In theaters: Saint Ralph
Adam Butcher plays a 14-year-old Catholic-school student in 1953 Canada who believes that only a miracle--his winning the Boston Marathon--will cure his ailing mother. A favorite on the festival circuit, it also stars Campbell Scott and Jennifer Tilly.
In a surprise, Ken Warkentin--who was named for the track announcer at the Meadowlands, where the race is held--failed to qualify for the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown. Now the favorite is Classic Photo, who won the Goodtimes and Stanley Dancer last year as a 2-year-old. CBS 2 p.m.
World Track and Field Championships
World-record holder Asafa Powell lost his shot at redemption when he dropped out of the competition with a groin injury. The Jamaican set the 100-meter record (9.77 seconds) in June, but that didn't convince 2004 gold medalist Justin Gatlin (right) that Powell, who finished fifth as the favorite at the 2004 Olympics, could run that time under pressure. "Asafa runs well by himself," Gatlin shrugged. Gatlin won't be running by himself at the worlds--but he'll now be the overwhelming favorite in Helsinki, where the eight-day meet kicks off today. PAX/i, check listings
Duel in the Pool
Forget everyone else: The world's top two swimming powers--the U.S., which won 28 medals in Athens, and Australia, which won 15--go head-to-head in Irvine, Calif. The dual meet will feature 66 Olympians, including Michael Phelps, Ian Crocker, Aaron Piersol and Natalie Coughlin (left). "There's a lot of emotion behind these two teams," said U.S. breaststroker Brendan Hansen. "You're going to see fast swimming and records fall." NBC 4 p.m., Sunday 12:30 p.m.
Top 25 Sports Characters
The entertaining one-hour special profiles the most intriguing sports personalities of the last 25 years, including Dale Earnhardt Sr., Brett Favre, Rickey Henderson, Magic Johnson and Tony Hawk. CNN 8 p.m.
Hall of Fame Game, Dolphins vs. Bears
The day after Dan Marino (right) is enshrined in the Hall (along with Steve Young, Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard), his old team takes on Chicago in Canton. Since Marino retired in 1999, the Dolphins haven't had a quarterback finish higher than 15th in passer rating--and with A.J. Feeley and Gus Frerotte battling for the job, don't expect that to change this year. ABC 8 p.m.
SI Pick of the Week
Madden NFL 06, the outstanding update of the top-selling sports game of all time (in stores today), has a host of new features, including a passing system that allows players to purposely underthrow or overthrow a receiver; improved graphics; and a Superstar mode in which players deal with shady agents and try to land movie roles. And, notes Giants defensive end and Madden junkie Michael Strahan, players are rendered more realistically. Playing the game at a sneak preview for NFL players earlier this summer, he observed, "[Vikings quarterback] Daunte Culpepper is a big dude. That can happen when you sit around all day playing Madden."
SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS (MOVIE POSTER)
FAUGERE/DPPI-SIPA/ICON SMI (GATLIN)
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COURTESY OF EA SPORTS (MADDEN)
US PRESSWIRE (MARINO)