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SI View The Week in TV Sports


Friday 12/18
Stars at Red Wings
ESPN 7:30 PM

Halloween and Friday the 13th (of November). The NHL's two best
teams have met twice this season, on those dates, and each game
has been a scream. In the first, Dallas, playing on home ice and
propelled by two goals from $17 million free-agent signee right
wing Brett Hull, beat Detroit 3-2, thus quashing whispers that
Brett was the most over-budget Hull on ice since Titanic. The
sequel, at Joe Louis Arena, turned out to be a Texas Chainsaw
Massacre. The Stars scored seven seconds into the game and
slashed through Detroit's defense for a 5-1 win. Then again, the
Stars know what Red Wings Sergei Fedorov, Steve Yzerman & Co.
did last summer (O.K., late last spring): won their second
consecutive Stanley Cup.


Saturday 12/12
Heisman Trophy Presentation
ESPN 7:30 PM

His coaches have been John Mackovic and Mack Brown, but Texas
running back Ricky Williams is the undisputed MackDaddy of
college football. This season Williams broke 1976 Heisman
honoree Tony Dorsett's career rushing record as well as records
for all-purpose yards and touchdowns, proving that
He-is-(da)-man. Tonight at New York City's Downtown Athletic
Club, unless grizzled scribes have mistaken his dreadlocks for
those of Venus Williams, the long-yardage Longhorn will become
the 64th player to receive the bronze statue. The show also will
look back at 1948 winner Doak Walker and '73 honoree John

Maryland at Kentucky
ESPN 8:30 PM

In their first eight games the Terrapins (10-0 and ranked No. 2
at week's end) turtle-waxed the opposition by an average margin
of 32.8 points. On Sunday, led by juco transfer guard Steve
Francis's 24 points (page 76), Maryland was just as impressive
in winning a close one, 62-60 over No. 6 Stanford. Tonight's
turtle hurdle at hostile Rupp Arena: defending national champion
Kentucky (7-1, No. 5), which already had been led in scoring by
six different players.

Sunday 12/13
National Finals Rodeo
ESPN 4:30 PM

More chaws than baseball. As many injuries as the NFL. Less b.s.
than the NBA labor talks. That's rodeo. The 40th anniversary
world championship culminates in Las Vegas, and there's a
connection to be made among bull riding, being able to last
eight seconds and Dennis Rodman's marriage to Carmen Electra,
but we're not about to make it. Six-time all-around champion Ty
Murray, injured the last three years, returns and is the
favorite to reclaim the gold belt buckle. If Murray does so, he
will be the first seven-time winner.

Jets at Dolphins
ESPN 8:15 PM

A not-so-Dolphin-safe Tuna invades Marinoworld as Bill Parcells
(page 98) brings New York to Miami's Pro Player Stadium for an
AFC East showdown. Though the Jets have the NFL's worst December
record this decade (7-26), Parcells, in his second season at the
helm, has them tied with the Dolphins atop their division. New
York quarterback Vinny Testaverde is playing his best ball since
he won the Heisman playing for that other Miami team, the
Hurricanes, under a coach named Jimmy Johnson. Dolphins
quarterback Dan Marino recently threw his NFL-record 400th
career touchdown pass. It went to favorite target O.J. McDuffie.

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO [Brett Hull and Detroit Red Wings player in game]


Overnight rating for TBS's 9 p.m. World Championship Wrestling
last Thursday night--possibly siphoning viewers from the competing
Eagles-Rams telecast, which drew a 4.5 on ESPN, the network's
lowest rating ever for an NFL game.


Kudos to CBS sideline reporter Mike Mayock for his work at last
Saturday's Army-Navy game. "We need to cover this as
professionally and humanely as possible," said Mayock of the
collapse of a railing that resulted in injuries to nine
spectators. Credit Mayock, a Philadelphian, for unflinching
criticism of Veterans Stadium and its event staff. However, he
didn't note that those hurt might never have plunged had they
not been mugging for a CBS camera.