NFL Monday Matchups
The NFL remains confident it can build more flexibility into its TV schedule, despite opposition from CBS and Fox to moving any of their late-season Sunday games to Monday night on ABC.
"There's a windfall in the number of games we have now," commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Wednesday as the NFL ended its annual meeting. "We don't think either network will give up much."
ABC has been pushing for the right to switch late-season Sunday games to Monday night, largely because parity has left it with unattractive late-season games. In 1999, for instance, its final game was between San Francisco and Atlanta, two teams that had been expected to be strong but finished with only nine wins between them.
"You could take two 8-7 teams fighting for a playoff spot," said Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports and now a television consultant. "They may not be the best teams, but there's something at stake, and they'll get viewers."
Alexei Yagudin demonstrated why he is the Olympic gold medalist in winning the men's title yesterday at the World Figure Skating Championships in Nagano, Japan. The Russian won his fourth world title by completing two quads and six triples, identical to his victory performance in Salt Lake City. American Tim Goebel was second, improving on the bronze he took at the Olympics. His was the best performance by an American at a world championship since Todd Eldredge also earned silver in 1998.
Meanwhile, Michelle Kwan reacted as if she had struck gold, even though the title was still two rounds away. She finished first Wednesday in her women's qualifying group with the help of a triple-triple jump combination, a maneuver she failed to complete in her bronze-medal Olympic routine. Kwan is seeking her third consecutive world title and fifth overall.
Even though this was only in the qualifying round, Kwan was happy.
"It's the first time this whole season I nailed the triple-triple, so it feels good," she said.