If you’re anything like us, you may be wondering how you’re going to fill that sports-sized void now that most leagues are either cancelled or postponed. Hopefully live games are back in no time, but in the meantime, Sling TV is putting together a weekly list of what to watch in the sports world. Check back here every Friday for updates.
You can find everything from your “Sports” tab in the app. The “On Now” ribbon has everything new and live in the world of sports. Scroll down for ribbons organized by sport, where you’ll find great documentaries and On Demand games and events from the past year. Here’s what you can look forward to this week, April 17-24.
This week, like last week (and like the next four weeks to come), is all about Jason Hehir’s fascinating 10-part documentary The Last Dance, which focuses on Michael Jordan’s sixth and final championship season with the Chicago Bulls. This week’s episodes, the third and fourth overall, will feature Dennis Rodman’s and Phil Jackson’s roads to joining the greatest NBA dynasty of all time, as well as a tick-tock of the Bulls’ difficult, but ultimately triumphant, 1997-98 season. (The first two episodes, which focused on Jordan and Scottie Pippen, are available on demand, if you’re late to the party.) (9pm ET, ESPN)
And of course the 2020 NFL season, whenever it may happen, was officially rung in with the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, when the Cincinnati Bengals took Heisman winner Joe Burrow with the first pick, and the Green Bay Packers took out an insurance policy on Aaron Rodgers by selecting Jordan Love. Coverage of rounds 2 and 3 begins tonight at 7pm ET, while rounds 4 through 7 will commence at noon ET Saturday on ESPN; ESPN’s coverage is being simulcast by NFL Network.
As far as actual live, televised competition among human beings breathing the same air, the stalwart men and women of the WWE are still here for you with new episodes of SmackDown and Monday Night RAW. Tonight’s WWE SmackDown is a tribute to the illustrious career of Triple H, with a number of exciting matches planned in his honor, including a women’s tag-team title match and a pair of “Money in the Bank” qualifiers. (9pm ET, FOX in select markets)
The COVID-19 situation has proven quite a shot in the arm for eSports, and there are a few interesting events this weekend: If the Draft has you charged up for football, the 2020 Madden Bowl (2pm ET, ESPN2) brings together the 16 top Madden NFL 20 players, who have been competing in qualifiers since August, for a tournament to crown this year’s champion. And, the Madden 20 Celebrity Tournament, where Snoop Dogg is heavily favored after knocking out UFC champ Daniel Cormier and on-air ESPN host Katie Nolan is making a strong showing with her hometown Patriots, will have its final at noon on Sunday on ESPN.
Virtual racing has had a NOS injection of its own the last several weeks, with The Race All-Star Series completing its three-week run at noon Saturday on ESPN3, and the eNASCAR iRacing Pro invitational Series hitting a virtual Talladega Speedway at 1pm on Saturday on FS1.
But for the most part, sports programming is limited to reruns of classic games and events. ESPN2 is running a celebration of the Slam Dunk and 3-Point contests at the NBA All-Star game over the years at 11pm ET on Saturday; MLB Network is re-airing game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the (then) long-suffering Indians and Cubs (if you don’t know who won, I’m not going to tell you) at 7pm Friday; and ESPN continues to mine its vault of great Monday Night Football games with a 2007 Cowboys/Bills barnburner at 8pm ET.
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.