Will we see an American in a final? In the men's, the answer was
non after Jim Courier, Jeff (Last) Tarango (in Paris),
top-seeded Pete Sampras and Michael Chang were knocked out
before the quarterfinals. In the women's draw at week's end,
Mary Joe Fernandez and Monica Seles of the U.S. were set to play
a quarterfinal match, with the victor still facing a tough climb
(probably against Switzerland's Martina Hingis and Germany's
Steffi Graf, in that order) to the title.
NBC, 3 PM, WOMEN'S FINAL (TAPE-DELAY);
SUNDAY, 9 AM, MEN'S FINAL
In the week before the 1973 Belmont Stakes, Secretariat appeared
on the covers of SI, Time and Newsweek. "Secretariat was a born
ham," says owner Penny Chenery of her Triple Crown winner. By
contrast, even after by-a-nose wins in the Kentucky Derby and
the Preakness (above, over Captain Bodgit), Silver Charm has yet
to capture America's imagination. With a short field at Belmont
Park, the third time may be the charm for the Charm.
ABC, 4:30 PM
Stanley Cup Finals: Flyers at Red Wings
Call them the Detroit Red Army. Behind the shifty skates of
former Soviet stars Sergei Fedorov (right, 91), Slava Fetisov,
Vladimir Konstantinov (page 42), Slava Kozlov and Igor Larionov,
a.k.a. The Wizards of Ov, the Wings are waging a cold war
against postseason heartbreak. The franchise has not won a
Stanley Cup since 1955, but if Detroit's Russian rocketry can
deter the big-strike capability of Philadelphia's John LeClair
and Eric Lindros in tonight's Game 4, we may soon see a new
world order on ice.
ESPN, 8 PM (GAME 5, IF NECESSARY, TUESDAY, FOX, 8 PM; GAME 6,
THURSDAY, ESPN, 8 PM)
NBA Finals: Bulls at Jazz
Utah's Jerry Sloan (whose number 4 Chicago jersey has been
retired by the Bulls) coaches the most decorated outfit yet to
challenge Chicago in the NBA Finals. While one of the Bulls'
four previous foes boasted that season's MVP (the 1993 Phoenix
Suns, with Charles Barkley) and another had the then alltime
assists leader (the '91 Los Angeles Lakers, with Magic Johnson),
neither possessed both, as this year's Jazz do in MVP Karl
Malone and career assists (and steals) king John Stockton. But
keep this in mind during tonight's Game 4 at the Delta Center:
In previous Finals, the Bulls were better on the road (9-3) than
at home (7-4).
NBC, 7 PM (GAMES 5 AND 6, IF NECESSARY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY, 9
It has been 33 years since the Open has been held at
Congressional in Bethesda, Md. The 1964 Open, won by a wilting
Ken Venturi, was the last to have a 36-hole Saturday finish,
which was still 10 fewer holes than Tiger Woods's golfing buddy
Michael Jordan played two Sundays ago. Speaking of Woods--and
when are we not?--he'll be bidding to become the first to win
the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year since another
zoologically monikered golfer, the Golden Bear, did so in '72.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, ESPN, 11 AM, 5 PM; NBC, 3 PM
Orioles at Braves
You are not hallucinating. Yes, that was President Clinton, the
leader of the free world, on VH-1 saying, "I really love that
whole rock-and-roll thing." And, yes, that is Baltimore of the
American League visiting Atlanta of the National League--in
June. The purists will retch and the pundits kvetch, but
everyone will agree on this second night of interleague play
that here is a likely preview of the 1997 Fall Classic. The
reason: pitching. At week's end the Orioles and the Braves led
their respective leagues in earned run average and, not
coincidentally, winning percentage. Watchers of Cal Ripken's
consecutive-game streak, take note: Assuming there are no
rainouts this week, this will be number 2,377 for the Orioles'
number 8 (left).
TBS, 7:35 PM
All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.
THE ! ZAPPER
Remember when the only blue and red you saw in a hockey game
were the lines on the ice? Fox Sports' "FoxTrax"--the blue
circle around the puck and the red comet tail that appears
behind the puck when it's shot or passed--permits the new fan to
more easily follow the path of the biscuit, no doubt. But for
hockey purists, the innovations get in the way. Listening to
Fox's animated analyst John Davidson talking a blue streak
during the Stanley Cup finals obviates the need for the puck to
become a red one. Some of us can't get through the first period
without having a Hale-Bopp flashback.