Miami at Florida State
Where have you gone, Gino Torretta? The 1-3 Hurricanes have been
downgraded to a tropical depression and bounced from the Top 25,
mainly because of a feeble offense. The Miami attack ran out of
wind when top wide receiver Jammi German was declared ineligible
for the season by the NCAA after taking a limo ride paid for by
an agent. For the fifth straight season, the Seminoles are
basing their offense around a Warrick. From '93 to '96 it was
tailback Warrick Dunn. This autumn, super soph wideout Peter
Warrick leads 3-0 Florida State in receptions (17), receiving
yards (350) and touchdowns (four).
Andrew Golota vs. Lennox Lewis
Last month heavyweight contender Golota--a.k.a. the Foul
Pole--took time away from his training regimen to wrestle an
alligator in the Florida Everglades. It was a fair fight: a
gator's jajas are located inside its body cavity. In his 30
fights, Warsaw native Golota (left) has suffered his only two
defeats to Riddick Bowe, whom he was soundly thumping each time
before being disqualified for punching Bowe in the groin. There
was even playful talk that Lewis (31-1), wary of a third
low-blow faux pas de deux, would don a cup made of reinforced
aluminum for this defense of his WBC title in Atlantic City.
Says Lewis's vigilant manager, Frank Maloney, "Lennox wants to
protect his wedding tackle!"
PPV, 9 PM
Mighty Ducks vs. Canucks
His name is Kariya, his father is Japanese, and he won't play
today in Tokyo for all the tea in China. Feeling disoriented?
Paul Kariya, who ranked third in the NHL in scoring (99 points)
last year and whose middle name is Tetsuhiko, should be the
marquee player for the league's first game in Japan. But at
week's end he and the Ducks were an ocean apart in contract
talks. While Kariya remained a sitting Duck, Pacific Division
rival Vancouver eagerly anticipated the pairing of new center
Mark Messier and right wing Pavel Bure (left), the Russian Rocket.
ESPN2, MIDNIGHT (TAPE-DELAY)
Patriots at Broncos
The biographies of quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe (right) of New
England and John Elway of Denver read like the Lincoln-Kennedy
(not the Oakland Raiders offensive tackle) comparison. Each is a
Washington native whose dad coached football, each played at a
Pac-10 school, each was the top pick in his NFL draft, and each
has absorbed a Super Bowl loss (well, O.K., Elway has three).
Finally, each leads an undefeated club into Mile High Stadium
for what many consider a preview of the AFC title game. Here's
where the comparisons diverge: Elway's career mark against the
Pats is 9-0, while Bledsoe is 0-2 against the Broncos.
ABC, 9 PM
League Championship Series
Any team earning a berth in the American League Championship
Series will face a familiar postseason foe. Each of the possible
matchups--the Cleveland Indians or the New York Yankees against
the Baltimore Orioles or the Seattle Mariners--has been played
within the last two playoff seasons. Making predictions chancy,
each team has beaten one of its possible opponents and lost to
the other. In the National League, should the Atlanta Braves get
by the Houston Astros in the division playoffs, they would be
making a record sixth consecutive Championship Series
appearance, against either the wild-card Florida Marlins or
1997's most surprising team, the San Francisco Giants.
NLCS GAME 2, NBC, 4 PM; ALCS GAME 1, FOX, 8 PM
All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.
COLOR PHOTO: AL BELLO/ALLSPORT [Andrew Golota]
COLOR PHOTO: V.J. LOVERO [Pavel Bure]
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO [Drew Bledsoe]
THE ! ZAPPER
The best argument for buying a home satellite-TV service may be
the NFL's policy of force-feeding fans their local team's game
on Fox or NBC while prohibiting the other network from showing
another game in that market simultaneously. Thus this Sunday's
best matchup--the Battle of the Bays, Green and Tampa (Fox, 1
p.m.)--will be available to only about 50% of the nation's TV
homes. While viewers in NFL ghost towns like Cleveland and Los
Angeles will be able to see the Pack and the Bucs, folks in
Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will be limited to their local teams
on NBC. Variety, Commissioner Tagliabue, is the spice of life.