TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 24, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The #1 pick in last night's NBA draft was Duke freshman guard Kyrie Irving. He goes to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Three of the first six players chosen are from Europe.
- Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned in a contract dispute. The Nationals are actually one game over .500.
- At Wimbledon, French Open champion Li Na is ousted in the second round.
- Lakers forward Ron Artest, who has had his share of scrapes, is changing his name to Metta World Peace. Metta, to Buddhists, means loving kindness. This could start a trend. Maybe Kobe Bryant will change his name to End World Hunger?
2. You Go Girls
The Women's World Cup gets underway Sunday in Germany. Remember when the U.S. ruled the roost? You knew 'em on a first name basis. Mia, Brandi. That was oh so 12 years ago. Germany has run the table since, and they're the host country for this year's tournament. When Brandi Chastain ripped off her jersey in victory in 1999, it was supposed to signal the start of a women's soccer revolution in America. It hasn't exactly worked out. While young women play lots of soccer, women's pro leagues have come and gone. But male sports fans in the U.S. will always remember Brandi and her sports bra. Men are like that.
My favorite play-by-play call of the week, is a color-coded lesson from the great Dick Enberg and one man's objection to switching to yellow balls at Wimbledon. Check out Chrissie's reaction.
4. Friday eMailbag
From subscriber C.S. after Rory McIlroy's big U.S. Open win. "I think we can all agree that it's now Tiger vs. Rory. Goodbye Phil."
Editor's Note: It might be Rory vs. Rory if Tiger doesn't return to form.
As for the golf people de-emphasizing the winner's prize money at the U.S. Open as opposed to tennis, M.W. points out, "I'm sure the USGA is not demonizing the amount of cash they pull in from all of that merchandise they sell in those tents."
Editor's Note: That's for sure.
S.D. thought that Clarence Clemons, the late E Street Band member, deserved to be mentioned in the Top 5. "I know he wasn't a sports person per se, but he did start in the football ranks early in life, attending Maryland State College on a football scholarship and playing with Emerson Boozer. The Browns were looking at him before he had a car accident which ruined his knees."
And subscriber J.G. has a question in light of former Giant David Tyree's stand against gay marriage. "Why do these athletes feel compelled to comment on political/social issues? I am a diehard Red Sox fan but can't stand Curt Schilling because he comments on EVERYTHING. He's the smartest guy in the world, just ask him.
5. Spanning the World
This week's Spanning the World highlight involves that mundane time killer before many baseball games, a player reciting the starting lineup. But a University of Minnesota pitcher may have stumbled on to something.
I can see a trend. Can you top this? I hope so. Normally, the recitation of the lineups is a giant snore.
Happy Birthday: One of the world's great soccer players, Argentina's Lionel Messi. 24.
Bonus Birthday: When is Derek Jeter going to marry her already? Actress Minka "Charlie's Angels" Kelly. 31.
Today in Sports: The beginning of a seismic shift in basketball. The NBA modifies its 4-year college rule to allow hardship cases. 1971.
Bonus Event: Thinking some day we'll have a TV show called Jersey Shore, the colony of New Jersey is founded. 1664.
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