? Illinois Derby, Santa Anita Derby
We know the only Derby that matters is the one in Kentucky, but these are the races to scout so you can make a winning bet (lotsa luck) on the first Saturday in May.
?Mets at Braves
Can New York and Mike Piazza (below) finally break Atlanta's string of 10 consecutive division titles? Today is the first of 19 meetings between the teams this season.
?The Masters, first and second rounds
The only players to win back-to-back Masters are Jack Nicklaus (1965 and '66) and Nick Faldo ('89 and '90). Your shot, Mr. Woods.
sizzling & fizzling
?Invite This Guest Back
It's difficult to praise the usually juvenile Best Damn Sports Show, Period, but former Dallas Cowboys wideout Michael Irvin showed plenty of smarts as a recurring guest last week, including his take on Michael Jordan. ("I'm 36, and I hurt. Why would he think that he's not going to hurt next year?")
It's hard to tell whether ESPN's Chris Fowler and Dick Vitale like each other off-camera, but the on-air tension between them makes for delicious TV. When Vitale started waxing about Indiana using its underdog status to gain inspiration, Fowler interjected: "Us against the world. I'm tired of that!"
?Glory Was Glorious
Highlighted by terrific interviews with players like Bobby Joe Hill and Willie Worsley, CBS's Glory in Black and White offered a fascinating look at the all-black Texas Western starting team that beat all-white Kentucky in the historic 1966 NCAA title game.
?Yank That Skit
Last week's repeat episode of Saturday Night Live featured guest host Derek Jeter smacking baseballs into the crowd—and audience members doubling over in faux injury—as part of the show's opener. Given the death of a fan who got hit with a puck in Columbus only three weeks ago, NBC showed poor taste.
?The Games Are Fixed
With CBS and Fox refusing to endorse a plan for a flexible late-season schedule, ABC's Monday Night Football must hope that its fixed slate of games is as attractive in December as it looks today.