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SI View The week in TV sports

Saturday 1/24

Lakers at SuperSonics

Shaq is back, thereby relegating El Nino to No. 2 among
havoc-wreaking forces of nature along the West Coast. The
forecast for the Pacific Division calls for high-pressure
clashes--this is the first of three this season--between Seattle
and L.A., who at week's end had the NBA's two best records, 31-8
and 29-9, respectively. Since returning to the Lakers lineup on
Jan. 2 after missing 22 games with strained abdominal muscles,
center Shaquille O'Neal had averaged 29.1 points and 11.5
rebounds. Today he'll pose a hefty challenge to the Sonics and
center Jim McIlvaine.
NBC, 3:30 pm

Connecticut at Syracuse

Khalid El-Amin a freshman? C'mon. The Huskies' husky (5'10", 200
pounds) point guard, who at 18 has already been married and
divorced, comports himself on the court like a fifth-year
senior. At week's end El-Amin (left, with ball) led No. 8 UConn
(16-2) in assists (4.5 average). He also had Big East fans
wondering if anyone has seen bulbous ex-Boston College
backcourtman John Bagley of late. The No. 15 Orangemen (15-2),
who this season have had a game at the Carrier Dome postponed
because of snow (attention, students: spaces on the spring-break
trip to Albany are still open), have a hot hand in swingman and
three-point ace Marius Janulis.

Sunday 1/25

Super Bowl XXXII

San Diego is known as America's Finest City, but the only other
positive AFC acronym applicable at Qualcomm Stadium figures to
be the one for Another Favre Conquest. True, a Denver Broncos
win would ensure fairy-tale endings aplenty, among them that
quarterback John Elway would finally get a ring and that running
back Terrell Davis, who attended the same San Diego high school
(Lincoln Academy) as Marcus Allen, would help the AFC to its
first victory since Allen's Los Angeles Raiders won Super Bowl
XVIII in 1984. After four quarters--and hours--though, Green Bay
Packers quarterback Brett Favre and mates such as running back
Dorsey Levens (left) will most likely have supplied a
nursery-rhyme theme: The Cheese stands alone.

Tuesday 1/27

Reflections on Ice: A Diary of Ladies' Figure Skating

Even the Russian judge gives it a 6.0. This elegant program
looks back on the sport's compulsory figures, such as British
pioneer Madge Syers, runner-up in the 1902 men's world
championships (there was no competition for women), and Norway's
Sonja Henie. Even better are the reverent interviews with
medalists such as Carol Heiss (gold, 1960), Peggy Fleming
(right, gold, '68) and Dorothy Hamill (gold, '76). Recalls '36
British silver medalist Cecilia Colledge of her outfit: "To
skate for a gold medal and silver seems, to me,
absolutely crazy."

Thursday 1/29

Canadiens at Flyers

Unless there's an injury to a Team Canada player, it's no go for
Nagano for Montreal right wing Mark Recchi. Two weeks ago
Recchi, 10th in the NHL in scoring (47 points), was named the
league's player of the week after leading the Canadiens to a
4-0-1 record in five road games. Still Recchi, who hails from
Kamloops, B.C., hadn't been selected to the Olympic squad. Any
spots left on the ice dancing team?
ESPN2, 7:30 PM

All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.

COLOR PHOTO: BOB CHILD/AP [Khalid El-Amin in game]

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Dorsey Levens in game]

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN ZIMMERMAN [Peggy Flemming skating]


Last week Fox Sports president David Hill said that besides
televising next year's Super Bowl, his network might air a
24-hour pregame show. No joke. The Game is already in need of
liposuction. If you survive NBC's 2 1/2-hour pregame show, MTV
provides the halftime coup de grace with Celebrity Deathmatch
Deathbowl '98, featuring Claymation tussles between, for
example, Kathie Lee Gifford and Howard Stern. In the promos for
this Super superfluity, wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin barks,
"Bring your own can o' whupass!" How about a reform movement?
How about placing Super Bowl I and II hero Bart Starr on a bare
stage and having him reflect on the thrill of Super Bowl Sunday?
No whupass required.