07/20/2011 11:03 am ET | Updated Sep 19, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 20, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Reports say the finishing touches are being put on a new 10-year labor agreement with NFL players.
  • The latest SEC team to get whacked is LSU. The football team was placed on probation for recruiting violations.
  • The hottest team in baseball? The Texas Rangers have won 12 straight games, the longest winning streak in the Major Leagues in five years.
  • The Texas Rangers say they will raise all the railings at their stadium after a fan fell to his death trying to catch a ball.

2. Let's Go Bucs!

You know what makes sports great? Surprises. Not one soccer expert predicted that Japan would make the women's World Cup final, let alone win it. Now a show of hands. Before the season, who had the Pittsburgh Pirates in first place? The Pirates are the record holders. No team in major league sports has ever gone longer without a winning record. Heck, their entire team payroll is the third lowest in the majors, just $45 million. The left side of the Yankees infield makes more than that. Oh that last winning record? 1992... a skinny outfielder named Barry Bonds was the National League MVP. It was his last season in Pittsburgh. It hasn't been the same in baseball since, in so many ways... until now.

3. Numbers Game

Northern Ireland. Population: 1,685,000. Winners of the last six major golf tournaments: 3.

U.S. Population: 311,000,000. Winners of the last six major golf tournaments. 0.

Discuss among yourselves.

4. Sportsmanship

A little hotdogging got a soccer player from the United Arab Emirates in hot water with his own team. Theyab Awana got cute with his penalty kick against Lebanon. He basically kicked it in backwards. The Lebanese players weren't happy, and neither was his coach. Awana got yanked from the game and faces disciplinary action from his own team. We've seen basketball players shoot free throws with their eyes closed, but apparently this crossed over the line... whatever the line might be these days.

5. Record Breaking

I know when I think of a ballpark hot dog, I think of topping it with caviar and truffles. The Brockton Rox are celebrating National Hot Dog day this Saturday by trying to set the Guinness record for most expensive hot dog. In addition to the caviar and truffle shavings, it'll include porcini mushroom dust, dollops of creme fraiche and fresh roe. And it'll be served on a blini roll. Sounds scrumptious, eh? All for the record price of 80 bucks. If you don't feel like making history, keep your money in your pocket. The first 1,000 fans will get a voucher for a free hot dog, the "run of the mill kind," which is sounding better and better all the time.

Happy Birthday: The NBA's all time leader in three-point shots, Boston's Ray Allen. 36.
Bonus Birthday: Musician Carlos Santana. 64.

Today in Sports: The "real home run champ" Hank Aaron, hits his 755th and last Major League homer. 1976.
Bonus Event: That's one small step for man. Neil Armstrong walks on the moon. 1969.

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