Top 5 Sports Stories

09/28/2011 11:44 am ET | Updated Nov 28, 2011

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 28, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • With one game to go in the regular season, the Red Sox and Tampa Bay remain tied for the American League wild card.
  • Ditto the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.
  • If there are two ties after tonight, they would be broken with a one-game playoff tomorrow afternoon in St. Pete and tomorrow night in St. Louis.
  • Word is NBA owners have modified their demand for a hard salary cap.
  • The game of the night. The Dodgers led Arizona 6-1 heading to the bottom of the 10th and with two outs the Diamondbacks scored six runs to win it 7-6. The game ended on a Ryan Roberts grand slam homer.

2. Double the Fun

Congratulations are in order for the Atlanta Braves. They've matched the Red Sox collapse. The Braves lead over St. Louis was 10 1/2 games in late August, and now its all been frittered away. There is no more frustrating feeling for a fan than your favorite team stumbling at the finish line. Older fans lived through the '64 Phillies. Younger Mets fans also know that feeling all too well. But two collapses in one season? Unheard of. A couple of you have pointed out that the Braves began their baseball life in Boston, so this all makes perfect sense.

3. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

The logo is out for the 2014 Super Bowl to be played in New Jersey. It's the first cold weather outdoor Super Bowl, and they're not ducking the issue. Smack in the middle of the logo is a snowflake.

As for the advertising campaign, "It's football like it was meant to be played -- in the open, exposed to whatever winter throws our way." The truth is it'll look great on TV if the game is played in a freezing blizzard. Not so great for the fans who will pony up thousands for tickets to sit in a winter wonderland.

4. Blah Blah Blah

It seems destined that Jets coach Rex Ryan's mouth will always be an issue. No less than Joe Namath has criticized Ryan for over-praising his players. Namath says the players start believing all that stuff and don't prepare as well as they should. Ryan fired back that their preparation is just fine, thank you. Actually Ryan's best line was suggesting that if Namath can still throw at the age of 68, the Jets could use him as a backup quarterback. I'd pay to see that.

5. Prison Rights

Inmates in South Wales want their Sky TV. It seems the prisoners who are well behaved get to watch Sky Sports 1, but they are demanding Sky Sports 2 and 3 as well. They missed out on a soccer game they wanted to watch. So they've lodged a formal complaint with prison authorities and they're threatening to sue to get the extra channels. I'm not sure they have much of a case. As one politician pointed out, "People should not be put in prison to spend their days watching expensive satellite packages. They should be educated and learn skills for their rehabilitation when they come out." Imagine that.

Happy Birthday: Hall of Fame Seahawks wide receiver, and former U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma, Steve Largent. 57.
Bonus Birthday: French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot. 77.

Today in Sports: 70 years ago today. Despite having a rounded-up batting average of .400, Ted Williams insists on playing in a season-ending doubleheader. He went six for eight and ended up at .406. Nobody has hit .400 since. 1941.
Bonus Event: 50 years ago today. Dr. Kildare starring Richard Chamberlain makes its NBC debut. 1961.

The Top 5 will resume on Friday.

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