Play it forward: Oct. 11-17 on your sports calendar

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AP Photo/John Amis
Former President Jimmy Carter adjusts his cap during the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS between the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants on Sunday in Atlanta.

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

MONDAY

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MLB playoffs: NLDS Game 4: San Francisco at Atlanta, 4:30 p.m., TBS:

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Face it: No one’s mistaking Brooks Conrad with Brooks Robinson right now in Atlanta. As the insufferable tomahawk chop lives to see another day, Braves fans would be in a better mood if not for the choppy play of their second baseman, a fill-in for injured All Star Martin Prado. The Giants, one win away from a visit to the NL Championship Series, give Tim Lincecum another day’s rest and try rookie Madison Bumgarner, who didn’t face the Braves this year.

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NFL: Minnesota at N.Y. Jets, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

Has anyone ever played in back-to-back Monday Night Football games? Randy Moss, you’re up. Last week, with the Patriots. This week, back with the Vikings. Next week … So why did Moss get traded back to Minnesota in the first place? CBS’ Charley Casserly said on Sunday’s NFL pregame show some of it may have to do with an argument Moss had with QB Tom Brady: “The week before Moss was traded, Tom Brady and Randy Moss went toe-to-toe and had to be separated when it happened. One of Brady’s problems with Moss was his behavior as a Patriot. Then one of the things that was overheard was Brady telling Moss he needed to cut his beard. Moss countered,’You need to get your haircut. You look like a girl.’” As to why the Vikings were on the receiving end, Fox’s Howie Long says: “I’m really not surprised. For Minnesota, the time is now, particularly with Brett Favre at quarterback. You’re trying to take advantage of Favre’s presence and maybe build a new stadium. They could easily be 3-0 coming out of this bye week. Minnesota is a good football team and Randy Moss now makes them a great football team.” Meanwhile, back in N.Y., Favre is trying to avoid talking about this controversy he got himself into with sending photos of his junk to the Jets’ “reporter” back in the day (linked here). The New York Post reported that “he went deep and came up short.” Memo to Mark Sanchez through all this: Lay low and stay clean.

NHL: Ducks at St. Louis, 11 a.m., Prime:

A daytime event, so the kids ducking out of school on Columbus Day have a viable option.

TUESDAY

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AP Photo/Chris O’Meara
The Angels may have the Rally Monkey, but the Tampa Bay Rays have DJ Kitty, who made an appearance on the Tropicana Field jumbo screen during Game 1 of an ALDS last Wednesday.

MLB playoffs: ALDS Game 5: Texas at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., TBS:

The Rangers and Rays have given home-field advantage a bad name through the first four games. After Tampa finally figured out how to hit again in Games 3 and 4, it has to face Texas’ Cliff Lee again for the second time in less than a week. But with that assignment may come one last appearance by Tampa’s DJ Kitty – the Rays’ answer to the Angels’ Rally Monkey. The St. Petersburg Times reports (linked here) that since mid September, when the video of a hip-hop-dressed cat with a turntable debuted at Tropicana Field, more than 921,000 people have viewed it online – or 30 times the number of fans who show up for games on good days.

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NHL: Kings vs. Atlanta, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

It’s Bob Miller’s 72nd birthday for the Kings’ home opener. Our Top 72 Bob Miller moments: No. 72, the time he …. really, are we going to do this list? How about just put him up on the new jumbo-jumbo-jumbo Staples Center scoreboard, sing him “Happy Birthday” between periods, and let him call a victory against a team we didn’t even realize was still in the league. By the way, nice vintage jerseys in the Saturday opener at ‘Couver. Any chance of wearing ‘em down here?

Series: “E:60,” ESPN, 4 p.m.:

The press release says: “Reporter Rachel Nichols and the E:60 cameras offer an all-access view into what New York Jets second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez is doing to shake off his ‘new kid’ reputation and become the leader of a team projected as a Super Bowl contender – including an exclusive, inside look at what the take-charge Sanchez did for his receivers this summer.” Take that, Inez.

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NBA exhibition: Clippers vs. San Antonio in Mexico City, 6:30 p.m., NBA TV:

S#!t My Clippers Owner Does: Donald Sterling had his annual “white party” at his Malibu estate recently — white was the color of clothes you were asked to wear, not the color of … never mind. Yet, Sterling wore all black. He didn’t get his own memo? He wanted to stand out? He was trying to blend in? Watch the video (linked here). Now, let’s see how this party will fly in Mexico City. Is Sterling’s visa still honored south of the border? What are the chances that this Clipper trip gets included in the current storyline of “Eastbound & Down”?

WEDNESDAY

MLB playoffs: If necessary: NLDS Game 5: Atlanta at San Francisco, 4:30 p.m., TBS:

Back to getting their “Freak” on if the Giants need it for this one.

NBA exhibition: Lakers vs. Sacramento in Las Vegas, 7 p.m., Channel 9:

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A bio for the Maloof family (linked here) makes it clear that while Gavin and Joe are most associated with the Sacramento Kings’ team ownership, the ever-confident-lookng brother George, a UNLV grad with a BA in hotel management, “is the leading force behind the building and operation of the hottest property in Las Vegas, the Palms, which is owned by the Maloof family, and has become one of the most sought-after destinations in the entertainment capital of the world.” The Lakers will probably just be satisfied with flying in and flying home before and after this event.

NHL: Ducks vs. Vancouver, Honda Center, 7 p.m., Prime:

The two teams split their four-game series a year ago, but the Canucks won the last two en route to building momentum for the playoffs.

THURSDAY

NBA exhibition: Clippers vs. Denver, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.:

Pucker up, sporties. Since no one is apt to watch this exhibition, go over to KCET Channel 28 for “Visiting . . . with Huell Howser.” We may catch hell for this, but our wonder boy hangs out with six-time musical whistling champion Carole Anne Kaufman (linked here), whom the Clippers should consider hiring to perform the national anthem every home game. Seriously.

FRIDAY

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MLB: American League Championship Series Game 1, N.Y. Yankees at Texas or Tampa Bay, TBA, TBS:

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said even before the Yankees finished a sweep of the Twins last week that he was “sort of trying to figure out where the parade should start” if there’s another World Series march through town to do again. Eight more wins, and championship No. 28 would be in the bag. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman warned that “no one here is planning for anything like that . . . That stuff [is] not entering in any of our minds. We don’t want to disappoint him, but more importantly we don’t want to disappoint our fans. So I know they have the same hopes we have. But we’ve got a long way to go.” Game 2 of this series lands on Saturday.

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NHL: Kings vs. Vancouver, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

It’s either this, or the opening of “Jackass-3D.” What would Jack Johnson do?

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NHL: Ducks vs. Atlanta, Honda Center, 7 p.m., Prime:

Five games into the season, they’re handing out free magnet schedules to fans who show up to this one. Problem is, the picture here is actual size.

SATURDAY

MLB: National League Championship Series Game 1, San Francisco or Atlanta at Philadelphia, TBA, Channel 11:

You want a piece of Roy Halladay on a week-plus rest? The Phillies’ “H20″ rotation pretty much dominated the Reds in the NLDS, and a third trip to the NLDS (this time, not against the Dodgers) has to make them the heavy favorite no matter the opponent. Game 2 is Sunday.


Study: Americans Get Majority Of Exercise While Drunk

College football: USC vs. Cal, Coliseum, 12:30 p.m., FSW:

In the video above, a recent story from The Onion reports that 75 percent of Americans get their exercise while drunk — chasing a crying girlfriend down the street, trying to find your car, stupid overzealous dancing, bar fighting, running after shoplifting hot dogs from a Circle K, keg stands, throwing glass mugs against a wall, climing the local water tower, sex in a bathroom stall … It’s all the kind of stuff that USC students attending a home football game have to look forward to for the rest of this season. The Trojans may not be in a bowl game, but their student section could be the strongest in the Pac-10 by the end of November. By the way, if the visiting Bears have the ball with about a minute to play trailing by two, Trojans fans probably won’t bear to watch.

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MLS: Galaxy vs. Colorado, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:

Rapidly, the Galaxy’s season is nearing an end. One more after this, then the playoffs. So, too, is the 2011 Miss Galaxy contest reaching a climax. We’re getting behind Ethel R. (linked here). What say you, Becks?

NBA exhibition: Clippers vs. Utah, Staples Center, 4:30 p.m.; Lakers vs. Denver, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

The annual practice-game doubleheader at Staples doesn’t interfere with any appearances by the “So You Think You Can Dance World 2010 Tour.” But you kind of wish it did.

SUNDAY

College football: “BCS Countdown,” ESPN, 5:15 p.m.:

The first Bowl Championship Series poll of the season comes out today, on this show. Right up against “Sunday Night Football.” Where will USC and UCLA be ranked!

NFL: Dallas at Minnesota, 1 p.m., Channel 11:

Enough already of the Vikings in one week. Can’t they just move to L.A. and get it over with?

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NFL: Indianapolis at Washington, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:

This matchup looked way better when the season started, but at least they’re both above .500 at this point.

NHL: Ducks vs. Phoenix, Honda Center, 5 p.m., Prime:

Three home games in a row ends for the Ducks, who after this have to take a week-and-a-half, four-game roadie. One reason: UFC is coming in for a show in their house.

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