Happy Columbus Day everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 10, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
2. Final Four
They don't hand out pool sheets in baseball, but if they had, would this have been your final four? No Phillies, no Yankees? Weren't the Phillies a lock with their four aces? Don't all those regular season wins mean anything? Philly with 102, the Yankees with 97. One other note. On September 23rd the Mets scored four runs in the 9th to stun the Cardinals 8-6. It dropped St. Louis two games out of the wild card with just six to play. But Cards manager Tony La Russa was defiant. He said, "Don't make a mistake and say we're heartbroken. Our heart's beating." He was mocked in some quarters for not admitting it was a crushing loss. Who's laughing now?
3. Lightning Rod
You guys were quick to pile on Alex Rodriguez after the Yankees flameout.
*When I mentioned A-Rod still has six years left on his contract, J.F. on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5" wrote, "Five of them as a $30-million-a-year "Special Adviser to the organization."
*R.S. wrote: "And yet again, I'm happy the Mets didn't sign A-Rod."
*J.R. "Too bad the K-Rod name is already taken."
*M.F. went nuclear. "I would suggest that A-Rod, by his poor post-season performance, has cost the city of New York millions of dollars in tax dollars and severely damaged the economy."
*But S.F. brought some sanity back to the conversation. After all there are two teams on the field. "I thought Tigers pitching was very good. Sometimes we look too closely at what athletes didn't do and don't credit what the opponent did well. "
4. Al Davis
Al "Just win baby" Davis had the capacity to annoy just about everybody. As the owner of the Oakland Raiders he sued his fellow owners, bolted town, returned, fired coaches a la Steinbrenner, alienated players and in the end Raiders fans as well. Then there was the other Al Davis. The one who became a coach and general manager at the age of 33, and later the commissioner of the AFL. He hired John Madden to coach, won three Super Bowls and created the Raiders culture of intimidation. You can say lots of things about him, polarizing, colorful, dynamic. In the end he left his mark on the world of football and holds a deserving place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Few in the sports world will ever create that kind of legacy.
5. Come See the Bearded Lady!
Media Day at the Super Bowl is the most absurd day on the sports calendar. It's a menagerie, where some so-called reporters dress up in costumes, or ask nonsensical questions. Maybe it's a sly trick by the NFL to try to convince the public what the media is really all about. Anyway, at this year's Super Bowl in Indianapolis, they'll be selling tickets for Media Day to the fans. They're calling it a first ever opportunity. OK, the league says only 5,000 tickets and they'll be affordable. Heck, with a Super Bowl ticket costing a cool thousand bucks anything is affordable. Fans may get to hear such classic questions as, "If you're a tree, what kid of tree would you be?" Or to the Redskins Doug Williams, "How long have you been a black quarterback?" Oh by the way, for the fans on Media Day, concession stands and gift shops will be open.
Happy Birthday: Former (we hope) NFL quarterback Brett Favre. 42.
Bonus Birthday: Rocker David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame. 57.
Today in Sports: Say it ain't so, Joe. Joe Namath plays his last NFL game for the L.A. Rams. 1977.
Bonus Event: Somebody had to do it. John Wesley Hyatt patented the billiard ball. 1865.
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