p.m. (ESPN2 & ESPN3)
For once, this contest will not solely be about our prurient desire to watch men and women shoveling thousands of calories down their gullets. The 2013 contest is the first since Hurricane Sandy devastated Coney Island and much of the Eastern Coast. I know it’s my gig to crack sarcastic jokes, but I’ll hold my tongue. This year’s contest is unimpeachably awesome. (As are the photos from contests of years past.)
Tennis Wimbledon: Ladies Semifinals, coverage starts 7:00a.m. (ESPN & ESPN3)
The casual fan who may have checked out of the tournament might ask himself, “Where’s that Russian girl and the muscular one?” Only two of the last 12 Wimbledon Ladies champions didn’t have the last name Williams or Sharapova. Soon it will be three of 13.
Cycling Tour De France: Stage 6, 8:00a.m. (NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Live Extra)
It’s early in the race and there are no Americans leading the pack so attention has been minimal. This year’s event has been most notable for the fantastic viral fodder it’s created. Case in point: The excited runner taking a clothesline to the face.
Golf The Greenbrier Classic: Opening Round, 2:30p.m. (Golf Channel & NBC Sports Live Extra)
A couple things set this tournament apart from any other stop on the PGA Tour: 1. Every year there are concerts. This year Kenny Chesney and Aerosmith perform. 2. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will be caddying for golfer Ryan Palmer. No word on any bounty for knocking Phil Mickelson out of the tournament.
Track and Field Diamond League Lausanne, 2:00p.m. (Universal Sports Network)
Usain Bolt has done to track what Tiger Woods did to golf, in which every event is seen through the lens of “Is Usain competing?” Well, he won’t participating in the meet in Switzerland. But it will feature a number of athletes who just won American championships, including Justin Gatlin, the guy who recently beat Bolt in the 100m. You can almost see Gatlin turning into Christian Bale’s character from The Fighter, bragging incessantly about the time he knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard.
Canadian Football Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Montreal Alouettes, 7:00p.m. (ESPN2 & ESPN3)
A lot of the US sports are taking off the 4th out of respect (or the knowledge that people probably won’t be watching TV today). The folks North of the Border are doing no such thing. To their credit, we didn’t exactly stop what we were doing on Monday for Canada Day.
TV 37th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, 8:00p.m. (NBC)
Because not every evening can be taken up by sporting events. Join the a lineup of All-American superstars (and also Nick Cannon) for night of colorful explosions. For an authentic effect, tape your flatscreen to the ceiling.