SI View The Week in TV Sports

May 16, 1999

DON'T MISS

Friday 5/21

SportsCenter of the Decade: the 1960s
ESPN 7:30 PM

Stop. Hey. What's that sound? A hush as Bob Gibson takes the
mound. ESPN's Chris Berman and Charley Steiner, looking as if
they just stumbled off a haze-filled VW bus, take us on a
two-hour magical mystery tour through a tumultuous 10 years that
included the rise of Cassius Clay, the rising fastballs of the
aforementioned Cardinals ace righthander, the rising spirals of
Joe Namath (right, in Super Bowl III) and the rise and fall--all
29' 2 1/2" of it--of Bob Beamon. Steiner, who hit what he calls
"the hippie trifecta" of living in Haight-Ashbury, lunching with
Abbie Hoffman and attending Woodstock, promises that the show
will be "far out." "Unless," says Berman, "it's preempted by
Heidi."

HIGHLIGHTS

Saturday 5/15

NBA Playoffs
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, NBC 12:30 PM; MONDAY, TBS 8 PM;
TUESDAY-THURSDAY, TNT 8 PM; FRIDAY, TNT 7 PM

Whose blazers will make more noise during the NBA postseason,
Portland's or Craig Sager's? TNT's peripatetic sideline reporter
and his coats of many colors--fuchsia, purple and sherbet, to
name a few--are the perfect contrast to NBC's more buttoned-down
coverage. (Sager's NBC counterpart is the appropriately named
Jim Gray.) "This year presents a special challenge," says Sager,
who's in the midst of an arduous postseason journey, which, as
usual, will stop short of the Finals. "My favorite men's store
is in Chicago, and I won't be going there this spring."

Preakness Stakes
ABC 4:30 PM

Following a bruising stampede to victory at Churchill Downs on
May 1, upset (31-1) winner Charismatic was a horse in stable
condition. "He's fine," said trainer Wayne Lukas, responding to
a cameraman's observation that the colt looked "a little
stiff-legged" the day after the Kentucky Derby. Stiff
competition may come from filly Silverbulletday, who, if trainer
Bob Baffert permits her to enter, will be the prohibitive
favorite. Silverbulletday was a nonstarter at the Derby but had
breezed to a win the day before in the Kentucky Oaks. Hi, yo,
Silverbulletday!

Rocky Marciano
SHOWTIME 8 PM

A beefed-up Jon Favreau, seen in an ultimate fighting match as
Monica's beau on the sitcom Friends, portrays the Rock, who
retired as the undefeated heavyweight champion in 1956 and died
in a plane crash 13 years later. Favreau does a terrific job of
emulating the Brockton Blockbuster's
swing-from-a-catcher's-stance style. (Then again, Favreau was
one of the stars of Swingers.) However, the script is riddled
with inaccuracies concerning Marciano's career and life.
Furthermore, Showtime does the two-hour Rocky Marciano no favors
by telecasting it on the same night it shows the classics Rocky
(6 p.m.) and Raging Bull (12:30 a.m.).

Sunday 5/16

Giants vs. Astros
ESPN 8 PM

If the Astrodome is the eighth wonder of the world, the ninth
may be the wonder that it wasn't razed years ago. This
agoraphobic's acropolis says adios when Houston finishes playing
this year, but given the talent possessed by the Astros (18-12
through Sunday), who knows when that will be? Two goateed former
MVPs, Jeff Bagwell and Ken Caminiti, man the corners, while
second baseman Craig Biggio somehow manages to resemble a Biz
Kid despite the Astrodome diamond's being nearly bereft of dirt.

ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. SOURCE:
NIELSEN SPORTS MARKETING SERVICE

COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR.

THE RATING

4.2

Average NBC rating for 28 regular-season NBA telecasts, down
from 4.6 in 1997-98. Turner Sports' average NBA rating was
virtually unchanged at 1.7.

THE ZAPPER

Too bad Melrose Place is going off the air, because Tom Glavine
would have been a good addition to the cast. Glavine and fellow
Atlanta Braves Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux are appearing
in a clever Nike ad in which the two pitchers bulk up and take
batting-practice cuts in hopes of winning the favor of Melrose's
Heather Locklear, who, alas, remains more enamored of Mark
McGwire. If only the prime-time soap's scripts had been this
credible.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)