SI PICK OF THE WEEK
Much has changed
for Fernando Vargas and Shane Mosley since 2000. That was the year Vargas, 28,
a former junior middleweight champ, made a name for himself with a valiant
(though unsuccessful) defense against Felix Trinidad. It was also when Mosley,
34, took two welterweight belts from Oscar De La Hoya. Since then the 27-2
Vargas (above left, against De La Hoya in '02) has been disgraced--he tested
positive for a steroid in '02--and Mosley (41-4) has failed to dazzle against
middleweights. They'll both be looking for career revivals in this junior
middleweight bout. PPV, 9 p.m.
And you thought short-track speedskating was a circus. The coda to the Turin
Games will be inspired by Venice's annual winter Carnevale--think acrobats,
high-wire acts and actors in costumes from the 1971 Fellini film The Clowns.
When the tumbling is over, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli (above) will perform
and pass the Olympic torch to Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne, who will accept
it on behalf of the host of the 2010 Games, Vancouver. NBC 7 p.m.
California at No.
Powe to the People! Thanks to sophomore forward Leon Powe (page 82), the
Pac-10's leading scorer (20.1 points per game) and rebounder (10.5), the 16--7
Golden Bears are tied for first place in the conference. It will be big news if
they stay there. There hasn't been a conference basketball banner hoisted in
Berkeley since long before the Summer of Love: 1960. Check listings 8 p.m.
It's not quite Bird versus Magic, but Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant can put on a
pretty good show of their own. Bryant leads the NBA in scoring with 35.0 points
per game. Meanwhile Pierce (right) made his fifth straight trip to the All-Star
Game this year, and he leads Boston in scoring (26.4), rebounding (7.1) and
steals (1.46). ESPN 7:30 p.m.
Best Damn Sports
The nightly sports and celebrity smackdown celebrates its 1,000th episode by
reliving 25 of its best damn moments. Among them: Shaquille O'Neal and then
cohost Tom Arnold (left) acting out scenes from A Few Good Men in 2001 and
Dennis Rodman's, uh, spirited appearance in 2003. Fox Sports 9 p.m.
Red Sox at
In the Grapefruit League opener for both teams, the Coco Crisp era officially
begins for Boston, two months after centerfielder--cult hero Johnny Damon, new
razor in hand, defected to the Yankees. Crisp can't match Damon's facial hair,
but if his batting average improves for the fourth straight season--he hit .300
last year-- Boston fans will go loco for Coco. Check listings 7 p.m.