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Original Issue

SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 8/15
Rangers at Yankees

It's not the heat, it's the humanity. This summer the
Dallas-Fort Worth area has suffered through 42 days of
100[degree]-plus temperatures and an MLS team ill-advisedly
named Burn. Scorching? The crew of Walker, Texas Ranger fled to
Park City, Utah, for on-location shooting. The Rangers turned up
the heat by acquiring shortstop Royce Clayton and pitcher Todd
Stottlemyre from the St. Louis Cardinals and third baseman Todd
Zeile from the Florida Marlins. The moves gave the Rangers the
inside track for the American League West title and a possible
divisional playoff showdown against the New York Yankees. Zeile
has hit .269 with two homers in eight games with Texas through
Aug. 9, and Stottlemyre (1-1, 6.52 ERA), whose dad, Mel, is the
Yankees' pitching coach, may be the new king of the hill. Of
course, if you want to talk scorching, seven Yanks are hitting
.300 or better lifetime against the Rangers, led by rightfielder
Paul O'Neill's .346.

Sunday 8/16

PGA Championship, Final Round

A few links tips for Seattle's grunge crowd, who will be paid a
visit by a PGA Tour event for the first time since 1944: 1)
Davis Love III, the defending champion in this event, is no
relation to Courtney; 2) Curtis Strange is a golf commentator,
not a comment that Courtney might have made about her late
husband; and 3) the golfers are wondering the same things about
your wardrobe. The par-70 Sahalee Country Club in suburban
Redmond could see Mark O'Meara become the first man to win three
majors in one year since Ben Hogan did it in 1953. Then again,
the PGA was the first victory in a major for nine of the last 10
winners of the Wanamaker Trophy. Those seeking a trend should
note that the titlists in six of the last seven Tour events have
been at least 37 years old, which bodes well for hometown boy
Fred Couples, who's 38.
TBS, 11 AM; CBS, 2 PM

Babe Ruth

Aug. 16 is American Icon Day. Born on this date: Madonna and
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Died: Elvis and the Bambino. This charming
glimpse of Ruth (richer than ESPN's Outside the Lines entry last
month) features terrific footage--Babe skis! Babe surfs! Babe
sings!--of "the only guy who ever lived up to his reputation,"
in the words of Yankee great Tommy Henrich. On the 50th
anniversary of the Babe's death, former players and media types
such as Studs Terkel fondly recall him as a man whose appetite
for baseball was surpassed only by his appetite for living. Yet
even with that dissipated Ruthian lifestyle, notice how many
frames in this documentary show a smiling Babe surrounded by
happy children. His appeal knew no age limits. "He was the
Fourth of July," says author Donald Honig, "brass bands and New
Year's Eve all rolled into one."

Monday 8/17

Cowboys vs. Patriots

Are the Cowboys the same hapless bunch that sputtered to a 6-10
record last year? Or can new coach Chan Gailey get quarterback
Troy Aikman (left), running back Emmitt Smith and wideout
Michael Irvin back in Super Bowl form? The Patriots, who
ventured within a point of last season's AFC Championship Game,
must find a replacement for rusher Curtis Martin, who Jetted
away. Rookie backs Robert Edwards (if he's recovered from a
groin injury) and Harold Shaw will get good looks during this
preseason game from Mexico City.

Golf Talk Live

By finishing 21st at the Masters and 14th at the U.S. Open with
an ever gracious smile, 20-year-old amateur Matt Kuchar (with
his father after winning the 1997 U.S. Amateur) has already
established himself among the PGA Tour leaders in galleries won
over. On this show, Matt, the defending U.S. Amateur champion,
and his caddie daddy, Peter, will talk to host Peter Kessler
about Matt's plan to return to Georgia Tech and compete during
his junior year rather than turning pro. Kessler, a seasoned
interviewer of more than 200 guests since this program's debut
in 1995, promises that he will directly address the role played
by Peter Kuchar, who has addled some pros with his cheerleading
during his son's rounds. "I want to find out if the son is
living his own dream," says Kessler, "or his father's."



COLOR PHOTO: JOE PICCIOLO [Matt Kuchar and Peter Kuchar]


Nobody did a double-take, much less a triple-double-take, upon
hearing that Magic Johnson's late-night car wreck of a talk
show, The Magic Hour, had been canceled last week. After all,
when you resort to staging a contest that gives an audience
member the chance to win a date with your sexy bandleader
(Sheila E.), a ploy that we would love to see David Letterman
mimic, you're just a step up from a tag-team wrestling match.
Oops, sorry, Jay. Magic's final act on his farewell show last
Thursday was fitting: He took an errant shot at a hoop with a
red-white-and-blue ABA basketball. In other words, it was a game
effort, Earvin, but you were out of your league.