Len Berman's Top 5 Sports Stories

08/01/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 1, 2009 from

1. Quick Hits

The NBA free agent season began at 12:01 this morning. The real frenzy begins one year from today when LeBron James and other big stars become available.

The Wimbledon women's semis are set: (1) Dinara Safina vs. (3) Venus Williams. (2) Serena Williams vs. (4) Elena Dementieva. The top 4 seeds all made it, not unusual in women's tennis.

In hockey news, the New York Rangers unloaded Scott Gomez, their biggest contract, in a trade with Montreal.

The Baltimore Orioles trailed the Red Sox 10-1 in the 7th inning and won 11-10. It was the biggest comeback in Orioles history.

The Atlanta Braves gobbled up Philadelphia 5-4 in 10 innings. The Braves are 7 and 0 when Jeff Francoeur wears his lucky turkey underwear. Honest.

2. Sound Machines

They're all making noise. The former champs are sounding off. They say the racket has got to stop. All the grunting and shrill sounds emanating from many of the young women players. Chris Evert says it's getting worse and she points out it seems to be louder when they hit a winner. Chris said you never heard a peep out of Steffi Graf and she hit the ball a ton. Martina Navratilova takes it further. She calls it cheating. Just wondering why screeching is such a woman thing? The men stay mum.

3. Crime and Punishment

Yahoo Sports has some bad news for Plaxico Burress and Michael Vick. They're reporting that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is leaning toward playing the tough guy with both of them. He'll probably suspend Burress indefinitely, and continue Vick's suspension. I have mixed feelings. Vick has paid his debt to society, so I'm not so sure he deserves double jeopardy. As for getting tough with Burress, what's taken him so long?

4. Show-time

The New York Times pointed out the other day how Michael Jackson changed Super Bowl halftimes forever. Before he showed up in 1993, they were snores. Then Michael sang "Billie Jean," grabbed his crotch a few times and the rest is history. Three years later I was in Tempe when Diana Ross played halftime. After she was whisked away from the stage by helicopter, she took the same red-eye back to New York that I did. When she walked onto the plane she received an ovation. All night
long she tended to her kids. She didn't leave it to a nanny. I thought that was a pretty impressive show in itself.

5. Yay or Nay?

There's this TV commercial for a casino at a racetrack. The woman on stage is singing "bring it on." There's a horse in the audience singing along. She signals to the horse with her fingers "call me." Subscriber Eric S. couldn't believe it. He was watching the Yankee game when the commercial came on, and he wondered "did they really just show a woman trying to get it on with a horse?" Can't wait for the sequel.