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Sports Saturday

This You Gotta See: Sky-high finish, Blackhawks beginning, Cubs in home stretch

The Cubs kick off a 10-game homestand — their last games of the regular season at Wrigley Field — against the dregs of the NL Central. Ten games against the Pirates, Reds and Cardinals? We suppose 9-1 has a nice enough ring to it, though 10-0 would be better just to be on the safe side.

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
It’s Cubs vs. Pirates — this time, minus the handshake line.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

SUN 8

Sky at Mystics (3 p.m., ESPN3): The regular-season finale has arrived for the postseason-bound Sky, who learn what awaits them — playoffs start Wednesday — after taking on old pal Elena Delle Donne’s team. The Mystics entered the weekend in position for the No. 1 overall seed.

Steelers at Patriots (7:20 p.m., Ch. 5): Ben Roethlisberger is 65 years old. Tom Brady is 92. Between them, they’ve thrown roughly 1.4 billion NFL passes. You could pickle your own jar of giardiniera in less time than it takes either quarterback to run 40 yards, and yet who could turn away from this matchup of first-ballot Hall-of-Famers?

MON 9

Texans at Saints (6:10 p.m., ESPN): Speaking of ancient QBs, it’s Drew Brees, everybody! This is a sneaky-compelling opener for two teams that are widely picked to win their respective divisions. Then again, winning the AFC South isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — the Texans did it just last year before no-showing against the second-place Colts in the wild-card round.

Broncos at Raiders (9:20 p.m., ESPN): After 32 years as an NFL assistant coach, ex-Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio at last makes his debut as head honcho. It’s a perfect chance for fans of the Bears — who visit Denver in Week 2 — to do a little advanced scouting from the couch.

TUE 10

Royals at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH): It’s Dog Day at Guaranteed Rate Field! Except it’s, you know, at night. Wouldn’t a Dog Day afternoon be better? Oh, well, anybody who schleps his or her pooch to the ballpark probably is way too chill to get hung up on the semantics anyway.

THU 12

Buccaneers at Panthers (7:20 p.m., NFL Network): Are we really in Week 2 already? Why must the season fly by so fast? Slow down and appreciate a matchup of quarterbacks — Jameis Winston and Cam Newton — who won Heisman Trophies and national championships in college. Look, some of us care about such things.

FRI 13

Blackhawks training camp opens (10 a.m., Fifth Third Arena): It’s practice No. 1, and — like all practices at the team’s training facility — it’s open to the public. If you haven’t been to one yet, you’re just plain doing it wrong.

Pirates at Cubs (3:05 p.m., NBCSCH): The Cubs kick off a 10-game homestand — their last games of the regular season at Wrigley Field — against the dregs of the NL Central. Ten games against the Pirates, Reds and Cardinals? We suppose 9-1 has a nice enough ring to it, though 10-0 would be better just to be on the safe side.

SAT 14

Northern Illinois at Nebraska (7 p.m., FS1): Because it wasn’t bad enough that the Huskies had to play at 13th-ranked Utah the weekend before, right? But this is a nice nationally televised opportunity for the blue-collar gang from DeKalb. There isn’t all that much separating the Huskies and Huskers — just one letter, when you really think about it.