Publish date:

SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 4/25

Canadiens at Penguins

Who can check the Czech? That's the conundrum for Montreal in
tonight's Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff Game 2. In
1990 Pittsburgh right wing Jaromir Jagr became the first
Czechoslovakian to attend an NHL draft without having to defect
from his homeland. It was only fitting: Jagr has no defects in
his game. With 35 goals and 67 assists this season, Jagr won his
second league scoring title. To halt him, Montreal is expected
to start 38-year-old goaltender Andy Moog.
ESPN2, 7:30 PM

Roy Jones Jr. vs. Virgil Hill

Last summer light heavyweight champion Jones (35-1, with 30
knockouts) avenged his only loss, to Montell Griffin, with a
first-round knockout. Tonight's nontitle bout from Biloxi,
Miss., pits Jones (left, pummeling Mike McCallum), often cited
along with Oscar de la Hoya as the world's best pound-for-pound
fighter, against former champion Hill (43-2, with 20 KOs). The
best, and most popular, fighter in North Dakota, Hill was handed
the keys to the city of Fargo after winning a silver medal at
the 1984 Olympics and is managed by Bismarck mayor Bill
Sorenson. A quick boxer with a soft right hand--he has scored
only one knockout in the last six years--Hill has appeared in 25
title fights and has won 23.
HBO, 10:15 PM

Sunday 4/26

NBA Playoffs

You've heard of the game show Win Ben Stein's Money? Welcome to
Win David Stern's Money (before Rod Thorn takes it away). Teams
that win the best-of-five first-round series earn $101,500 and a
possible all-expenses paid trip to Chicago later this spring.
The opener of today's tripleheader of Game 2s finds the Knicks
in Miami, seeking revenge for last year's playoff meltdown. Next
up are the Lakers, who won 16 of their last 18 regular-season
games and who host the Trail Blazers. Point guard Damon
Stoudamire, 5'10", must play like a man 6-feet tall if Portland
is to avoid its sixth straight first-round exit. In the finale
the Nets--whose last win against Michael Jordan in Chicago came
on March 3, 1985--send Keith, Kendall and Kerry (Van Horn, Gill
and Kittles, respectively) against the champion Bulls.
NBC, 12:30 PM

The Unreal Story of Professional Wrestling

Tune in, or as Classy Freddie Blassie might say, "I'll rock you
with my cane, you pencil-necked geek!" Mixing history (Plato,
whose name means "broad-shouldered," was a wrestler) with
spectacle, this adroitly written, no-holds-barred, two-hour
special features more rasslers than a WWF battle royal: The
Strangler, Gorgeous George (left, in 1949), Nature Boy Buddy
Rogers, Killer Kowalski, The Crusher, The Fabulous Moolah,
Gorilla Monsoon, The Iron Sheik, Sergeant Slaughter, Hulk Hogan
and, last but not beast, Andre the Giant. (But where's Bruno
Sammartino?) Narrated by Steve Allen, himself a ringside
commentator in TV's early days, this report, unlike the men,
women and midgets it chronicles, pulls no punches. "Don't get me
wrong, I like violence," declares a breathless female fan, "but
I'm here for the men."
A&E, 8 pm

Thursday 4/30

Orioles at White Sox
Cardinals at Cubs

Sports anchors are polishing their home run calls in
anticipation of today's action in the Windy City--especially if
the breezes are blowing east, i.e., out. Seven of the top 19
active career homer hitters could be taking their cuts at
Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field. Baltimore has a trio in Joe
Carter (379 through Sunday), Cal Ripken (372) and Harold Baines
(340). The Sox will counter with Albert Belle (274) and Frank
Thomas (260). St. Louis's Gary Gaetti had taken the slow trot
333 times and his teammate Mark McGwire (left) had 395
round-trippers. McGwire maniacs, take note. The last four-homer
game in the National League came off the bat of a Cardinal named
Mark (Whiten, in 1993).
WGN, 2 PM; 8 PM

COLOR PHOTO: ANDY LYONS/ALLSPORT [Mike McCallum and Roy Jones Jr. boxing]

B/W PHOTO: HY PESKIN/LIFE [Wrestler Gorgeous George]



According to Advertising Age, not counting Sunday-night NFL
games, the two most expensive shows on which to advertise on
cable, in their respective categories, are Comedy Central's
South Park ($45,000 per 30-second spot) and ESPN's postgame
Sunday night SportsCenter ($33,000). Are there any common
elements? Well, both feature a character named Kenny, originate
from a hibernal backwater and aren't averse to violence. Each
has a gurulike figure. South Park's is Chef. On SportsCenter
he's Dr. Jack Ramsay.