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SI View The Week in Television

April 08, 2002
April 08, 2002

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April 8, 2002

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SI View The Week in Television

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This is an article from the April 8, 2002 issue

SATURDAY 4/6 ESPN 5PM
--Illinois Derby, Santa Anita Derby
We know the only Derby that matters is the one in Kentucky, but
these are the races to scout so you can make a winning bet
(lotsa luck) on the first Saturday in May.

SUNDAY 4/7 TBS 1:05PM
--Mets at Braves
Can New York and Mike Piazza (below) finally break Atlanta's
string of 10 consecutive division titles? Today is the first of
19 meetings between the teams this season.

THURSDAY 4/11 USA 4PM
--The Masters, first and second rounds
The only players to win back-to-back Masters are Jack Nicklaus
(1965 and '66) and Nick Faldo ('89 and '90). Your shot, Mr.
Woods.

sizzling & fizzling

--Invite This Guest Back
It's difficult to praise the usually juvenile Best Damn Sports
Show, Period, but former Dallas Cowboys wideout Michael Irvin
showed plenty of smarts as a recurring guest last week,
including his take on Michael Jordan. ("I'm 36, and I hurt. Why
would he think that he's not going to hurt next year?")

--Crossfire, Babeee!
It's hard to tell whether ESPN's Chris Fowler and Dick Vitale
like each other off-camera, but the on-air tension between them
makes for delicious TV. When Vitale started waxing about Indiana
using its underdog status to gain inspiration, Fowler
interjected: "Us against the world. I'm tired of that!"

--Glory Was Glorious
Highlighted by terrific interviews with players like Bobby Joe
Hill and Willie Worsley, CBS's Glory in Black and White offered a
fascinating look at the all-black Texas Western starting team
that beat all-white Kentucky in the historic 1966 NCAA title
game.

--Yank That Skit
Last week's repeat episode of Saturday Night Live featured guest
host Derek Jeter smacking baseballs into the crowd--and audience
members doubling over in faux injury--as part of the show's
opener. Given the death of a fan who got hit with a puck in
Columbus only three weeks ago, NBC showed poor taste.

--The Games Are Fixed
With CBS and Fox refusing to endorse a plan for a flexible
late-season schedule, ABC's Monday Night Football must hope that
its fixed slate of games is as attractive in December as it looks
today.

--Graphic Overload
ESPN's The Sports Reporters often delivers stimulating
commentary, but the constantly flashing factoids in the
background about ESPN personalities (example: Do you know Rece
Davis style?) are nearly as exasperating as Mike Lupica's rants.

ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH