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Friday, January 19, 2001
Today's ESPN Classic TV Highlights


SportsCentury
Viewer's Selection
Wayne Gretzky
8 a.m. ET
When he retired in April 1999, Gretzky had scored 2,857 points in the NHL. That's about one point for every record that he owns, or so it seems. Gordie Howe, Gretzky's idol as a youngster, has the second most points in NHL history and he's more than a thousand points behind him. With 1,963, Gretzky has more assists than any player has points. Known primarily for his playmaking, Gretzky scored a record 894 goals in his 20 seasons. He won the Hart (MVP) nine times, the most of any athlete in a team sport, and the Ross (scoring) seven times in the 1980s, plus three more times in the 1990s, leading the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cups. Four times he surpassed more than 200 points in one season, the only four times it has been done. Chris Fowler hosts this SportsCentury series.
SportsCentury
Viewer's Selection
Joe Namath
9 a.m. ET
He was Broadway Joe, the guy who guaranteed a Super Bowl victory for a three-touchdown underdog New York Jets team - and then delivered. He was a charismatic presence who became a larger-than-life figure. At 21, he was a star. At 25, he was a legend. His road roommate said it was like traveling with a Beatle. Namath's triumph came in probably the most significant game in the history of Roman numerals. The Jets' 16-7 upset of the Baltimore Colts on Jan. 12, 1969 established credibility for the American Football League. Chris Fowler hosts this SportsCentury series.
SportsCentury
Viewer's Selection
Pete Rose
10 a.m. ET
Pete Rose played the game with childish joy, exuberance at odds with the disgrace of a lifetime suspension from baseball, a ban that has kept him from induction into the Hall of Fame. Rose led his hometown Reds to two World Series triumphs (and four pennants) and helped Philadelphia to one Series win (and two pennants). He produced a modern National League record 44-game hitting streak in 1978, broke Ty Cobb's 57-year-old career hits record in 1985 and retired a year later with 4,256 hits, MLB's all-time hits leader. His biggest loss came on Aug. 24, 1989 when commissioner Bart Giamatti suspended him for gambling on baseball. Chris Fowler hosts this SportsCentury series.
NCAA Basketball
Instant Classic
North Carolina at Duke (Feb. 1, 2001)
11 a.m. ET
Brendan Haywood had a lot on his mind when he stepped to the free-throw line with 1.2 seconds left Thursday night. The game between No. 4 North Carolina and No. 2 Duke was tied 83-83. Haywood is one of the poorest free-throw shooters on North Carolina, and although he did make two big ones last Sunday in a win over North Carolina State, he had had trouble at this basket before. When he was a freshman, he missed two free throws late and Duke beat the Tar Heels by two points. He was also thinking of Duke's recent remarkable comeback win over Maryland. The 7-foot senior, who entered shooting 48 percent from the line, got the last laugh this time as he made both and the Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils 85-83 in the latest chapter of one of the greatest rivalries in college basketball.
Classic Sports Special
North Carolina Road Show
1 p.m. ET
ESPN Classic's "Road Show" will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. where the UNC Tar Heels will host the Duke Blue Devils. From 1-3:30 p.m. ET co-hosts Charley Steiner and Andy Katz will be joined live by Phil Ford, Bill Guthridge, George Karl, George Lynch and Bucky Waters as they look back at some of the most memorable moments in this storied college basketball rivalry. Surrounding the "Road Show," ESPN Classic will feature classic North Carolina and Duke programming.
Schaap One on One
Mike Krzyzewski
3:30 p.m. ET
The four time National Coach of the Year and the man behind Duke's back-to-back national titles discusses his playing days at Army under Bob Knight, his NCAA champion teams and life inside the fierce ACC. Hosted by Dick Schaap.
Classic NASCAR
First Union 400
4 p.m. ET
With 11 laps remaining, Terry Labonte passes race leader Dale Earnhardt to win.
SportsCentury
Michael Jordan
6 p.m. ET
As the 20th century drew to a close, Jordan was recognized as an icon. Tall, dark and bald, he was the first man of the planet. The Chicago Bulls guard had the rarest of gifts, the ability to transcend his sport. His fame and skill were intertwined, much as they were in earlier generations for a select few, such as the Babe and Ali. Playing 11 full seasons, he led the league in scoring a record 10 times, and in 1986-87 became the only player besides Wilt Chamberlain to score more than 3,000 points in a season, netting 3,041. His 31.5 scoring average is the highest in NBA history and with 29,277 points he's fourth all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Chamberlain. He won the regular-season MVP five times and the Finals MVP six times. In 1991 and 1992, he became the only player to win back-to-back regular season and Finals MVP awards, and in 1993 he became the first to win the Finals MVP three consecutive years, a feat he repeated from 1996-98. Chris Fowler hosts this SportsCentury series.
Classic Remote Control
1978: N.Y. Yankees vs. California Angels
7 p.m. ET
Yankees left-hander Ron Guidry strikes out 18 as New York downs California, 4-0.
Classic Game of the Week
Ali vs. Frazier I (30th anniversary)
9 p.m. ET
Host Rich Eisen will look back at what is billed as the "Fight of the Century," where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier both come in undefeated, never having lost the title in the ring. The fight itself would surpass the hype, as Frazier and Ali would go to war for 15 rounds. Finally in the 15th round, Frazier knocks Ali down and wins the fight by a unanimous decision.
SportsCentury
Muhammad Ali
10 p.m. ET
The first three-time heavyweight champion, Ali boasted he was "The Greatest," and in the prime of his charismatic career, many agreed. But as brilliant as Muhammad Ali was in the ring, perhaps his true greatness was outside it, when he fought the United States government. His refusal to accept induction into the armed forces on religious grounds cost him millions and his heavyweight title, but, in the end, Ali came up victorious in the most significant battle of his life. Sports is filled with showmen, and with great athletes, but perhaps never were they better combined than in the young man who began life as Cassius Clay and became a worldwide phenomenon as Muhammad Ali. The man who bragged about his ability to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" went from being a curious oddity in the early 1960s to a national villain to an international hero. And now he reigns as one of the most beloved men on the planet. Chris Fowler hosts this SportsCentury Series.
Classic SportsCenter Flashbacks
Bob Knight
11 p.m. ET
An hour long program hosted by Trey Wingo which focuses on the firing of Coach Bob Knight from Indiana University. Other features include his antics over the years, his playing days at Ohio State, his 1976 undefeated season, and how his behavior has progressively worsened year-to-year.
SportsCentury
Viewer's Choice
Arthur Ashe
midnight ET
The tennis "firsts" were served up and chronicled through most of Arthur Ashe's life. They often arrived hand in hand with his color: first African-American male to win the U.S. championship, first to win at Wimbledon, first to play for the U.S. Davis Cup team, and on and on. While sports record books dutifully mark these achievements, civil rights and health historians embrace a more substantive image of the man who seldom shied from fighting for what he believed was right. His fight lasted to the final days of a much-publicized bout with AIDS, a personal struggle he had hoped to keep private. Ashe won 33 singles titles as a professional, including three Grand Slam events, before heart disease forced his retirement in 1980 at 36. Chris Fowler hosts the SportsCentury series.
Classic Game of the Week
Ali vs. Frazier I (30th anniversary)
1 a.m. ET
Host Rich Eisen will look back at what is billed as the "Fight of the Century," where Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier both come in undefeated, never having lost the title in the ring. The fight itself would surpass the hype, as Frazier and Ali would go to war for 15 rounds. Finally in the 15th round, Frazier knocks Ali down and wins the fight by a unanimous decision.
SportsCentury
Muhammad Ali
2 a.m. ET
The first three-time heavyweight champion, Ali boasted he was "The Greatest," and in the prime of his charismatic career, many agreed. But as brilliant as Muhammad Ali was in the ring, perhaps his true greatness was outside it, when he fought the United States government. His refusal to accept induction into the armed forces on religious grounds cost him millions and his heavyweight title, but, in the end, Ali came up victorious in the most significant battle of his life. Sports is filled with showmen, and with great athletes, but perhaps never were they better combined than in the young man who began life as Cassius Clay and became a worldwide phenomenon as Muhammad Ali. The man who bragged about his ability to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" went from being a curious oddity in the early 1960s to a national villain to an international hero. And now he reigns as one of the most beloved men on the planet. Chris Fowler hosts this SportsCentury Series.