07/01/2011 02:17 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 1, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Welcome to the 2011 NBA lockout of its players. Day one is today.
  • The Wimbledon women's final tomorrow features #5 seed Maria Sharapova vs. #8 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
  • Derek Jeter is expected to return Monday in Cleveland to resume his assault on 3,000 hits. He is currently six hits shy of the milestone.

2. Here We Go Again

NBA players today joined NFL players being locked out. Do you really want to hear about this? Of course you don't. Thus begins the Top 5 lockout-news-blackout. Wake me when it's over.

3. Muzzle 'Em

Tired of hearing women tennis players grunt? The BBC has come up with the answer at Wimbledon. You can download a program, so that if you listen on radio, you can lower the background noise and boosts the announcers. Without being disrepectful to my announcing brethren, I'm sure there are some American sports fans who would like to reverse the process.

4. Friday eMailbag

When the North Korean women's soccer coach used the excuse that several of his players were hit by lightning during training, and that explained their loss to the U.S., B.W. writes, "Some might see it as a lame excuse. Others might see a valiant attempt to keep one's family out of a labor camp in retribution for the loss."
Editor's Note: Good thought.

As for Danica Patrick and boasting that it "took some ovaries" to reach a top speed, subscriber S.S. writes, "And she HAS got some set of ovaries, but unlike her male counterparts, she also has low testosterone and A BRAIN. THAT'S WHY she finishes races instead of crashing; and usually does it in the top 10!"
Editor's Note: S.S. is female.

R.B. chimes in, "Danica Patrick might also say she "put all her eggs in one gasket."

5. Happy Birthday

The boob tube hit another milestone today, 70 years old. The first commercial telecast was July 1, 1941 by WNBT the predecessor to WNBC in New York City. The first broadcast? Of course it was sports. The Phillies and Dodgers in Brooklyn. And for the 4,000 people who actually owned TV sets at the time, if they were tuned in, they saw the first commercial. It aired before the game and was for Bulova watches. The 10-second commercial cost $9.00. The rest is history.

Happy Birthday: Rangers Hall of Famer and great guy Rod Gilbert. He and TV were born on the same day. 70.
Bonus Birthday: Pamela Anderson. 44. That's her age, wise guy.

Today in Sports: Gentlemen, start your syringes. The first Tour de France bicycle race. 1903
Bonus Event: The end of an era. The nickel NYC subway ride came to an end. A 100 percent price increase to a dime. 1948.

Have a great holiday everyone. The Top 5 is going on summer break. We'll return Monday July 11th.

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