Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 17, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The World Series is set. St. Louis will host Texas Wednesday night in game 1. The Cardinals have won 10 World Series, second only to the Yankees 27.
- This year's Indy 500 winner, 33-year old Dan Wheldon, was killed in a 15 car crash yesterday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- And now there's just one. Green Bay is the only unbeaten NFL team after San Francisco beat the Detroit Lions 25-19.
- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton tore a knee ligament and broke his leg in a sideline collision during the Saints loss to Tampa Bay.
- A nation exhales. The host country of New Zealand knocked off Australia to reach the finals next week of the Rugby World Cup. They'll face France.
St. Louis had the 11th highest payroll in Major League Baseball, the Texas Rangers had the 13th. They're both heading to the World Series. Only three of the top 10 salaried teams made the postseason. Now that all the other teams have supposedly caught up with what Billy Beane and the Oakland As were doing, it's obvious that money combined with computer smarts isn't enough to build a championship team. Yes, having the resources certainly helps, but it takes more than just collecting star players. Just ask the Philadelphia Phillies with their four aces.
3. Unwritten Rules
Maybe we ought to write down some of these unwritten rules. Teams take offense when other teams celebrate too exuberantly. And yesterday it was the coaches. San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh got a little amped up when his team beat the previously undefeated Detroit Lions. It carried over to his handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. Schwartz got ticked and charged after Harbaugh. Schwartz claimed he was shoved during the handshake (it was probably just Harbaugh slapping him on the back) and heard an obscenity. In baseball, stuff like this (real or imagined) can lead to purposely placed beanballs. What's the football equivalent?
4. One and Done
Dewey Bozella was the champion at Sing Sing. No, he didn't win American Idol or X Factor. He was the light heavyweight champion at Sing Sing the prison. And Saturday night in L.A. he won a four-round unanimous decision in his boxing debut. Dewey is 52 years old. He had been falsely imprisoned for 26 years for a murder he didn't commit. So he finally got his chance Saturday to live his dream. He won, and quit boxing. He retires undefeated. Neither boxing nor prison could beat him.
5. Old Timers' Day
Dewey Bozella is a mere pup when compared with Fauja Singh. Yesterday in Toronto he was the last man standing. He finished six hours behind the winner of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. His time: eight hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds. Not bad when you consider he is 100 years old. He thus becomes the oldest man to ever complete a marathon. So get off your couch Mr. Lazybones, no more excuses. He ran his first marathon at the age of 89!
Happy Birthday: The Big Easy, golfer Ernie Els. 42.
Bonus Birthday: Writer Jimmy Breslin. 81.
Today in Sports: The World Series earthquake. It hit just before game 3 in San Francisco. 1989.
Bonus Event: Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion. 1931.
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