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The NFL players and owners seem to have plenty of time on their hands these days with their silly little feud going on. Both sides should tune into the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. Sunday on ABC) and then immediately get on the phone and reach an agreement.

Talk about a sport whose biggest crash wasn’t reserved for a straightaway going 230 mph.

It didn’t matter if you were a serious motor racing fanatic or not. Not that long ago, watching at least some of the Indy 500 on television during the Memorial Day weekend was a must see for any sports fan.

Whether you tuned in for a spectacular crash or daring pass or even for Jim Nabors singing “Back Home Again in Indiana,” the Indy 500 would be talked about by all.

Sadly, the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500 — and 95th overall — at the Brickyard probably won’t be watched by as many viewers who will tune into NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 later in the day (5 p.m. on FOX).

The feud that developed in the mid-1990s between Speedway owner Tony George and CART robbed the Indy 500 of many of its stars. Casual fans quickly turned to NASCAR, which zoomed past open-wheel racing in popularity.

The CART drivers eventually came back to compete at Indy, but the damage already was done.

Try as it might, especially with the shameless promotion of Danica Patrick, the Indy 500 is no longer the glamour event it once was. Getting a ticket used to be practically impossible unless you wanted to pony up a lot of bucks. Not anymore.

The NFL thinks it has a stranglehold on an adoring fan base.

The Indy 500 used to believe that, too.

Golf: Senior PGA Championship (NBC, Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m.): With Tiger Woods hobbled and Phil Mickelson’s play spotty, more fans recognize the older stars than 20-something crowd.

MLB: Cardinals at Rockies (FOX, Saturday 6 p.m.; FSM, Sunday 2 p.m.): Maybe Albert Pujols can keep some balls out of the humidor and find his home-run magic again at Coors Field.

NBA Finals: Mavericks at Heat (ABC, Tuesday and Thursday 8 p.m.): The best team money can buy goes up against the owner who likes to ruffle the league’s brass. Mark Cuban never looked so good.

Contact Jim Benson at


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