Play it forward: Sept. 27-Oct. 3 on your sports calendar

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:

MONDAY

NFL: Green Bay at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

This matchup of two 2-0 NFC North teams should have Chris Berman more excited than an Applebee’s 2-for-$20 deal. Whooooooooooop! Please tip your waiters. (Hey, you see Chili’s has the same promo going?)

NBA: “Real Training Camp: Los Angeles Lakers,” 2 p.m., NBA TV:

It’s not like “Hard Knocks,” but that’s kind of the idea taken by NBA TV as it goes to the Lakers’ training camp for a preseason reality show. There’s two hours of coverage here, hosted by Marc Fein.

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MLB: Dodgers at Colorado, 5:40 p.m., Prime:

The Rockies’ Cy Young candidate Ubaldo Jimenez, who didn’t look all the sharp registering his 19th win in a 7-5 victory over the Dodgers 11 days ago, can win his 20th today against them. The Dodgers have actually beaten him twice this year and sends Ted Lilly out today. This also means Jimenez, who was 15-1 in early July and seemed to be on a easy path to 20, will get one more start in an important game at the end of the week. Consider: It would mark the first time someone named Ubaldo has won any major award in sports history. We’re pulling for the big U. The last opposing player to win his 20th against the Dodgers: Arizona’s Randy Johnson on Sept. 4, 2002, when he threw a three-hitter in a 7-1 victory.

MLB: Angels vs. Oakland, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

The second- and third-place teams in the AL West at least can say: We’re not Seattle. The Angels’ Ervin Santana, who was 13-9 back on Aug. 24, can win his 18th game of the season, and probably have one more shot by the end of the week to get No. 19. That’d be a magic season for Ervin.

Horse racing: Fairplex racing, L.A. County Fairgrounds, Pomona, 1 p.m. first post:

Day 15 of the 15-day card has arrived, with free hot dogs, admission, parking. … leftovers for everyone.

TUESDAY

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Special: “The Tenth Inning,” 8 p.m., KCET Channel 28:

Ken Burns’ addition to his 1994 “Baseball” documentary picks up where the first series left off — covering the ’98 home run chase, performance enhanced players, the arrival of Ichiro and the Red Sox winning the World Series. Twice. You can’t make that stuff up. KCET follows up the first two-hour installment with a documentary on the 1955 Dodgers’ World Series (10 p.m.). The second part of this airs same time on Wednesday.

MLB: Dodgers at Colorado, 5:40 p.m., Channel 9:

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This stat we know: Coming into this week, Matt Kemp is the only Dodger to have appeared in all 156 games this season — and he has the longest active consecutive-games streak in the majors at 198. He’d be the last guy we’d figure to hold that distinction. So the point is: For all the times Kemp was benched in the second half, he still somehow got into a game. Maybe that explains everything. Or maybe not.

MLB: Angels vs. Oakland, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

We ran a blog item the other day about how the A’s new stadium could be built on a platform (linked here). It bothers us the Angels didn’t think of that first. Imagine if Angel Stadium connected the 5 and 57 freeways somehow.


NHL exhibition: Kings vs. Ducks, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.:

OK, guys. This is just pretend. No fisticuffs. Or, at least, keep your gloves on.

WEDNESDAY

MLB: Dodgers at Colorado, 12:10 p.m., Prime:

The Dodgers juggled their rotation to have Clayton Kershaw make his final start of the season in a game that matters. To Colorado. Kershaw has three wins and two no decisions against the Rockies this season. He’s also 4-2 in day games this year, and 9-6 lifetime (vs. 16-17 at night). Sorry, Rocks.

MLB: Angels vs. Oakland, Angels Stadium, 12:30 p.m., FSW:

Another day-time event, the Angels’ last home game. Last chance to see Clyde Wright roaming around in the grandstands handing out napkins.

THURSDAY

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Golf: Ryder Cup, Day 1, ESPN, 11:30 p.m. (through 10 a.m. Friday), ESPN:

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Letterman, Leno and Kimmel, step aside. Pull an all-nighter, friends, and watch Tiger Woods with his 11 new best friends (most of which will have wives and girlfriends cheering them on) go in as distinct underdogs in this international golf event that has come to be one of the sport’s greatest flag-stick waving events.

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The Celtic Manor resort course in Wales knows no daylight before it’s time, so adjust your body clocks or set the DVR. One of the subplots is always how the U.S. team is going to be dressed — it can backfire if the attire is atrocious. Team captain Corey Pavin’s wife, Lisa, is in charge in picking the style, colors, fabric … and then posing on a golf magazine cover to promote that fact. Fact is, the costumes for the Americans just 30 days before Halloween shouldn’t be that scary. Pavin calls it modern and retro, as evidenced by the nice red logo that was picked to be a felt patch on the polo shirts. However it looks on your high-def screen, someone will complain. Moreso if the team is losing after the first day’s events. NBC picks up coverage of Day 2 on Saturday (5 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Sunday (4 to 10 a.m.)

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

A four-game series to close the regular season was supposed to mean something. It does. It helps the Rangers set their playoff rotation. Jered Weaver is slated to make his final start of the year, with a chance to outdo Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and win the AL strike out crown.

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Horse racing: Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park, 7 p.m.:

Instead of Santa Anita — where they’re tearing up the track again, yanking out the plastic and putting back God’s brown dirt — the fall thoroughbred season of Southern California shows up in Inglewood for the first time. With the traditional late-night start, the group Sugar Ray will band together and perform after all the horses are done running (at about 10:30 p.m.). It’s $3 beer until 9 p.m. and $2 hot dogs all night and $1 for Mark McGrath’s autograph.

FRIDAY

MLB: Dodgers vs. Arizona, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime; San Diego at San Francisco, 7 p.m., MLB Network:

Here’s now the NL West tiebreaker would work: Dodgers and D’backs face each other three times, with neither the winner nor the loser having a say in the matter. Padres, Rockies and Giants keep flipping a coin until someone loses the coin. Then, if one of them are tied with the Braves for the wildcard …

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

As for Bud Selig talking about the exploration of expanding the postseason this winter — the time is right to revisit it, the commissioner explains: If you can figure out a way to get the Angels and Dodgers into the postseason with a .500 record, we’re listening.

SATURDAY

College football: UCLA vs. Washington State, Rose Bowl, 12:30 p.m., Prime Ticket:

The Bruins’ shocker in Texas got them 9 votes in the latest AP poll – not enough to crack the Top 25, but 33rd best. And one spot ahead of Oregon State.

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College football: USC vs. Washington, Coliseum, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

It’s the wunderkid matchup: Kiffin vs. Sarkisian. Somewhere, Pete Carroll will be paying attention. There’s also the chance that the Huskies, if Jake Locher gets stuck somewhere, willl have to go to No. 2 QB, Nick Montana. USC enters the toughest part of its schedule with games on four Saturdays that would have been tough with or without a probation slap.

College football: Oklahoma vs. Texas, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:

An annual BBQ took a kick to the keister with the Longhorn’s loss to UCLA.

College football: Stanford at Oregon, 5 p.m., Channel 7:

And ESPN’s “College GameDay” has decided to come to Eugene, Ore., as well. Makes sense.

MLB: Dodgers vs. Arizona, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:

Here’s a team photo calendar giveaway, with the 2011 schedule.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

Brandon Wood stayed on the roster for the whole second half of the season?

Horse racing: Lady’s Secret Classic, Hollywood Park, 4:15 p.m., ESPN:

Last November, the Oak Tree folk decided to change the name of this event from the Lady’s Secret Stakes to the Zenyatta Stakes. Simple reasoning: Zenyatta had won it two years in a row, then went onto win a major race at the Breeders’ Cup, and now it seemed she was retired. Not so fast, buster. She’s come back as a 6-year-old, extended her winning streak to 18 with a recent victory at Del Mar (pictured above), so Zenyatta owners and trainer asked if this thing could go back to the original name — in honor of the former thoroughbred champion Lady’s Secret, not after some lame sponsor. As such, Zenyatta returns today for this one, hoping for three in a row, with the plan to ship to Churchill Downs to defend the Breeders’ Cup Classic title on Nov. 6. Win the last two, and she’s most likely retiring with a 20-for-20 record that is about as impressive as any in sports history.

NHL exhibition: Kings vs. Colorado in Las Vegas, 6 p.m.:

Whatever happens here in Vegas goes in coach Andy Murray’s notebook. Which then stays in Vegas.

SUNDAY

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MLB: Dodgers vs. Arizona, Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m., Prime:

Joe Torre got the Dodgers into October for the third season in a row. Except this time, it ends far earlier in the month than the last two. He fills out his final Dodger lineup today, and then it’s off to manage the Mets Cubs White Sox Bigelow tea contract renewal.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 1 p.m., FSW:

Angels fans can start that 50th anniversary season celebration.

MLS: Chivas vs. Galaxy, Home Depot Center, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

Back on April 1, the Galaxy registered a 2-0 win over the Goats — Edson Buddle scored both goals — to extend their SuperClasico series streak. Chivas hasn’t beaten the Galaxy since 2007, and has lost the last four without even scoring. “These things go in cycles,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said after the last win. “We’ve just been fortunate at this point in time. Chivas will win their share of games in this rivalry. There is no question about that. At this point in time, we’ve had the upper hand.”

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NFL: Washington at Philadelphia, 1 p.m., Channel 11:

Donovan McNabb, back in Philly, while the Eagles try to figure out their QB situation.

NFL: Chicago at N.Y. Giants, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:

The Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings and Buccaneers have the week off. So you get this — The Bears, in prime time, twice in a seven-day stretch. That’s kind of a stretch.

NHL exhibition: Kings at Ducks, Honda Center, 5 p.m.:

The practice games end. Season starts next week. Drop the puck and let’s go.

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