Play it forward: Oct. 4-10 on your sports calendar


AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Holy Schnikes: Holly Sweeney, girlfriend of Europe’s Rory McIlroy watches the play on the third day of the 2010 Ryder Cup golf tournament at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Sunday.

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



Golf: Ryder Cup, 12 individual matches, 1 a.m., USA Network:

During Sunday’s broadcast, it was pointed out that Euro Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie had asked the course technical support help not to show so much video on the giant replay screens of American victories. He didn’t want any negativity to be shown to his players. It became obvious that in matches where the U.S. teams were winning, the results were delayed in posting. “That’s cheezy,” NBC’s Johnny Miller said. No, cheezy is something Montgomerie orders off the menu in most restaurants he visits. That was just plain poor sportsmanship. With the rain still coming into play in Wales — who could have seen that coming — the final day gets pushed back, with the U.S. needing to win more than half of the remaining 12 matches to retain the Cup. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has issued a warning to American citizens to be vigilant in Europe due to terror threats.


NBA exhibition: Lakers vs. Minnesota, London, noon, NBA TV; 7 p.m., Channel 9:


What kind of trouble can Ron Artest get in London? Stealing a double-decker bus and crashing it into Big Ben? Hey, that’s just crazy talk. Like, him describing why he’s changed his number again. He says he’s switched from No. 37 (as a tribute to Michael Jackson) to No. 15 to “get a chance to finish off what I started,” since he had that number at St. John’s back in the day. “The MJ tribute is never over. It was a great season, and that 37 was special.” For those who are trying to keep up with Artest’s thinking behind all the numbers he has worn over the years, NBA TV talked to him about it last week and allowed Artest to explain: When Artest’s dad was in high school, he wore 51, so Ron switched the numbers and wore 15 at St. John’s, then in the NBA with the Bulls and Pacers. He switched to 23 in 2002-2003 in honor of Michael Jordan. He switched to 91 in 2004-2005 in honor of Dennis Rodman, and that’s the jersey you see Artest in during “The Malice at The Palace.” Traded to Sacramento, he changed to 93 because, as he said, it represented the letter Q and an uppercase B, like Queensbridge, the housing project where he grew up. Traded to Houston, he changed to 96 because … it’s a Q and a lower-case B. Then came the Michael Jackson tribute — 37, because that’s how many weeks “Thriller” was atop the Billboard charts.

NFL: New England at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who continues to sport the Justin Bieber look because his wife Gisele insists it looks groovy, is 40-11 in his career as a starter in the regular season against AFC East opponents, with six of those loses against the Dolphins, and five of them in Miami. Maybe this time, they won’t recognize him with the hair extensions. Or, if he keeps his knitcap in place.



NBA exhibition: Detroit at Miami, 4:30 p.m., NBA TV:

It’s our understanding that the Heat, based in Miami, made some off-season changes. And now it’s time to see how they look against a modest defense in a practice game that will be viewed by millions across the world as if it’s they’re seeing the Beatles playing in the Cavern Club. By the way, you can have LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. We’ll take … dance teammers 1, 2 and 3.


Series: “The Biggest Loser,” 8 p.m., Channel 4:

The title kind of sums up the professional tennis career of Anna Kournikova, but that’s not why she makes a guest appearance on the “reality” show tonight. The remaining 15 contestants are supposed to compete in a tennis-workout challenge led by Kournikova, who, at 29, must really like being surrounded by overweight people who make her look fit and trim. It’s an old TV trick that still works for those trying to stay looking young and healthy. Although, looking at her in 3D in the new edition of Maxium, she could actually stand to put on a few lbs. In 2D, she looks just fine.

College football: Troy at Middle Tennessee, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

It’s the first of a five-days-in-a-row college football blitz at ESPN, including appearances by Central Florida (Wednesday), Nebraska and Kansas State (Thursday), UConn at Rutgers, plus Oklahoma State (Friday) and the usual array of big-namers on Saturday. Think of it as a prep for college basketball season.



MLB playoffs: ALDS Game 1: Texas at Tampa Bay, 10:30 a.m., TBS; NLDS Game 1: Cincinnati at Philadephia, 2 p.m., TBS; ALDS Game 1: N.Y. Yankees at Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., TBS:

The Phillies could go with Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels on the mound the rest of the season. The Twins will have to go the first round without Morneau. And the Rays start it off wondering if they’ll get more than 13,000 at Tropicana Field. Let the early best-of-three fall ball begin.

NBA exhibition: New York vs. Minnesota in Paris, 11 a.m., NBA TV:

Forget Paris. The new season of “South Park” starts tonight.


NBA exhibition: Lakers vs. Barcelona in Spain, 7 p.m., Channel 9, ESPN2:

Pau Gasol could figure out a way to play one half with each team. What a gas for the fans. After this, the Lakers’ vacation ends, and practice begins again in the states, with six more exhibitions (in places like Vegas, Anaheim, Ontario and San Diego), working toward the Oct. 26 regular-season opener.


MLB playoffs: ALDS Game 2: Texas at Tampa Bay, 11:30 a.m., TBS; ALDS Game 2: N.Y. Yankees at Minnesota, 3 p.m., TBS; NLDS Game 1: Atlanta at San Francisco, 6:30 p.m., TBS:

“Fear the Beard” comes out as the Giants’ rally cry since their closer Brian Wilson decided to dye his to look like something out of the House of David team. Be true to your school.

MLS: Galaxy at Philadelphia, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

The league said it won’t punish David Beckham for reacting to a fan who heckled him about allegations he had sex with prostitutes during the Galaxy’s game at Home Depot Center against the New York Red Bulls two weeks ago. The fan shouted “stop with the prostitutes” from underneath the stands as Beckham walked to the dressing room following the 2-0 loss. Beckham turned around and walked toward the fan: “Do you want to say it again? Want to say it again? You got a Galaxy shirt on. You got a Galaxy shirt on.” Beckham then walked away and said, “Say it to my face.” Philly fan, are you paying attention?



NHL: Ducks at Detroit, 4 p.m., Prime:

On this date 17 years ago, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, before 17,174 at the Arrowhead Pond, lose 7-2 to the Detroit Red Wings in their first NHL game. Yup, good times. The Ducks open the season with three road games, including Saturday in Nashville and Monday in St. Louis. And, by Christmas, we’ll probably have forgotten all about them. Except, we’ll keep an eye on Cam Fowler, the 18-year-old defenseman picked 12th overall in the 2010 draft who appears to have made the team’s roster.

MLB playoffs: NLDS Game 2: Cincinnati at Philadelphia, 3 p.m., TBS; NLDS Game 2: Atlanta at San Francisco, 6:30 p.m., TBS:

Reds manager Dusty Baker says he’ll start Bronson Arroyo in this one instead of Game so that he can pitch between Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto to have a softer thrower between two power arms. “You hate to put two similar guys back-to-back,” Baker said. “I know the Phillies have two similar guys back-to-back, but they’re different — (Roy) Halladay and (Roy) Oswalt.” Way different.



NHL: Kings at Vancouver, 7 p.m., FSW:

There’s no sneaking up on the Western Conference for the Kings, even though SI annual season prediction has them in kinda low in the No. 5 hole. The season opener against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year seems intentional. And time to stop talking about Ilya Kovalchuk. If we had to buy a player jersey to wear for this season, it would be one honoring Wayne Simmonds.

MLB playoffs: ALDS Game 3: Tampa Bay at Texas, 2 p.m., TBS; ALDS Game 3: Minnesota at N.Y. Yankees, 5:30 p.m., TBS:

Did you know: Minnesota has faced New York in the first round in three of its past four playoff appearances. The Twins lost all three of those series to New York, winning a total of just two games over that span.


NASCAR: Nationwide 300, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, 1:30 p.m., ESPN2:

When Danica Patrick jumped into the Nationwide event at Fontana back on Feb. 20, she started 36th, finished 31st, and was still running when she completed all but three of the 152 laps at the end. You go, daddy. With her IndyCar schedule finished — she pulled in second at the season-ender, 10th in the overall standings — her plans are to race here and then four more events before the Nationwide schedule is over. So why not invest in her Hot Wheel cars. While they’re hot.

College football: UCLA at Cal, 12:30 p.m., FSW:


Cal says because its athletic department budget is almost $13 mil in the red, they’re going to eliminate baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, and no longer fully fund their defending champion rugby squad. And that will save $4 mil. But they keep football, the economic driver for everyone else. Is this a red flag as to what could happen to another UC school, like the one in Westwood? Ponder that as these Bruins take the week off after this Bay Area trip before traveling to Eugene, Ore.

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

The smart money is on Stanford in this one, even after the Cardinal fell from No. 9 to No. 16 after their loss in Oregon. Good luck to the Trojans, out of the Top 25 all together, in making it out of October alive now.

College football: Oregon State at Arizona, 4 p.m., Versus:

The 4-0 Wildcats, up to No. 9 in the AP poll, are third in the nation in giving up just 11 points a game. That includes surrendering 27 to Iowa in a Week 3 win.



NASCAR: Pepsi 400, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, noon, ESPN:


Because 10/10/10 is considered a lucky day in some cultures, why not get hitched at a NASCAR track? Prior to this important Sprint Cup chase event, Speedway president Gillian Zucker (left) has been authorized to officiate a legal group wedding ceremony at the start/finish line for those couples who pay as little as a $200 entry fee (which includes two tickets to the race, two pit passes, two sprinkled cupcakes, a champaign flute set with two glasses, a bridal bouquet and groom boutoninere, a photo with Michael Waltrip as the “best man” and the Miss Sprint Cup threesome as the “maids of honor,” plus and a victory lap around the track in a “wedding tram”). If you’re willing to fork out $900, you get everything, plus access to a special wedding reception suite loaded with food and drink.


Meanwhile, “guests” who pay from $75 to the basic package or $450 for the deluxe deal that includes the reception also get a ticket, pit pass, cupcake and “1 pair of commemorate lug nuts.” Which, by the time this is done, is pretty much what the bride has taken from the groom. For more info (linked here), contact track wedding coordinator Seneca Manzo. Come for the vows, stay for the tow trucks.

MLB playoffs: ALDS Game 4 (if necessary): Minnesota at N.Y. Yankees, TBA, TBS; ALDS Game 4 (if necessary): Tampa Bay at Texas, TBA, TBS; NLDS Game 3: Philadelphia at Cincinnati, TBA, TBS; NLDS Game 3: San Francisco at Atlanta, TBA, TBS:

If necessary, four games on one channel? Probably not. One will likely be on TNT, since there’s no West Coast site able to start at 8:30 p.m. local time.

NFL: San Diego at Oakland, 1 p.m., Channel 2:

Satisfies all requirements of Chargers and Raiders fans in L.A. who can’t let it go.

NFL: Philadelphia at San Francisco, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:

Satisfies all requirements of a network getting Donovan McNabb into a prime-time game at least once a month.

NHL: Kings at Calgary, 5 p.m., FSW:


Where do the Kings find some good Chinese food in Calgary? May we suggest a visit to King’s Chinese Food on 17th Avenue SW (linked here). This review of the joint from Google: “The young lady was a completely rude. ‘What do you want’ (and) ‘Pay now’ were the only things we heard out of her mouth. If the food was great it wouldn’t have bothered me but it was just mediocre. The Won-ton soup tasted sour, like it was about to turn. There are way to (sic) many Chinese food restaurants in this city. Don’t bother with this one.” We are so there, leading the Calgary stampede to a heaping helping of deep-fried resentment.

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