SI View The Week in TV Sports

Aug. 31, 1998
Aug. 31, 1998

Table of Contents
Aug. 31, 1998

College Football Preview 1998

SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 8/29

This is an article from the Aug. 31, 1998 issue

Little League World Series Final

Europe sent the ultimate sandlot team--Dhahran, Saudi Arabia--to
Williamsport as its representative for a fifth consecutive year.
Confused? Because Saudi Arabia is in Asia, "there's a lot of
resentment" from European lads, says Jon Walters, the only
Saudi-born member on the team, which is composed of the kids of
U.S. citizens working in Saudi Arabia. The ersatz Saudis were
one of four international clubs vying this week for a spot
against an American representative in the six-inning final at
Lamade Stadium. One team that will appear on TV today is the Bad
News Bears, in the eponymous film (Showtime, 5 p.m.). We hear
that the request from Chico's Bail Bonds for backstop signage
was denied. As Bears shortstop Tanner Boyle would say, "That's
ABC, 3:30 PM

Angels at Red Sox

Boston reliever Tom (Flash) Gordon has little in common with
comic-book hero Flash Gordon. Then again, the band Queen, in its
album Flash Gordon, describes the sci-fi legend (in painful
falsetto) as "Savior of the universe.... King of the
impossible." The 5'9" Gordon, who is in his first full season as
the Sox' closer, had converted 33 consecutive save opportunities
through Sunday. They included a pair on July 31 and Aug. 2 at
Edison Field, where Boston swept a three-game series with
Anaheim. At week's end the Angels were leading the American
League West by 21/2 games but were six behind the Red Sox in the
league's wild-card race. Speaking of superheroes, infielders
Nomar Garciaparra and Mo Vaughn (far left) are Beantown's
dynamic duo. The 30-year-old Vaughn, hitting .332 with 33 home
runs and 90 RBIs, is batman. The 25-year-old Garciaparra (.323,
26 and 101) is the boy wonder.
FX, 5 PM

Panthers at Steelers

He's a Panther and he's back in Pittsburgh, but he's no longer a
Pittsburgh Panther. Sixth-year NFL defensive end Sean Gilbert
returns to play in the Steel City for the first time since his
days at Pitt. Memo to any of Gilbert's old college pals: Sean's
buying! In March, Gilbert signed a seven-year, $46.5 million
contract with Carolina that makes him the highest-paid defensive
player in NFL history. This on the strength of 111/2 sacks in
his last three seasons with the Rams and the Redskins. (He took
'97 off because of a contract dispute with Washington.) In this
final preseason outing for both teams, Gilbert will try to catch
Pittsburgh's elusive quarterback, Kordell Stewart (left).
ESPN, 8:15 PM

Monday 8/31

U.S. Open

Jan-Michael Gambill (right), fast rising in the U.S. tennis
galaxy, will either be the morning or evening star in the
tournament that begins today and concludes Sept. 13 on CBS.
Early last year Gambill, who was named after B-movie star
Jan-Michael Vincent, was ranked No. 277 in the world, but he has
since ascended to No. 60 and gained acclaim after his five-set,
three-day defeat of Sjeng Schalken at Wimbledon. Which of
Vincent's films, we wonder, is Gambill's favorite? White Line
Fever? The Return? Or maybe The World's Greatest Athlete, with
Tim Conway?

Florida State vs. Texas A&M

Aggies linebacker Dat Nguyen (pronounced win) has been in worse
no-Nguyen situations than tonight's Kickoff Classic. In 1975
Nguyen was in his mother's womb when his family fled to the U.S.
just days before Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. The 6'1",
213-pound Nguyen, who has led A&M in tackles the past three
seasons, and his team (which SI ranks No. 21, page 120) will
find a similarly indomitable foe in the No. 2 Seminoles (page 82).


COLOR PHOTO: DAVID SEELIG/ALLSPORT [Mo Vaughn in game]COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO [Kordell Stewart in game]COLOR PHOTO: CLIVE BRUNSKILL/ALLSPORT [Jan-Michael Gambill playing tennis]


Chicago Cubs rookie pitcher Kerry Wood is known for his heater,
but last week he fooled Fox with a changeup. Wood's
much-anticipated duel with Houston Astros ace Randy Johnson on
the network's Saturday Game of the Week telecast was submarined
when Chicago manager Jim Riggleman chose to start Wood on Friday
instead. According to Cubs spokeswoman Sharon Pannozzo, Fox
executives complained about the switch to Major League Baseball
and to the Cubs, claiming the network spent millions of dollars
promoting the matchup. Chicago, to its credit, didn't wilt under
the pressure. We wonder, though: If Wood pitched for the
Fox-owned Los Angeles Dodgers, would the outcome have been