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Top 5 Sports Stories

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NFL PRESEASON SCHEDULE
AP

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 13, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* The NHL Playoffs begin tonight.
* The NBA regular season grinds to a halt tonight.
* Lawrence Taylor's name will not appear on public sex offender registry lists. The judge determined he is not likely to be a repeat offender.
* American League MVP Josh Hamilton of Texas broke his arm diving into home. He'll be out a couple of months.
* The Red Sox, at 2-9, proudly sport the worst record in baseball.

2. Game On

Even though only two of the 16 teams in the NHL Playoffs hail from Canada, they take this little tournament a lot more seriously up there. A big political debate was moved so as not to conflict with a Montreal Canadiens playoff game. And a memo has gone out to all the surgeons in British Columbia. No more hockey talk in the operating room. They don't want the patients to be upset. Yeah, I'm guessing they could certainly misinterpret a comment about "being on ice."

3. Game Off

The NFL released its preseason schedule yesterday. Exactly what football fans were waiting for. They hate preseason games to begin with, and they hate them even more because as of now there is no season. On top of that, the NFL will stage its draft in a couple of weeks. In other words, business as usual. Try telling that to the lowly team employees who have been laid off or have had their salaries slashed.

4. Dr. Len

Lots of you responded to Monday's Top 5 about the obscene price of some sports events. Since the Top 5 is dedicated to solving the world's problems (OK, that was a stretch), how about some remedies? David S. says there's a solution for "non-corporate" fans not being able to go to some sports events. "The legislature -- where Congress or the State mandates that X% of seats be 'affordable' to average fans." Several years ago, in my book Spanning the World, I wrote, "I would make a few good seats available in every section of every stadium for every game at reasonable family prices. A lottery would determine who gets the tickets." Good idea right? It'll never happen.

Red Sox fan Ken L. says the answer is easy. Head out of town. Rather than pay Fenway's high prices, he says, "It's much cheaper for to drive to Baltimore, rent a hotel room and buy tickets for the games. And since I have a mixed marriage -- my wife is a Yankees fan -- we repeat the process for the Yankee games in Baltimore."

Wow, solving sports and marriage issues simultaneously. Is this a great Top 5 or what?

5. Technology

Don't you hate divers in soccer? You know the ones. They pretend they're dead when they were never touched. Well, a guy in Britain has the solution.

An alarm goes off if the player has been kicked in the shins. If no alarm, he's faking. What's next, sensors in baseball uniforms to detect if a batter is hit by a pitch? If a runner is really tagged? It's the logical next step. No more refs and umps. Look at all the salaries the leagues will save if you have robots making the calls. Not to mention meal money.

Happy Birthday: Chess champ Garry Kasparov. Is chess a sport? 48.
Bonus Birthday: Wally! Tony Dow from Leave It To Beaver. 66.

Today in Sports: Tiger Woods, at age 21, becomes the youngest Masters winner, featured in my New York Times best-selling kids book, The Greatest Moments in Sports. 1997.
Bonus Event: Finally, the Republicans can have a symbol too. The first elephant arrives in the U.S. from India. 1796.

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