Vikings vs. Seahawks
The moon fittingly will be in its last quarter as Seattle
quarterback Warren Moon (above)--most recently with the
Minnesota Vikings--begins the final phase of his pro career. On
this Hall of Fame Game weekend, you can ponder whether Moon's
accomplishments in 13 NFL seasons (he also played six years in
the CFL) are substantial enough to earn him a spot in Canton
after he retires. On numbers alone Moon, who entered training
camp as John Friesz's backup, travels in the same orbit as John
Elway and Dan Marino. Moon ranks fourth alltime in NFL passing
yardage (43,787), but his teams have never won more than a
wild-card playoff game.
ABC, 2:30 PM
July 27, 1997
Mariners at Yankees
The battle for American League MVP began with a bang on Opening
Day. Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. fueled a 4-2 win over world
champion New York with home runs in his first two at bats at the
Kingdome. The following night Griffey's former Mariners
teammate, Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez, blasted three
home runs and had seven RBIs in a 16-2 rout of Seattle. At the
end of last week, Martinez (below) led the American League in
RBIs with 91 and was second in the majors in homers with 33 (one
behind the Oakland A's Mark McGwire) while Griffey was right
behind him, with 89 and 30, respectively.
FOX, 4 PM
Only in auto racing can you be at fault in a 12-car collision
and not only see your insurance premiums remain the same but
also be a hero. Pole sitter Jimmy Vasser (below) delayed last
year's inaugural U.S. 500 at Michigan Speedway by turning the
race's final pace lap into something from a John Woo action
flick. Vasser atoned for his gaffe by winning the race and the
Championship Auto Racing Teams season title. Winless since last
year's U.S. 500, he returns to Brooklyn, Mich., in seventh place
in the 1997 points standings.
ABC, 1 PM
Comedian Billy Crystal, who was bowled over by Kent State
catcher Thurman Munson while unsuccessfully trying to turn a
double play as a freshman second baseman at Marshall in 1965,
discusses the influence that athletics has had on him, during
this two-hour program. Of itinerant NBA coach Larry Brown, a
high school classmate whose most recent move was from the Pacers
to the 76ers, Crystal tells Dick Schaap, "He was my idol. I even
moved five times when I was a kid." But seriously, folks, the
real object of Crystal's veneration is Mickey Mantle, to whom he
devoted a soliloquy in City Slickers and after whom he named the
main character in Forget Paris, in which Crystal portrays an NBA
referee. "At my bar mitzvah," says Crystal, who helped write Bob
Costas's eulogy for Mantle, "I spoke in an Oklahoma drawl."
CLASSIC SPORTS, 10:30 PM
Comets at Sparks
In Los Angeles the WNBA is beginning to resemble big brother. On
July 16 the Sparks, mired in a two-game losing streak only 11
games into their season, fired coach Linda Sharp. Assistant
coach Julie Rousseau was at her hairdresser's when word came
that she had been promoted to interim coach, which prompted the
question: When Paul Westhead was fired as the Lakers' coach
after 11 games in 1981, where was Pat Riley? Next, the Sparks,
who beat the Comets in Houston hours after the coaching change,
hired former Lakers forward Orlando Woolridge as an assistant;
another former L.A. forward, Kurt Rambis, is a Lakers assistant.
Fans in the City of Angels must be wondering how long it will be
before Sparks center Lisa Leslie (right) makes an unscheduled
trip to Lake Havasu City.
LIFETIME, 9 PM
All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.
THE ! ZAPPER
Big Fish, small pond. Fish Fishburne, the 6'2" host of Go Fish!
(TNN, Sunday, 8 p.m.), explores the indoor lagoon of Nashville's
Opryland Hotel, angling for bass and laughs. One out of two
ain't bad. Fishburne's comic gift, as fishing-show hosts go, is
a sinker compared with that of the late John Candy, whose SCTV
character Gil Fisher (the fishin' musician) made casting calls
to rock bands, such as the Pretenders, to go fishing with him.
Memo to this piscine pal: Invite the band Phish to make a cameo.