Day 26 without sports 🏈: Wall-to-wall NFL Red Zone can ease the pain
Live sports might be shut down for the foreseeable future, but the NFL's offseason is plowing forward. Plans are moving ahead to hold the NFL draft as scheduled later this month, even if it has to move online.
Over the weekend in a conference call with the commissioners of many different pro sports leagues, president Donald Trump expressed his desire to see the NFL open its season on time in September, a person familiar with the call told USA TODAY Sports.
Can't wait for Week 1 to arrive? Well, if you're one of those die-hard football fans who starts feeling a little melancholy while scrolling past a blank NFL Red Zone channel … there's a light at the end of the locker room tunnel.
NFL Network's popular seven-hour gameday highlights show, hosted by Scott Hanson, will run continuously for the next 17 days — with one week of the 2019 NFL season featured every day.
With Week 1 kicking things off, fans can relive some of last year's great season-opening performances, such as the Baltimore Ravens' 59-point outburst in Miami, Sammy Watkins' 198 receiving yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Austin Ekeler's three-TD day as the Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Indianapolis Colts in overtime.
The games kick off at 8 a.m., 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET each day through April 22 — conveniently concluding the day before the NFL draft gets underway.
NFL Network Red Zone anchor Scott Hanson, from the early days in 2011. (Photo: NFL Network)
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Sports video of the day
Tonight would have been the night we crowned the men's champion for the 2019-20 college basketball season. Of course, USA TODAY Sports did simulate the NCAA Tournament to get a virtual champion, but nothing can simulate the real thing when it comes to CBS's "One Shining Moment" montage.
So we'll just have to remember what it was like last season when the Virginia Cavaliers reigned as national champs.
What to watch
If you're in need of some vintage NFL action to get your football fix, ESPN will replay a "Monday Night Football" game from 2006 featuring the Atlanta Falcons at the New Orleans Saints at 8 p.m. ET. Check out Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser on the call!
NFL Network will air the 2018 Week 14 overtime thriller between the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs at 3 p.m. ET. Later, you can catch the Super Bowl 50 clash between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos at 8 p.m. ET.
MLB Network has a pair of games from the 1979 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles. Game 2 is at noon ET, followed by Game 5 at 2 p.m. ET. Watch it with your whole fam-i-ly.
Then at 8 p.m. ET, catch the "Sixth Inning" of Ken Burns' acclaimed documentary series, "Baseball."
Monday marks the 24th anniversary of Major League Soccer's inaugural game, the San Jose Clash's 1-0 win over DC United on April 6, 1996. ESPN2 will celebrate the occasion with an eight-hour marathon of classic MLS games.
ESPN celebrates 25 years of @MLS with an 8-hour marathon
Highlighting 4 classic matches:
🏆 Inaugural 1996 #MLS Cup
🏆 @landondonovan’s first MLS Cup
⚽️ David Beckham’s @LAGalaxy debut
⚽️ 2019 El Tráfico Playoff clash
Monday | 6 p.m. ET | ESPN2
NBC Sports Network has its Hockey Happy Hour at 5 p.m. ET with Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs' opening round between the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets.
NHL Network will re-air the Jan. 20 game pitting the Winnipeg Jets against the Chicago Blackhawks at 7 p.m ET, followed by the Feb. 22 game between the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils at 9 p.m., and the New York Rangers vs. Florida Panthers clash from Nov. 16 at 11 p.m. ET.
CBS Sports Network continues to air some of the best NCAA tournament classics:
- 7 p.m. ET: 2019 Final Four: Auburn vs. Virginia
- 9 p.m. ET: 2019 Final: Virginia vs. Texas Tech
- 11 p.m. ET: 2019 Final Four: Texas Tech vs. Michigan State
NBA TV will air the December 6, 2000, overtime thriller between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers in which Antawn Jamison and Kobe Bryant scored 51 points apiece.
Also, catch the Jan. 7 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brooklyn Nets overtime game at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Story time! Here are our best
FIGHTING CORONAVIRUS:Colts owner Jim Irsay donates 10,000 N95 masks
PANDEMIC IS PERSONAL:Browns DB Denzel Ward giving back to his hometown
TOM BRADY:New Tampa Bay QB joins exclusive Florida golf club
DALLAS COWBOYS:Team offers sneak peek into pre-draft meeting with QB prospect
RACING AGAIN:Paralyzed IndyCar driver Robert Wickens returns in virtual race
WRESTLEMANIA:What happened on Night 2? | Gronk is a champ
NBA 2K: The Players Tournament quarterfinal field is now set
LEBRON OFF THE COURT: Documentary series detailing successes and challenges at the "I Promise School" debuts Monday
April 6 in sports history
1896: The first modern Olympic Games begin in Athens, Greece.
1952: Sam Snead gets his second green jacket by winning The Masters by four strokes over Jackie Burke Jr.
1958: Arnold Palmer wins the first of his four Masters titles and first of his seven major golf titles.
1973: The Pittsburgh Pirates retire uniform No. 23 in honor of Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash less than four months earlier.
1980: Gordie Howe finishes a record 26th season in pro hockey.
1992: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the new home of the Baltimore Orioles, hosts its first official MLB game, a 2-0 win for the Orioles over the Cleveland Indians.
1996:Major League Soccer's inaugural game is played at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California. Eric Wynalda scored the first goal in league history as the San Jose Clash defeat DC United.
2004: Diana Taurasi wins her second consecutive Most Outstanding Player award as she leads Connecticut to the NCAA women's basketball title over Tennessee.
2014: Nineteen-year-old Lexi Thompson shoots a bogey-free 68 to win her first major title in women's golf, taking the Kraft Nabisco Championship by three strokes over Michelle Wie.
2015: Tyus Jones pours in 23 points to lead Duke past Wisconsin for the NCAA men's basketball title.
Games we're missing
- Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
- Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
- Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates
- Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals
- Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox
- Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
- Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies
- Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
- San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves
- Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals
- Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
- Oakland A's at Los Angeles Angels
- Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants
- Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Clippers
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Steve Gardner on Twitter: @SteveAGardner.
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