All good things must come to an end, and so shall ESPN’s attention-hoarding documentary The Last Dance this Sunday, with concluding episodes 9 and 10 airing back-to-back at 9pm ET Sunday. When we last left the Chicago Bulls, they had just beaten the Seattle SuperSonics (RIP) for their their fourth title, with only the ascendant Utah Jazz standing between Michael Jordan and his sixth NBA title and Finals MVP trophy. No spoilers please!!
But the real headline this week is the ongoing return of live competition among human beings in the same place -- and pinch me, this week we have five different sports to choose from:
Saturday night, UFC Fight Night serves up a rare full card of non-PPV fights, with heavyweights Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem and women’s strawweights Claudia Gadelha and Angela Hill at the top of the bill, starting at 9pm ET on ESPN.
Saturday also sees the return of Bundesliga soccer, as Europe’s most exciting pro league picks up its season where it left off, minus the crowds and most stadium staff, for six Geisterspiele -- “ghost games” -- over the next three days. Two games start simultaneously at 9:20am ET Saturday: Borussia Dortmund takes on fierce rival Schalke on FS1, and RB Leipzig vs. Freiburg on FS2, followed at 12:20pm ET by Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia M'gladbach on FS1.
Sunday, Bundesliga serves up Koln vs. Mainz at 9:20am ET followed by Union Berlin vs. powerhouse Bayern Munich at 11:50, both on FS1.
Golf makes its post-COVID debut on Sunday as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson team up for a skins game against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff to raise money for The American Nurses Foundation and the CDC Foundation in TaylorMade Driving Relief, starting at 2pm ET on NBC Sports Network.
And of course NASCAR makes its return this weekend live from Darlington Speedway, with limited pit crews and empty grandstands, starting at 1pm ET on FOX in select markets.
The Korea Baseball Organization continues its run on ESPN2 this week with games carried live Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The start times are mostly in the overnight hours but there are games at 2pm ET Tuesday thru Thursday.
And, if you are still enjoying the nostalgia of watching old games, FS1 is replaying Super Bowl XXXVI (Packers/Patriots) at 7pm ET Friday; MLB Network has Game 7 of the 2014 World Series (Royals/Giants) at 8pm ET Sunday; Serena Williams prevails over her sister Venus in the 2003 Wimbledon women’s final at 7pm ET Monday on NBCSN; and a trio of classic Notre Dame football games -- a 1992 game against Penn State since dubbed “The Snow Bowl,” plus the 1990 and 1991 Orange Bowl games -- is queued up at 7pm ET Thursday on NBCSN.
Check back on our Sports Page every Friday for the latest developments in the world of sports television. The best thing about sports is people of all walks of life coming together. Since we can’t do that right now, let’s congregate around the TV. In the end, we’re all on the same team.