Florida at Auburn
Tennessee at Alabama
Winn-Dixie: Southern supermarket chain or the state of Alabama's
rallying cry? Both. This day-night SEC TV doubleheader begins on
the Plain at Auburn, where the 6-0 Tigers face the newly humbled
Gators (5-1). Auburn's offense is sparked by quarterback
Dameyune Craig (above), who has four 300-yard passing games this
season. Florida signal-caller Doug Johnson, who threw four
interceptions in last Saturday's loss at LSU, must keep the ball
away from Tigers linebacker Takeo Spikes. In Birmingham the
ebbing Tide (3-2) will look to derail the Heisman hopes of
quarterback Peyton Manning, who has led the Vols (4-1) to
back-to-back wins over 'Bama.
CBS, 3:30 PM; ESPN, 7 PM
At week's end, this much we knew: The Fall Classic will take
place entirely in the Eastern time zone (for the fourth straight
Series), on natural grass and in baseball stadiums that didn't
exist six years ago. In the National League city that hosts
tonight's opener and Sunday night's Game 2, the pitchers will
go to bat, which means (especially when the American League
teams are at the plate) that the balmy breezes will not be
exclusively attributable to the local climate. Changes in
latitude, designated-hitter rules and sleeve length will occur
for the weeknight Games 3, 4 and (if necessary) 5 in the
American League park.
NBC, 8:00 PM
Nike Tour Championship
Poor Bobby Wadkins. Bobby, 46, is the younger brother of
47-year-old PGA Tour mainstay and former Ryder Cup captain
Lanny. Since 1975, Bobby has teed it up 606 times on the PGA
circuit and 22 more on the Nike tour without tasting victory.
The top 15 Nike money winners at season's end receive PGA Tour
cards for the next year, and entering '97's final Nike
tournament at Grand National in Opelika, Ala., Wadkins ranked
15th. Why not a card-clinching win? He's due.
ESPN, 2 PM
Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?
Besides being celebrated in Mrs. Robinson, the Yankee Clipper
(left, with fans in 1940) was also immortalized in the song
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, a rendition of which is one of the many
highlights of this ruminative program. Though all the bases of
DiMaggio's 82 years are touched--the 56-game hitting streak,
Marilyn Monroe, the 1949 return from injury--what resonates are
the insights about this intensely private man. As fellow Yankees
outfielder Tommy Henrich says, "He never seemed to be able to
sit down with ballplayers and be one of them."
HBO, 8 PM
Red Wings vs. Mighty Ducks
Sergei Fedorov is AWOL--again. The former star of the Soviet
Union's Red Army team, who defected in 1990 to play for Detroit,
has defected from the Stanley Cup champions in a salary dispute
unresolved at week's end. Before Detroit's season opener at
Calgary, someone posted a Red Wings injury list on the Flames'
dressing room chalkboard that read, "Kirk Maltby [who had a
separated shoulder]" and "Sergei Fedorov (wallet)." Detroit
began the season 4-0-1, but minus a better-off Fedorov, the
Wings could have trouble matching the scoring of Anaheim wingers
Teemu Selanne (left) and Tomas Sandstrom.
ESPN2, 10:30 PM
All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT ROGERS [Dameyune Craig in game]
B/W PHOTO: JOHN DURANT [Joe DiMaggio signing autograph for children]
COLOR PHOTO: JAMIE SQUIRE/ALLSPORT [Teemu Selanne in game]
THE ! ZAPPER
We sure do envy Tony Danza--and not just because he probably has
Alyssa Milano's phone number. On his new, eponymously titled
sitcom (NBC, Wednesdays, 8 p.m.), the erstwhile cabbie (Taxi)
and housekeeper (Who's the Boss?) falls to a new occupational
low, portraying Tony DiMeo, a New York-based sportswriter unlike
any we know. Well-dressed, well-coiffed, residing in a posh
Manhattan high-rise with his two daughters, technophobe Danza
also employs his own lustworthy personal assistant (Maria
Canals), to whom he dictates his copy. Memo to Danza: We
sportswriters don't compose our stories in the same cursory
manner in which we would a grocery list. Then again, we usually
order out or eat at the ballpark.