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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 25, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.


1. Quick Hits

  • Free agent slugger Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers agree on a nine-year, $214-million deal.
  • San Francisco signs pitcher Tim Linecum to a two-year deal for $40.5 million.
  • Defending Australian Open champ Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray advance to meet in the semis as the top four men seeds make the final four.
  • Maria Sharapova and Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova both advance to a semifinal matchup.
  • The Oakland Raiders make a rare defensive choice for their head coach, Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
  • In case you were wondering, in some quarters the NFC is favored by 3 1/2 points in the Pro Bowl. If you actually bet on this game, you forfeit the right to receive the Top 5. Just kidding. Not really.

2. Hip Hip Jorge

Jorge Posada goes out the way he mostly conducted his 17-year Yankee career, with class. Here's the video of his retirement speech.

He goes out with five rings. Not bad. I'm not sure he's a Hall of Famer, but what's the difference? He did things the right way, topping it off by staying true to one uniform. If he doesn't actually get into Cooperstown, he's a Hall of Fame guy in my book. Good job Jorge!


3. And the Envelope Goes To

Nice to see sports getting its due with the Oscar nominations. Moneyball, the story of how the cash-strapped Oakland As competed with the big boys, got a boatload of nominations including Best Picture, Actor (Brad Pitt) and Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill.) Actually the top sports nod goes to Rooney Mara as Best Actress for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She descends from the families who founded the Giants AND the Steelers. It probably won't happen, (not with Meryl Streep and other great performances in the category) but it could be one of the great trivia questions of all time. What family won an Oscar and a Super Bowl the same year?


4. And Phil Says to Me...

On the anniversary of the Giants first Super Bowl win, I think back to an interview I did with Giants quarterback Phil Simms a couple of days before the game with Denver. He told me, "We're going to be aggressive." Of course I didn't quite grasp what he was tipping me off to. He was talking about passing the ball a lot. He proceeded to have the greatest passing day in Super Bowl history completing 22 of 25, with two of his incompletions being drops. Phil backed up his words with actions even if I was too dumb to pick up on it.


5. Big Sky (Top 5 Country)

After two weeks of bellyaching that nobody opens the Top 5 in Montana, subscriber K.L. wrote. "Would somebody in Montana please open the f***ing Top 5 so Len stops feeling unloved in Montana?" Badgering works. The Top 5 was opened 19 times yesterday in Montana. But, B.M. in California asks, "Should we be a bit concerned that you are able to see where we open the email?" Actually no. The mail server only tells me the state and country, not which room in your house and what you're wearing. By the way, now that I've conquered Montana I'm thinking Russia is next. I'm curious how they refer to the "Miracle on Ice" over there. I'm guessing, "Do you believe in one-way tickets to Siberia?"

A programming note: Spanning the World airs tomorrow on NBC's Today Show in the 8:30am half hour.


Happy Birthday: Former NHL All Star and U.S. Olympic team captain Chris Chelios. 50.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Alicia Keys. 31.

Today in Sports: 25 years ago today, Phil Simms leads the Giants to their first Super Bowl win, 39-20 over Denver in Super Bowl XXI. 1987.
Bonus Event: JFK holds the first live presidential news conference. 1961.


P.S. That hilarious anti-Bruins rant yesterday by Jon Stewart was the fabrication of a Vancouver Canucks fan who goes by the name MAKAVELI719696 on YouTube.

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