?Blues at Coyotes
ESPN2 9 PM
The goal must have looked larger than the Gateway Arch to Pierre Turgeon. On Dec. 2, after the St. Louis center had a hat trick against Nashville in his return after missing four games with a bad back, Blues defenseman Marc Bergevin said, "I guess his back is O.K., but now I'm worried about him. He's carrying the team again, and he might get sore." Turgeon shouldered St. Louis's scoring load (35 points through Sunday) as the Blues (19-9-2) inched ahead of Phoenix (18-9-3) to tie San Jose for second best in the West.
?Jazz at Heat
TBS 8 PM
Karl Malone and Newman. How can two mailmen have such different physiques? The chiseled Jazz power forward recently released a workout video ( Karl Malone's Body Shop) whereas Seinfeld's nemesis is a regular flabalanche. After looking as if they were over the hill in November, Malone and Utah (13-7 through Sunday) seem to be rounding into shape. Guard Jeff Hornacek was leading the NBA in free throw percentage (.968), foul shots being just about the only type that escape the reach of Miami center Alonzo Mourning, the NBA's leader in blocks (4.05 per game).
?Cowboys at Saints
FOX 3 PM
'Twas the day before Christmas, by Lake Pontchartrain,
Where an NFL franchise goes slowly insane.
It's mortgaged the farm, optioned every last share,
In hopes a Saint, Rick, can allay its despair.
Thirty-three seasons and no playoff wins,
Can a savior in dreadlocks atone for such sins?
From Lake Charles to Slidell, yes, all over La.
Folks were saying, "Why he's the next Bobby Boucher!
He's a dasher! A dancer! A prancer! Elixir!
That rare Heisman back who will pick up the blitzer!"
Then Rick posed in a dress, and some fans threw a fit,
What's wrong for a rookie is O.K. for Brad Pitt?
The nadir? A loss at home to the Browns,
Those Superdome smiles reverted to frowns.
But Saint Rick never quit, the kid is a gamer,
As he looked to the future, he gave this disclaimer:
"Things will get much better, they can hardly get worse,
Unless come next season, I do pose as a nurse!"
SUNDAY 12 19
?Bills at Cardinals
ESPN 8:15 PM
I've got two words for MTV: Devo Unplugged. I've got two more words for the Food Network: Toast Week. Finally, I've got two words for Doug Flutie (above): Look out! The last time a nimble quarterback born during the Kennedy Administration took a snap at Sun Devil Stadium, it may have been his last snap in the NFL. Buffalo's Flutie, 37, must avoid Arizona's pass rush, which in September knocked out (in every sense) 49er Steve Young, 38. The Bills (8-5) and Cards (6-7) are two of a number of teams this season playing as if an 8-8 record is playoff material. Which reminds me, I've got two words for Paul Tagliabue: Parity sucks.