U.S. Senior Open
It's official: The Golden Bear has entered his golden years. Jack Nicklaus (above) sports a mere hint of gray hair, but he has thrown in his lot with the sport's graybeards. By withdrawing from the British Open two weeks ago, Nicklaus ended a record string of 146 consecutive majors entered. But the 58-year-old grandfather of eight wasted no time entering the last of the year's four Senior majors. "[The Senior Open] is more important to me right now than competing in the British Open," says Nicklaus, who has won the former tournament twice (1991 and '93). The tour's leading money winner, Hale Irwin ($1,735,250), and leader in victories, Gil Morgan (four), will also be on hand at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Morgan has won two '98 majors (The Tradition and the Ford Senior Players Championship), and Irwin took the third ( PGA Seniors).
? NBC, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, 4 PM
The Mike Tyson Story
Punk, prodigy. Challenger, champion. Puppet, pariah. Carnivore, carnival act. Mike Tyson has played all those roles, as this terrific, no-frills documentary reveals. Interviews with major figures in Tyson's life such as Kevin Rooney and Jose Torres, and with boxing observers such as Larry Merchant, depict a walking paradox: the most vicious of predators, the most sympathetic of victims. Home footage of Tyson at 16, taken before an amateur fight, shows him weeping, afraid that if he loses the bout, he will not be loved; a later interview has Iron Mike, then the heavy-weight champion, speaking of breaking an opponent's eye socket as "a high." Says narrator Stu Daily, " Mike Tyson is the very living epitome for every 'requiem of a heavyweight' story ever told." Also this week: On HBO's Real Sports (Tuesday, 10 p.m.), Armen Keteyian reports on junior middleweight Tony Ayala Jr., imprisoned for the past 15 years on a conviction for rape, burglary and making terroristic threats. Ayala's tale of self-destruction dwarfs even Tyson's.
?THE LEARNING CHANNEL. 10 PM
CART US 500
The men driving CART wheels will perform cartwheels if Alex Zanardi (opposite) decides to shift from their circuit to Formula One. With wins in his last four races, the 31-year-old Italian is even hotter than Se Ri Pak. The reigning CART series champion, Zanardi has won six of 11 events this year and owns a 175-106 lead in the series standings over his Target/ Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Jimmy Vasser. Last year during this event at Michigan Speedway, Zanardi mistakenly pulled his Reynard Honda in for a pit stop in Vasser's area. The resulting penalty dropped Zanardi from sixth place to 18th. Not only did he recover to take the checkered flag, but he also won by an eye-popping 31 seconds. Even though Zanardi's car is equipped with rear-view mirrors, are there any rivals close enough for him to see?
?ABC, 1 PM
Cardinals at Rockies
How much would Mark McGwire's 62nd home run ball be worth to the bleacher creature, bullpen flunky or, in the case of Coors Field, passing motorist on I-25 who snares it? Charlie Sheen might have to start acting again if he wants in on the bidding. McGwire, who from the start of last season through Sunday had bashed 100 homers, including 58 in '98, has all the elements in his favor to climb closer to 62 tonight: high altitude; vindication for his previous appearance at this ballpark (and on this network), in the All-Star break's Home Run Derby; and the Rockies' team ERA—a major-league-worst 5.24. Even Denverites, who are accustomed to shielding their noggins against baseball-sized hail, will hail Big Mac's pursuit of Roger Maris (who, incidentally, had 40 homers by this date in '61).
? ESPN, 8 PM
One on One: Jim Brown
If this were a Fox production, it might have been James Brown on Jim Brown. Instead Dick Schaap, who first saw Brown excel at Manhasset (N.Y.) High, is the interviewer in this two-part interview. The hour covers lots of ground—Brown's gridiron career, his foray into films, his image, his '60s activism and his crusade to help ghetto youth. Number 32 (left) dodges questions the way he once did tacklers, which is to say not at all. Asked why he retired in his NFL prime, Brown says, "You're going to have more money [in films], you're going to have Raquel Welch, Jacqueline Bisset... and you're going to hobnob with the Beatles and the Stones." That good enough for you?
? ESPN CLASSIC SPORTS, TUES. AND THURS., 7:30 PM
ALL TIMES EASTERN SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE