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The Week Ahead

What to watch and watch for

FRIDAY
24

Happy Birthday! Rafael Palmeiro turns 40. Only nine men have hit more homers than the Orioles' slugger, who has 548. "Age is just a number," he says. "It's how you feel physically that matters, and I feel as good as I've ever felt." He'll celebrate by playing the Tigers.

SATURDAY
25

Fan Celebration Tour The gold medal U.S. women's soccer team kicks off an eight-city tour with a game against Iceland in striker Abby Wambach's hometown of Rochester, N.Y. The tour is a swan song for Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett, who are retiring.

SUNDAY
26

Clubhouse CBS 8 p.m. In this new drama, Christopher Lloyd plays a big league manager who, along with third baseman Dean Cain, dispenses fatherly advice to the team's 16-year-old batboy (Jeremy Sumpter). Look for SI's Steve Rushin in the second episode, on Oct. 5.

MONDAY
27

Cowboys at Redskins ABC 9 p.m. The rivalry is renewed with the return of Washington coach Joe Gibbs. Late Show with David Letterman CBS 11:35 p.m. Yankee Gary Sheffield presents the Top Ten List. If it's "Top Ten AL MVP Candidates," he may be No. 1.

TUESDAY
28

Champions League, Real Madrid vs. A.C. Milan ESPN2 2:30 p.m. The world's flashiest side faces what might be the world's best. Real, which added Michael Owen to a stacked roster that includes David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, takes on the Serie A champs.

WEDNESDAY
29

Miami (Ohio) at Marshall ESPN2 7 p.m. Ben Roethlisberger's replacement, Josh Betts, leads the MAC in passing. On This Day: In 1954 Willie Mays--in arguably the most memorable defensive play ever--robs Vic Wertz, snaring a 450-foot drive over his shoulder.

THURSDAY
30

Mavericks at Lakers, Dec. 6, 2002, ESPN Classic 8 p.m. Trailing by 28, L.A. was booed off the floor at halftime. Then, in the words of guard Nick Van Exel, Dallas "just flat-out choked," allowing the second-biggest fourth-quarter comeback (27 points) in NBA history.

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JOHN CORDES/ICON SMI (PALMEIRO)

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MEL LEVINE (HAT)

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JOHN TODD/INTERNATIONALSPORTSIMAGES.COM (HAMM)

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MONTY BRINTON/CBS (CLUBHOUSE)

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TOM DIPACE (SHEFFIELD)

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PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (ZIDANE);

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FRANK HURLEY/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS (MAYS)

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CATHERINE STEENKESTE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (LAKERS)