ALCS and NLCS
The NL series starts on Thursday (on TBS), the AL on Friday (on Fox). Fans should also check out postseason.tv, a joint service from the networks and MLB.com. It lets viewers see up to four camera angles concurrently; while the feed on your TV follows the ball, you can check your laptop to see if the runner tags up early. A subscription for the entire postseason is $9.95.
Texas vs. Oklahoma
The Red River Shootout was supposed to be a Heisman referendum, the Sooners' Sam Bradford versus the Longhorns' Colt McCoy (ABC). Hasn't worked out that way: Bradford fell out of the race when he missed three games with a sprained shoulder, and McCoy (six INTs) has been so-so. Still, Texas is 5--0 and ranked No. 3, and the first BCS rankings come out on Sunday.
Giants vs. Saints
Hmm, what to nickname the high-scoring New Orleans offense ... Shockey and Awe? After battling injuries in 2008, rejuvenated TE Jeremy Shockey leads the team in receptions and is a big reason the Saints average a league-high 36 points. This week (on Fox) he faces the NFL's best defense—and, for the first time since his acrimonious 2008 departure, his former team.
Playing with Fire
In his prime Theo Fleury was one of the NHL's most dangerous snipers, a pint-sized goal-scoring machine who seemed a lock for the Hall of Fame. But his career unraveled in a haze of alcohol abuse. Fleury, 41, retired and sober, comes clean about his addiction in this harrowing memoir—and says that he was sexually abused as a teen by a notorious predator youth coach.
Who will win? Tough call—the medals are wide open at the Oct. 15--18 event in London (Universal Sports). The U.S.'s Jonathan Horton is a men's all-around contender. Several 2008 women's Olympic stars will be absent, including Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. Keep an eye on Bridget Sloan. The youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team is a favorite for all-around gold.
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New clips of the Bambino
How'd Babe Ruth look in the outfield? Unless you're at least 74, you don't know, because there was no known footage of the Babe playing defense. Until now. Last week MLB's archives released a snippet of film of Ruth in rightfield; it was found by a New Hampshire fan in his grandfather's home-movie collection. View it and other clips of Ruth at nytimes.com.
The Pop Culture Grid
Athletes in the mix
My advice to David Letterman
Favorite vending machine snack
Most I ever spent on a coat
Tonight I'm having ____ for dinner
Star I'd like to dance with
CEDRIC BENSON Bengals RB
Keep up the good work
Lay's Classic potato chips
$10,000 on a sheepskin shearling
BROOKS LAICH Capitals C
Know that this too shall pass
Coffee Crisp chocolate bar
$1,600 for a Hugo Boss overcoat
Salmon and asparagus
STEVE SMITH Giants WR
Trust in the Lord
$1,500 on a leather coat
Pasta with marinara and sausage
CRAIG ANDERSON Avalanche G
Get a car collection like Jay Leno's
$500 on a sport coat
Inside the Grid
Benson thinks he and Lady Gaga would be a hit on Dancing with the Stars: "We'd win it 'cause she definitely has the moves." Never mind that the 28-year-old Anderson is 17 years younger than Hatcher (above), he's still taken with her: "She's a cougar on Desperate Housewives."
GREG NELSON (BRADFORD)
GREG NELSON (SLOAN)
JOHN BIEVER (SHOCKEY)
FLORIAN SCHNEIDER/ABC (HATCHER)
DAVID CHESKIN/PA WIRE/AP (SALMON)
GINA HOUSEMAN (SKITTLES)
ROB GRABOWSKI/US PRESSWIRE (ANDERSON)
AL TIELEMANS (SMITH)
DAVID E. KLUTHO (LAICH)
D. JAY TALBOTT/CAL SPORT MEDIA (BENSON)
EVAN AGOSTINI/AP (LETTERMAN)