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This is a special invitation that doesn't happen often - if at all. Step inside my man cave for a look around. It's a simple place. There are lots of records to play as loud as you like, magazines like Uncut, Esquire and Q to read, and along with some classic movies and Led Zeppelin DVDs, there will be a bunch of unsung TV shows playing on the box.

It's a nice big box too, sitting up there on the wall, all 40-or-so inches of it inherited second-hand from my O-for-awesome brother-in-law (who has a pretty solid man cave ethic himself).

So since this issue of TimeOut looks at the latest and greatest TV starting this year, it seems only right to give some recognition to the shows screening in the man cave in 2009.

First up, Tractor Pulling, on Sky's Country Channel (every Friday and Sunday, 11.30am, 5.30pm, 11.30pm). It's a shame, but there is no place for the humble Massey Ferguson or David Brown alongside the custom-made beasts of the American National Tractor Pulling Association (ANTPA).

Watch and marvel as these souped-up tractors plod their way powerfully down a drag strip pulling weights in excess of 20,000 kilograms.

Not surprisingly, given New Zealand's love of farming and fumes of any toxicity, tractor pulling is popular here too, with the sport being one of the longest-running competitions at the annual Field Days at Mystery Creek. But, also not surprisingly, given the Americans' penchant for "big is best", we've got a wee ways to go before we can foot it in the ANTPA.

Of course the petrolhead show with the widest appeal is Top Gear on Prime which returns for its 12th season next month (just in time for the live stage version in Auckland on Feb 12-15). However, Top Gear co-host James May's latest show to screen here, following the excellent Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure, is James May 20th Century (Living Channel, Sundays, 8.30pm, from February 8) where he investigates and tries out various inventions from last century.

Even though it screened in Britain two years ago, and he sports a frightful bob hairdo, there are plenty of highlights, including him flying in a jet fighter at twice the speed of sound and one where he succumbs to G-Forces and passes out in a centrifuge machine.

And speaking of feeling like passing out, Toughest Race On Earth: Iditarod (Discovery, Wednesday, 9.30pm) is about a madcap 1850km dog sled race in Alaska. From the makers of the equally excellent Deadliest Catch, the six-part series follows seven mushers and their dog teams up mountain and down icy dale to the finish line in remote Nome on the Bering Sea.

If you think Iditarod is a strange sporting event then soak up the testosterone, strategy, and ad breaks of the 2009 Super Bowl final between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the little-fancied Arizona Cardinals on Monday (ESPN/Sky Sport 1, 12pm). You have my permission to take the afternoon off, fire up the barbie, and make hot dogs.

And the other oval ball game kicks off, as Murray Mexted might say, "in earnest" next week. The Wellington Sevens starts on February 6 (live TV One, Sky Sport 2, Rugby Channel, 12.30pm) with the Super 14 starting a week later on Friday the 13th. Scary!

The national game has come in for some flak recently but as I say to my daughter - as she scrambles ruthlessly around the floor like Richie McCaw after her soft pink ball - rugby is a great game and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

It's not all racing, fast tractors, and sport down in the man cave either. Darwin's Lost Voyage (National Geographic, Feb 8, 9.30pm) documents Charles Darwin's five-year voyage of the world which ultimately helped him formulate his masterwork, On the Origin of Species, published 150 years ago.

I tell ya, Darwin would've had a man cave. How else would he have come up with his radical theories of evolution and managed to weather the storm of criticism?

And at this point I have to be honest. I don't have a designated man cave. I'd love one, but for now I'm content with using the lounge when no one else is around.