Mets at Giants
?WPIX 10:30 PM
In an archaeological scoop that could rock Cooperstown, Weekly World News recently revealed that the ancient Egyptians invented baseball 3,500 years before Abner Doubleday's birth. The pyramid game, claimed the tabloid, was played by two six-man teams using a ball fashioned out of tightly wrapped palm fronds. Outfielders were equipped with small daggers, which they hurled at runners who dared to round second and try to score. This modern-day matchup of pennant contenders at 3Com Park would have been tut-tutted back in May, when New York was losing slavishly, but the Mets have dug themselves out of a deep hole since then. A word of caution to Barry Bonds (right): If you round second, watch your back.
Broncos vs. Chargers
?FOX 9 PM
The kickoff to the NFL preseason—live from Stadium Australia in Sydney—will be a battle of veteran backup quarterbacks. Having lost its Elway, Denver will turn to perennial sub Bubby Brister, who last started regularly with the Eagles in 1993. Taking his place on the clipboard will be either Brian Griese or concussion-prone journeyman Chris Miller. Taking snaps for San Diego will be a couple of aging Bears castoffs, Erik Kramer (34) and Jim Harbaugh (35); the Chargers' quarterback corps has been defoliated by shoulder surgery to Ryan Leaf, who has fallen hard since having been drafted No. 2 last year.
?A&E 9 PM
"They're sort of like drag queens," Australian director Baz Luhrmann said of the sequined, cha-cha heeled creatures who people the world's ballroom dancing circuit and his 1993 film, Strictly Ballroom. "They put on these fab frocks and live out their fantasies on the dance floor." The couples doing the fantasizing in this unofficial Olympic warmup (yup, dance-sport will be a demonstration event at the Sydney Games) promise to tango, fox-trot and quick-step in costumes of equal flamboyance. Those interested in drag racing should channel surf to ESPN2, which airs the NHRA Autolite Nationals at 10 p.m.
Comets at Liberty
?NBC 4 PM
The intriguing subplot for this WNBA showdown: How New York has maintained its mental acuity despite having had a Lobotomy—starting forward Rebecca Lobo tore knee ligaments 43 seconds into the season opener. (Before her operation, Lobo scrawled instructions on her knees. On the right she wrote: NO NO NO, WRONG KNEE. On the left: BE GENTLE.) Her fill-in, Sue Wicks, has proved a competent complement to the Liberty's sterling tableware tandem of point guard Teresa Weatherspoon and shooting guard Sophia Witherspoon.
?PBS 8 PM
If Yogi Berra didn't exist, they'd have to invent him. Well, Berra exists, but "they" (sportswriters, publicists, Joe Garagiola) invented most of his best malaprops. This hour-long valentine begins with Berra touring his boyhood neighborhood in St. Louis and ends with his recent return to Yankee Stadium after a self-imposed 14-year exile. The riveting archival footage more than makes up for the numbing narration: "He embodies much of what is good about America." The same could be said for Yogi Bear.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANCE. SOURCE: NIELSEN SPORTS MARKETING SERVICE.