Saturday 4/19

NFL Draft

And you thought Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace, a
possible No. 1 overall pick, was the only BMOC in Columbus.
"Probably no defensive back since Deion Sanders has been as
ballyhooed as Shawn Springs has in the last few weeks," says SI
senior writer Peter King of the former Buckeyes cornerback. Not
bad for a player who didn't have any interceptions in '96.
Springs's stock rose at a pre-draft workout when he ran a 4.25
40 and bench-pressed 225 pounds 19 times. Springs (right) likely
will be one of the top three picks (page 54). ESPN will use five
"war-room cams" in team offices during its 17 hours of coverage
over two days; leave it to TV to transform guys choosing
football players into D-Day.

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Penguins at Flyers

La fin de Lemieux? If sixth-seeded Pittsburgh continues to
suffer a case of road rash--the Penguins were 0-12-1 in their
final 13 regular-season away games--the second game of the
Eastern Conference quarterfinals could help hasten Penguin Mario
Lemieux's retirement. Third-seeded Philadelphia outscored the
Penguins 20-9 in winning three of their four regular-season games.
ESPN, 7:30 pm

Sunday 4/20

Mexico at U.S.

All 58,575 seats at Foxboro Stadium should be sold for this
World Cup qualifier. A loss won't eliminate the Yanks from
contention for a berth in World Cup '98, but a win or a tie is
crucial after a 3-2 defeat at Costa Rica on March 23. The U.S.
will be relying on goalie Kasey Keller (right), who has had five
shutouts in his past six World Cup qualifying appearances.
Keller would love to get another against Mexico coach Bora
Milutinovic, the former U.S. skipper who during his tenure never
gave Keller a real chance to play.
ABC, 2:30 PM

A Passion to Play

In Women's Boxing: Spectacle or Sport? host Robin Roberts wades
into the controversy surrounding women (and girls) in the ring.
Meet Megan Rosario, 11, whose mother wants her to win an Olympic
boxing medal someday; Christy Martin, who commands $100,000 a
fight after her bloody pay-per-view victory over Deirdre Gogarty
last year; and Katie Dallam, a former drug and alcohol counselor
who suffered brain damage and nearly died after her first and
only bout, against Sumya Anani, in December. Says Dallam,
haltingly, "I can't live alone. I can't work. I can't drive.
Everything's changed."

Monday 4/21

Boston Marathon

A question after the women's marathons of 1996: If an Uta won in
Boston, and Anuta won in New York, who will break the tape in
Copley Square this year? Judy Tenuta? More likely, it will be
Germany's Uta Pippig (above), who has won this race in each of
the past three years. The palindromic '96 New York champ, Anuta
Catuna, won't be in Boston, but Pippig will be challenged by
Olympic gold medalist Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia. On the men's
side, the favorites are '95 winner Cosmas Ndeti and '96 champion
Moses Tanui, both of Kenya.
ESPN2, 11:55 AM

Thursday 4/24

Pro Basketball
NBA Playoffs

Looking for an entertaining spoiler to root for in the
postseason, which begins tonight and tomorrow with eight
best-of-five series? How about the Suns? Phoenix overcame an
0-13 start and at week's end was battling the Minnesota
Timberwolves for the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
Rookie coach Danny Ainge's stroke of genius: a four-guard lineup
of Rex Chapman, Kevin Johnson, Jason Kidd and Wesley Person that
flummoxes slower foes. Says KJ: "With two point guards [Johnson
and Kidd] out there, we're almost impossible to defend."

All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Shawn Springs] COLOR PHOTO: JAMIE SQUIRE/ALLSPORT [Kasey Keller making save] COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER [Uta Pippig crossing Boston Marathon finish line]


How much football is too much? On Sunday, not only can you watch
through the seventh round of the NFL draft, but you can also
flip to a World League doubleheader (FX, 10 a.m., 1 p.m.) and
see where some of those final-round picks may end up! Don't miss
a minute of the second game, a London Monarchs-Rhein Fire
showdown that will pit Monarchs quarterback Stan White (the
Giants' third-stringer) against Fire signal-caller T.J. Rubley
(the Broncos' No. 3). If you can't watch, don't worry: FX is
televising all 30 regular-season games of football's equivalent
of basketball's CBA.