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Original Issue

SI View The Week in TV Sports


Sunday 5/30

Indianapolis 500
Coca-Cola 600
ABC 11 AM; TBS 6:05 PM

Some will recall Mad About You as a vapid sitcom, others will
recall it as a vapid Belinda Carlisle song, and a lucky few will
remember neither. Similarly, some fans think of Hoosier Tony
Stewart, who last year set an Indy Racing League record for most
laps led (812) in a season, as an Indy car racer. Others, noting
his four Top 10 finishes in this, his rookie season in NASCAR,
consider him a stock car racer. Today, Stewart (right, in the
lead earlier this month at the California 500), who's mad about
both circuits, attempts to become the first driver to complete
in one day all 1,100 miles of these two events, sandwiched
around a 428-mile flight from Indianapolis to Concord, N.C.


Saturday 5/29

NHL Eastern Conference Finals
ESPN 7:30 PM

Asked once by a customs official at the Canada-U.S. border if he
had anything to declare, comedian Steven Wright deadpanned,
"War." It's no joke now, with Buffalo and Toronto, just 60 miles
apart, meeting for the first time in the postseason. (Game 4 is
tonight.) The matchup boasts the two hottest goaltenders in the
NHL, the Sabres' Dominik Hasek and the Maple Leafs' Curtis
Joseph. Their presence in the nets suggests a series whose
characters have few goals--hockey's answer to It's Like, You Know.

Sunday 5/30

Prefontaine Classic

Kennedy-Johnson was a winning ticket in 1960 in a race of
another nature. Today, in a meet at historic Hayward Field in
Eugene, Ore., Americans Bob Kennedy and Michael Johnson will toe
the starting line, if not the party line. Earlier this month
Kennedy made the the fastest 10K debut (27:38) by an American
since Steve Prefontaine (after whom this meet is named) ran a
27:43.6 in 1974. At the Pre, Kennedy will return to his
specialty, the 5,000 meters, in which he holds the U.S. record.
Olympic champion Johnson, owner of the year's fastest 400-meters
time (44.51), will be pitted against five of the world's top 10
at that distance.

Monday 5/31

NBA Conference Finals
NBC 5:30 PM

You can spot the symptoms: logy, baggy-eyed coworkers doing a
pick-and-roll to the water cooler. They're East Coast-residing
fans of Western Conference teams, Livin' la Vida Nocturna by
staying up past midnight to watch the thrilling NBA endings.
Thankfully, the late-afternoon start for today's game in the
West final (teams not determined as SI went to press), as well
as the mid-evening tip-offs for conference finals games later in
the week (Tuesday, TNT, 8:30 p.m. and Friday, NBC, 9 p.m.),
augur a productive June in workplaces from Pittsfield to

Friday 6/4

Braves at Red Sox
TBS 7 pm

Yes, Atlanta's franchise began in Boston, but a more
contemporary link between the cities is Georgia Tech, alma mater
of Red Sox stars Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek. Shortstop
Garciaparra had a two-grand-slam, 10-RBI game this season.
Catcher Varitek belted two homers in last week's 6-0 win over
the Yankees that catapulted Boston into first place in the
American League East. Yellow Jackets with Red Sox? Ronald
McDonald is no longer the only one who finds that ensemble




Local rating (equal to 162,000 homes) on Boston's WSBK for Game
6 of the Bruins-Sabres Stanley Cup playoff series. Against it,
the Red Sox-Yankees game on New England Sports Network got a 4.2
(92,000 homes).


If the National Spelling Bee on ESPN (Thursday, noon) keeps
drawing big numbers--last year it outrated the network's regular
programming in the time slot--how will sensationalist Fox respond?
We envision shows aimed at the college demographic, with specials
based on notorious campus drinking games, such as a National
Quarters Bee or the Thumper Classic. By the way, maybe one of the
spectacular spellers can teach ESPN how to spell extreme.