By JOHN COTEY
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 7, 2002
Thanks to a rescheduled heavyweight title fight, a potential Triple Crown winner and one of the world's biggest sporting events, viewers have a galaxy of choices for their weekend sports viewing.
In fact, it's almost too much. Sacrifices need to be made (bye, bye, Senior PGA Tour and WNBA) and priorities need to be established. So before you sort through the multitude of choices, consider this master plan for optimum weekend viewing:
DON'T MISS: If you're up at dawn and reading this, turn on ESPN2 to catch the best World Cup match of the day as Argentina plays England at 7:25 a.m.
MISS: French Open tennis on ESPN. The men. Need I say more?
DON'T MISS: A first-time airing of SportsCentury's Mike Tyson on ESPN Classic at 8 p.m., followed by the 1990 title fight between Tyson and Buster Douglas at 9.
MISS: The first few minutes (or quarters) of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on NBC beginning at 9 p.m. After Douglas knocks out Tyson, and only after, switch to NBC for the second half. It's the NBA; if you make the final three minutes, you'll get the general idea.
DON'T MISS: The tape-delayed French Open women's final on NBC between Serena and Venus Williams. Warning: Stay away from the television set until 11 a.m. Do not, I repeat, do not watch anything until then because you never know when a pesky French Open update may blindside you.
Any all-Williams final is must-see TV. I can't wait to see whom Richard Williams picks as the winner of this one.
MISS: Golf. Sorry, I said we have to make sacrifices.
DON'T MISS: At 1 p.m., ESPN will air a special on War Emblem, which should inspire you to head to your nearest dog track to lay a wager down on the Belmont. Nothing beats having a little cash on it while you watch.
MISS: NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Unless you happen to surf by in time for the 4x100.
DON'T MISS: The Belmont on NBC from 6:02-6:10. Horse racing gets no better than this.
MISS: Busch series racing on FX at 8 p.m.
DON'T MISS: Tyson-Lennox Lewis. Yes, I know this involves missing some Stanley Cup hockey on ABC at 8 p.m. Yes, I know I am choosing the most repugnant figure in sports today over good, clean American hockey. Yes, I know, I know, I know.
But I can promise you, the fight has the potential to be an event we talk about for years and decades. Chances are, the water cooler won't be a spot for breaking down Detroit-Carolina a year from now.
Me, I'm taking spectacle over, well, a Game 3.
DON'T MISS: Start the day by mowing your lawn and fixing things around the house. After a full Saturday, it's the least you could do and it should grease the way for another day on the couch.
MISS: At 9 a.m., the French Open men's final airs on NBC. It's some guy against another guy.
MISS (UNLESS REALLY BORED): Sunday is surfing day, with four auto races and three golf tournaments dominating the airwaves. Not enough to hold me, especially with the 2002 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar shoot on at 3 p.m. on ESPN (well, it is on ESPN).
DON'T MISS: The final quarter of the Tampa Bay-Orlando Arena Football League game on TNN (which starts at 4:30 p.m.). I just want to see the reaction, if Orlando wins, of quarterback Jay Gruden, the former Storm star who had his No. 7 unceremoniously unretired by Tampa Bay this week.
DON'T MISS: Game 3 between the Lakers and Nets at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Will NBC show Nets celeb fan Danny Aiello as much as it does Jack Nicholson?
MISS: Golf. Unless Bloomingdale's Beth Bauer is in the running at the LPGA event, Tiger-less golf is me-less television.
DON'T MISS: The 2:25 Monday morning showing of South Korea vs. United States in World Cup on ESPN2. How could you, after U.S.-Portugal?
MISS: Work. You'll be too tired.