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Gameplan

Oct. 19, 2009
Oct. 19, 2009

Table of Contents
Oct. 19, 2009

GOLF PLUS
LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
SOCCER
  • In a roiling Central American cauldron, the U.S. men earned a berth in the 2010 World Cup. Now come eight months of hard work to prepare for the biggest stage in sports

PRO FOOTBALL
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Gameplan

What smart fans should do this week

• WATCH

This is an article from the Oct. 19, 2009 issue

ALCS and NLCS

The NL series starts on Thursday (on TBS), the AL on Friday (on Fox). Fans should also check out postseason.tv, a joint service from the networks and MLB.com. It lets viewers see up to four camera angles concurrently; while the feed on your TV follows the ball, you can check your laptop to see if the runner tags up early. A subscription for the entire postseason is $9.95.

• WATCH

Texas vs. Oklahoma

The Red River Shootout was supposed to be a Heisman referendum, the Sooners' Sam Bradford versus the Longhorns' Colt McCoy (ABC). Hasn't worked out that way: Bradford fell out of the race when he missed three games with a sprained shoulder, and McCoy (six INTs) has been so-so. Still, Texas is 5--0 and ranked No. 3, and the first BCS rankings come out on Sunday.

• WATCH

Giants vs. Saints

Hmm, what to nickname the high-scoring New Orleans offense ... Shockey and Awe? After battling injuries in 2008, rejuvenated TE Jeremy Shockey leads the team in receptions and is a big reason the Saints average a league-high 36 points. This week (on Fox) he faces the NFL's best defense—and, for the first time since his acrimonious 2008 departure, his former team.

• READ

Playing with Fire

In his prime Theo Fleury was one of the NHL's most dangerous snipers, a pint-sized goal-scoring machine who seemed a lock for the Hall of Fame. But his career unraveled in a haze of alcohol abuse. Fleury, 41, retired and sober, comes clean about his addiction in this harrowing memoir—and says that he was sexually abused as a teen by a notorious predator youth coach.

• WATCH

Gymnastics worlds

Who will win? Tough call—the medals are wide open at the Oct. 15--18 event in London (Universal Sports). The U.S.'s Jonathan Horton is a men's all-around contender. Several 2008 women's Olympic stars will be absent, including Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. Keep an eye on Bridget Sloan. The youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team is a favorite for all-around gold.

• CHECK OUT

New clips of the Bambino

How'd Babe Ruth look in the outfield? Unless you're at least 74, you don't know, because there was no known footage of the Babe playing defense. Until now. Last week MLB's archives released a snippet of film of Ruth in rightfield; it was found by a New Hampshire fan in his grandfather's home-movie collection. View it and other clips of Ruth at nytimes.com.

The Pop Culture Grid

View this article in the original magazine

Athletes in the mixMy advice to David LettermanFavorite vending machine snackMost I ever spent on a coatTonight I'm having ____ for dinnerStar I'd like to dance with
CEDRIC BENSON Bengals RBKeep up the good workLay's Classic potato chips$10,000 on a sheepskin shearlingGluten-free spaghettiLady Gaga
BROOKS LAICH Capitals CKnow that this too shall passCoffee Crisp chocolate bar$1,600 for a Hugo Boss overcoatSalmon and asparagusAlessandra Ambrosio
STEVE SMITH Giants WRTrust in the LordSnickers$1,500 on a leather coatPasta with marinara and sausageJennifer Lopez
CRAIG ANDERSON Avalanche GGet a car collection like Jay Leno'sSkittles$500 on a sport coatRibsTeri Hatcher

Inside the Grid

Benson thinks he and Lady Gaga would be a hit on Dancing with the Stars: "We'd win it 'cause she definitely has the moves." Never mind that the 28-year-old Anderson is 17 years younger than Hatcher (above), he's still taken with her: "She's a cougar on Desperate Housewives."

PHOTOMLB.COM (MLB)PHOTOGREG NELSON (BRADFORD)PHOTOGREG NELSON (SLOAN)PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (SHOCKEY)PHOTOBETTMANN/CORBIS (RUTH)PHOTOFLORIAN SCHNEIDER/ABC (HATCHER)PHOTODAVID CHESKIN/PA WIRE/AP (SALMON)PHOTOGINA HOUSEMAN (SKITTLES)PHOTOROB GRABOWSKI/US PRESSWIRE (ANDERSON)PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (SMITH)PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO (LAICH)PHOTOD. JAY TALBOTT/CAL SPORT MEDIA (BENSON)PHOTOEVAN AGOSTINI/AP (LETTERMAN)PHOTO