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The week in TV sports
John Walters
April 28, 1997
Saturday 4/26
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April 28, 1997

The Week In Tv Sports

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Saturday 4/26

Penn Relays
On April 29, 1961, ABC's Wide World of Sports premiered with an opening shot of Jim McKay standing in the middle of Perm's Franklin Field as one of sports' largest mass festivals, the birthplace of the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays, swirled around him. The Penn Relays have been televised fitfully since then. This week 18,000 entrants—from Olympic gold medalists like sprinter Gwen Torrence to the Track & Field News prep athlete of the year, Pasadena John Muir High senior Obea Moore (right)—will participate in front of an expected crowd of 40,000. Says Obea (pronounced OH-bee), who last year ran the nation's fastest high school times in the 200 (20.77) and the 400 (45.27) meters, "I've never seen so many fans at a track meet." Or so many athletes.

George Foreman vs. Lou Savarese
Three times in as many years Savarese, 31, has had bouts scheduled with the 48-year-old Foreman, only to have them canceled at the 11th hour. "He's trying to take food off my table," says the 6'5", 230-pound Savarese, who is 36-0 with 30 knockouts. "That's all I need for motivation." Foreman's formidable foe is no Crawford Grimsley or Axel Schulz. Unlike those most recent Foreman victims, Savarese, who hails from the Bronx, packs a persistent wallop. In last November's knockout of Buster Mathis Jr. he threw 705 punches in only seven rounds.
HBO, 10 PM

Sunday 4/27

NBA Playoffs: Magic at Heat
One state, two Hardaways. Point guards Tim and Penny are related only by their importance to their respective Florida teams, Miami and Orlando, who meet in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, the opener of three games on NBC today. Tim led second-seeded Miami in scoring and assists (20.3 and 8.6) during the regular season; Penny paced (20.5 and 5.6) seventh-seeded Orlando. Their battle will be fierce, as will the war between Magic center Rony Seikaly and the Heat's Alonzo Mourning.
NBC, 12:30 PM

CART Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix
Michael (Andretti) of Nazareth returns to his Pennsylvania hometown in an attempt to repeat the victory he earned in last year's Indy Car race there. Andretti (below), the alltime wins leader in CART history, with 36, may find himself chasing the chassis of 1996 rookie of the year Alex Zanardi of Italy. Two weeks ago, in Long Beach, Calif., Zanardi, who drives a Reynard-Honda, failed to win the pole position for the first time in six races. So he had to satisfy himself with finishing first instead of starting first. If Andretti and Zanardi suffer mechanical failure—Andretti had three flat tires on his Swift/Ford Cosworth during the race at Long Beach—former mechanical engineering student and current PPG points leader Scott Pruett should be in the best position to take the checkered flag.

Dodgers at Marlins
Florida rightfielder Gary Sheffield (above) devoted eight weeks of his off-season to pumping iron with former Mr. Olympia Lee Haney. For three hours a day Sheffield lifted weights. Now if National League pitchers would only allow him to lift his 32-ounce bat off his shoulders. At week's end Sheffield, who a year ago amassed 42 home runs and 120 RBIs, had just two homers and led the majors in bases on balls, with 22 in 49 plate appearances. But expect Los Angeles, whose pitching staffs 2.22 ERA was the lowest in the majors, to leave the walks to the senior citizens and challenge the muscular Marlin.

Monday 4/28

NBA Playoffs: Jazz at Clippers
Great moments in L.A. Sports Arena history: July 4, 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon dedicates the building; April 28, 1997, the Los Angeles Clippers, seeded No. 8 in the Western Conference, beat the No. 1-seeded Utah Jazz and clinch their first playoff series win? Dream on! But the Clippers at least get their first home playoff game since '93. The L.A.-Utah conference quarterfinal Game 3 is one of the week's potential 18 nighttime playoff games on TBS and TNT.
TNT, 10:30 PM

All times Eastern. Schedules are subject to change.