Mets fans noticed that infielder Wilmer Flores has a new walk-up song these days: the theme song from the show Friends:
Flores credits the show with helping him learn English, and now he watches it every night before he goes to bed. The Flores-Friends connection really paid off yesterday when he posted this video to his Instagram:
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Eastbound and Down
The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards take place on Sunday with shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Louis expected to take most of the top prizes. As you contemplate your Sunday night viewing options (NFL vs. Emmys), SI presents this gallery of memorable sports-related television shows.
Photo: Fred Norris/HBO
Friday Night Lights
The NBC drama about a high school football team in Dillon, Texas was among TV's best-reviewed shows during its five seasons on the air. Peter Berg, who created the series based off Buzz Bissinger's novel, has discussed a movie sequel to the show but nothing is in production.
The nine season (1989-1997), Emmy-award winning series came at a time when living room sitcoms such as Family Matters and Full House reigned supreme over prime time. Coach embodies every father who struggles to integrate his passion for sports into the fabric of his family.
The CBS comedy-drama ran for three seasons (1978-1981), winning an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama. After a career-ending injury with the Chicago Bulls, Ken Reeves accepts an offer to coach an inner-city Los Angeles basketball team. Three seasons and an Emmy follow as Reeves confronts timeless issues in sports, coaching his players on and off the field. "I'll be behind you every step of the way," says Reeves to his team after winning their first game. "Yeah," another player chimes in, "like a white shadow."
The HBO sitcom about Sports super agent Arliss Michaels managed to churn out seven seasons (1996-2002) despite critics' terrible reviews and an allegedly small, elite audience. As much as Bill Simmons ragged on the Robert Wuhl production, Arli$$ still earned a "Best of..." DVD plus a re-run slot on ESPN Classic.
Photo: LARRY WATSON/HBO
In response to the ever-growing popularity of fantasy sports, FX tacked on the first-ever sitcom about members of a fantasy football league.
I'm sorry, when I said The League was the first television show about fantasy sports, I was wrong. American Gladiators was the first television show about fantasy sports.
Sports Night has an impressive resume -- referrals: hordes of raving critics looking for the next great sports show; accomplishments: 3 Emmys; written by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin -- his breach into television. But performance-wise, the show barely survived two seasons (1998-2000). Only a cult following can redeem the series failure to the level envisioned by yeasayers.
Photo: Erick W. Rasco/SI
The British sports soap combo aired five seasons (2002-2006), following the catty antics of the wives of fictitious Earl's Football Club. Amazon asks, "What do customers view after buying this item?" Result: Desperate Housewives... and more Footballers' Wives.
Photo: Courtesy of Shed Productions
Does Saved by the Bell not satisfy your competitive propensities? Not convinced by Slater's muscles shirts nor Kelly's cheerleading spunk? Then six seasons (1995-2000) of the Deering Tornadoes high school basketball team, complete with whining electric guitars and locker lounging teen heartthrobs, should do the trick. Even if the star player is a girl.
In 2003, ESPN released it's first original drama, which portrayed the gritty reality of locker room football, going a little too far behind the scenes for the National Football League and some professional players. When the NFL expressed their disapproval of what they claimed was unfair representation, ESPN, good partners in business they are, cancelled the show to much disappointment by fans. We're left with eleven superb episodes of one of the best and most provocative sports shows ever.
The hit comedy-drama features the life of med-student Melanie Barnett (played by Sister Sister's Tia Mowry) as she follows her rookie boyfriend into the world of professional football. The Girlfriends spinoff had a slow start with the CW but is now more popular than ever in its fifth season airing on BET.
The much loved but little seen sitcom follows tomboy PJ Franklin, immersed in the jock culture arena both professionally as a sports writer in Chicago, and personally among her group of male pals where she's "just one of the guys" man-talking at the poker table. TBS announced show cancellation rather abruptly in 2010, just two days before the fourth season finale.
First and Ten
Straight out of eighties awesomeness (1984-1991), HBO kicks off the seven season sitcom with sexy Diane Barrow inheriting the California Bulls, a professional football team, as part of a divorce settlement after her husband had an affair with the team's tight end. Need we say more?
We already knew that George Costanza couldn't do anything right, and Listen Up! didn't help his reputation. The sitcom about a sports talk show host and his family, produced by and starring Jason Alexander, was cancelled in 2005 after one season of mediocrity. This following the cancellation of Alexander's first post-Seinfeld swing Bob Patterson.
Hanging with Mr. Cooper
Hanging with Mr. Cooper ran five seasons from 1992-1997. A golden-era in basketball, it was a time when an NBA player could cohabitate with two single female women and still make the TGIF line up (which, upon acquisition, replaced one of the females with two harmless cousins to adapt to a family friendly audience).
For ten seasons (1997-2007) the British sports soap sensation follows the on and off field drama of the Harchester United Football Club. The team seems more like a gang when considering that the only ways out are to make it to the end of the series or else go to jail, join a witness protection program, or die. And if you're fan favorite Karl Fletcher you can return as a ghost for the final season.
Memorable Sports TV Shows
(Photo credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)