THE BLOG
06/16/2011 10:39 am ET | Updated Aug 16, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 16, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • Boston wins its first Stanley Cup since 1972, beating the Canucks 4-0 in game 7 in Vancouver.
  • Bruins goalie Tim Thomas wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP.
  • The U.S. Open golf tournament is underway at Congressional outside Washington D.C.
  • It's parade day in Dallas for the champion Mavericks. What, no parade in Cleveland?

2. A Tradition Like No Other

Yup, it's a Stanley Cup tradition. The two teams shake hands when it ends, and then the fans show their sportsmanship by rioting. Actually, it seems mostly a Canadian tradition, and it's win or lose. Just as they did in 1994 after losing to the Rangers, they rioted last night in Vancouver, with the added special touch of looting stores. Canada is now winless in the Stanley Cup since 1993, but when Montreal won in '93, they rioted as well. To be fair, there have been riots in America, notably in Los Angeles after the Lakers won in 2000. Alcohol plays a part, but in truth, win or lose, some idiots just use the games as an excuse to riot. Too bad. It detracts from a wonderfully hard-fought series where we should be toasting the champion Bruins. Not wasting our time, space and breath on morons.

3. The U.S. Wide Open

Something's different at the U.S. Open starting today. They're playing the tournament without what's his name? It's like 1994 all over again, the last time that guy wasn't in the Open. How come I'm not mentioning his name? Because I'm sure they'll ignore him this week too, right? The camera will just have to find all the other golfers. That's refreshing in itself.

4. Something for Nothing

The Peoria Chiefs might have been eliminated from the playoff race last night, but they haven't lost their sense of humor. The Class-A affiliate of the Cubs will give out replica LeBron James championship rings tonight to all fans attending the game. Yup. The fans will get nothing. They'd also like to skip the fourth inning in James' honor (since James was a no-show in the fourth quarter) but that probably won't fly.

And elsewhere on the "LeBron joke front," someone suggested he should switch to hockey. They only play three periods.

5. Sound Off

Does it annoy you when those women tennis players grunt like banshees? Well a London college professor says grunting can help your game, even if it pisses off your opponent. According to Professor Alison McConnell of Brunel University, "By inhaling before the ball is hit then crying out at the moment of impact, a player's throat narrows, keeping some wind in the lungs to improve core strength and balance." There you go. If you scream your head off, you might hit the ball harder. That may help explain Portugese tennis player Michelle Larcher de Brito. Take a listen. She's been recorded at 109 decibels, one shy of a lion's roar. She's currently ranked 178th in the world. Just think where she'd be if she kept her loud mouth shut?

Happy Birthday: Golfer Phil Mickelson. 41.
Bonus Birthday: Colorful former Boston Bruin, Derek Sanderson. 65.

Today in Sports: Tom Seaver pitches a no-hitter for the Cincinnati Reds. 1978.
Bonus Event: Not a bad line. Senatorial candidate Abe Lincoln says, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." 1858.

To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.