Olympics: Week 2

Best Events

Gold, not diamonds, is a girl's best friend. At least an
American girl's. On Saturday (CBS, 7 p.m., tape-delay), 1994
downhill skiing silver medalist Picabo Street, the
hippie-dippiest thing this side of Dharma, hopes to provide the
U.S. with an emotional lift ticket on the slopes of Happo'one.
On frozen pond, Cammi Granato is a pioneer skating in her
brother's tracks. Cammi, whose sibling Tony was a member of the
U.S. men's team in '88, will captain the Americans against the
Canadians (CBS, Saturday, 2:30 p.m., and TNT, 6 p.m., both
tape-delay) in what may be a preview of Tuesday's inaugural
women's gold medal match (CBS, 7 a.m., and TNT, 1 p.m., both
tape-delay). Speed skater Chris Witty, the world-record holder
at 1,000 meters, has a pierced navel and a tattoo of the Notre
Dame mascot on her hip. Chris, if you win (CBS, Thursday, 8
p.m., tape-delay), give us a peek. Finally, in the women's
figure skating free skate (CBS, Friday, 8 p.m., tape-delay),
Michelle Kwan (left) and Tara Lipinski will try to personify the
term grace under pressure.

Sunday 2/15

Daytona 500

As the Great American Race opens NASCAR's golden (or is it
chrome?) anniversary season, here's what's new: 1) An
inappropriately surnamed rookie, Steve Park. 2) Grumpy Ford crew
chiefs, who were having fun, fun, fun till their manufacturer
took the T-Birds away--and replaced them with Tauruses. "None of
us have gotten any sleep," says one chief, "trying to change the
car your mom drives to the grocery store into a competitive race
car." 3) A record $1 million to the winner. If anyone deserves
that sum, it's Dale Earnhardt (left), a guy who last year
crawled out of an ambulance to finish this race. He's making his
20th start in the 500 and is still seeking his first checkered

Monday 2/16

Westminster Kennel Club

Only the fans will be rabid when this 122nd annual edition of
not-so-stupid pet tricks commences from Madison Square Garden.
Last year's best-in-show was a standard schnauzer named Ch.
Parsifal Di Casa Netzer, a working dog. This year more than 150
breeds, in groups ranging from herding to hounds and terriers to
toys, will prance and pose with the object of becoming top dog.

Friday 2/20

Rockets at Timberwolves

Like Walt Whitman, after whom his high school in Huntington
Station, N.Y., was named, Minnesota forward Tom Gugliotta
(right) was born on Long Island and worked briefly in the
nation's capital. Unlike Whitman, the unassuming Googs is loath
to sing a song of himself and has a lethal midrange jumper. The
T-Wolves' leading scorer (20.1-point average at week's end),
Googs hit the game-winner in Minnesota's 116-115 overtime win on
Jan. 16 at Houston's Compaq Center. In this game Googs & Co.
will play a Rockets squad that was recently bolstered by the
return of one of its captains, center Hakeem Olajuwon, who
missed 33 games after knee surgery.

Baby Jake Matlala vs. Victor Burgos

Fifty-six inches: That's Baby Jake's height, not his reach.
Still, the 108-pound junior flyweight from South Africa is a
mite to remember. In his U.S. debut last July 18 in Las Vegas,
Matlala (47-10-2) pummeled Michael Carbajal and won the IBF
light flyweight title. The 35-year-old Matlala, who now faces
Mexico's 23-year-old Burgos (17-8-1) in Baton Rouge, trains in a
run-down gym in Soweto with impoverished township children; even
those kids taller than he is can't help but look up to him.
ESPN2, 9:30 PM


COLOR PHOTO: JON FERREY/ALLSPORT [Michelle Kwan skating] COLOR PHOTO: DAVID TAYLOR/ALLSPORT [Dale Earnhardt in race car] COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH [Tom Gugliotta playing basketball]


Do we have a FoxTrax sighting? This year's NHL broadcasts on Fox
so far have been devoid of the network's two ballyhooed
innovations, one that highlights the puck in a blue halo and
another that traces the paths of harder shots using a red comet
tail (i.e., I went to a Hale-Bopp viewing and a hockey game
broke out). But vision-challenged fans might soon have reason to
cheer: A Fox spokesman, describing FoxTrax as a "work in
progress," says that it is being re-tooled and should resurface
after the Nagano Games.