SportsCenter of the Decade: the 1960s
? ESPN 7:30 PM
Stop. Hey. What's that sound? A hush as Bob Gibson takes the mound. ESPN's Chris Berman and Charley Steiner, looking as if they just stumbled off a haze-filled VW bus, take us on a two-hour magical mystery tour through a tumultuous 10 years that included the rise of Cassius Clay, the rising fastballs of the aforementioned Cardinals ace righthander, the rising spirals of Joe Na-math (right, in Super Bowl III) and the rise and fall—all 29' 2�" of it—of Bob Beamon. Steiner, who hit what he calls "the hippie trifecta" of living in Haight-Ashbury, lunching with Abbie Hoffman and attending Woodstock, promises that the show will be "far out." "Unless," says Berman, "it's preempted by Heidi"
?SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, NBC 12:30 PM; MONDAY, TBS 8 PM; TUESDAY-THURSDAY, TNT 8 PM; FRIDAY, TNT 7 PM
Whose blazers will make more noise during the NBA postseason, Portland's or Craig Sager's? TNTs peripatetic sideline reporter and his coats of many colors—fuchsia, purple and sherbet, to name a few—are the perfect contrast to NBC's more buttoned-down coverage. ( Sager's NBC counterpart is the appropriately named Jim Gray.) "This year presents a special challenge," says Sager, who's in the midst of an arduous postseason journey, which, as usual, will stop short of the Finals. "My favorite men's store is in Chicago, and I won't be going there this spring."
?ABC 4:30 PM
Following a bruising stampede to victory at Churchill Downs on May 1, upset (31-1) winner Charismatic was a horse in stable condition. "He's fine," said trainer Wayne Lukas, responding to a cameraman's observation that the colt looked "a little stiff-legged" the day after the Kentucky Derby. Stiff competition may come from filly Silverbulletday, who, if trainer Bob Baffert permits her to enter, will be the prohibitive favorite. Silverbulletday was a nonstarter at the Derby but had breezed to a win the day before in the Kentucky Oaks. Hi, yo, Silverbulletday!
?SHOWTIME 8 PM
A beefed-up Jon Favreau, seen in an ultimate fighting match as Monica's beau on the sitcom Friends, portrays the Rock, who retired as the undefeated heavyweight champion in 1956 and died in a plane crash 13 years later. Favreau does a terrific job of emulating the Brockton Blockbuster's swing-from-a-catcher's-stance style. (Then again, Favreau was one of the stars of Swingers.) However, the script is riddled with inaccuracies concerning Marciano's career and life. Furthermore, Showtime does the two-hour Rocky Marciano no favors by telecasting it on the same night it shows the classics Rocky (6 p.m.) and Raging Bull (12:30 a.m.).
Giants vs. Astros
?ESPN 8 PM
If the Astrodome is the eighth wonder of the world, the ninth may be the wonder that it wasn't razed years ago. This agoraphobic's acropolis says adios when Houston finishes playing this year, but given the talent possessed by the Astros (18-12 through Sunday), who knows when that will be? Two goateed former MVPs, Jeff Bagwell and Ken Caminiti, man the corners, while second baseman Craig Biggio somehow manages to resemble a Biz Kid despite the Astrodome diamond's being nearly bereft of dirt.