Uh oh! Our first day of heightened alert status!

Baseball: One clue that this is going to be a more frightening day in terms of baseball is that there are a bunch of games on national television. Based on geography your fan might be watching Philadelphia vs. San Diego, Atlanta vs. Cincinnati, or Detroit vs. Minnesota at 4:10 p.m. on Fox.

Tour De France: Second to last day of this race. It’s the individual time trial which means that it’s a strategy free sport today.

Soccer: There’s a full slate of MLS games today as well as some “friendly” games between European club teams and US club teams. ESPN2 is going to be showing the Chicago Fire play Manchester United at 5:00 p.m.

Once you hit prime-time the forecast clears up a bunch so no excuses from your sports fan for avoiding summer night activities.

It won’t always be like this, so enjoy it while you can! The dog days of summer continue with lots of heat but very little sports on TV.

Cycling: Tour de France is accelerating towards its end but there’s still a few more days of cycling for the race enthusiasts.

Baseball: Not a ton going on here. The marquee matchup is probably St. Louis vs. Pittsburgh. This is shocking because this far into the season for the last 20 years or so the only marquee that Pittsburgh has been involved in has been the one near the entrance to the theater that everyone’s been going to instead of the baseball game. There are no nationally televised games today.

Football: Football is back! No, the lockout is not over yet but discussion of the NFL will be all over the place today. And… there’s an Arena Football game on the NFL network at 8 p.m. — Spokane vs. Jacksonville.


Still getting the kinks out of the new system. If you thought yesterday was a slow day for televised sports… and you loved it! You’re going to love today even more.

Tour de France: Today it starts at 7 a.m. and repeats later on in prime-time. There’s a little bit of danger here, because if your fan is liable to say something like “well, I don’t normally watch ____ but it’s the most important/exciting/dramatic day/game” then today would be the day.

Baseball: As the Marx Brothers would say, “Thursday was a double-header, nobody show up.” The game selection today is weaker than it was yesterday. No nationally televised games.

Bupkus: Not that it is the only sports network, but using ESPN as a bellwether is usually reasonable. ESPN and ESPN2 tonight in prime-time are showing the World Cup of Softball and a replay of this year’s Home Run Derby respectively.

If there is ever a night for the Muppets Take Manhattan, Spies Like Us, or Trading Spaces, this is it!

Even for mid-summer, this is a pretty low-key day in sports.

  • Tour de France: 8:00 a.m. with repeats on throughout the day. Stage 17 from Gap to Pinerolo is a pretty big one, but cycling is a pretty niche sport. You know if you’re in trouble, but you’re probably not.
  • Baseball: When the marquee match-up of the night, the one game on national television, is a game that I will be attending, you know the schedule is pretty weak. (Cardinals vs. Mets at 8:00) The only really interesting game of the night is the rematch of Red Sox vs. Orioles because the last game they played led to this wimpy brawl.
  • Soccer: The nationally televised game of the night is a “friendly” between Real Madrid and Guadalajara. This actually may be a big deal if your sports fan is of Spanish or Mexican descent.

Television Monopolization Index

Many of you will remember the humorously colored terror scale that was put into place shortly after September 11, 2001. It was called the Homeland Security Advisory System. Whether or not it was effective is a question for Dear Cranky Political Guy, but it was widely mocked. For example, a website called imao.com vamped back in 2003 on what the colors meant for various things:

I hear a noise at night.
*Green: That’s just the house settling; go back to sleep.
*Blue: Probably nothing, but you better check it out.
*Yellow: Grab your gun and call 911.
*Orange: No time for police; run through your house shooting anything that moves.
*Red: Initiate the house’s auto-destruct sequence; leap out window.
You see a hippy.
*Green: Punch him.
*Blue: Kick him.
*Yellow: Punch him then kick him.
*Orange: Punch him then kick him and then stomp on him.
*Red: Strangle him.

We here at Dear Sports Fan decided that now that the Department of Homeland Security is no longer using a color scale… we should! So without further ado, we give you the Television Monopolization Index. We hope it serves everyone who shares a television with a sports fan. We feel your pain.

Severe: Yeah, just give up on this one because not only are you not going to win but your protestations will not even be audible over the sound of rushing blood in your sports fan’s ears. You don’t have to understand it, you just have to know it’s true.
Examples: Super Bowl, World Series, March Madness, or any playoff game involving his or her favorite team.

High: It’s pretty bad. On the one hand, you will not get any reliable answers regarding anything of any import – on the other hand, this might be a great time to mention that you are planning to adopt a puppy and thank your sports fan for agreeing to walk it every morning. (Try to get something it writing.)
Examples: Any playoff game or final match in a tournament.

Elevated: You can cash in a chip here and make a stink – you may have a shot at eye contact, making out (if that’s what you and your sports fan are into) or even scrabble (again, are you into that? try it while making out…) This is a fantastic game to suggest watching in a bar where alcohol could really tip the tables in your favor.
Examples: A regular season game for a favorite team or a game that’s going to be water-cooler talk tomorrow.

Guarded: The romantic comedy might need a few guns (think Gross Pointe Blank) or some serious eye candy (Lost in Translation or The English Patient) but a compromise is entirely possible.
Examples: Any game in a sport that your fan likes and follows.

Low: The night is yours. Make some popcorn and turn on whatever you want.
Examples: Women’s dead-lifting, the first 25 miles of a televised marathon, the first six days of a cricket match.

Watch out for daily updates to the TMI, exclusively on DearSportsFan.com!