Happy December everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 1, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The Yankees and Derek Jeter resumed contract talks yesterday in Tampa.
* Just in case, here's what Derek Jeter looks like in a Mets uniform. Thanks to M.Z. on my Facebook page, "Len Berman's Top 5."
* Wacky stat of the day. The Lakers with a 13-5 record lost their 3rd straight game last night. The Clippers, with just 3 wins, have only lost two straight. Go figure.
* They'll announce the host countries tomorrow for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. The U.S. is in the running for 2022. Will they also announce which voters accepted bribes?
2. Yukking it Up
Here's the question of the day, class. Are you allowed to smile on the sidelines when your team is having their asses kicked? During Monday night's loss to San Francisco, the cameras caught Arizona quarterback Derek Anderson laughing with a teammate. Afterward, Anderson wasn't happy with a reporter's question about the incident.
Years ago, after a Celtics broadcast that I was part of, we were nervous because we heard that Red Auerbach was livid. We thought he didn't like our telecast. Turns out he was furious that his players were smiling on the bench during a loss. Old school for sure. But if fans are miserable, maybe players can act the part too?
3. Such A Deal
The NFL says they'll refund the cost of tickets for all preseason and regular season games canceled by a work stoppage in 2011. Duh. But read the fine print. The league-wide policy doesn't apply to premium seats or personal seat licenses. Individual teams will make their own decisions about those. My question is, why even announce a policy? It comes off as saber-rattling. Doesn't it go without saying that fans aren't going to pay for games that aren't played?
4. Name Game
When I wrote yesterday that conference names have become obsolete, with teams like TCU in the Big East, subscriber Chuck A. had the logical next step. Sponsored conference names! Why didn't I think of that? Chuck suggests, "How about the McConference? Or the Poulan Weedeater Conference?" I'm guessing that the conference would have to play on natural grass, but these days, who knows?
5. Gil McDougald, 1928-2010
When I mentioned the passing of Yankee shortstop Gil McDougald yesterday I gave him short shrift. Yes he'll always be remembered as the batter whose line drive struck Indians pitcher Herb Score in the eye, but that's not fair. As subscriber Bob G. pointed out, "Gil was equally adept at covering second, third and short. (He made the All Star team at all 3.) He showed his stuff in preserving Don Larsen's perfect game. With Robinson at the plate (in the 2nd inning), Jackie ripped a liner to third baseman Andy Carey which caromed off of his glove and was retrieved in a flash by McDougald at short, who fired to first to get the speedy Robinson."
And if you're a fan of 50s TV, check out this clip of McDougald's cameo with some of his Yankee teammates on the Phil Silvers Show.
Yup, it was Colonel Yogi Ashley Berra who said, "The Civil War ain't over till it's over!"
Happy Birthday: The Merry Mex. Good guy golfer Lee Trevino. 71.
Bonus Birthday: Comedian/director Woody Allen. 75.
Today In Sports: Dr. James Naismith invents the game of basketball. It's changed just a tad since then, no? 1891.
Bonus Event: In Montgomery Alabama, Rosa Parks says, this seat is mine and I'm not moving. 1955.