Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 8, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* After ceremonial tee shots by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus this morning, the Masters golf tournament is underway.
* A Minnesota judge urges both sides in the NFL dispute to get back to the bargaining table. She'll take a couple of weeks to rule on the players request to end the lockout.
* Pefecto. Texas goes to 6-0, Cincinnati 5-0. The Red Sox and Rays are now 0-5.
* The defense rested without calling a single witness in the Barry Bonds perjury trial.
* Get ready for the debut of women's ski jumping at the Winter Olympics in 2014.
2. Survey Says
Just wondering if people are honest when they answer surveys? For example, Sports Illustrated asked football fans what they would miss if there were no games because of the labor dispute. 41.8% said "watching with friends and family" while 1.3% said "gambling on games." Really? And what came in second to watching football for these people, going to the library or church?
3. Hit This Sign
Yesterday I talked about the giant paint can in San Diego. If a Padres player hits a homer into the can, $500,000 will be donated to charity. Some of you mentioned the Abe Stark sign in right field at Ebbets field, "Hit sign, win suit." Carl Furillo's glove made sure that Abe didn't have to part with any of his precious menswear. Subscriber Larry H. wrote something I hadn't heard before about the Polo Grounds. He said, "if a player hit one of the Chesterfield packs attached to the facade between the lower and upper decks, cases of Chesterfield cigarettes were sent to Army hospitals." Wow. Sending smokes to our servicemen in hospitals? Back in the day, baseball announcers like Red Barber would also smoke cigarettes on the air as part of the commercial pitch.
How times have changed.
4. Olympic Games
I was a little surprised to see the Olympics add women's ski jumping. It's not exactly the X Games type of stuff that attracts younger viewers. Women ski jumpers have been trying forever to get in. In fact, they weren't prevented from competing, they just would have had to do it against men. I covered ski jumping at the Salt Lake games. Most of the jumpers were little guys. It makes sense. It's easier to fly through the air if you're not fat. I equated it to "jockeys on skis." And what went unsaid: eating issues. Were ski jumpers starving themselves to stay thin? And will that be an even bigger issue with the women? Too much information?
5. Police Blotter
Seattle police are stumped. Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick had his World Series ring stolen from his Seattle home. Of course police have nothing to go on. They've never seen a World Series ring in Seattle before.
Happy Birthday: Boxer Buster Douglas who shocked Mike Tyson in 1990 and held the heavyweight title for eight months. 51.
Bonus Birthday: Oscar winning actor Russell Crowe. 47.
Today in Sports: Jack Nicklaus became the youngest Masters winner, at the time, at age 23. 1963.
Bonus Event: The first camel race was held in the U.S. in Sacramento. You probably thought it was done for degenerate gamblers. Nope. It benefited charity. 1864.
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