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Original Issue


Saturday 12/13

Steelers at Patriots

Conditions in New England have swung from low visibility to
Everclear, but that doesn't mean they are favorable. Last Jan.
5, in fog-filled Foxboro Stadium, the Patriots vaporized the
Steelers 28-3 in an AFC playoff game. Eleven months later the
9-5 Pats have lost a Super Bowl, a despotic coach (Bill
Parcells, who decamped for the New York Jets) and a lot of face
after quarterback Drew Bledsoe stage-dived into a mosh pit at a
concert featuring the grunge band Everclear. Meanwhile,
Pittsburgh (10-4) has ridden the Bus--running back Jerome
Bettis--to the top of the AFC Central. Will the title of
Everclear's album Sparkle and Fade be the epitaph for the
Patriots' year?
NBC, 4 pm

College Football
Heisman Trophy Presentation

The following is sung to the tune of Petula Clarke's hit

When you play two ways for the school of blue and maize,
You can always go

Downtown (Athletic Club).

When you're a savior though you can't beat the Gators,
You can always go

Downtown (Athletic Club).

Charles Woodson (left)? Peyton Manning? One will lose, and
that's a pity;

Will there be tears, as when they honored Penn State's

Maybe so.

The slights are much brighter there,

We recall Gary Beban, recall Andre Ware; let's go

Downtown, kudos to Ryan Leaf.

Downtown, Tim Couch has got no beef.

Downtown, who'll win that handsome statue?
ESPN, 7:30 PM

Princeton at North Carolina

Two of life's mysteries: 1) How do the Tigers, at week's end
winners of 25 straight regular season games, do it? and 2) Why
is Larry King, in his weekly USA Today column, so infatuated
with Sinbad? Allow us to tackle the former. For all the chatter
about its backdoor plays, Princeton (ranked No. 25) wins with
defense, having led the nation in scoring D for eight straight
years. After going up against 6'10" senior center Steve Goodrich
(above) and the other tenacious Tigers, North Carolina's
All-America power forward Antawn Jamison and the third-ranked
Tar Heels, themselves winners of 18 consecutive regular-season
games, might agree: When this Ivy band plays out of its league,
it's rarely out of its league.
ESPN, 8:30 pm

Monday 12/15

Broncos at 49ers

Tonight on The Young and the Ringless: Will wide receiver Jerry
Rice of 12-2 San Francisco return (page 72)? Will quarterback
John Elway of 11-3 Denver outduel fellow future Hall of Famer
Steve Young? Will ABC's Al Michaels, while he is in the Bay
Area, visit his dear friend Al Davis? Most important: Is this
matchup a preview of Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego? If so, keep
in mind that the Niners are 5-0 in the Super Bowl, while the
Broncos are 0-4.
ABC, 9 pm

Wednesday 12/17

Red Wings at Avalanche

What hockey needs is a de-Claude Lemieux. Last month, in the
latest installment of the NHL's--if not pro sports'--nastiest
rivalry, Colorado's ornery right wing dropped the gloves even
before the referee dropped the puck. So impatient was Lemieux to
fight Detroit right wing Darren McCarty (with whom Lemieux, 22,
is matched below) that he switched sides with teammate Jeff
Odgers, who plays left wing, so he could line up directly across
from McCarty. Remember, though, that the Avalanche and the Red
Wings are the league's last two Stanley Cup winners and Lemieux
can play: At week's end he was fourth on the Avalanche in scoring.
ESPN2, 9 pm

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Charles Woodson in game]

COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS [Steve Goodrich and opposing player in game]

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO [Claude Lemieux and Darren McCarty in game]


Let's face it: More than a few of us watch auto racing only for
the crashes, Baywatch only for the babes and boxing only for the
knockouts. Catering to such prurient interests, Classic Sports
presents One-Round Knockouts (Friday, 10 p.m.). Hosts Dick
Schaap and Jack Newfield are our guides for what Schaap calls
"the short and sweet science." Shown--in their entirety!--are
nine of the most satisfyingly stunning bouts in heavyweight
history, such as Louis-Schmeling II and Ali-Liston II. Yet there
are moments, such as the Mike Tyson montage, that seem better
suited to a FOX special--say, When Heavyweights Attack.

All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.