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Sports on the Air

Remote patrol

By JOHN C. COTEY
Published January 30, 2004

Dunk to the future

With retro the rage, from throwback jerseys to Chuck Taylors, ESPN is jumping into the old school fray with ... throwback Coke bottle glasses?

Well, kind of. At 8 p.m. Saturday, ESPN will flash back to the 1979-80 college basketball season for its coverage of the Indiana-Michigan State game.

ESPN analyst Dick Vitale said he will go retro as well, ditching his contact lenses for the thick Coke bottle glasses he used to wear. Even scarier, Vitale will wear clothes from 1979, all making for what he calls "fun city."

The "Turn Back the Clock" game is part of ESPN's seasonlong celebration of its 25 years of covering college basketball.

The broadcast will feature old TV graphics. The teams will wear their 1979-80 uniforms, and fans in attendance will be treated to '79 concession stand prices.

Sell!

Florida State isn't listed on the NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange, but on ESPN's Hoops Stock Report, which offers tips on teams' Sweet 16 prospects, it merited some debate among the analysts before the advice was handed down:

Sell!

"It is not that they are not a good team because they are," Jay Bilas said. "It is a little bit too early in their development to say Sweet 16. If they can play all their games at the Leon County Civic Center, I'd say Sweet 16 for sure. They can't.

"If you can buy Tim Pickett, I'll buy that guy."

Do you believe in miracles?

Miracle, the movie about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team's dramatic victory over the Russians, hits theaters Feb.6, but ESPN Classic gives you a chance to catch up Thursday with A Night of Miracles.

The SportsCentury on the team's goaltender, Jim Craig, airs from 8-8:30 p.m. followed by a half-hour special on the making of the movie.

At 9 p.m., actor Kurt Russell (who plays coach Herb Brooks in the movie) hosts the debut of Classic Big Ticket, 21/2 hours featuring the re-airing of the famous game with commentary from Craig and center Mike Eruzione.

If you aren't watching the big game

... then rent a movie because there will be nothing worth watching from the world of sports.

If you don't want to bother with CBS's Super Bowl pregame orgy, ABC offers a taped golf outing (the back nine of a Seniors skins game) from 12:30-3 p.m. and final-round coverage of the FBR Open at 3. Sunshine has men's and women's college basketball games, and ESPN tosses out some NBA (Philadelphia-Minnesota at 2 p.m.) and bowling (Reno Open at 4:30).

The best bet?

NBC airs the inaugural Travel Channel World Poker Tour Battle of Champions from 4-6 p.m., promising to crown the "ultimate" world champion. NBC will incorporate a Super Bowl countdown clock in the broadcast, just in case you forget.

[Last modified January 30, 2004, 01:32:11]


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