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The week in TV sports
John Walters
March 10, 1997
Saturday 3/8
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March 10, 1997

The Week In Tv Sports

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Saturday 3/8

Doral-Ryder Open
Or is it the Dorsal Open, what with the way Greg Norman (right), the Great White Shark, has mastered the Blue Monster the past few years? Norman, who returns after his longest hiatus from the PGA Tour (two months) since turning pro in 1976, has two wins and a second in his last four appearances in this tournament. Last year three-time Doral champion Raymond Floyd revamped the course, adding, among other things, 18 bunkers to, he says, "put the teeth back in the Monster." The strongest field on Tour to date in '97 will put the toughened layout to the test.
•CBS, 4 PM

Game 3, ABL Finals
The Richmond Rage hosts the Columbus Quest in the third game of the new women's league's best-of-five championship series. Columbus is led by guard Nikki McCray (right), who averages 19.9 points per game for the team that entered the postseason with the league's best record, at 31-9. However, McCray and the Quest better watch their step. In four regular-season trips to Richmond (21-19) the Quest lost thrice. If Richmond wins the title, might it be inclined to rename itself the Serenity? And Columbus? We suggest the Request.

Sunday 3/9

Bulls at Knicks
Last week First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton did what the Bulls have yet to do this season: appear at New York's Madison Square Garden. She was on WK hand to accept the Grammy for the best spoken-word album, for her recitation of her best-selling book, It Takes a Village. Speaking of the spoken word, Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy called Michael Jordan a "con man" before the teams met in January. Jordan responded with 51 points in an 88-87 Chicago win. If Van Gundy reprises his tune, it will take more than a village to silence His Airness.
•NBC, 5:30 PM

NCAA Tournament Selection Show
"I cover it like I would an election night," says host Pat O'Brien of the announcement of the men's tournament draw. "It has a Campaign '97 feel to it." No stranger to politics, O'Brien reported on presidential elections as a researcher for David Brinkley in 1972 and as a newscaster in Los Angeles in 1976 and '80. The selection of the schools that fill out the 64-team bracket can be downright political, but part of the allure of the half-hour show is that the players and the coaches learn their destinations for the upcoming week no sooner than the guy who runs your office pool. Of course, the real fun begins at noon on Thursday, when O'Brien & Co. provide more than 12 hours of first-round coverage from four sites around the country.
•CBS, 6:30 PM

Monday 3/10

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
In 1969 St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Curt Flood refused to honor a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies, choosing instead to contest baseball's reserve clause. In the profile of Flood that is the most compelling segment of Real Sports, we learn that union head Marvin Miller told him, "You're either god-sent or a damn fool." Though he lost the case and, in effect, the rest of his career, Flood, who died of throat cancer in January at 59, became the patron saint of free agency.
•HBO, 10 PM

Tuesday 3/11

Legends of Hockey: Men of Steel
The third installment of a five-part series profiles Hall of Famers from 1939 to '55. Montreal Canadien Rocket Richard (left) reveals that because he was moving, he didn't sleep on the eve of his five-goal game against the Detroit Red Wings in 1944. Teammate Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion discusses his accidental invention, the slap shot, which led to New York Rangers goalie Jacques Plante's face-saving invention, the mask. Retired ref Red Storey says of Detroit's "Terrible" Ted Lindsay, "He's got one of those faces that holds about three days of rain." If Lindsay's mug happened to freeze over, you can bet the men featured here would have played on it.
•ESPN, 7:30 PM

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