Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 17, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The St. Louis Cards and Albert Pujols fail to reach a contract agreement. Arguably the game's best player will become a free agent after the season.
* Mets President Jeff Wilpon says his family will not relinquish control of the team.
* Another graphic example why you shouldn't bet on sports. The lowly Cavaliers beat the champion Lakers last night in Cleveland, 104-99.
* Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was supposed to start at the front of the Daytona 500 Sunday, crashed yesterday in practice. He'll now start at the back of the pack.
* Michael Vick cancels his scheduled interview today with Oprah.
Two team owners yesterday felt compelled to tell the media that they're going to own their teams. The Dodgers and the Mets. One, involves divorce, the other Bernie Madoff. And we're talking about two of the more glamorous teams in the Majors. Add to that the labor strife in football and basketball. There was a time when owning a sports franchise meant "let the good times roll." Not these days.
3. With a Heavy Heart
Phillies consultant Dallas Green struggled while talking to the media yesterday in Clearwater. A tear rolled down his cheek. He was talking about his 9-year-old granddaughter Christina who was murdered in Tucson during the attack of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He told the reporters, "You know, I'm supposed to be a tough sucker and I'm not very tough when it comes to this, so I apologize." No apology necessary, Dallas. There's a Tucson charitable fund in Christina's memory.
4. At Last!
Finally the name Gods are smiling. Joe Montana's son Nate is going to quarterback at the University of Montana. So it'll read "Montana" on the front and back of his uniform. (It came close when Jerry West played for West Virginia.) This ends a long sports drought where pitcher Reggie Cleveland never pitched for the Indians, outfielder Daryl Boston never played for the Red Sox, and infielder/catcher Tyler Houston never played for the Astros. Although Texas manager Ron Washington, while never playing for the Senators or Nationals, does manage a team that moved from Washington. Are we having fun yet?
5. Yay Team?
I've always marveled at the exuberant fans after a backboard gets broken during a basketball game. What exactly are they cheering about? Hooray, we're going to have a two hour delay before we can find a new backboard. At least a kid in Oregon had the good sense to break the backboard at the final buzzer.
They're all celebrating. Then again they lost the game. Kind of like the sack dancer in football who jumps around and signals "we're #1" when they're trailing 67-0.
Happy Birthday: Two of the best to ever play their sports, Jim Brown. 75. Michael Jordan 48.
Bonus Birthday: Famous for being famous, Paris Hilton. 30.
Today in Sports: Swimmer (and future Tarzan actor) Johnny Weissmuller sets the world record in the 100 meter freestyle. 54.7 seconds. The current record is 46.91. 1924.
Bonus Event: Comedienne Joan Rivers makes her first appearance on the Tonight Show. She went on to become Johnny Carson's permanent guest host. 1965.
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