Fire at United
So nice to see the word Fire not followed by Steve Sampson. So refreshing to witness an American making good on the pitch. Maryland native Zach Thornton, who took over in goal for Chicago (13-6) while Jorge Campos played for Mexico in the World Cup, led Major League Soccer in shutouts (six) and goals-against average (1.00) as the Fire raged to 11 consecutive victories. But that will not be good enough for Thornton to keep his job. Chicago likely will start Campos in goal when it meets the two-time defending champs—maybe that's what the D.C. stands for—at RFK Stadium. At week's end the United (15-5) boasted the league's assists leader, midfielder Marco Etcheverry (left). In midfield D.C. also relies on John Harkes, who could tutor Thornton in how to accept an unwarranted demotion with grace, as Harkes did when Sampson dumped him from the U.S. World Cup team.
?ABC, 3 PM
Roy Jones Jr. vs. Lou Del Valle
WBC light heavyweight champion Jones (36-1,31 KOs) used to date Melissa Del Valle, younger sister of WBA light heavyweight champ Lou Del Valle (27-1,19 KOs). In fact, it was Melissa who arranged for her big brother to become Jones's sparring partner in 1995. They sparred 38 rounds before Del Valle, a Queens, N.Y., native, began pursuing his own career, which has resulted in tonight's unification bout at Madison Square Garden. "I always rooted for Roy Jones in his fights," Melissa (now Melissa Salamone) told the New York Daily News recently. "But not this time." Del Valle is an excellent counterpuncher and, having been in the ring for the equivalent of three fights against Jones, should not be awed by the champ. If Lou falls, however, Melissa may want to take a shot at her ex-beau: As a budding professional boxer, she's 9-0.
? HBO, 10 PM
British Open Final Round
The world's oldest golf tournament (1860) has borne witness to some of the game's most thrilling finishing days. At Troon, Arnold Palmer wins his second straight Open by six shots (1962). At Turnberry, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus shoot dueling 68-70-65s through three rounds before Watson, with a 65, wins by a single stroke (1977). At St. George's, Greg Norman exorcises a few demons by firing a final-round 64 to win his second major (1993). Should today's final round not be decisive, the Open's unique playoff system—best score after four holes—will provide (as it did in '95, when John Daly outlasted Costantino Rocca) added golf swings and mood swings, this time from Royal Birkdale.
?ABC, 9:30 AM
Outside the Lines
George Herman Ruth is linked inextricably with the home run—the term hides in his monogram. Yet, as " Babe Ruth's Larger than Life Legacy" shows, even though the Bambino's HR records have been surpassed, his impact never will be. Besides labeling the Sultan of Swat (left, in Japan in 1934) as America's pioneer of super-stardom, this colorful Outside the Lines entry delivers intriguing facts about the Babe as it marks next month's 50th anniversary of his death. Did you know: The term "out in leftfield" originated to describe fans who did not have the good sense to sit in rightfield, where Ruth trolled and where the majority of his blasts landed?
? ESPN, 7:30 PM
Some free tips—our goodwill gesture, if you will—for the 1,500 athletes descending on New York City for this 15-day multisport extravaganza: 1) If your cabbie says, "We'll just take a shortcut through Staten Island," jump out; 2) do not approach a well-dressed stranger in Little Italy and say, "You sound just like Joe Pesci"; 3) hitting an inline skater is only a misdemeanor. The highlight of tonight's 10 track events is expected to be the men's 400-meter run featuring Michael Johnson (left), who recently has placed a stunning third in the 200 and 400, respectively.
?TBS, 8:05 PM
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.