This Weekend: NBA All-Stars vs. Oscar + Daytona 500

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Buckle up. It's going to be a busy weekend. They'll be plenty of action on the sports front with both the Daytona 500 and the NBA All-Star Game slated for Sunday - the latter going head to head against the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

For those lucky enough to live in Central Florida, the region will host two of the events. The NBA All-Star Game in Orlando and NASCAR's premier race, the Daytona 500 are expected to attract about 230,000 people providing a boost for area businesses — as well as snarled traffic as the two groups of fans cross paths on infamous Interstate 4.

Sunday kicks off with the Daytona 500 which marks the day NASCAR fans have been waiting for all year. Danica Patrick is making her Daytona debut this weekend, only the third woman to compete in "The Great American Race." She was involved in a frightening accident during the qualifying race but came back to win her first pole position.

Both NASCAR and NBA events have a wide audience. About 17 million viewers are expected to watch the Daytona 500 on TV. And the All-Star Game will be televised in 215 countries and 45 languages.

Last year's All-Star Game averaged 9.1 million viewers Scheduling the game this year against the Academy Award telecast seems incredibly short-sighted on the part of the NBA and it is bound to impact the number of people watching.

photo credit: espensorvik via photopin cc

Outside of the Super Bowl, the Oscars are must-see television. It's one of the marquee events on the prime-time calendar. Even though the ratings were down 10 percent last year, the show still pulled in more than 37.5 million viewers

So, what to watch Sunday night? Many NBA fans don't like to watch the All-Star Game, for the same reasons NFL fans don't watch the Pro Bowl—the match is nothing more than a meaningless exhibition with celebrity players showboating their skills.

Maybe you'd rather watch celebs stroll down a red carpet than race down a court. Or see overpaid entertainers more than overpaid athletes. Perhaps the skills of make-up artists and stylists are preferable to dunks and alley-oops. If that's the case, then head over to ABC Sunday night for the film fest.

This year “The Artist” is a heavy favorite for statuettes but "Moneyball" starring Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane has gained some momentum (with six nominations, including one for Best Picture).

Whatever you decide, the weekend is packed with promise. Here are all the deets for catching the action:

  • The NBA All-Star Game from Orlando begins at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on TNT.  It's East vs. West with LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony taking on Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Andrew Bynum.  Pregame coverage starts at 6:00.
  • Oscar host Billy Crystal will start his monologue at about 5:30 p.m., PT/ 8:30 p.m., ET. Sunday on ABC.  ABC rolls out its live red-carpet coverage at 4:00 p.m., PT/7:00 p.m., ET 7.

With anticipation high, any of the above can turn out to be a marathon bore so keep your remote handy. What will you be watching?

@jschonb
dare to dream
Also online at prettytough.com and womentalksports.com

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