? Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600
ABC 11 AM, FOX 6 PM
If Tony Stewart can drive it, you can damn well watch it. In 1999 Stewart became the first man to complete the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. Though he could barely stand and required oxygen when he was helped out of his car after the second race, Stewart is trying to double again this year: 1,100 miles behind the wheel in one day, the kind of crazy road trip usually reserved for destinations like Fort Lauderdale. Stewart's competition at Indy will include 20-year-old Sarah Fisher; at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, he'll be up against NASCAR titans Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett.
USA 10 AM
For American fans, this year's tournament could be thought of as Sampras and Son, with old-timer Pete (whose power game is blunted by the clay of Stade Roland Garros) trying to fend off the surge of teen phenom Andy Roddick. USA's telecasts (which continue the rest of the week at the same time daily) won't feature the funky harmonica stylings of Sanford and Son's theme song, but the first day will showcase live-wire analyst John McEnroe working solo in a television booth for the first time.
? Stanley Cup Finals
ESPN 8 PM
After nearly two months of grueling, dramatic playoffs, the NHL puts part of its championship series on cable. Can you imagine the Super Bowl on TNT? The World Series on Lifetime? That said, here's to hoping that, for those of us who have paid the cable bill, this postseason's trend of overtime thrillers (24 in 77 playoff games through Sunday), heartbreakers and instant classics continues.
SATURDAY 5/26-SUNDAY H/27
? NBA Conference Finals
NBC SATURDAY 5:30 PM (EAST), SUNDAY 5:30 PM (WEST)
Before the Lakers-Spurs series began, L.A. coach Phil Jackson accused San Antonio of playing a thinly disguised 1-2-2 zone. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich responded that "it's more of a 1-1-3, but it's pretty tricky." It remains to be seen whether either version can stop Shaquille O'Neal (34, above), who tends to play a thinly disguised version of football in which he bludgeons his way to the basket like an older sibling abusing his younger brother on a Nerf hoop. Game 4 of the Western finals is on Sunday, while the Sixers and the Bucks battle on Saturday in Game 3 of the Eastern series.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.