July 20, 2009

Every Monday, Bryan Armen Graham previews the big events of the upcoming week

1. The Tao of T.O.

How does one of America's most overexposed athletes remake his image in today's media-driven culture? Very carefully, apparently. Terrell Owens' two publicists -- cast as his "best friends" -- pull the strings from the foreground in the The T.O. Show, the seven-episode reality series that premieres Monday (10 p.m., VH-1). Varietycalls it a "strange amalgam of soap-opera pathos and jock-like bravado" that "feels so heavily stage-managed that it's difficult to tell where any of the 'reality' begins." Can't wait!

2. Are you Xperience-d?

Monday's release ofBlack College Football Xperience: The Doug Williams Edition for Xbox 360 marks the first game for a major console from an African-American-owned studio. Louisiana-based Nerjyzed Game Studios showcases the teams, marching bands and interactive halftime shows from nearly 40 HBCUs -- including Grambling State, Southern, Mississippi Valley State and Florida A&M -- and promises a gameday experience authentic to the unique culture of black college football.

3. Moneyball author stays up Late

Sports fans know Michael Lewis as the scribe who brought Moneyball into the cultural mainstream and canonized left tackles as the NFL's most important position players with The Blind Side. The non-fiction specialist stops by the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Monday (12:35 a.m. ET) to discuss his much-talked-about profile of the AIG collapse in this month's Vanity Fair and the on-again, off-again movie version of Moneyball (Brad Pitt as Billy Beane)?

4. Hall of Fame trainer Roach gets Real

In the latest episode ofReal Sports with Bryant Gumbel, which premieres Tuesday (10 p.m. ET, HBO), Mary Carillo goes to work alongside three-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach. Fourteen years into its run, HBO's monthly sports newsmagazine is only getting better.

5. World Football Challenge takes the U.S.

With European soccer season getting under way in just a couple of weeks, four of the world's best-known powerhouses -- England's Chelsea FC, Mexico's Club America and Italian rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan -- have landed in the United States for a round-robin tournament in six different cities. ESPN Deportes delivers live coverage of every match. Looking for a highlight? Try Saturday's Derby della Madonnia between Milan and Inter in New England.

6. SEC college football media days

Can't hardly wait for your college football fix? Florida's Urban Meyer, Georgia's Mark Richt, LSU's Les Miles and Alabama's Nick Saban are among the coaches in the spotlight when ESPNU airs the SEC media days from Wednesday through Friday throughout the day.

7. Costas does Fallon

Fresh off his interview of Barack Obama before last week's MLB All-Star Game, Bob Costas -- who always shines on the talk-show circuit -- trades punch lines with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday's Late Night (12:35 a.m. ET, NBC).

8. The Hurt Locker hits theaters

Don't waste your time with Transformers or G.I. Joe. The Hurt Locker, which opens Friday in theaters nationwide following a limited release, is the must-see action movie of the summer. In her intense portrait of bomb squad technicians on the front lines in Iraq, Point Break director Kathryn Bigelow blends the pulse-pounding action of Ridley Scott with the suspense of Alfred Hitchcock. This is unforgettable stuff. And it's the rare actioner that's almost certain to deliver come awards season.

9. Division leaders clash in Philadelphia

This weekend's three-game set between the first-place Phillies and first-place Cardinals -- two of the past three World Series champions -- could provide fans a preview of the National League playoffs.

10. Tour de France reaches finish

One week after 59-year-old Tom Watson came thisclose to becoming golf's oldest major champion, 37-year-old Lance Armstrong has designs on becoming the oldest Tour de France winner. Live coverage starts early Sunday morning (7:30 a.m. ET, Versus). Don't miss the race's iconic finish down the Champs-Élysées.

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