?Sixers at Wizards
Reebok vs. Nike. Cornrows vs. clean pate. 40 Bars vs. Space Jam. Tonight's game starring Philadelphia's Allen Iverson and Washington's Michael Jordan prompted NBC to begin its schedule of national telecasts, which normally opens with a Christmas Day double-header, earlier so it could air Air's home debut—against a potential World Series Game 6 on Fox (7:30 p.m.), no less. The broadcast will also introduce the Marv Albert- Bill Walton- Steve Jones announcing team, so expect plenty of "Oh, that's terr-ible"s from Walton when the Wizards are down by 20 late in the game.
? Broncos at Raiders
ABC 9 PM
Hell hath no fury like a coach scorned. Four games into the 1989 season Oakland boss Al Davis fired Mike Shanahan. Six years later Shanahan became the coach at Denver and ever since has tortured his old employer as if he were Road Runner tormenting Wile E. Coyote. Shanahan's Broncos are 11-1 against Davis's team, including 5-0 on Monday Night Football, formerly Raiders turf.
?Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic
ESPN2 THURSDAY 6:30 PM AND 9 PM
That shrill you hear isn't a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. It's Dick Vitale, back for the opener of the college basketball season, a doubleheader from Madison Square Garden in which Florida tips off against Temple and Arizona faces Maryland. (The championship game is Friday at 9 p.m.) These games will feature plenty of PTPers, especially on a Terrapins squad—led by senior guard Juan Dixon—that's expected to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament.
?Classic Brian Piccolo Night
ESPN CLASSIC 7 PM
Thirty years ago James Caan (above, left) and Billy Dee Williams (right) made tough guys all over America weep. Playing Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers in the TV movie Brian's Song, Caan and Williams captured the unlikely interracial friendship that developed between the Bears' running backs before Piccolo died of cancer in 1970 at age 26. Tonight's look at the film begins with a heart-tugging, hourlong SportsCentury documentary on Piccolo featuring interviews with Sayers (who has seen Brian's Song only once, because "I lived it") and Piccolo's widow, Joy. That's followed by an hour-long NFL 2Night examining, among other topics, the impact the film had on race relations in the league. The evening concludes with the showing of the two-hour movie. Bring Kleenex.
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.