Whatever happened to Sunday? The best day for televised sports has devolved into a six-hour infomercial.

When all else fails, we should be able to fall back on a non-descript NASCAR race or the Red Sox. But in their infinite pursuit of advertising dough, our friends at FOX and ESPN had those events conveniently slotted this week for prime time on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Short of settling in for a pre-recorded filibuster on CSPAN2 or watching Rachael Ray pour cereal (this was strongly considered until my wife returned to the room), my only choices were to bask in the glory of the too-long basketball and hockey playoffs and this week’s (insert eight-second yawn here) PGA stop.

Notes from a wasted afternoon:

Kobe Bryant is the most over-rated person on the planet. Terrell Owens could call Bryant selfish and keep a straight face. The guy adores 40-foot jump shots.

With two minutes remaining in regulation of Game 1 against Phoenix (which would have been the optimum time to tune in, come to think of it), ABC flashed the most damning graphic imaginable: 39 points, 1 assist.

The Suns promptly worked the ball inside to Leandro Barbosa and Amare Stoudamire for two gimme dunks and put it away, while Bryant ignored three wide-open teammates at the other end and helped write Phil Jackson’s next book.

Barbosa, Steve Nash and Bryant are supreme examples why the rest of the world is reinventing basketball and America’s self-absorbed, me-first brand of the game is forever done winning Olympic gold.

Endless hockey overtimes are OK. Other fringe fans don’t like the prospect of playoff games ending at 3:30 a.m. Hey, I think Stanley Cup playoff games that last forever are one of pro hockey’s few charms.

At least they haven’t gone in the direction of soccer’s World Cup, which is willing to settle the Most Important Sporting Event In The World with penalty kicks.

CBS should get its money back. Nick Watney, Ken Duke, Anthony Kim and John Mallinger were the chief combatants in the final round of Sunday’s PGA Zurich Classic, while just about everybody who didn’t have to attend qualifying school last autumn spent the day at the beach.

No other self-respecting sports league allows its superstars to play in only 40 percent of its games.

There has to be a mechanism for forcing Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and the rest of these pampered gazillionaires to hit a few of the less glamorous tour events. Otherwise, the fans, promoters and sponsors get screwed. So do the B-list players. Watney’s win Sunday doesn’t count any more than the statistics from those 1987 NFL strike games.

*** Brace yourself for six straight days of Kalle Oakes. He’s also pinch-hitting for Randy Whitehouse this week.


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