?ESPN 1 PM
You sit in the recliner watching the Goody's Headache Powder, Lube and Corn Chips 500 when suddenly it hits you: Traffic! I'm riveted to traffic. Yes, but what sublime commuting this is. No tolls. No HOV lane. No speed limit, although there is a Lake Speed limit (one). Best of all, if you are involved in a fender bender you walk away with no hike in your insurance premium. Dad gum, what a deal! Last year's Winston 500, at the Talladega (Ala) Superspeedway, would have put a traffic-copter pilot to sleep. No pileups to report, no closed lanes, no alternate routes to offer. For the only time in Talladega's three-decade history, a race was run with no yellow flags. Mark Martin scooted around the 2.66-mile track in his Ford Thunder-bird at an average speed of 188.4 mph, making the '97 running the quickest 500-mile NASCAR race ever. Martin, who also won this race in '95, is chasing Jeff Gordon (above) for the Winston Cup series points lead (4,457 to Martin's 4,283). Gordon has already equaled the win total (10) that he had in both '96 and '97 but has taken the checkered flag just once in 10 previous races at Talladega.
Kansas State at Colorado
?FOX SPORTS NET 3:30 PM
James Garcia is the most bored man in Kansas—and that's saying something. Garcia, the Wildcats punter, has appeared in eight plays in fifth-ranked K-State's four wins. Between quarterback Michael Bishop's leading an offense that averages 62.3 points and placekicker Martin Grammatica's possessing 65-yard field goal range, Garcia almost never has to buckle his chin strap. His 55.8-yard gross punting average would be tops nationally if only he had enough attempts (3.6 per game) to qualify. Maybe the defense of the 14th-ranked Buffs (5-0) will oblige him. Otherwise, like many a Kansan farmer, Garcia will remain outstanding in his field but unsung.
AL Championship Series
? NBC 7:07 PM
The Yankees have been haunted by the Indians all season. The 1954 Tribe won a then American League-record 111 games but was swept in the World Series, a fact of which New York, winner of a league-record 114 games, is constantly reminded. Further bolstering the Indians' hopes is that their likely starter tonight, righthander Jaret Wright, won two of his three decisions against New York this season.
Dolphins at Jaguars
?ABC 8:20 PM
Between the sunny days that they thought would never end, this year Floridians have seen fire and they've seen rain. Comparing the devastation wrought by brushfires to that borne of Hurricane Georges is like comparing the damage either contender, Jacksonville (4-0) and Miami (3-1), can render. The Jaguars lost half of their James (Stewart-Fred) Taylor backfield combo when the former partially tore the ACL in his left knee. Quarterback Mark Brunell may be the best runner of the three. Though they've never met before, Miami and Jax think that come the AFC playoffs they might see each other again.
Red Wings at Capitals
? ESPN 7:30 PM
Who can forget last year's Stanley Cup final? Don't all raise your hands at once. Detroit skated to its second straight Cup with a four-game sweep of Washington, although the Caps gamely lost thrice by one goal. Wings center Steve Yzerman won the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the postseason MVP, then purchased a cottage in Ontario formerly owned by Conn Smythe, the legendary Maple Leafs owner. Think how spirited play might become if there were a Hugh Hefner Trophy.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. RATINGS SOURCE: NIELSEN SPORTS MARKETING SERVICE