Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 21, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- NFL owners are gathering today in Atlanta. Perhaps they'll vote on a new collective bargaining agreement. The players have yet to vote.
- Condolences to Patriots owner Bob Kraft on the passing of his wife Myra.
- Tiger Woods cans his long time caddie Steve Williams. Williams says "this came as a shock."
- Is more better? The LPGA will add a fifth major tournament in 2013, in France. The men golfers and all of tennis have four majors.
- HBO will premier its behind-the-scenes look at Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit, July 28th. There is no sequel planned for Jeter's All Star Game absence.
- Paraguay has reached its first Copa America soccer final since 1979. They'll take on Uruguay Sunday. Top 5 regulars are rooting for Paraguay.
2. Blah Blah Blah
With NFL labor peace breaking out, I hope they declare a moratorium on news conferences to announce the blessed event. I can hear it now. Both sides saying how they "sacrificed" in the name of making a deal. Yup, you have to go on welfare when deciding how to whack up $9 billion. And I can't wait for one of the sides to say, "We did it for the fans." If they really did it for us, maybe we'd get a cut of that dough? Better yet, they should have outlawed personal seat licenses, full price exhibition games, and cold weather night games after Thanksgiving. The first person who says, "This is for the fans," gets a 15-yard penalty for unmitigated bull****.
3. It's Never Over
If you think labor peace equates to peace, forget it. 75 former NFL players are suing the league and its helmet maker over concussions. They claim that the league knew about the dangers of concussions way back in 1920 and kept it hidden for 90 years. Not sure they'll be able to prove it, but the issue of player health and brain damage is not going away any time soon.
4. The Best Ever?
The book I may never write is called the Greatest Athletes of All Time. Some candidates? Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Jim Brown and Bo Jackson. But if you had to pick one athlete who excelled at more sports than anyone, it might be none of the above. I'm reminded of Babe Didrikson as country clubs across Long Island hold their annual cancer fundraisers in her honor. She starred in basketball, baseball, track and field and golf. She was also proficient in bowling, tennis and billiards, just to name a few. She won her third U.S. Open by 12 shots in 1954 after doctors told her she'd never play again after cancer surgery. In the team competition at the 1932 Track and Field Championships, she had five first place finishes, and she tied for first in a sixth event. She won the team competition with 30 points. She was a one-person team. The second place team had 22 points, and 22 athletes. Case closed?
Lakers center Andrew Bynum did a little grocery shopping in L.A. and he decided to park in a handicapped spot. Not a good idea. He was busted by an L.A. TV station. Parking is a big issue in car-crazy Los Angeles. Hey Andrew, if you're making $15 million a year, maybe consider sending someone to fetch your groceries?
Happy Birthday: Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. 31.
Bonus Birthday: Funny guy Robin Williams 60.
Today in Sports: Joe Torre of the Mets sets the all time record. He hits into 4 doubleplays in the same game. 1975.
Bonus Event: Althea Gibson became the first black winner of a major tennis tournament. 1957.
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