Olympics: Final Days
XVIII WINTER GAMES
The Jamaican bobsled team--last seen, we believe, at Ross
Rebagliati's going-away party--will aim for a finish in the top
10 in the four-man event (Saturday, 7 p.m., tape-delay). Look
for a U.S. sled (the one driven by Brian Shimer) to pick off a
medal for the first time since 1956. The men's gold medal hockey
game is live (Saturday, 11:35 p.m.). Finally, any Alpine events
not completed by the start of Sunday's closing ceremonies (8
p.m., tape-delay) should be rescheduled for Pebble Beach.
U.S. vs. The Netherlands
To those who snipe, "Soccer, the sport of the future, and it
always will be," we retort, "U.S. 1, Brazil 0"--the monumental
Feb. 10 semifinal CONCACAF Gold Cup win against the 1994 World
Cup champions. Led by Yugoslav expatriate Preki, who scored the
goal against Brazil, defender Eddie Pope and goalkeeper Casey
Keller (left), who deflects shots even more deftly than Mike
McCurry does, the Americans won six straight matches before
losing 1-0 to Mexico on Sunday. In this match in Miami--the
first meeting between the Dutch and U.S. squads--the Americans
will have to closely mark forward Patrick Kluivert.
--ESPN, 2 PM
UCLA at Duke
Blue Devils senior point guard Steve Wojciechowski is a special
player: He's the Dukie most likely to provide leadership, accrue
floor burns and spell his coach's name correctly. Wojo and
junior guard Trajan Langdon, an Alaskan with a pacific demeanor,
offer emotional ballast for an otherwise callow Duke squad
ranked No. 2 at week's end. For the No. 12 Bruins, two freshmen
guards, roommates Baron Davis and Earl Watson, have been
providing the spark.
--ABC, 1:30 PM
Dubai Desert Classic
I'm a sheik, I can buy anyone.
It may be crude to mention this, but some of the world's best
golfers are lured to one of the earth's largest sand traps--the
Saudi Arabian peninsula--by the exorbitant appearance fees,
which exceed the prize money. "I'm not going to lie to you,"
1995 Dubai champ Fred Couples (above) said after comparing his
appearance loot with his winner's check ($112,500). "It's a pile
of money." Maybe to you, Fred, but to an oil prince, it's emir
pittance. At week's end Couples's participation was uncertain,
but the sultans of swing were expected to include '97 U.S. Open
champion Ernie Els, five-time European tour money leader Colin
Montgomerie and '96 British Open titlist Tom Lehman.
--GOLF, WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, 5 AM
Lakers at Pacers
Indiana forward Chris Mullin (opposite page) is the Bird man
from Alcatraz. Last summer, upon escaping the Bay Area and the
shackles of a career spent until then with the Warriors, Mullin
said that former Dream Teammate Larry Bird, the incoming Pacers
coach, was his primary reason for moving to Indiana. At week's
end Mullin was leading the league in free throw shooting (93.9%)
and was fourth from behind the three-point arc (45.3%).
Tonight's most meaningful one-on-one tussle: the one in the
middle between Pacers All-Star center Rik Smits and Lakers
All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal. The Dunkin' Dutchman will
doubtless employ the strategic foul on Shaq, who was shooting
way better from the field (an NBA-best 59.2%) than from the
charity stripe (49.2%).
--TBS, 8 PM
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER [Casey Keller in game]
COLOR PHOTO: MATTHEW STOCKMAN/ALLSPORT [Chris Mullin]
COLOR PHOTO: BOB MARTIN [Fred Couples golfing]
THE ! ZAPPER
Daredevils Live! Shattering the Records. We fervently hope
that's all that's shattered in this made-for-TV event, brought
to us by--who else?--Fox (Tuesday, 8 p.m.). Motorcycle stuntman
Robbie Knievel, who has fashioned a career out of following in
his father Evel's footcasts, hopes to break a so-called world
record (and not his coccyx) by jumping over 30 limousines. Bravo
to cost-conscious Fox execs, who can, should Knievel fail, reuse
the footage for a future segment of World's Scariest Motorcycle