August 03, 2009

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

1. Cubs climb back on the horse in Cincy

Kevin Gregg's consecutive blown saves to open the month of August -- including Sunday's spectacular meltdown that cost the Cubs a first-place foothold -- have the Wrigley fatalists out in full force. They'll get a chance to right the ship Monday when they open a series with the foundering Reds at Great American Ball Park (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

2. Baseball stance expert does Letterman

Even if you don't know Gar Ryness by name, chances are you've seen his work. Known around the Web as the "Batting Stance Guy," the 35-year-old married father of two can mimic the stances of baseball players past and present with frightening accuracy. Ryness demonstrates his self-characterized "least marketable skill in the United States" on Tuesday's Late Show with David Letterman (11:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

3. A Cosby classic

Josh Culbreath, a 1956 Olympic medalist, guest stars as "Tailwind" Turner on Tuesday in this classic episode from the first season of The Cosby Show (8:30 p.m. ET, TVLAND), when Cliff jumps at the opportunity to relive his glory days as "Combustible Huxtable" -- and to avenge the only loss of his college career.

4. Barcelona winds down American tour

Just three months ago, FC Barcelona cemented its place among the all-time great sides by becoming the first Spanish club to win La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey in the same season. Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and friends cap a three-game American tour Wednesday at Qwest Field against the Seattle Sounders (10:30 p.m., ESPN2), who are coming off a 4-0 loss to the lowly San Jose Earthquakes.

5. Dara Torres does The Daily Show

The only American swimmer to compete in five Olympics revealed last week on The Dan Patrick Show that she might shoot for six at London 2012. Torres, who was also the first athlete to appear in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue (back in February 1994), makes another stop on the talk-show circuit Thursday on TheDaily Show with Jon Stewart (11 p.m. ET, Comedy Central).

6. Why the Dodgers left Brooklyn?

The Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a hipster haven that hardly resembles the same borough the Dodgers abandoned in the '50s. But what if Dem Bums had never left? The comedy team 12 Angry Mascots imagines the scene in this viral hit from last week -- and it's not pretty.

7. UFC 101 makes Philly debut

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is pulling no punches for its first event in Philadelphia, bringing a star-studded card to the Wachovia Center for Saturday's UFC 101: Declaration (10 p.m. ET, PPV Live). Headliners include B.J. Penn making his second lightweight title defense against Kenny Florian, and middleweight champion Anderson Silva moving back up to light heavyweight to face Forrest Griffin.

8. U.S. Open Series doubleheader

The U.S. Open Series -- the six-week string of hard-court tournaments leading up to the season's final Grand Slam -- presses forward with this week's WTA East West Bank Classic from Los Angeles and the ATP Legg Mason Classic from Washington, D.C., where Andy Roddick is playing his first match since Wimbledon. You can catch the final of each tournament Sunday starting with the men (3 p.m., ESPN2) followed by the women (5 p.m., ESPN2).

9. Hall of Fame Game kicks off preseason

Terrell Owens' mind-numbing contribution to the celebreality zeitgeist has been airing on VH-1 for weeks. But the real T.O. Show premieres Sunday in Canton, Ohio, where the Bills open the NFL preseason against the Titans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game (8 p.m., NBC).

10. Red Sox, Yanks do battle on national TV

What could be a critical week for the Red Sox -- a mid-week series with the third-place Rays and a weekend set against the first-place Yankees -- culminates on Sunday Night Baseball (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) when Jon Lester is scheduled to oppose New York's Andy Pettitte.

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