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Original Issue

SI View The Week in TV Sports

Saturday 10/3

Penn State at Ohio State

Since joining the Big Ten in 1993, Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions
have waged successful battles on every conference foe's home
front except one: the Buckeyes'. Ohio State has twice humbled
the Nittanies at Ohio Stadium, 24-6 in '93 and 38-7 in '96, and
possesses the weapons to do so again. Learn these names now, and
you won't have to study before the Jan. 1 final exam, i.e., the
Fiesta Bowl: Andy Katzenmoyer, the linebacker who hits like a
sport utility vehicle; Antoine Winfield, the cornerback who had
more tackles than the Big Kat a year ago; David Boston, the wide
receiver who caught a school-record 14 passes in last year's
31-27 loss at State College; and tailback Michael Wiley, whose
9.3 yards per carry is the best such mark in the nation. This
one could give JoePa gray hairs.

Baseball Division Series

The National Pastime had its own Conan O'Brienesque Hot List
entering the Division Series, which continue Sunday and Monday,
if necessary. Shane Spencer: The Yankees' Big Apple-cheeked
rookie outfielder clobbered 10 homers in just 67 at bats this
season and was the buzz of the Bronx. The Rangers: New York's
foe turned the lights out at Edison Field last week by sweeping
the Angels. Manny Ramirez: Cleveland's righty slugger hit eight
home runs in five games last month and could slay Fenway Park's
Green Monster in today's Game 4 (if necessary). Trevor Hoffman:
The fat lady takes voice lessons from the Padres reliever
(left), whose 53 saves in 54 tries will have the Astros trying
to padlock the door of the bullpen.
ESPN, 1 PM AND 11 PM; FOX, 4 PM; NBC, 7:30 PM

Sunday 10/4

Seahawks at Chiefs

Senator "Tad" Kennedy (D., Mass.) may disagree, but there is a
guy in Missouri who dons a red helmet and hits even harder than
"Mike" McGwire. Through four games this season Kansas City
outside linebacker Derrick Thomas has seven sacks and an early
head of steam toward breaking Mark Gastineau's NFL season record
of 22. Thomas gets closer to more quarterbacks than Leigh
Steinberg. The Chiefs (3-1) are winning in a fashion typical of
their coach, Marty Schottenheimer: by being the NFL leader in
turnovers forced. On Sept. 20 K.C. harassed Chargers rookie
quarterback Ryan Leaf into 1-for-15 passing, two interceptions
and three fumbles. Fellow AFC West contender Seattle (3-1) will
need all of Warren Moon's 16 years of quarterbacking experience.
ESPN, 8:15 PM

Monday 10/5

Vikings at Packers

Blackjack! An offensive player with this much talent still
available at the 21st pick--what were the teams that drafted
before the Vikings thinking when they passed on...Robert Smith?
Rookie wide receiver Randy Moss is not the only ace in the
Vikings' 21 Club. Last season Smith, Minnesota's first-round
selection in 1993, rushed for a team-record 1,266 yards. Before
that, Smith was best known as an Ohio State premed student who
was chastised by a school official for being "too serious" about
his studies. (Funny how things in Columbus have changed.)
Tonight Smith and Moss, who has a team-high 17 catches for 4-0
Minnesota, will oppose another NFC Central unbeaten that
possesses one of the league's stiffest defenses.
ABC, 8:20 PM

Friday 10/9

Flyers at Rangers

While the fans in Philly will be content with nothing less than
their Flyers' hoisting the Cup this season, New Yorkers expect
no more than that the Rangers will be wearing cups. New York is
one Wayne Gretzky retirement press conference from imploding.
Last season Gretzky, 37, led the NHL in assists with 67, despite
having no teammate score more than 23 goals. The Flyers have
added goalie John Vanbiesbrouck to complement the NHL's best
front line of John LeClair (51 goals), Eric Lindros and Dainius
Zubrus. On opening night, there's a much wider gap between
Philadelphia and New York than New Jersey.
--ESPN, 7:30 PM


COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER [Ohio State and Penn State players in football game]

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH [Trevor Hoffman pitching]

COLOR PHOTO: RHONDA COX/MTV ANIMATION [Claymation figures of Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman on TV show Celebrity Deathmatch]


Not even the NBA lockout could prevent a battle royal between
Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan (above, left) and Dennis Rodman on
Celebrity Deathmatch (MTV, Thursday, 10 p.m.). After Jordan
swings a baseball bat at Rodman's head (and strikes out), the
Worm, bedecked in a pink thong, turns and tosses him out of the
ring. Can Air rebound against the world's greatest rebounder?
What do you think? If MTV wanted a match that had real enmity,
it would have pitted commissioner David Stern against union boss
Billy Hunter.