By JOHN C. COTEY
Published October 7, 2005
CHECK IT OUT
BANQUET 400, 2 P.M. SUNDAY, CH. 8: The Chase for the Nextel Cup is down to seven races, and Tony Stewart holds only a tiny four-point lead over Ryan Newman. "This is just like the American League wild card race, a head-to-head battle that will go down to the final day," says Tarpon Springs' Bill Weber, NBC's commentator.
BUCS-JETS, 1 P.M. SUNDAY, CH. 13: The 4-0 Bucs probably won't have their first-round pick on the field. Their 2005 first-round pick, I mean. Their 1987 first-rounder, Vinny Testaverde, will be on the field as the Jets' starter. Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston will call the action.
JOSE LUIS CASTILLO-DIEGO CORRALES, 9 P.M. SATURDAY, SHOWTIME PPV: Okay, so this will cost you $50, but I promise it should be worth it. If I had a dime for everyone who has asked if I had a copy of the first fight between these guys, I could afford this PPV. And by the way, I do have the tape but refuse to let it out of my possession. Their first fight was that good. If you're short on cash, check out the Jones-Tarver replay on HBO2 at 9:45 p.m., but don't say I didn't warn you.
GAME OF THE WEEK, 12:30 AND 4:30 P.M. TODAY, NFL NETWORK: NFL Network does a great job with its Game of the Week, going behind the scenes of one game each week with mic'd players and NFL Films coverage. Bucs coach Jon Gruden, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, wide receiver Michael Clayton and linebacker Derrick Brooks all wore mics in Sunday's 17-13 thriller over the Lions.IN THE NEWS
Former Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella and Bob Brenly have been added to Fox's playoff coverage as analysts during the network's coverage of the American and National League Championship Series starting Tuesday. Piniella is most likely to join Joe Buck and Tim McCarver during coverage of the ALCS.
NFL Today's Greg Gumbel and Dan Marino will be featured on one of nine commemorative covers of the final digest-sized issue of TV Guide. Gumbel and Marino will duplicate a 1985 cover featuring Miami Vice stars Phillip Michael Thomas and Don Johnson.
Comcast Programming president Jeff Shell said OLN will change its name next summer, according to Cablefax Daily.THE RATINGS GAME
Fox's Saturday Baseball game of the Week finished its 10th season with a familiar city leading all metered markets in viewership - St. Louis, which finished the 18-week season with a 9.9 rating. St. Louis has been first or second in the final rankings for eight straight years.
Last week's Tarver-Jones fight in Tampa sold 405,000 pay-per-views, making it the second most-bought fight of 2005. St. Petersburg's Winky Wright is in the top spot, his fight with Felix Trinidad selling 510,000 in May.THE FINAL WORD
"You can see some of the empty seats here at Angel Stadium and that's not because they didn't sell them. That's because those people are gridlocked on some freeway trying to get here." - Fox's Joe Buck on the empty seats for Wednesday's Yankees-Angels game, which started around 4 p.m. on the West Coast