Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 26, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- With three games to go, the Red Sox lead Tampa Bay by one game for the wild card after beating the Yankees last night in the 14th inning. In the National League the Braves lead St. Louis by one game for the wild card.
- Michael Vick breaks his hand in the Eagles loss to the Giants. He then ripped the refs for not giving him the calls that the other quarterbacks get. He said, "Every time I throw the ball I'm on the ground, getting hit in the head and I don't know why."
- Who had Buffalo, Detroit and Green Bay as the only 3-0 teams in the NFL?
- Bill Haas defeats Hunter Mahan on the third playoff hole to win the whole shebang, the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. His haul, $11.44 million. Check out his ridiculous shot to save par out of the water on the 2nd sudden death hole.
- Will somebody run a sub two-hour marathon? Patrick Makau of Kenya won the Berlin marathon this weekend in a record two hours, three minutes, 38 seconds.
2. The Queen City
Ladies and gentlemen, your first place undefeated Buffalo Bills. That's right. After knocking off New England they sit atop the AFC East. Who would have thunk it? You have to feel good for Bills fans. After losing four straight Super Bowls, the Bills were equated with "losers." Not fair. They are the only team to make it to four consecutive Super Bowls, and as time goes by that feat is looking better and better. It's a little too early to think that Buffalo may actually get back to a Super Bowl, but who thought they'd be where they are after three weeks? Bills fans love to tell you how despite what the Jets and Giants say, they're the only team that plays in New York. Make that the only undefeated team that plays in New York and the only undefeated team in the entire AFC.
3. More is Better?
There was lots of chatter this weekend about Major League Baseball adding another wild card in each league which would add a one game sudden death playoff. But it might not happen until 2013. First they want to even up the number of teams in each league to 15, and the likely scenario is Houston shifting over to the American League. I don't think this is a bad idea. I just want to see how they handle ties. They've been hell bent lately on avoiding November baseball. But the combination of an extra game, ties, and weather might make that impossible.
4. Lets Go to the Videotape
The NHL is getting tough on illegal hits, and they've gone transparent. Former NHL star Brendan Shanahan is the new czar of discipline, and he promised two things. To protect the players, and to explain his decisions. And explain them he does. Check out the hit from behind by Jody Shelley of Philadelphia on Toronto's Darryl Boyce. The league is cracking down on hits against defenseless players. Shelley was suspended through the first five regular season games. It'll cost him 67 thousand bucks. The other sports need to follow Shanahan's lead. Crack down on illegal plays and explain them thoroughly and publicly. That way we all get smarter.
5. Survey Says
Seton Hall University randomly called people around the country for a sports poll. They asked them which event were they most interested in. The choices were: baseball's postseason, Week 3 of the NFL Season, or the competition to pick a Republican presidential nominee. The NFL barely beat out politics. Baseball's postseason lagged a distant third. I wonder how football would have held up if betting were legalized on politics?
Happy Birthday: Tennis "bad girl" Serena Williams. 30.
Bonus Birthday: Singer/actress Olivia Newton John. 63.
Today in Sports: Pitch counts? What pitch counts? Big Ed Reulbach of the Chicago Cubs pitches both ends of a doubleheader against Brooklyn and wins both games by shutout. 1908.
Bonus Event: The Jets took on the Sharks. No point spread was listed. West Side Story opens on Broadway. 1957.
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