12/12/2011 11:01 am ET | Updated Feb 11, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 12, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • According to ESPN, National League MVP Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers failed a drug test.
  • The undefeated Green Bay Packers roll on, they are now 13-0 after their 46-16 trouncing of Oakland.
  • Sunday Night Football: Eli Manning leads the Giants to a come-from-behind, possible season-saving win in Dallas, 37-34. Jason Pierre-Paul blocked a last-second tying field goal attempt.
  • Quarterback Tim Tebow does it again, as Denver beats Chicago 13-10 in overtime.
  • It still looks like New Orleans' Chris Paul is heading to L.A. but not the Lakers, the Clippers. The Lakers trade Lamar Odom to Dallas.
  • Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is the first Heisman winner in school history.
  • Xavier and Cincinnati hand out player suspensions of up to six games after their ugly Saturday brawl.
  • Syracuse, despite all the controversy, should be #1 in college basketball today after Kentucky lost at the buzzer to Indiana. It's always fun to watch a good home buzzer-beater. #2 Ohio State lost as well.

2. What's Brewin?

Will the NL MVP, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, begin the season serving a 50-game suspension? He's appealed his positive drug test for an elevated level of testosterone. According to his agent, Braun is innocent. "There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate that there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program." So without knowing all the details, it sounds like Braun is contending that whatever he did, he had no idea he was doing it. We'll see how that plays out, but I'm not sure that'll fly.

3. Preordained

Ah, it wasn't about the money. Albert Pujols said so. So why did Pujols bolt St. Louis for Anaheim? Said Albert, "I know people in the city of St. Louis think it's all about money... It was tough, and I know what they're going through. They're losing somebody that's been a part of the community, and I feel for that. Me and my wife, we felt that pain, too. But at the same time, when that decision came, I was being obedient. I didn't want to go to a place that God wasn't calling me to go." So he had a higher calling. Silly you St. Louis, you thought it was the $254 million.

4. Ernie Davis

Last week I mentioned the special event at the New York Historical Society. Friday night we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Ernie Davis becoming the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. I had the honor of moderating a panel discussion which included two of the Orange all-time greats, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, and Floyd Little who wore #44 after Ernie. Syracuse put together a marvelous film which I'd love for you to watch. It'll give you a glimpse into what made Ernie so special and why he's still celebrated half a century later.

5. Best Sports Moment

Sports Illustrated came up with a good gimmick. Fans can vote on their Facebook page to pick the best sports moment of 2011. The winning image will appear on their cover. They have 15 choices, and I guess I'd vote for David Freese's homer that won game 6 for the Cards in the World Series. I thought that was the best pure sports "moment of the year" Then again I would have voted for the "Human Home Run" as Sportsman of the year. David Smith blasted himself over the fence. I'll give him the award, if I can find him.

Happy Birthday: St. Louis Hawks NBA Hall of Famer Bob Pettit. 79.
Bonus Birthday: The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, would have been 96 today.

Today in Sports: 60 years ago today, "I've played my last game of ball." Joe DiMaggio hangs 'em up. Here's the audio. 1951.
Bonus Event: Harvard Dental School graduate George Grant patents the first wooden golf tee. 1899.

To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.