The Best in Sports in the Next 14 Days

Friday, Dec. 24

Pro football, Green Bay at Minnesota (2 p.m., Ch. 35): For goodness sake, get your shopping done early so that you can watch Brett Favre and the Packers battle the Vikings for the NFC North title.

Saturday, Dec. 25

Pro basketball, Detroit at Indiana (11:30 a.m., ESPN) and Miami at Los Angeles Lakers (2 p.m., Ch. 16): Will the Pistons and Pacers brawl again? Will Kobe have the guts to face Shaq? Enjoy this holiday filled with hate, courtesy of David Stern

Pro football, Oakland at Kansas City (4 p.m., Ch. 12): This battle of old school AFC West rivals figures to be entertaining, even if the teams aren't that good this year.

Sunday, Dec. 26

Pro football, Atlanta at New Orleans (noon, Ch. 35, 620 AM): Somehow, the Saints are still in the playoff hunt. Why do the Saints keep teasing their fans this way?

Monday, Dec. 27

High school basketball, JPS Tournament (boys and girls, Lanier and Forest Hill high schools): The Lanier boys host Piney Woods (8:30 p.m.) in the top game of Day 1. For a complete schedule, see http://www.jackson.k12.ms us/departments/athletics/basketball.htm.

Tuesday, Dec. 28

College basketball, William Carey at Southern Miss (7 p.m., 1180 AM/104.3 FM): The Crusaders visit the Golden Eagles in a game only a Hattiesburg resident could enjoy.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

High school basketball, JPS Tournament (championships, Forest Hill High School): The girls final is at 6 p.m. and the boys final is at 7:30 p.m.

College basketball, Nicholls State at Jackson State (7 p.m., 1300 AM): The Tigers play their last non-conference game before beginning non-conference play.

Thursday, Dec. 30

College basketball, Mississippi State vs. Virginia Tech (6:30 p.m., FSN South): The Bulldogs face the Hokies in the Sugar Bowl Tournament.

College football, Holiday Bowl, Cal vs. Texas Tech (7 p.m., ESPN): Because Cal only beat Southern Miss by 10 points, the Bears are stuck in the Consolation Bowl.

Friday, Dec. 31

College football, Peach Bowl, Florida vs. Miami (6:30 p.m., ESPN): The Sunshine State rivals go to Atlanta for a rare meeting on the football field.

Saturday, Jan. 1

College football, Cotton Bowl, Texas A&M vs. Tennessee (10 a.m., Ch. 35) and Rose Bowl, Texas vs. Michigan (3 p.m., Ch. 16): These are the best games among Saturday's bloated bowl schedule.

Sunday, Jan. 2

Pro football, New Orleans at Carolina (noon, Ch. 35/620 AM): Can the Saints somehow reach the playoffs? Only in the NFL, baby.

Also, New York Giants at Dallas (7:30 p.m. ESPN/930 AM): Both of these old rivals are just playing out the string, but will former Rebel Eli Manning finally win a game as Giants QB?

Monday, Jan. 3

College football, Sugar Bowl, Auburn vs. Virginia Tech (7 p.m., Ch. 16): Auburn fans will drone on and on about how the Tigers should be in the championship game. They're wrong.

Tuesday, Jan. 4

College football, Orange Bowl, Southern Cal vs. Oklahoma (7 p.m., Ch. 16): Quit crying Auburn fans, the Trojans and the Sooners are the best teams in the country.

The Slate is compiled by the festive Doctor S. For more of his sports wit and wisdom, check out The Amazing SportsBlog at http://www.jacksonfreepress.com And happy holidays.


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