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The week in TV sports
John Walters
December 15, 1997
Saturday 12/13
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December 15, 1997

The Week In Tv Sports

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Saturday 12/13

Steelers at Patriots
Conditions in New England have swung from low visibility to Everclear, but that doesn't mean they are favorable. Last Jan. 5, in fog-filled Foxboro Stadium, the Patriots vaporized the Steelers 28-3 in an AFC playoff game. Eleven months later the 9-5 Pats have lost a Super Bowl, a despotic coach ( Bill Parcells, who decamped for the New York Jets) and a lot of face after quarterback Drew Bledsoe stage-dived into a mosh pit at a concert featuring the grunge band Everclear. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh (10-4) has ridden the Bus—running back Jerome Bettis—to the top of the AFC Central. Will the title of Everclear's album Sparkle and Fade be the epitaph for the Patriots' year?
? NBC, 4 PM

Heisman Trophy Presentation
The following is sung to the tune of Petula Clarke's hit "Downtown":

When you play two ways for the school of blue and maize,
You can always go Downtown (Athletic Club).
When you're a savior though " you can't beat the Gators,
You can always go Downtown (Athletic Club).
Charles Woodson (left) Peyton Manning? One will lose, and that's a pity;
Will there be tears, as when they honored Penn State's Cappelletti?
Maybe so.
The slights are much brighter there, We recall Gary Beban, recall Andre Ware; let's go
Downtown, kudos to Ryan Leaf.
Downtown, Tim Couch has got no beef.
Downtown, who'll win that handsome statue?
? ESPN, 7:30 PM

Princeton at North Carolina
Two of life's mysteries: 1) How do the Tigers, at week's end winners of 25 straight regular season games, do it? and 2) Why is Larry King, in his weekly USA Today column, so infatuated with Sinbad? Allow us to tackle the former. For all the chatter about its backdoor plays, Princeton (ranked No. 25) wins with defense, having led the nation in scoring D for eight straight years. After going up against 6'10" senior center Steve Goodrich (above) and the other tenacious Tigers, North Carolina's All-America power forward Antawn Jamison and the third-ranked Tar Heels, themselves winners of 18 consecutive regular-season games, might agree: When this Ivy band plays out of its league, it's rarely out of its league.
? ESPN, 8:30 PM

Monday 12/15
Broncos at 49ers
Tonight on The Young and the Ring-less: Will wide receiver Jerry Rice of 12-2 San Francisco return (page 72)? Will quarterback John Elway of 11-3 Denver outduel fellow future Hall of Famer Steve Young? Will ABC's Al Michaels, while he is in the Bay Area, visit his dear friend Al Davis? Most important: Is this matchup a preview of Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego? If so, keep in mind that the Niners are 5-0 in the Super Bowl, while the Broncos are 0-4.
?ABC, 9 PM

Wednesday 12/17
Red Wings at Avalanche
What hockey needs is a de- Claude Lemieux. Last month, in the latest installment of the NHL's—if not pro sports'—nastiest rivalry, Colorado's ornery right wing dropped the gloves even before the referee dropped the puck. So impatient was Lemieux to fight Detroit right wing Darren McCarty (with whom Lemieux, 22, is matched below) that he switched sides with teammate Jeff Odgers, who plays left wing, so he could line up directly across from McCarty. Remember, though, that the Avalanche and the Red Wings are the league's last two Stanley Cup winners and Lemieux can play: At week's end he was fourth on the Avalanche in scoring.
? ESPN2, 9 PM