Top 5 Sports Stories

02/25/2011 12:33 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Len Berman Emmy Award winning sportscaster and New York Times Bestselling Author

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 25, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* The federal mediator says "some progress" has been made in the NFL labor talks, but, "very strong differences remain." Talks will resume next week. March 4th is "D-Day."
* The first baseball exhibition game between two Major League teams is today in Scottsdale, when the champion Giants host Arizona.
* Phil Mickelson suffered his worst ever match play loss when Rickie Fowler closed him out on the 13th hole at the Match Play Championship in Arizona.
* For the umpteenth time, Jets coach Rex Ryan has guaranteed a Super Bowl win next season.

2. Balance of Power

It's official. The inmates are running the asylum in the NBA. The star players now choose where they want to "take their talents." That's great for the Knicks and Miami. But what does it do exactly for Sacramento and Utah? In other words, the NBA is turning into Major League Baseball. It's no longer a level playing field. Just thought you'd like to know.

3. Thespians

Some of the best actors in the world are soccer players. You know the drill. Act like you're dead in the hopes that the other team gets penalized. This one's a classic. The player from Chile forces the guy from Ecuador to smack him in the face.

The chutzpah of the guy from Chile is only surpassed by the amount of laughter in the broadcast booth.

4. Friday eMailbag

C.A. didn't care for the NBA slam dunk contest. "When did it become Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey Circus? What's next? An NBA player jumping over a portable pool with a shark?"

M.F. agrees. "Blake Griffin's slam dunk over a Kia, 'The official car of the NBA,' was just plain stupid. Was it worth risking a season-ending (or even career-ending) injury? Hey, next year let's have Lady Gaga bounce off a trampoline and slam dunk a ball while singing the national anthem."

And J.B. isn't a fan of Derek Jeter's new massive mansion in Tampa. He writes, "It's obscene and in bad taste. And we have millions of people out of work, losing their homes. Whatever happened to Jeter's foundation to help young people?"
Editor's Note: Hey, Derek earned his dough legally. He can do whatever he wants with it.

5. Spanning The World

This week's Spanning the World highlight involves "synchronized fish swimming." Is that a sport? It is now. An animal rights group in China is calling for the banning of the practice. Check out this video.

They claim the fish have either been implanted with magnets or are being controlled by harmful electric currents.

Me? I think it's magic.

Happy Birthday: Baseball Hall of Famer, former Negro Leagues and Major League star, Monte Irvin. 92.
Bonus Birthday: TV host and comedienne Chelsea Handler. 36.

Today in Sports: Cassius Clay shocks Sonny Liston and wins the heavyweight Championship in Miami. Two days later he became Muhammad Ali. 1964.
Bonus Event: Your Show of Shows, starring Sid Caesar makes its NBC debut. Writers include Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and and Neil Simon. 1950.

Coming in March: The first annual Top 5 NCAA basketball tournament contest, with great prizes!

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