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Top 5 Sports Stories

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TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 12, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.


1. Quick Hits

  • Steve Stricker shot a 63 in the opening round of the PGA Championship. That ties the record for the lowest score in a major tournament. He leads Jerry Kelly by two.
  • The Purple Heart goes to U.S Open champ Rory McIlroy. He hurt his wrist hitting off a root on the third hole, hung in there, and finished his round even par.
  • The Patriots blew out Jacksonville 47-12 last night in their first exhibition game. And that was with Tom Brady, Chad Ochocinco and a bunch of others sitting it out.
  • The class of 2011, including Chris Mullin and Dennis Rodman, will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame tonight. If Deion Sanders put a do-rag on his Pro Football Hall of Fame bust, what will Rodman do?


2. Meltdown

A microcosm. Tiger Woods was three-under par through his first five holes at the PGA yesterday. And then quicker than you can say fire hydrant, he played the next eight holes in eight-over par. He finished his ugly round with a 77, a mere 14 shots off the lead. Only 19 golfers in the 156 man field finished worse, and seven of them were club pros. If the Tiger era isn't over, it's getting there awfully fast.

3. Hockey Anyone?

When I was a kid, hockey, with three periods, was a little more appealing than basketball. When you went to a hockey game, there were "two halftimes," which meant double the number of snacks. Soccer's appeal is in its format. Two 45-minute halves, no time outs, other than the fake injuries, and they add time for that. The 2022 World Cup will be staged in Qatar. Big problem. It's a tad toasty in that part of the world in the summer. So word has leaked out that they could switch to three 30-minute periods to give the players a break, like hockey. Believe me, it won't happen, but just talking about a radical change in the sport is another example of why FIFA should have figured this all out before they stuffed that Qatar bribe money in their pockets.

4. Friday eMailbag

J.R. agrees that ballparks are much too "noisy" these days. He writes, "With all the unnecessary noise it's as if you went to a crappy concert and they put on a baseball game between songs."

When Real Madrid signed a seven-year old Argentine soccer prodigy, I tweeted @LenBerman Sports, "to paraphrase City Slickers, soon they'll be signing sperm." C.L. tweeted back, "Maybe they could start breeding like thoroughbreds! Beckham and Hamm could make some real $."
Editor's Note: You're talking test tube conception, right?

As for Chad Ochocinco of the Patriots looking for a fan to be his roommate, M.B. writes, "Imagine if Wilt Chamberlain became your roommate. You'd have to get him an extra-long and extra-wide bed.
Editor's Note: And you'd need earplugs.

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the Arena Football League. Talk about fan involvement. Jacksonville got penalized, and the fan got ejected. Jacksonville won the game 64-55 (with a little help from their fans).
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show.


Happy Birthday: Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress. 34.
Bonus Birthday: Tennis great Pete Sampras. 40.

Today in Sports: Jack Nicklaus won the PGA tournament, his 14th major title surpassing Bobby Jones. Nicklaus went on to win 18, a record that may now be safe. 1973.
Bonus Event: A sew-sew invention. Isaac Singer gets a patent for the sewing machine. 1851.

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