If it were 2019 or 1998 or 1986 or just about any year since the dawn of cable TV, you would look at the sports schedule for this weekend and say, “Wow, there’s almost nothing on.”
But given the circumstances of the world, your actual reaction is probably going to be more like: “Holy cow! There’s live sports on TV. There’s live sports on TV!”
Yes, you can actually enjoy some newly contested sports this weekend, not a full plateful, but at least an amuse bouche. Here’s a selection from the menu.
Paint will be traded once again at the “Track Too Tough to Tame,” Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. Brad Keselowski is on the pole; he won that spot in a drawing, because there was no traditional qualification. There will be a second race at Darlington on Wednesday night, but fans won’t be on hand for either.
NASCAR finished four races before shutting down in March; Kevin Harvick leads the Cup Series standings.
One driver who won’t be in the field at Darlington is Kyle Larson, who was suspended by NASCAR and dropped by his team after using a racial slur during a simulated race held during the hiatus. Driving his usual No. 42 car will be Matt Kenseth, in his first race on the big circuit since 2018.
The race will be shown on Fox, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.
With all due respect to Belarus, the Bundesliga is the biggest league yet to relaunch, and for the first time in months, international stars like superstriker Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, young stars Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund and goal-scoring machine Timo Werner of Leipzig will be doing their thing.
The league has nine games to play, with Bayern leading Dortmund by four points and the traditional power Werder Bremen in danger of relegation. Games will be played without fans, and five substitutions will be allowed in deference to possibly unfit players.
There will be six games Saturday, two Sunday and one Monday. For American viewers, Dortmund will host sixth-place Schalke on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time on FS1. On Sunday, mighty Bayern visit a much smaller, funkier team, newly promoted Union Berlin, at noon on Sunday on FS1.
The mixed martial arts organization puts on its third card in a week, this one from Jacksonville, Fla., highlighted by the big Dutch heavyweight Alistair Overeem against Walt Harris. (Overeem is a small underdog, betting sites say.)
The preliminaries begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time and the main card at 9 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.
It’s only a charity exhibition, but it involves three of the top golfers in the world. On paper, No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy and No. 5 Dustin Johnson should be the favorites over perennial majors contender Rickie Fowler and his unexpected pairing, Matthew Wolff, a new pro who, like Fowler, went to Oklahoma State. But the skins game format will add an element of uncertainty.
The millionaire pros will carry their own bags, or pull them in a wheeled cart; caddies will not be allowed for social distancing reasons. Without caddies to held determine yardage, players will be allowed to use distance-measuring devices.
The match is at Seminole Golf Club in Palm Beach County, Fla., the state that is becoming the early adopter of post-coronavirus sports, Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
Santa Anita, the crown jewel of California racing, gets underway without fans on Friday, joining a handful of other American tracks that have been chugging away.
There will be two stakes races on Saturday and a graded race, the Desert Stormer, a sprint for fillies, on Sunday. First post is 3:30 p.m. Eastern time each day.
As tracks reopen worldwide, TVG, the horse racing channel, now has a solid lineup of racing for your viewing and betting pleasure, including Golden Gate, Los Alamitos and Santa Anita from California; Gulfstream and Tampa Bay from Florida; Charles Town in West Virginia; and Sha Tin in Hong Kong.