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Original Issue

SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 3/14

Red Wings at Flyers

Sam Jones is back. Detroit holdout Sergei Fedorov (below)
recently returned to the Red Wings after the Stanley Cup champs
matched Carolina's $38 million offer sheet. During his absence
Fedorov, as popular in Detroit's locker room as Brett Butler is
in the Los Angeles Dodgers', was called Sam Jones by some
teammates for a comment he made about the unrealistic
expectations placed on Russian-born skaters. "If my name were
Sam Jones," said Fedorov, the only player to win the Hart (MVP)
and Selke (top defensive forward) trophies in the same season
(1993-94), "I would be a superstar here forever." He certainly
would be in Boston. Despite their star center's aloofness, the
Red Wings, who swept Philadelphia in last season's Stanley Cup
finals, will be better off with Fedorov.
Fox, 3 PM

The Olympic Show

With NBC owning the broadcast rights to both the Summer and
Winter Olympics through 2008, it's no surprise that its cable
cousin recently rolled out this weekly half-hour program hosted
by Dan Hicks. This installment is devoted to the U.S. women's
gold-medal-winning teams of the '96 Summer Games. O.K., it's a
themed show, but the three segments--on the softball, basketball
and soccer squads--are too homogenous and suffer from brevity.
While each piece includes terrific insider footage and
interviews, a more trenchant tale might have been told by
weaving the three stories into one. Through a pair of polished
yet rose-colored episodes, The Olympic Show too much resembles a
commercial for the Games.

Bulls at Spurs

In these teams' other meeting this season--on Nov. 3 in
Chicago--Michael Jordan hit a tying three-pointer at the end of
regulation, and the Bulls won 87-83 in double overtime. That
game, the third in the NBA career of Spurs forward-center Tim
Duncan (left), was a harbinger, as Duncan, the top pick in last
June's draft, matched Chicago forward Dennis Rodman with 22
rebounds. Duncan, who has been named NBA rookie of the month all
four times that distinction has been awarded this season,
through Sunday was at the head of his class in scoring (20.0
points), rebounding (11.8), field goal percentage (.546) and
minutes played (38.3). San Antonio, which earlier this season
won 15 in a row at the Alamodome, was 5-2 since Duncan's Twin
Tower teammate, center David Robinson, returned after missing
six games with a sore right knee.
WGN, 8:30 PM

Sunday 3/15

MLS: United at Fusion

In a savvy marketing move aimed at attracting South Florida's
sizable Hispanic community, expansion team Miami acquired
midfielder Carlos (the Mop) Valderrama (right), the 1996 Major
League Soccer MVP and a three-time national player of the year
in Colombia, from the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Less politically correct
was the decision by a Fusion fan group (the Afusionados) to
name section 113 of Lockhart Stadium the Nuclear Bomb Area. The
league didn't do the Fusion any favors in scheduling its
franchise debut. Miami draws two-time defending champion D.C.
United, featuring forward Jaime Moreno, who led the league in
goals last season, with 16 in 20 games.

Thursday 3/19

NCAA Tournament: Third Round

The Sweet 16 is no place for pretenders. In the last 10 years
only five schools seeded lower than No. 8 have reached this
round. Though each of those teams advanced to a regional final,
none made the Final Four, and the most recent Cinderella to make
the Elite 8, 10th-seeded Providence a year ago, had God
(Shammgod) on its side. It's fitting that one of CBS's regularly
scheduled programs in this time slot is The Promised Land, a
drama about a family that roams the country in search of the
American dream.
CBS, 7:30 PM (ALSO FRIDAY, 7:30 PM)


COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER [Sergei Fedorov and two others in game]


COLOR PHOTO: SIMON BRUTY/ALLSPORT [Carlos Valderrama and opposing player in game]


Yeast is yeast, and west is west, a reminder that highlights of
the Whitbread Round the World Race's sixth leg--from Sao
Sebastiao, Brazil, to Fort Lauderdale--can be viewed on ESPN
(Saturday and Wednesday, 1 a.m.). The British entry Silk Cut was
forced to withdraw from the race's treacherous fifth leg (from
Auckland, New Zealand, to Sao Sebastiao) after hitting an
iceberg. There's no truth to the rumor that the crew was
distracted by the sight of two young lovers kissing on deck.