Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 23, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Carmelo Anthony will make his Knicks debut tonight at Madison Square Garden against Milwaukee.
* Justice delayed. The NCAA has suspended Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun for three games next season for recruiting violations.
* Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig tells Hank Steinbrenner to stop his whining about revenue sharing.
* The Accenture Match Play Championship begins today in Marana, Arizona. Tiger Woods faces Thomas Bjorn of Denmark in his first match.
2. Sound Off!
I've often said that while New York is basically a baseball town, the Knicks are a close second. You all got riled up pretty good over the Carmelo Anthony trade.
*Sal N. writes, "I think the Knicks deal is awful. I do agree we need a superstar. But we've been clamoring for years about having a young team. Now we do and we're in playoff contention. Why break it up? Teams grow, and now to me, the growth is stunted."
* Laurence R. counters on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5,": "Great trade! This move will help pave the way to better Knick basketball for at least the next 3-4 years. At least now we are attractive to other free agents who want to play in the greatest city in the world."
* As for me, just another lonely Cablevision subscriber. (Cablevision owns the Knicks.) Maybe Marty H. hit the nail on the head. "Hey Len there goes your cable bill again!"
3. Like Father Like Son
God I miss covering Yankees spring training. First Hank Steinbrenner says some of the Yankees were too busy building mansions, and weren't focused on repeating last year. Then he denied he was talking about Derek Jeter, who happens to be the only Yankee building a mansion, in Tampa. (St. Jetersburg.)
Then reporters have to scurry over to Jeter to get his reaction. Derek of course dismissed the whole thing as a joke. Just like the good old days with George. Or as Top 5 subscriber Keith R. writes about Hank, "There was a common expression used when I was a kid. 'Isn't he lucky his father was born before him?'"
4. Safety Issues
Former football players always worried about knees and hips once their playing days were through. Now, it's much more serious. When two-time Super Bowl champ Dave Duerson took his own life last week, he texted family members that he wanted his brain donated to medical research. There's growing evidence of brain disease attributed to football players and boxers. And now that the owners want an expanded 18 game schedule, this will be the 800 pound gorilla in the room. If the end result is keeping the 16 game schedule for health reasons, Dave Duerson's tragic death may wind up being a contributing factor.
5. Go Beavers!
The long drought is over, Caltech finally won a conference basketball game. It only took them 26 years. They play in Division III, and the players all notched 800s on their math SAT's, but the Beavers had lost 310 consecutive conference games, dating back to 1985. They beat Occidental last night 46-45. Take a look at the celebration.
Around :55 in, one of the players gets lifted on his teammates' shoulders. Why not celebrate? They finished the season 5-20, their best record in 15 years. Caltech has no athletic scholarships, but they do lead the league in Nobel Prizes. Students and faculty have garnered 31, according to the latest stat sheet.
Happy Birthday: Former baseball player Bobby "You'll never wipe the smile off my face" Bonilla. 48.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Dakota Fanning. 17.
Today in Sports: Speedskater Eric Heiden wins a record 5th gold medal (10,000 meters) at the Lake Placid Olympics. 1980.
Bonus Event: Sweet teeth rejoice. The birth of the Tootsie Roll. 1896.
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