07/19/2011 11:26 am ET | Updated Sep 18, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 19, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The NBA schedule will be released today. So you know which games you won't be able to bet on when the lockout continues.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, your first place Pittsburgh Pirates. Their last winning season was 1992.
  • Baseball great Nolan Ryan is resting comfortably in a Houston hospital after experiencing chest pains.
  • Chinese basketball star Yao Ming is expected to announce his retirement tomorrow at the age of 30.
  • Pretty cool. Uganda becomes the first African team to quality for the Little League World Series.

2. Light at the End of the Tunnel

The stories are coming fast and furious. We could be in the final days of the NFL lockout. So all at once they'll open training camps and sign free agents at a dizzying clip. Too bad, I was sort of hoping they'd deep-six some of those meaningless (full price) exhibition games.

3. Perspective

Don't you love lists? Nothing occurs in a vacuum. Everything that happens, no matter how good or bad, has to be compared with something else. For example, it wasn't good enough to call the Japanese win in the World Cup a "great feel good story," or a "monumental upset." Nope, now it's being referred to as "Japan's Miracle on Ice." Why? Sure, just like the 1980 hockey team, Japan's women gave their country something to feel good about. But so did The Saints Super Bowl win. The truth is, Japan and New Orleans both suffered death and destruction. The problems in America in 1980? Difficult for sure. Hostages in Iran. Gas lines. But why do we have to contrast and compare? Each event is monumental in its own right for a variety of reasons. To try to lump them together on some dopey list of upsets does each of them a disservice.

4. An Honest Opinion

Here's the latest example of why athletes might consider avoiding the media altogether. USC tailback Marc Tyler was asked by TMZ if he could make more money at USC or in the NFL, and Tyler indicated USC. He now says he was joking. The school wasn't amused. They've suspended him from the team, and for the first game of the season. At USC, I guess, the truth hurts.

5. Bull!

This was always one of my favorite Spanning the World sports bloopers. A guy, wearing red runs into the bullring... and proceeds to get depantsed. Pretty embarrassing when you have to exit covering your butt. Now comes along a genius at the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain. He decides to wear nothing at all. And what do you know? The bull said to himself... hmm, fresh meat. I'm guessing if you administered IQ tests to that bull and the streaker, it would be no contest.

Happy Birthday: Tennis "bad boy" Ilie Nastase. 65.
Bonus Birthday: A wonderful woman, the widow of Jackie Robinson, Rachel. 89.

Today in Sports: The first unassisted triple play in baseball history was made by Cleveland shortstop Neal Ball (He should have been named Neal Glove). 1909.
Bonus Event: Remember Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame in Atlanta? I do, I was in the stadium. It happened 15 years ago tonight. 1996.

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