- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 26, 2009

It’s just the third week of the NFL season, and you’ve already had enough of the drama surrounding the Washington Redskins.

Your team won 9-7 over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday with such a pathetic performance that you couldn’t even spend the week basking in the glow of victory.

Take a break this weekend. Stop worrying about Jim Zorn’s playcalling. Forget you ever heard the words “red zone.”

Consider the possibility of doing something Sunday other than watching the Redskins play another woeful team, the Detroit Lions.

Don’t tune them out completely; just do something to take your mind off the frustration. You can check scores on your cell phone wherever you are.

You have options - lots of them. This is a remarkable sports weekend for D.C.-area fans who, in the words of Don King, want to try “SKD” - something kinda different.

This is an old-school kind of weekend.

Start at Laurel Park on Saturday, when the track will host the 24th running of Maryland’s Day at the Races - the second-biggest day in Maryland horse racing after the Preakness.

The featured day at the track, previously known as the Maryland Million, is now called the Jim McKay Maryland Million. The late, great sportscaster first proposed the concept of the Maryland Million, which features the best of the Maryland horse farms for a day celebrating the state’s racing.

It may be a celebration of a bygone era, but a day at the track is still a unique experience.

Saturday’s program will feature the $200,000 Maryland Million Classic, whose field includes defending champion Cuba. Broadway Producer and Sweet Goodbye, who won the 2008 Maryland Million Turf and Maryland Million Oaks, respectively, could challenge the defending champion. Other races include the $125,000 Maryland Million Turf and the $100,000 Maryland Million Oaks.

Post time is 12:15 p.m.

After spending the day on the rail, you can head to Northern Virginia for the second half of this old-school exacta: a Jimmy Lange boxing extravaganza at Patriot Center.

Lange (30-3-2, 21 knockouts) is the area’s most popular local fighter, a man who has become the area’s boxing franchise. On Saturday, he will defend his U.S. National Boxing Council super welterweight title against a former teammate from “The Contender” - Jonathan Reid (34-11, 19 knockouts) - in a 12-round bout.

The show is Lange’s eighth at the Patriot Center - they always are entertaining and draw good crowds.

Fight fans also will see another familiar D.C. fighter on the card: former World Boxing Organization junior welterweight champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley. The D.C. native, who went 12 rounds with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and faced Miguel Cotto, will make his first local appearance since 2004. Other fighters on the eight-bout card include lightweight Bayan “The Mongolian Mongoose” Jargal of Arlington, middleweight Tony “Mo Better” Jeter of Columbia and light-heavyweight Alexander “The Great” Johnson of Oxon Hill.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the first fight starts at 7:30.

If you are not up for the Guys and Dolls excursion into horse racing and boxing, there’s a more traditional family alternative for you Saturday: the first Capitals Convention, held at the Gaylord National Resorts and Convention Center at National Harbor.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to be on hand, as well as Washington owner Ted Leonsis and the next Russian perhaps to try to buy an American sports franchise, Alex Ovechkin.

Throughout the day there will be panel discussions and autographs sessions. Doors open at 10 a.m. for the general public (9 a.m. for season-ticket holders) and close at 8 p.m.

But what about Sunday? Is there anything out of the box that can entertain the D.C. sports fan enough to keep him away from the television set come game time?

How about “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday” at Maryland International Raceway?

This weekend the Budd’s Creek raceway is hosting the International Hot Rod Association President’s Cup Nationals, featuring the best of the Top Fuel, Pro Modified and Pro Stock racing teams. The Pro eliminations and finals are Sunday; doors open at 8 a.m.

Horse racing, boxing, hot rods - that’s a Paul Newman kind of weekend, baby.

As far as the Redskins-Lions game goes, you can read about it in Monday’s paper.

- Listen to “The Sports Fix,” co-hosted by Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro, from noon to 2 p.m. weekdays on ESPN 980 or espn980.com.

• Thom Loverro can be reached at tloverro@washingtontimes.com.

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