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Commentary: In time of need, turn to television

Branden Lombardi
Staff Writer
By Branden Lombardi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday September 3, 2003

Has the second week of school already made you miserable? Have the cops already spoiled your semester?

Is your money all gone after betting against your beloved Wildcats to cover the spread against UTEP?

Well sports fans, it's time to brighten up and, as I often do in times of trouble, turn to a trusted friend ÷ no, not Mark at Dirtbag's, but your televisions.

This weekend provides us with a unique opportunity to view playoff-caliber baseball, the opening weekend of the NFL and an action-packed weekend of college football ÷ and it all starts right here in Tucson.

When it comes to Saturday's game between the LSU Tigers and the undefeated (yes, undefeated) Arizona Wildcats, I definitely don't suggest sitting at home and watching this nationally broadcast game on TBS ÷ unless, let's say, you're having your hip replaced.

That is the only valid excuse you have not to be storming Arizona Stadium in a red shirt, armed with a pair of keys, a warmed-up pair of vocal chords and a deep hatred for teams wearing purple and gold (sorry, Laker fans).

National audiences experience the UA on a regular basis when it comes to college basketball, and often see elders filling up the seats closest to the court, relegating us "rowdy" students to the rafters of McKale Center.

However, when it comes to games at Arizona Stadium, the student section is about as close to the as field anywhere in the country.

Getting camera time with the impeccably dressed Craig Sager should be easy for a few of our faithful student body.

So get over to the stadium and watch what has the potential to be a great game, and if the stars align could we see a second straight week of a Pac-10 team surprising an Southeastern Conference team?

Now you might be saying, "But Branden, the game starts at 7 pm, what can we do until the game gets under way?"

The answer: Sit back with a favorite beverage, some food and the remote control, and remember that one of the best things about living on the West Coast is the fact that sports start so early in the morning.

After a late night of partying on Friday, wake up, lie in bed and at nine am turn to ESPN to catch the Michigan vs. Houston game. Not that you would want to watch this game, but the point is that you could.

For those of you from the Midwest, Fox Sports Net will be televising the Nebraska vs. Utah State game at 9 a.m. as well, which should be a close one ÷ or maybe not.

If you are adept at flipping through the channels, as I am sure most of you are, then you can't miss the Notre Dame vs. Washington State game at 11:30 a.m. on NBC.

This is actually a battle of the two most boring places to live in America: South Bend, Indiana and Pullman, Washington.

Luckily for these cities, they have wonderful universities with great athletics (well, at least South Bend does). Besides, Notre Dame football is the one college sports team you either love, or you love to hate.

I go with love, all the way back to the days of Rocket Ismail. The Rocket is gone, but hopefully some of the magic from last year will return and lead the Irish to the promised land. This year that would be the Nokia Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Switching gears for a moment and moving on to baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks, despite displaying hitting skills equivalent to that of my brother's Little League team, are still fighting for a wild card playoff birth.

They find themselves in the belly of the beast again as they face the San Francisco Giants in a threegame series in the city by the bay over the weekend.

Saturday's game is nationally televised, which means we still get to hear Thom Brennaman and Steve "Psycho" Lyons broadcast the game. I can hardly contain myself!

Here's to wishing this game was on ESPN so we could be treated to the sweet sound of John Miller and Joe Morgan. But check out Fox at 2 p.m. to see if the Diamondbacks can end their futility and improve their 3-13 record against the Giants this season.

Before you head over to the stadium Saturday night, you can catch the first half of two terrific games as well.

No. 1 ranked Okalahoma battles Alabama on ESPN at 5 p.m. Let's hope Mike Price is safely at home watching this game instead of at some other fine establishment where brass poles are part of the dˇcor ÷ and I don't mean firehouses.

Also, in an Atlantic Coast C onference match up, "Free Shoes University" ÷ or Florida State ÷ continues its return to glory as it takes on Maryland, a team that was upset last week by Northern Illinois.

And when the mayhem of Saturday is over ÷ hopefully ending with us celebrating a UA victory ÷ you can wake up Sunday morning to the wonderful sounds of NFL football. Locally, we get the Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions on Fox at 10 a.m. A battle of the worst two teams has one good outcome: At least both teams won't go 0-16.

Over on CBS, the San Diego Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a match up of two of the most improved teams in the league. Plus, if Kansas City wins there's always the chance Dick Vermeil will cry.

Starting at 2:30 p.m. on Fox, we have the Falcons vs. Cowboys. If Mike Vick wasn't hurt, I'd say watch it. But after all, this is college, and sometimes it's a good idea to just turn off the television and study.

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Commentary: In time of need, turn to television


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