?Sparks at Comets
NBC 4 PM
To the rest of the WNBA teams: They're better than you are, too. Houston (21-4 at week's end) and Los Angeles (21-3) are the class of the league. Comets Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper and Tina Thompson were not only first, fifth and 10th, respectively, among league scorers, but each was also shooting 82% or better from the free throw line. The three-time champs, today's home team, possess more swagger than the cast of Coyote Ugly, but Lisa Leslie and the Sparks are 2-0 against the Comets this summer.
? White Sox at Angels; Red Sox at A's
FOX 4 PM; FX 9 PM
What rhymes with ump? Bump, as in what suspended Red Sox centerfielder Carl Everett (chump) did to Ronald Kulpa in making a rump of himself on national TV. At week's end the Red Sox, trying to get out of a slump, found themselves amid an American League wild-card clump along with, among others, Anaheim and Oakland. Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra was leading the league with a .391 average while Anaheim leftfielder Darin Erstad (page 64) was second at .381.
?Braves at Diamondbacks
TBS 10 PM
Which current summer rock tour reminds us most of Atlanta's pilgrimage this week to the towns of fellow National League first-place clubs Arizona and St. Louis (Friday, TBS, 8:05 p.m.)? Dixie Chicks? Right region, wrong sex. *NSYNC? The Braves haven't played in sync, despite their league-best 60-39 record. We'd go with either Pearl Jam (still at peak early-'90s form but now taken for granted) or Counting Crows, whose Mr. Jones conjures images of the Braves' Andruw (.307, 25 homers, 61 RBIs) and Chipper (.318, 24, 74).
? Patriots vs. 49ers
ABC 8 PM
Who's playing? Who cares? It's Miller time! Polymath Dennis Miller and the rest of the mostly revised Monday Night Football gang debut in Canton, Ohio, for the NFL's preseason premiere while providing a welcome network refuge from the second night of the Republican Convention. Miller—who can segue from Cliff Branch to Branch Rickey to Ricky Nelson to Nelson Eddy to Eddie George to George W. Bush to the death penalty to a 15-yard penalty without even stopping for breath—should have ample room to wax eloquent against the backdrop of a less-than-mesmerizing game. Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe (above) starts behind center as new coach Bill Belichick evaluates rookie running backs Patrick Pass and J.R. Redmond.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.