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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 23, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* Braylon Edwards practices with the Jets after his DUI arrest and tells reporters "I don't understand the black eye that this would put on the organization." Yup Braylon, this should really increase PSL sales.
* Timing is everything. The Phillies blow up the NL East as they roll to their 10th straight win and 6 game lead with 9 to play. In 1964 they blew a 6 1/2 game lead with 12 to play.
* Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams thinks college athletes should be paid a stipend. He thinks that might cut down on illegal practices. Then again, won't star players want to be paid more? Like they do now?

2. Crime And Punishment

It seems unanimous. You guys all agree with me that Braylon Edwards of the Jets shouldn't be in uniform Sunday after his DUI arrest. Gregg D. posted on my Facebook page, Len Berman's Top 5, "I'm a HUGE Jets fan, and I am TOTALLY with you Len. Friend of mine (too bad he's a Pats fan, but made a good point) asking if Jets owner Woody Johnson had already forgotten about the loss of his daughter from hard-partying. Shame, shame. Sit 'em down."
Yes the union has rules, but the Jets could and should have challenged them.
And on Twitter, @jerrythegeek tweeted me @LenBermanSports to say, "Braylon should do the right thing and take himself out and donate his pay for the week to MADD."
It's such a great idea, Jerry, that it'll never happen.

3. Location, Location, Location

It was one year ago today that former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress began his two year prison term for shooting himself in the leg. Burress, all at once, became a prisoner, a punchline and a pariah. But you couldn't help but feel a little sympathetic if you read his jailhouse interview in the New York Daily News. The truth is, if he wasn't so famous, and if it happened anywhere else but New York City, he might be playing football this Sunday. Then again, if because of all the publicity, fewer people carry guns and fewer people get shot, then it was a good thing. There are three sides to every story.

4. A Pleasant Surprise

Having been in the news business my whole life, I fully expect negativity to outweigh the positive. So I was surprised to see the overwhelming response to my question, "what athlete/sports figure do you admire the most?"
Your answers ranged from Derek Jeter, to Bobby Orr, to Arthur Ashe (one of my favorites), to Coach K. Let me share 3 emails.

*Stan B. "Bill Bradley. Made the most of his skills in every area. Princeton, All-American and Rhodes scholar. Integral part of the best Knicks team ever. Patriot. Public servant. Modest. Humble. The kind of man you'd want as a friend, neighbor and hero."

*Jarvis I. "Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal, and Phil Mickelson. These three individuals exemplify the best qualities associated with sportsmanship and being a gentleman. They respect the game they play, the fans, their competitors, and they are gracious whether they are winning or losing."

*Jay S. "All the wonderful, fan friendly athletes, such as Jeter, Teixeira, Mickelson, and Big Papi pale next to Arnold Palmer. Everyone who has ever said 'hello' to him as he walks up a fairway said he looked back at them, not through them. And as much as players have respected Nicklaus, they revered Arnie."

You guys really have to stop it. You're starting to reinforce my faith in sports humanity.

5. The Weather Report

When I went to Syracuse, and the temps zoomed into the low 50's in March, two words: "Tops down." Time to take a spin in the convertible. So when the Farmer's Almanac described Syracuse as having the worst winters of any large city, I wasn't surprised. But Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim sniffed, "That's crazy. It sounds like (what other coaches say) when they're trying to recruit against us."
Trust me, the sun don't shine in 'Cuse from October to April, but Boeheim has done a masterful recruiting job. I always marveled how he got those California kids to play in Upstate New York. I have just one question. Can Jimmy please recruit for the Syracuse football team?


Happy Birthday: Entertainer Mickey Rooney. (Considered in his day as the best all around athlete in Hollywood.) He is performing tonight at Feinstein's at the Lowe's Regency. 90.
Bonus Birthday: The Boss. Bruce Springsteen. 61.

Today in Sports: The famous "Merkle Boner" play, when the Giants Fred Merkle is "tagged out" for not running to second, which negated the winning run. As a result, the Cubs wound up winning the pennant, and their last World Series. 1908.
Bonus Event: Smile! A German named Johannes Ostermeier patents the flashbulb. 1930.


Here are the winners in the lottery for autographed copies of my books.

1. Brian M. from Wallingford Ct. wins The 25 Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time, AND The Greatest Moments in Sports.
2. Micah T. from Long Beach, NY wins The 25 Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time.
3. Dave P. from East Rutherford, NJ wins And Nobody Got Hurt!
4. Bob A. from NYC wins And Nobody Got Hurt 2!

Thanks to all of you who sent me email addresses of new Top 5 subscribers! Keep 'em coming.