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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 3, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* The Super Bowl teams moved practice indoors because of the bad weather in Dallas.
* Patriots coach Bill Belichick is named AP coach of the year for the third time.
* Yesterday was the first day high school football players could commit to college. It's a huge deal in some places. Other places, not so much.
* Is it nice weather anywhere? The Pro-Am for the Phoenix Open was scuttled because of a "frozen golf course." Wind chills in the 30s.
* Is anything clean? Two sumo wrestlers and a coach admit to fixing matches in Japan.
* The world's a dangerous place. The LPGA cancels its Mexico tour stop over fears of drug war violence.

2. That's the Ticket

Neither rain, nor snow.... nor the economy is slowing down this Super Bowl. The average resale market for tickets is hovering around $4,600. That's double from a year ago, despite a much bigger stadium this year. (The top face value is $1,200.) Reasons? Two storied franchises? The draw of the new Cowboys Stadium with its huge TV screens? It's not the Black Eyed Peas at halftime, is it? Help me here.

3. Don't Believe Your Eyes

I tell journalism students to read everything with a "jaundiced eye." What they're reading might be true, then again.... Case in point. I've been receiving emails this week from Top 5 subscribers asking what I know about a Syracuse point shaving scandal? It's on the web. Syracuse basketball players are named. The web rumor became a Facebook posting by a Rochester TV reporter. Well, it had to be true. It was on the Internet, and Syracuse had lost 4 games in a row before beating Connecticut last night. It turns out it was all made up. The guy who posted the rumor apologized. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said it best. "It's crazy that people can write whatever they want. And then everyone starts to believe it because it's in writing." Journalism 101.

4. Coolness

Yesterday I talked about Dr. J, Julius Erving, being in GQ as one of the 25 coolest athletes of all time. I wrote that he was the coolest. A couple of you took exception and chose Walt "Clyde" Frazier. Clyde also made the GQ list. And on Facebook, at "Len Berman's Top 5," Tom P. proposed Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. He'd also get my vote, making Frazier and Monroe the coolest backcourt of all time. James H. chose Joe Montana. He didn't make the list even though his nickname is "Joe Cool." And the Greatest, Muhammad Ali also made the GQ list, and was seconded by Michael W. Most charismatic? For sure. Coolest? Not so sure.

5. Sports News?

I'm one of those people who thinks everything is a sports story. That's why subscriber Gene M's email tickled me. In regards to what's going on in Cairo, he writes "The media reported Tuesday that the protests in the streets of Egypt drew 2 million... well, actually that was just tickets sold... like an NBA game, actual attendance was half that."

Years ago I remember reading a newspaper headline, "Right Winger Takes over Bolivia." I thought to myself, Gordie Howe?

Happy Birthday: Former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton. 71.
Bonus Birthday: Comedian Shelley "No relation" Berman. 85.

Today in Sports: He certainly loves making headlines lately. Brian Cashman is named Yankees general manager. 1998.
Bonus Event: One of the costliest days in American history. The 16th Amendment was ratified. Income taxes! 1913.

In case you want to check out my Today Show Super Bowl trivia contest appearance yesterday, here ya' go.

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