National Finals Rodeo
ESPN2 MIDNIGHT (TAPE DELAY) In what this magazine (Aug. 27)
dubbed the most underrated sporting event, the top 15
competitors in each of professional rodeo's seven categories
head to the land of Siegfried and Roy for the cowboy Super Bowl.
The telecasts continue nightly on ESPN2 and ESPN, which will
show the finals on Dec. 16 (4 p.m.). Still, no matter how
amazing the feats performed during the 10-day competition, the
most impressive job of roping this year has to be pop star
Jewel's lassoing of bullriding legend Ty Murray.
HBO 10 PM The way Charles Barkley (down 48 pounds, to 290, and
dropping) sees it, if the Round Mound of Rebound can somehow
become a little less rotund, he could soon join fellow Dream
Teamers Michael Jordan and Christian Laettner on the Wizards. "I
don't know if I could ride to the rescue," Barkley, who retired
two seasons ago, tells correspondent Armen Keteyian about a
possible NBA comeback, "but I don't want to leave [Jordan] out
there by himself." Among tonight's other weighty topics is Mary
Carillo's report on college athletes who become pregnant.
76ers at Hawks
TBS 8 PM Turns out Harry Potter doesn't live at Hogwarts after
all. He's actually a Wizard in Washington and wears number 23.
How else to explain the Sixers (8-3 through Sunday since guard
Allen Iverson returned from the injured list) looking like
Muggles against Michael Jordan during their 94-87 loss last
week? Tonight Philadelphia is up against another scoring machine
in Atlanta forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who put up 50 points
against the Pistons on Nov 23.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO
Bears at Packers; 49ers at Rams
FOX 1 PM Whether it's Bart Simpson versus Principal Skinner,
Ally McBeal jousting with Ling Woo or Terry Bradshaw taking on
Jimmy Kimmel, you can count on Fox to produce the most
entertaining rivalries on TV. These games are no exceptions.
Surprising Chicago travels to Lambeau Field for the 163rd
meeting in the NFL's most-played series, which it leads 84-72-6.
Beware, Bears: Packers quarterback Brett Favre is 15-4 against
you, including a 20-12 victory at Soldier Field on Nov. 11, in
which Green Bay fullback William Henderson (33) caught three
Favre passes for 41 yards. In almost certainly more comfortable
conditions at the Dome at America Center, NFC West powers St.
Louis and San Francisco continue their jousting, which began
when the Rams were based in L.A. and which they lead 53-49-2.
Fox Sports Net's inaugural ACC Sunday Night Hoops featured
high-quality midcourt camera work, but in the nightcap--Clemson
versus Duke--there was too much fawning over the dated exploits
of guest analyst Bobby Hurley (Duke '93)....Maybe Derek Jeter
really is perfect. The Yankees' shortstop, hosting Saturday
Night Live, seemed not to glance at a cue card while acting in
six skits....Jordan doesn't rule: Saturday's Wizards-Magic game
on NBC (2.8 overnight Nielsen) was outpointed by college
football's Tennessee-Florida (6.4 on CBS) and Colorado-Texas
(6.9 on ABC).