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SI View The Week in Television

April 29, 2002
April 29, 2002

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April 29, 2002

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SI View The Week in Television

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This is an article from the April 29, 2002 issue

Saturday 4/27 ESPN2 10 PM
--Finland at U.S. Women's National Team
Meet the next Mia: Christie Welsh, the 2001 Hermann Trophy
winner, will play in this friendly in San Jose.

Monday 4/29 ESPN2 10 PM
--Phillies at Giants
Bonds away! Philadelphia has allowed 55 career home runs to
Barry Bonds (below), second to San Diego's 65.

Wednesday 5/1 ESPN2 2:30 PM
--FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid CF, Champions League Second
Semifinal
The Spanish press has dubbed the match between these intense
soccer rivals as the Duel of the Century.

Thursday 5/2 ESPN and ESPN2 (7 PM) and ESPN2 (10 PM)
--Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Dick Van Patten round gets under way as the NHL's eight
remaining teams face off in the conference semis.

ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

COLOR PHOTO: BRAD MANGIN COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH Webber's story is compelling but unfinished.

sizzling & fizzling
Chris Webber Biography: Good Start, Incomplete Ending

Each day is a drive through history. So advised the late Jim
Morrison, and that's a lesson ESPN should have heeded with last
week's debut of SportsCentury: Chris Webber. (The show will be
repeated on ESPN Classic on Friday.) While Webber's life made
for a compelling biography, containing the usual insightful
interviews that have become a staple of the Emmy Award-winning
series, the broadcast ended on an incomplete note. The
contretemps of Michigan booster Ed Martin--and ex-Wolverine
Webber's denial about taking money from Martin--was reduced to a
30-second addendum at the show's conclusion delivered by host
Chris Fowler. If ESPN devotes an hourlong biography to a
29-year-old athlete, it needs to have an on-air comment from the
subject about important current news. Also, with the story
focused on Webber's quest to win an NBA championship, why not
wait until after the playoffs to debut the show? If Sacramento
wins the title, won't SportsCentury: Chris Webber be missing a
major chapter of his history?

ESPN's 2002 NFL draft coverage was its best in the 23 years the
network has broadcast the event. Along with well-prepared hosts
and fact-filled player breakdowns from analyst Ron Jaworski, the
constantly updated graphics at the bottom of the screen provided
useful nuggets. The best part, however, was the addition of
Jimmy Johnson, who supplied an inside view of how a team
approaches a draft.

Every time Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show, Period
starts to live up to its name, it invariably degenerates into
tastelessness. Minutes after update host Lisa Guerrero concluded
a provocative interview with Barry Bonds last week--including
frank talk on the death threats he received last season--the
show's writers used Marv Albert's auto accident, in which he
suffered a concussion and a sprained ankle and required stitches
for a lacerated tongue, as an excuse for a lame joke about
Albert's past sexual peccadilloes.