Top of the Morning, July 18, 2014

Top of the Morning, July 18, 2014

Sure, the ESPYs are self-promoting. At times to a sickening level. But this year's awards show had a winning combination of laughs and sentiment.

Credit host Drake for outperforming expectations. The writers set him up with good material but he had to pull it off. I'd invite him to come back and host next year.

His "Drake vs. Blake" bit with Blake Griffin was a chucklefest. And Drake's segment on Manny Pacquiao's singing ambition hit all the right notes. As a bonus, we got to see Ron Zook lookalike Gary Cole as Manny's manager. Awe-some.

The sentiment came from Michael Sam, who was given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The first openly gay player in the NFL gave a stirring speech during which he talked about "living in a massive storm." The St. Louis Rams drafted Sam in the seventh round and he will try to make the team as a late-round draft choice. Never easy to do.

ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who is battling cancer, was honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. Scott was open and blunt about his daily challenges. Having his daughters there was a nice touch. So was having Kiefer Sutherland introduce Scott, who is a big "24" fan.

Speaking of ESPN, the network's college football and basketball studio host, Rece Davis, will emcee the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon on July 29. The shindig, scheduled for the Chicago Hilton, includes all 14 Big Ten coaches. Don't expect a speedy luncheon.

Enough with the Bristol (Conn.) blather, you need to know what to watch this weekend. Bad news: you need to spend some more time with ESPN:


Movie: "School of Rock"

5:30 p.m., Bravo

Jack Black plays a musician who fakes his way into a job as a prep school teacher. It's like an episode of "I Love Lucy," only with music. For an even better version of Black as a musician, check out the end of "High Fidelity."


Movie: "The Internship"

7 p.m., HBO

Guess they couldn't call it "Wedding Crashers II." Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are back together. After losing their sales jobs, they land prized spots at Google. Hmmm, sounds shaky. Makes sense to rewatch "Wedding Crashers" beforehand just in case this turns out to be a dud.


Golf: British Open

5 a.m., ESPN

Best news ever for the PGA Tour: Tiger Woods played a good round in a major. Maybe Thursday's 69 will turn into today's 89. Or maybe the king of golf is back. Probably somewhere in the middle. Also nice to see Rory McIlroy playing well again. And we can all root for Jim Furyk and his funky swing.

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