By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
Published November 18, 2005
CHECK IT OUT
FORD 400, 4 SUNDAY, CH. 8: It all comes down to this. No space here to do all the math to figure out the possibilities, but look for Tony Stewart to wrap up the title. SportsCenter and ESPNEWS will be at Homestead-Miami Speedway all weekend, and the Sunday Conversation will feature the Nextel Cup champ. ESPN will have features on the relationship between Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus, the NFL's infatuation with owning racing cars, and a look at Rusty Wallace' s final race.
BUCS AT FALCONS, 1 SUNDAY, CH. 13: Thought this was kind of a big game. Maybe not. Fox thinks enough of it to beam it to 9 percent of the country, behind the Philadelphia-Giants (28), Detroit-Dallas (17) and Carolina-Chicago (17) games. Local fans get Kenny Albert, Brian Baldinger and Jay Glazer for this one.
FLORIDA CLASSIC, 3:30 SATURDAY, ESPNU: If you're a satellite dish subscriber, you get to see the first live national telecast of this game between Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M. Heck, it only took 26 years.
OPERATION HARDWOOD, 4 SATURDAY, ESPN2: A 60-minute special focuses on a military basketball tournament in August at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, featuring current and former college coaches and ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Mike Jarvis. The eight-team tournament consisted of 13 troops per team from camps throughout Kuwait. Bilas said the experience changed his life: "Aside from our children being born, participating in Operation Hardwood with our troops and with each other was the most meaningful experience of our lives."
THE FULLTILTPOKER.NET INVITATIONAL, 6 THURSDAY, FSN: If football isn't your thing, FSN dabbles in the live poker thing for the second straight year. Or check out ESPN Classic at noon and 6 for the debut of Ringside: Top 10 Heavyweights, the second installment of the network's monthly six-hour special series.
Saturday's coverage of LSU defeating Alabama in overtime on CBS earned a national average household rating of 4.4, up 47 percent from the comparable game last year, which earned a 3.0 for Georgia at Auburn. The 4.4 makes it the highest-rated college football broadcast on CBS during the 2005 season and highest since 5.7 for Florida State-Florida on Nov. 29, 2003.
FSN Florida will televise a weekly encore presentation of select 2005 Florida Marlins and Devil Rays telecasts (insert your own joke here) each Wednesday at 1 starting Nov. 23 and continuing through March 8.
Sun Sports' Inside the Heat series (3:30 Sunday) looks back at three standout players from the Heat's 1988-89 inaugural season: Rony Seikaly, Rory Sparrow and Billy Thompson.
"This track has had more work done on it than Joan Rivers and it came out looking like Charlize Theron." Tampa resident and NBC play-by-play announcer Bill Weber on the Homestead-Miami Speedway.