THE BLOG
08/09/2011 11:09 am ET | Updated Oct 09, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 9, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.


1. Quick Hits

  • 84-year-old Penn State football coach Joe Paterno vows to be back at practice "soon." He was hospitalized after a wide receiver ran into him the other day. Joe injured his shoulder and hip.
  • Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson has ended his holdout.
  • How's Tiki Barber's comeback coming along?
  • A second competitor, this one a woman, has died after going into cardiac arrest during the swimming portion of the New York City Triathlon.
  • Because of rioting in London, a soccer match between England and Holland scheduled for tomorrow night has been called off at Wembley Stadium.


2. The Gene Pool

Real Madrid has signed soccer prodigy Leonel Angel Coira. He'll begin training on September 6th. Madrid acted quickly to sign the kid because a rival team was also going after him. Leonel is seven years old. He's not the youngest to go pro. A Dutch soccer team signed an 18-month-old this year.

To paraphrase a line from City Slickers, soon they'll be signing sperm.

3. Bittersweet

If you look it up, on this date, Jesse Owens became the first American to win four gold medals when the U.S. won the 4x100 meter relay at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It should have been a joyous occasion. But it wasn't. Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller were slated to be on that relay team 75 years ago today, but they were benched because they were Jewish. It was blatant anti-Semitism on the part of the U.S. Olympic committee. Marty was eventually given a plaque before his death, but never the medal that was "stolen" from him. The injustice didn't end there. Upon returning home from the Olympics, Owens received a ticker tape parade in New York. After the parade, they held a celebratory dinner in his honor at the Waldorf. Jesse was forced to ride the freight elevator to his own dinner because he was black.


4. Name Appropriate

You can't make this stuff up. The Cubs have signed their ninth-round draft pick, left-handed pitcher/outfielder Garrett Schlecht. In German, schlecht means bad or lousy. Just to be fair I checked out a couple of other National League names.

Lucas Duda for the Mets for example. Duda, in Spanish, means doubt. Then there's reliever Jose Veras of the fallen-back-to-earth Pittsburgh Pirates. Veras, in Spanish, means really. Your turn.

5. Rocky Mountain Low

So what's the official sport of Canada? That used to be my favorite trick question. The answer was lacrosse, until 1994. That's when the spoilsports designated it as the national summer sport, and made hockey the official winter sport. I only bring this up because there's a campaign in Colorado to pick an official sport. I didn't know states had them. Cities yes. Fare-beating is a big one in New York, but in Colorado? Must be skiing, or something Olympics related, right? Well there's a group called the Western Pack Burro Racing Association that's pushing for donkey racing to be their official state sport. They don't ride the donkeys, the humans run along side. The Association's motto is: "Celebrating 62 years of Hauling Ass." Colorado doesn't have an official state food. How about fruit cake?


Happy Birthday: My former Celtics broadcast partner and great guy, Bob Cousy. 83.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Whitney Houston. 48.

Today in Sports: Slams galore. A record five grand slam homers were hit on this date. Fernando Tatis (Cards), Jose Vidro (Expos), Mike Lowell (Marlins), Bernie Williams (Yankees), Jay Buhner (Mariners). 1999.
Bonus Event: The president of the United States, Richard Nixon, left the White House, having resigned. 1974.

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