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SI View The Week in TV Sports


Saturday 1/16

Mike Tyson vs. Francois Botha
PPV ($45.95) 9 PM

Champ. Chomp. Chump? There's plenty of room available on the
Mike Tyson bandwagon (page 62)--just don't get in its way. Tyson
(45-3, 39 KOs), who last fought inside the ring in June 1997
against Evander Holyfield (right) and outside it with a motorist
on a Maryland highway last summer after an automobile collision,
is hardly earning chump change (at least $10 million) for
tonight's 10-round heavyweight bout in Las Vegas against former
IBF champ Frans Botha of South Africa. Botha (39-1) suffered his
only loss in 1996 to Michael Moorer, in a 12-round slugfest that
Moorer exited with a broken jaw. Tyson was able to plead no
contest after his road-rage fracas; tonight, especially if he's
rusty, he may have a fight on his hands.


Saturday 1/16

Winter X Games
ABC 5 PM and ESPN2 8PM

You're too old to watch this, the third annual alpine
alternative extravaganza, if you think Leo is a zodiac sign or
Buffy hangs with Mr. French. For six days (on ABC, ESPN and/or
ESPN2) Crested Butte, Colo., becomes South Park as young
hellions from around the globe with one thing in common--a need
to wear baggy pants slung as low around the waist as is
anatomically possible--compete in 17 events in six sports:
snowboarding, ice climbing, snow mountain-bike racing, free
skiing, snowmobile snocross and skiboarding. Next year, please,
give us snowball fights.

Sunday 1/17

NFL Conference Championships
FOX 12:35 PM; CBS 4:05 PM

Our reaction to TV kickoff coverage, whereby commercials air
immediately before and immediately after the boot: Just give me
the damn remote! In the AFC battle on CBS, wideoutspoken
Keyshawn Johnson leads the Jets into Denver to face league MVP
Terrell Davis (2,008 yards rushing) and the Super Bowl champion
Broncos, who haven't returned a kickoff for a touchdown in Mile
High Stadium since 1966. In Fox's NFC game at the Metrodome, the
Falcons hope not to field too many kickoffs from the prolific
Vikings, who set a league scoring record during the regular
season (556 points).

Monday 1/18

Penguins at Mighty Ducks
ESPN2 10:30 PM

Disney is responsible for the Mighty Ducks and Mighty Joe Young
but not, of all creatures, Mighty Mouse. Why? (Because we like
you.) The k-e-y to Pittsburgh's fortunes is right wing Jaromir
Jagr. Through Sunday, Jagr was dueling Anaheim left wing Paul
Kariya for the NHL lead in scoring and chasing Ducks right wing
Tomas Sandstrom in hopes of becoming the league's active career
scoring leader among Europeans. Finland's Sandstrom had 831
points in 14-plus seasons, while Czech-born Jagr, in his ninth
year, had 785.

Thursday 1/21

Cincinnati at Louisville
ESPN 9:30 PM

Freedom Hall is just another word(s) for nothin' left to lose.
Banned by the NCAA from appearing in this year's postseason
basketball tournament, Louisville (8-3 through Sunday) is
appealing off the court (are the Cards lobbying for censure?)
and on it. On their own floor, a.k.a. the Coop de 'ville, the
Cards were 6-0. The third-ranked Bearcats (15-0) had been
perfect on every floor, and forward Pete Mickeal, averaging 14.1
points and 6.6 rebounds, was carrying a far longer victory
streak. Including two seasons at Indian Hills Community College
in Ottumwa, Iowa, the 6'6" junior had won 87 straight.


COLOR PHOTO: JOHN IACONO [Mike Tyson and opponent in bout]



Overnight rating for Sunday's women's basketball game between
Connecticut and Tennessee on CBS--more than twice the rating the
same matchup got on CBS a year ago.


Truly, Washington, D.C., is the resig-nation's capital. On
Saturday, Dec. 19, during a televised mid-morning address,
Speaker of the House-elect Robert Livingston, citing marital
woes, resigned his seat. Last Friday, Georgetown basketball
coach John Thompson, also citing marital woes, resigned, also
during a televised mid-morning news conference. Thompson had the
decency to resign on a weekday, thus not disrupting any NFL
coverage. Thanks, Coach.