Comets at Sparks
NBC 4 PM This likely WNBA Western Conference finals preview will
allow viewers to wish upon a shooting Comet, Houston forward Tina
Thompson (20.9 points per game through Sunday), or merely watch
as her rebound-clearing elbows cause Sparks to fly. The playoffs
begin on Thursday (ESPN2, 8 p.m.), thus affording viewers the
Liberty of thinking up their own bad puns involving the league's
HBO 10 PM It sounds about as feasible as playing the piano with
your toes or becoming president without winning the popular vote,
but Phil Blackwell routinely shoots in the low 90s on the golf
course even though he's blind. In an illuminating report, Bryan
Burwell looks at Blackwell and other members of the U.S. Blind
Golf Association. Also on the slate: segments on the Ichiro craze
and on wide receiver Kellen Winslow II, who's headed to Miami
against the wishes of his father, the NFL Hall of Fame tight end
who would have preferred that his namesake attend a college with
a black head football coach.
PGA Championship, early rounds
TNT THURSDAY AND FRIDAY 1 PM Maybe the time has come for Sergio
Garcia, who has yet to win a major, to become a man in full at
the PGA, held this year in Atlanta--a city that when its teams'
fortunes were at a low ebb adopted a rallying cry of "Go Braves!
And take the Falcons and Hawks with you." Local knowledge should
benefit British Open champion David Duval, who played his college
golf at Georgia Tech.
Jaguars at Giants
ESPN 8 PM It may be a Thursday, but you can still gather your
rowdy friends (and even some sedate ones), flip over from
Friends and settle in for what should be a watchable preseason
game--a rematch (at the same site, Giants Stadium) of a 2000
regular-season finale, which New York won 28-25. The Giants are
fresh off a Super Bowl appearance and looking to fine-tune their
offense. Jacksonville and running back Fred Taylor (above) are
trying to rebound from a 7-9 campaign. If the attitude of the
top clipboard-toter is any indicator, things are looking up for
the Jaguars. "I'm as excited as I've ever been about a season
this year, probably more excited," says coach Tom Coughlin, a
man not known for Pat Croce-esque exuberance who nonetheless
seems ready for some football.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES
Last Saturday's final of the U.S. Women's Amateur golf tournament
on ESPN, won by Meredith Duncan over Nicole Perrot on the first
extra hole, used close-up camera angles to showcase enthusiastic
competitors--making it infinitely more fun to watch than ABC's
boring Battle at Bighorn five days earlier.... Couldn't ABC have
prevailed upon the organizers of the World Track and Field
Championships to schedule the marquee 100-meter final to coincide
with Sunday afternoon's telecast? As it was, Maurice Greene got
his title (page 44) some two hours after the coverage ended.