PGA Mercedes Championship
ESPN SATURDAY 7:30 PM; SUNDAY 8 PM Did you see Tiger Woods on the
sideline at the Orange Bowl, sporting that closely cropped blond
'do? Was that in tribute to Eminem, Sisqo or Jack Nicklaus? The
PGA Tour tees off the 2001 season in prime time from Kapalua,
Hawaii, with Woods scheduled to defend his title. Last year in
this tournament he battled Ernie Els (a natural blond) shot for
shot before beating him in the second hole of a playoff.
NFL Conference Championship Games
FOX (NFC) 12:30 PM; CBS (AFC) 4 PM If Tom Hanks had gotten
himself marooned on Fox's Temptation Island, well then, Cast Away
would have been a much different film, eh? The temptation to
favor the home-standing Giants and Raiders, and cast away the
Vikings and Ravens, is tempered by the fact that Minnesota can
unleash wideout Randy Moss and Baltimore boasts linebacker Ray
Lewis, arguably the NFL's two most gifted players.
Connecticut at Notre Dame
ESPN 2 PM Alicia Ratay (rhymes with dead-eye) is a gunslinger.
Through Sunday, Ratay, a sophomore guard for the Fighting Irish,
led the nation's women in three-point shooting (33 for 52, 63.5%)
and had No. 3 Notre Dame (14-0) primed to topple the top-ranked
Huskies (11-0). The Irish have never beaten UConn in 11 tries but
had won 30 straight home games, a streak nearly as impressive as
Connecticut's 28 consecutive victories. Assuming that neither
team is upset before their meeting at the Joyce Center, something
besides Ratay's jumper must fall today.
WEDNESDAY 1/17 AND FRIDAY 1/19
Penguins at Coyotes; Penguins at Stars
WEDNESDAY ESPN2 9 PM; FRIDAY ESPN 8 PM Number 66 has returned,
rendering the rest of the NHL a bunch of Marionettes. After
putting his career on ice on ice for three years, Mario Lemieux
(above) has skated back with vigor, getting four goals and eight
assists in his first four games with Pittsburgh, three of which
were Penguins victories. Since Lemieux's comeback, linemate
Jaromir Jagr has come back to form with five goals and five
assists. Meanwhile, le Tour Lemieux was setting hockey ratings
records for ESPN and Fox Sports Net. Ownership, we hear, is
pleased. Somewhere Wayne Gretzky must be saying, "Honey, have
you seen my skates?"
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO
We don't want to say that the Orange Bowl dragged on too long (at
four-plus hours), but by game's end Florida State quarterback
Chris Weinke's hairline had receded another inch or so. Three of
the four BCS bowl games, like three of the five 2000 World Series
games and three of last June's six NBA Finals games, ended after
midnight. Either network and league pooh-bahs are blithely
unconcerned about whether young fans can witness championships,
or they have stock in TiVo...On the plus side, Bob Griese,
ABC's Orange Bowl analyst, is as good as they come.