Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 30, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- It's now officially Super Bowl week.
- The AFC beat the NFC in the Pro Bowl 59-41 as Miami's Brandon Marshall caught a record four touchdown passes.
- Some guys in blue uniforms beat some other guys in white uniforms 12-9 in the NHL All Star Game.
- Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka are the winners at the Australian Open.
- Tiger Woods, who was tied for the lead after three rounds of the Abu Dhabi Classic, finishes tied for third, two shots back. The winner is little known Robert Rock.
- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig expects an extra wild card team from each league to be in place for the upcoming season.
2. Super Bowl Week
Here we go. Teams arriving in Indianapolis, media day tomorrow, fans scrambling for tickets. But the Super Bowl, like the Final Four, is unique in that it lacks the feel of a "home field." I've been in the stands at Super Bowls when one side of the stadium sits on its hands after a touchdown. It's a weird feeling. Half a stadium cheering. Doesn't happen in the finals for baseball, basketball or hockey. It'll be interesting which region sends more fans who who makes more noise. Then again with prices starting at $800 for the nosebleed seats, I don't think there will be too many face-painted bare-chested yahoos in the stands.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told 60 Minutes last night that the recession has helped TV ratings. He said people "during these difficult times can turn on free television and watch the greatest entertainment that's out there." Perhaps the commissioner shouldn't have gone there. TV ain't so "free," just look at your cable or satellite bill. And acknowledging the recession, makes through the roof ticket prices, PSLs and TV blackout policies look even more onerous. Does he really want stadiums filled with rich guys on the field and in the stands?
4. Tennis Anyone?
You can put the tennis ratings in a thimble when you compare it with the zillions who will watch Sunday's football game. However, if you were one of the fortunate ones to have watched the Djokovic/Nadal final you saw something special. They slugged it out for nearly six hours, leaving everything on the court. If the Super Bowl is half as good as yesterday's final, it will be considered one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time. Somebody may sink a putt to win the Masters, or drain a three to clinch the NBA title, but you can call off the balloting right now. That was the sports event of 2012.
5. That Championship Season
Mike D'Antoni meet Rex Ryan. The Knicks coach said the Knicks had the right stuff to compete for a championship. Unfortunately he didn't say which decade. The Knicks are off to a sterling 7-13 start, the same number of wins as the New Jersey Nets. Then again, don't be so quick to write off D'Antoni. His job may be in jeopardy, but this is the NBA. The Knicks are only one and a half games out of a playoff berth.
Happy Birthday: Former chess champion Boris Spassky. 75.
Bonus Birthday: Former Vice President Dick "Shoot 'em up" Cheney. 71.
Today in Sports: The Buffalo Bills lose their fourth consecutive Super Bowl. The Cowboys beat them 30-13 in Super Bowl. XXVII. 1993.
Bonus Event: The first brawl breaks out on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives took place. Have they stopped yet? 1798.
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