Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 18, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Finally some good news for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They win the NBA Draft Lottery. They have the #1 pick in next month's draft.
* In the NBA playoffs, Dallas beat Oklahoma City in game one, 121-112.
* In the NHL playoffs, Boston beat Tampa bay 6-5 to even their series at one.
* France will host its first ever Ryder Cup in 2018.
2. Marketing 101
A couple of months back, I mentioned the ad campaign for the Preakness in Maryland. This year's mascot is Kegasus, half man, half horse. The whole idea is to draw "party animals" to the infield for Saturday's Triple Crown race. Check out the TV spot.
Let's see, music, lots of beer and a bikini contest. And you wonder why ticket sales are up 17%? Now about that horse race.....
3. Regg-ie Regg-ie
When you covered the Yankees in the late 70s, you had to know three things. Where was George? What was Billy doing? And what was Reggie saying? Reggie was always spouting something. "The straw that stirs the drink," made a few waves. If you think A-Rod is a lightning rod, he pales in comparison to "Mr. October." Wow, his home runs sure were fun. And today we welcome Reggie to the Medicare set. Happy 65th big guy. Maybe they'll name a Metamucil candy bar after you some day.
4. Now That's a Fan
In my kids blooper book, And Nobody Got Hurt 2! I wrote about Eric James Torpy. He was given a 30-year sentence in Oklahoma in 2005 and asked the judge to tack on three more years because Larry Bird, who wore #33 was his favorite player. The judge happily obliged. Well, according to the Boston Globe, after spending six years in jail, Torpy now regrets his decision. The number 33 still resonates with him. Not only does he have the number three tattooed on each elbow (put them together and you get 33) but he also has a small green shamrock (for the Boston Celtics) tattooed near his eye. And in perfect symmetry, he's eligible for parole in, you got it, 2033.
5. Harmon Killebrew
It was indeed ironic that Harmon Killebrew's nickname was Killer. It certainly wasn't his personality. You never heard a negative word about Harmon. No Minnesota baseball player ever meant more to that franchise. And I love looking at the old black and white pictures. No batting gloves, no eye black. Just raw power that you knew was natural. The way Jerry West was the model for the NBA logo, Harmon Killebrew is supposedly the MLB logo's inspiration. You can certainly see why. Even if he wasn't, what a tribute to one of the greatest sluggers of our time, who passed away yesterday of cancer at the age of 74.
Happy Birthday: A couple of Hall of Famers. Brooks Robinson. 74. Reggie Jackson. 65.
Bonus Birthday: You betcha, Tina Fey is 41.
Today in Sports: Randy Johnson, at age 40, becomes the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game. Arizona beat Atlanta 2-0. 2004.
Bonus Event: This could work out. The Republican Party nominates Abraham Lincoln for president. 1860.
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