Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 20, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The Celtics overcame 42 points from Carmelo Anthony to beat a depleted Knicks team 96-93 to take a two games to none lead. Orlando and Dallas won as well.
* What a comeback. San Jose trailed the LA Kings 4-0 in the second period, and won it 6-5 in overtime to lead their series 2 games to 1. The champion Blackhawks staved off elimination, still trail Vancouver 3 games to 1.
* Reds pitcher Mike Leake, who earns $425,000, was arrested for stealing six T-shirts from Macy's. He hopes to avoid jail time.
* A robot, PhillieBot, designed by engineers at the University of Pennsylvania, will throw out the first pitch at this afternoon's Brewers/Phillies game in Philadelphia.
2. Let's Go Rangers
Ya gotta love Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. HBO made him a star, a la Rex Ryan, for his record-setting number of f-bombs during the series 24/7 Penguins/Capitals. And now he has dropped a bomb on Madison Square Garden. He said, "The locker rooms are horrible. The benches are horrible." He said the building where the Caps play is much louder. And his money quote about MSG, "Its reputation is far better than the actual building." You mean when the announcers call it the "World's most famous arena," they leave out the part about the lovely elephant aroma when the circus is in town? Actually Boudreau might be onto something. With the cost of tickets, the louder die-hard Ranger fans may be watching at home, replaced by corporate types. It's probably why the new Yankee Stadium is quieter than the old one too.
Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. When I asked if chess was a sport last week, Jimmy P. checked in from the UK to tell me that Phil Taylor finished secnd for BBC "2010 Sports Personality of the Year." Who? You never heard of Phil Taylor, the 15-time world champion dart thrower? According to Jimmy, "He is considered the Michael Jordan/Babe Ruth of darts... he is fat and fifty and built like a beer barrel one might be forgiven for not guessing that he is a world class 'athlete.' So I ask you; even with the hand/eye coordination involved; Is darts a sport?"
Good question, Jimmy. Are dart throwers athletes? More than chess? Less than golf?
(By the way, the guy who beat out Taylor was a jockey.)
4. Bye the Way
Hey ladies, if your boyfriend is a Chiefs fan and you want to get pregnant, this could be your last chance. In fact, you've got until October 16th or so. An unnamed Chiefs fan had called the NFL to ask when the Chiefs would have their bye week, because that's when he wants to get his vasectomy. The NFL released the 2011 schedule last night and for one young lady, if you didn't know about your boyfriend's feelings on starting a family, October 16th could be a bye week for the Chiefs, and a bye bye week for you.
5. All Hail the Queen
Marathons will never be mainstream. Heck, it's much easier to be a couch potato than run 26 miles. But marathons are the most joyful of events. Ask anyone who has ever run one. Boston ran theirs on Monday. And even though a Kenyan set an all time record, it wasn't about him. It was about the 20,000 plus others who had a goal and met it. In 1978 a young woman from Norway entered the New York City Marathon. Grete Waitz. She had never run one before. She not only won that year, she set a record and never stopped setting them. She was a nine-time NYC Marathon winner. She died yesterday of cancer at the age of 57. New York has seen its share of heroes from Ruth to Namath to Billie Jean. And in that pantheon of stars, Grete Waitz shines just as bright. Maybe we should all lay down the remote and jog a mile in memory of a truly great champion.
Happy Birthday: Dodgers manager and good guy Don Mattingly. 50.
Bonus Birthday: Love Story actor Ryan O'Neal. 70.
Today in Sports: Fenway Park opens, as Boston beats the New York Highlanders 7-6 in 11 innings. The bigger story in the news that day was the sinking of the Titanic. 1912.
Bonus Event: The best picture of the year premiered, Woody Allen's Annie Hall. 1977.
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