Top 5 Sports Stories

11/11/2011 11:25 am ET | Updated Jan 11, 2012

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for 11-11-11 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The verbal dribbling continues. NBA owners have a proposed a 72-game schedule starting December 15th.
  • Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary will not work tomorrow's game.
  • The first place (not a misprint) Oakland Raiders beat San Diego last night 24-17. It was the Chargers fourth straight loss.
  • Still no word on Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos who was abducted in Venezuela. Nothing from the kidnappers either.
  • A Veterans Day special. North Carolina will play Michigan State tonight in college basketball aboard the aircraft carrier USS Vinson near San Diego.
  • Tiger Woods, remember him? He has a one stroke lead after two rounds at the Australian Open.

2. The Beat Goes On

Another shoe has dropped. Assistant coach Mike McQueary will not be on the sidelines tomorrow when Penn State hosts Nebraska. He was the one who witnessed sexual abuse in 2002 and told Joe Paterno about it. He's received what the school calls "multiple threats." After seeing what the students did the other night, I'm guessing some of those threats are misguided, perhaps upset with McQueary for reporting what he saw leading to the ouster of Paterno. Of course many more people believe McQueary didn't do enough.

3. 11/11/11

This one's for you numerology fans. It's 11/11/11. Since New York City has 11 letters, here's some New York sports "elevenology." 35 New York Yankees wore the #11 including Hector Lopez, Jerry Lumpe, Lefty Gomez, Dwight Gooden, Chuck Knoblauch, Gene Michael and the current #11 Brett Gardner. Duke Snider wore #11 for the Mets. The great New York Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell had his #11 retired. My favorite New York 11s? Phil Simms and Mark Messier. Check back with me on 12-12-12. Let's see, Joe Namath...

4. Friday eMailbag

For those who felt that Joe Paterno did the right thing when he only reported what he knew to his boss, Top 5 subscriber H.G. writes, "If was Joe Pa's son or grandson allegedly being molested would notifying the boss be sufficient?"

J.B. writes, "If Paterno was a professor at the school, do you really think students would be rioting to save his job? For those that call him a 'hero', I'd like to know what he's accomplished in his life to deserve such a title? Paterno was not a 'hero' he was an enabler."

R.P. writes, "The greatest damage of the Penn State scandal is to our society. Penn State's self-proclaimed image of being squeaky clean while hiding the most heinous crimes adds another layer of cynicism about and distrust of our institutions."

F.C. on the passing of Joe Frazier. "As a 14 year old in 1971 Ali was one of my hero's. His deplorable treatment of Joe Frazier over the years has reduced him to a total heartless creep. Mr. Frazier was the true hero."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from a soccer game in the Czech Republic. A guy decides to drop in.

He wasn't part of the halftime entertainment, so security hauled him off the field.

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up, Thursday December 1st in the 8:30am half hour.

Happy Birthday: Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller. 60.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Demi Moore. 49.

Today in Sports: Thirty years ago today. The Dodgers Fernando Valenzuela becomes the first rookie to win the Cy Young Award. 1981.
Bonus Event: World War I comes to an end. The day is now celebrated as Veterans Day. 1918.

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