Feeling a Draft

Football season never ends

Everybody has that friend who will skip over normal TV sporting events in favor of more radical, esoteric entertainments. Lumberjack contests. Polynesian cliff diving. Water polo. And this weekend, as the rest of the American public fixates on the NHL and NBA playoffs and the first Red Sox-Yankees series, that afflicted friend will be carrying a three-ring binder and a pen, constantly reordering the names of Eli Manning, Larry Fitzgerald and Kellen Winslow Jr. Yes, the NFL draft is here, with plenty of intrigue -- like whether Texas's Roy Williams will go first -- for the wonk who can't wait for next fall's fantasy football league. The 2004 NFL draft will be televised, so if the sporting world's other options (repeat: Yanks-BoSox!) don't do it for you, pull up a chair at the local pub and turn the channel to ESPN and ESPN2's coverage. Then again, that might get you beat up, so we suggest you head to SRO Sports Bar and Cafe in Northwest Mall. SRO has plenty of TVs, so the casual fan can have one eye on the ball game and the other on jersey presentations to each team's Next Big Thing. TV schedules vary, so check your local listings. Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25. 444 Northwest Mall. For information, call 713-683-2025 or visit www.srosportsbar.com. Free. -- Eric Norvell

Youthful Kicks

Soccer might not be a big deal for most Houstonians, but in 2001 we created a world-class team. A group of boys from Tomball won the U.S. division of the Copa Coca-Cola Tournament and advanced to the playoffs in Mexico City. They didn't win, but it wasn't a bad showing from a wannabe baseball town. This weekend, you can watch a new batch of teenage boys and girls (remember, the U.S. women's soccer teams have actually won World Cups and Olympic gold) compete for a chance to play against other top U.S. teams. The winners will travel to Los Angeles to play at the next level, all on Coca-Cola's dime. And the team that dominates there will advance to Portugal to play against the rest of the world. Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25. Cullen Park, 19008 Saums. For information, call 713-845-1090 or visit www.coke.com/copa. Free. -- Melissa Richter

 
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