Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 16, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The Heisman Trophy people will not give the award to Reggie Bush's 2005 runner-up, Vince Young.
* The San Diego Chargers home opener against Jacksonville Sunday will probably be blacked out. The Chargers have had 6 straight years of sellouts. See #3 below.
* The NFL sends all its teams memos regarding media policy. In part it reads, "Please remember that women reporters are professionals and should be treated as such.'' This in light of the Jets incident with the Mexican TV reporter.
* The wild west. Three teams, the Padres, Giants and Rockies are now within 2 1/2 games.
2. We Love You, We Love You Not
USA Today used to run lists every day. One day they asked former Major Leaguer Willie Mays Aikens his favorite sportscasters. He picked me 5th. That's my lasting legacy. I was Willie Mays Aikens' 5th favorite sportscaster. At least I'm doing better than LeBron James. He's now rated the 6th most hated athlete behind Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Bengals Wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, and Kobe Bryant.
That's what sports has come to. Who do we love to hate?
3. Warning Signs
Lost in the shuffle. Florida is a football crazed state, and yet the Tampa Bay Bucs were the only home team blacked out last Sunday. They were nowhere close to a sellout. Neither were the Giants and Jets, but "premium seats" don't count. That's called creative scorekeeping. And it's not just the tickets. Those expensive parking spaces at Yankee Stadium are begin avoided like the plague. The developer of the garages may default on his bonds. Has the snowball started rolling downhill? Fewer fans, leading to lower ticket prices, leading to reduced salaries, leading to families being able to attend sports events? Nah, I'm probably dreaming.
The problem with being around so long is that everything reminds you of something else. Looking at "Today in Sports," it reminds me that I once hosted a boxing match on HBO in Maryland involving Sugar Ray Leonard. I worked with the legendary boxing announcer Don Dunphy. Before the match we went for a sandwich. When it came time to pay the bill, Don said "here's how we always do it. We flip a coin. Loser pays."
He flipped, I won. I got a free dinner and I got to work with a legend. Does it get any better than that?
Call me old fashioned. But I when was a kid, I was thrilled to get a baseball cap of my favorite team. Shirts and jackets were nice too. But ink? Here's the latest. You can have your arm completely "tattooed" with your favorite team, with the official NHL tattoo sleeve. Only $13.99. Lovely.
What's next, an official NHL fighting black-eye logo?
Happy Birthday: Former pitching great Orel Hershiser. 52.
Bonus Birthday: Legendary musician B.B. King. 85.
Today in Sports: Sugar Ray Leonard knocked out Thomas "Hitman" Hearns to win the welterweight title. 1981.
Bonus Event: Sock it to me? Presidential candidate Richard Nixon appears on Laugh-In. 1968.
A big thank you to Michael Kay for mentioning my new book on last night's Yankees telecast on YES.
I'll be on Hannity tonight at 9pm on FOX.
My next book signing is Sunday at 2pm at Borders in Glendale, Queens on Cooper Avenue.
Want a free autographed copy of my newest kids book The 25 Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time? Send me the email addresses of 3 new Top 5 subscribers and you'll be entered in a lottery to win. Send at least 5 new subscribers and be eligible to win autographed copies of both the new book and my New York Times bestseller, The Greatest Moments in Sports. Just get in touch to enter.