Sports 101

What better time to fall into sports than autumn? It's the only season when so many different sports converge. The WNBA just wrapped up an exciting season. Now, baseball, tennis, golf, soccer, and auto racing are on. College football has begun, and pro football starts this weekend. Basketball and hockey follow in early November. Fall is a sports fan's dream season. So what's the buzz? Read on . . . .


The Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home-run chase. At this writing, Sosa leads with 58 to McGwire's 54. Sosa is on pace to hit 69, and McGwire is on track to hit 63 (his all-time home- run mark of 70 was set last year).

US Open tennis

There's no Pete Sampras or Steffi Graff. Yet there's been plenty of drama on and off the court. Last week featured a verbal volley between Martina Hingis and the Williams's sisters and their father, Richard. The orators spoke with their rackets on the court: Hingis and Venus Williams meet in one semifinal, with a Venus and Serena Williams sisterly showdown still possible in Sunday's finals.

Ryder Cup

This biannual contest pits the best professional golfers of the United States against those of Europe. The US is eager to take back the cup from Europe for the first time since 1993. The event, held Sept. 24-26 in Brookline, Mass., has long been sold out, and the only way most will be able to see the drama unfold is on TV.

NFL Football

Instant replay is back, and new talent is on the rise, such as Ricky Williams, rookie running back of the New Orleans Saints. In the hottest games Sunday, the Super Bowl-minded New York Jets host the New England Patriots and wide receiver Randy Moss and the Minnesota Vikings will visit the Atlanta Falcons. The defending Super Bowl champs, the Denver Broncos, host the Miami Dolphins Monday night.

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