11/16/2011 10:56 am ET | Updated Jan 16, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 16, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Mike McQueary, who allegedly witnessed Jerry Sandusky in the shower with a young boy in 2002, claims in an email that he "made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room."
  • NBA games have been canceled through December 15th as players filed their antitrust suit in an effort to get the owners back to the bargaining table.
  • Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski gets win number 903 eclipsing Bob Knight's record.
  • Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is the unanimous American League Cy Young Award winner.
  • The Presidents Cup golf tournament gets underway tonight (tomorrow in Australia.)

2. Awards Season

Now that Justin Verlander has won the Cy Young award, will he also win the American League MVP award? Roger Clemens was the last starting pitcher to pull that off 25 years ago. Verlander is probably deserving and it will touch off one of those endless radio talk show debates about whether a pitcher should be eligible for the MVP. Why not? And in light of all the heavy stuff we've been dealing with, it would be nice to have a good old fashion silly sports argument for a change.

3. Hockey, eh?

This burning hockey issue may have flown under your radar. Tampa Bay came up with a "zone defense" in mid ice, so Philadelphia just "sat" on the puck. The old "four corner offense."

The NHL is trying to figure out what to do about it. (Nothing yet.) When I was a kid entering the old Madison Square Garden there was a huge sign that proclaimed the NHL as the "Fastest sport on earth." Not anymore. Soon they might have to install their own version of the 24-second shot clock.

4. Your Turn

You guys had a decidedly mixed reaction when I questioned the removal of Joe Paterno's name from the Big Ten championship game trophy.

*From Top 5 subscriber Brendan O. "His failure to act came out of his responsibilities as a coach and as an employee of the State of Pennsylvania and it involved an adult individual who worked for Joe Paterno for many many years. How could the Big Ten possibly keep his name on their championship trophy?"

*Stan B. "All of Paterno's success as a coach pales in comparison to his negligence. We excoriated Michael Vick (and rightfully so) about abusing dogs. Don't children deserve at least equal treatment?"
*David P. "I'm afraid we're seeing an extreme over-reaction towards Joe Paterno, and this could be the case for some time while the Sandusky scandal continues to unfold."

*Tim H. "I have a problem putting a living person's name on such things. That is why only dead people are on postage stamps, etc. We should be patient enough to wait until the end of the story."
*Peter A. "That's my biggest argument about putting Pete Rose into the HOF. You can't take anything away from the accomplishments of the man on the field."

5. Halftime Show

Can't wait to hear the reaction when they introduce Nickelback, a Canadian rock group, at halftime in Detroit on Thanksgiving. An online petition to dump the group garnered 52,000 signatures, but they'll still be performing. Local fans thought that with Detroit's music history they might have been able to come up with a local act. By the way I'm guessing Nickelback won't be performing "Rockstar" at halftime. But you gotta love a music video that includes Wayne Gretzky, Grant Hill and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Happy Birthday: Former Mets and Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden. 47.
Bonus Birthday: Cosby show kid Lisa Bonet. 44.

Today in Sports: Sports labor disputes don't last forever. A 57 day NFL players strike came to an end. 1982.
Bonus Event: In the Peanuts comic strip, Lucy first held a football for Charlie Brown. 1952.

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