Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Survival guide to Christmas sports on TV

From Tiger Woods' last Major perfomance to going a few rounds with Tyson, Matt Fearon highlights how to make the most of the sofa time you deserve

Christmas Eve



Cricket ODI: India v Sri Lanka, Sky Sports 1, 9am



Instead of getting frostbite scraping ice off the driveway, pretend you are enjoying the 25C weather in Kolkata while watching two free-scoring sides who have both gone past the 400-run mark during this series. Hot.



USPGA Championship Golf, Sky Sports 3, 2pm (rpt 1am)



Christmas is for spending with loved ones so gather the family round and watch Tiger's last Major performance for some time, while playing "Guess which loved one Tiger's with now". Fun for all the family.



Steve Davis' Greatest Trick Shots, Sky Sports 3, 6pm (rpt 2am)



Under Christmas trees across the land are all sizes of snooker-table shaped parcels: pick up some pointers from the likes of Dennis Taylor (above) and John Virgo so you can "shark" your family on Christmas Day. Quids in.



The Ashes Regained, Sky Sports 2, 8pm



If you asked Santa for an Ashes victory for Christmas last year, then sit back and shake your little round belly like a bowlful of jelly while watching the result of the red-suited one's generosity as Andrew Strauss triumphs. Cheering.



Where are they now?, Sky Sports 1, 10pm



The chances are they're probably not at Midnight Mass and most definitely down at Boujis: either way tune in to find out how ex-Premier League stars keep themselves busy. Voyeuristic.



Kobe Doin' Work, ESPN, 10:30pm



If you want distracting while putting out the mince pies and sherry (not forgetting the milk and carrots), let this Spike Lee documentary about NBA superstar Kobe Bryant keep you quiet as a mouse. Miraculous.



Off the beaten track...

Coast, Blighty, 8pm



To get you in the mood for that Christmas Day dip in the sea so favoured by the insane, tune into this edition of Coast as the team explore the tragic story of Matthew Webb, the first swimmer to cross the Channel. Bracing.



Christmas Day



World Cup Ski Report, ESPN, 6.45am



If you dreamt of a white Christmas and have been let down sorely, put on your bobble hat, finish Santa's sherry and pretend you're in the Alps toasting a downhill skier.



2010 World Cup Preview, British Eurosport, 7:30am



The kids will already have been up two hours so make the most of your rude awakening by sussing out England's rivals for the Big One. Rousing.



Lions Remembered, Sky Sports 2, 1pm



Just as the goose fat is being dripped over the spuds, you can relive the fiercest Lions tour in recent memory. Best enjoyed with a Quality Street and copy of Ian McGeechan's autobiography. Meaty.



Australia v Pakistan Test Cricket, Sky Sports 1, 11.55pm



Now is not the time to tell the rest of your family you'll be in Melbourne for the Boxing Day Ashes Test this time next year, so instead settle down to appraise England's chances of defending the urn. Traditional.



NFL: Tennessee Titans v San Diego Chargers, Sky Sports 2, Midnight



Pigskin is probably about the only thing you haven't eaten today, so tune in to see if the Titans can keep their play-off hopes alive. And make yourself feel better by spotting all the obese Americans in the crowd. Uplifting.



Tyson Raw and Uncut, ESPN, 12.30am (on 26th)



A fight-by-fight guide to the early Mike Tyson years including his two 39-second-demolitions of Ricardo Spain and Michael Johnson, a useful guide if the relatives are arriving on Boxing Day. Instructive.



Off the beaten track...



World's Sexiest Athletes, ESPN, 10.15am



That it starts while the kids are up is a shame but take a break from scoffing chocolates to treat yourself to some athletic eye candy. A treat.



Boxing Day



South Africa v England, second Test, Sky Sports 2, 7.30am



After having spent the night in hushed silence watching Australia v Pakistan, it's time to get vocal watching Andrew Strauss' men as they look to edge ahead on the opening day of the second Test. Cheering.



Live football: Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle, Sky Sports 1, 12.30pm



How the mighty have fallen and in the Owls' case it appears their descent is far from over. Allow the terse beauty of the Championship to win you over as you eat Turkey sandwiches. Nostalgic.



Racing: King George, Channel 4, 3.05pm



The day after Christmas can be an anti-climax but not if you get the chance to witness history in the making; at five-past-three Kauto Star attempts to win the King George for the fourth straight year. Historical.



Live football: Liverpool v Wolves, ESPN, 5pm



Santa Claus will be just about the only man in red in Liverpool with a smile on his face this Christmas: turn on to check if a home defeat sees Rafa Benitez thrown to the Wolves. Car-crash telly.



The Sting, BBC 4, 7.25pm



Join Paul Newman and his buddy Robert Redford in the film that cannot help but glamorise the shady world of horse-gambling. Always relevant.



Match of the Day, BBC 1, 10.25pm



As traditional as Rudolf socks and a musical tie, put the kids and grandparents to bed and let Gary Lineker's perma-tan remind you of sunnier climes, followed by the Football League Show. A festive feast.



Off the beaten track...



Bull Durham, BBC 1, 1.10am (on 27th)



Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon star in this film that Sports Illustrated voted the greatest sports movie of all time. That's balderdash but as a comedy study of sporting groupies and fame it's worth a peek. Steamy.



Independent

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