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Top 5 Sports Stories

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TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for April 27, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • As expected quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III go one-two in the NFL draft to Indianapolis and Washington.
  • The Rangers and Devils win game sevens to advance in the NHL playoffs. New Jersey beat Florida in double overtime.
  • The NBA playoffs begin tomorrow with four games.
  • The future of the Pro Bowl is in jeopardy. The NFL is considering killing it off after one more game.
  • Playoffs! The BCS reportedly will recommend a four-team playoff to decide the champion of college football starting in 2014.
  • The Charlotte Bobcats are now officially the worst team in NBA history. Their 7-59 record equates to a .106 winning percentage. They finished the season by losing 23 straight games.

2. Feeling a Draft

It was hard to get excited about the NFL draft with hockey going on simultaneously. With the drama of two game sevens, the draft seemed awfully tame by comparison. I kept thinking about all those draftniks who spent hours figuring out the first round, and then their sheets got shot to hell when there were three trades shuffling the first six picks, and tons of trades throughout the first round. It rendered weeks of preparing mock drafts a colossal waste of time. I also love watching the video highlights of the first rounders. Didn't one quarterback throw an interception in college? Did any of the defensive guys miss a single tackle? From the clips you'd think every first round draft choice is a hall of famer.

3. And So's Your Mother

Don't make the mistake of calling Ukrainian women beautiful. This summer's European soccer championships are being co-hosted by Ukraine and in the Netherlands the Energy Company has put out this tongue in cheek commercial.

The commercial urges Dutch women to keep their husbands home because the men could easily be seduced by those gorgeous Ukrainian babes. What's in it for the electric company? They're handing out free beer taps as part of a promotion for new customers, so they want their potential users to stay home, drink beer and stay faithful. Pretty funny, only the Ukrainian government is not amused. They find the commercial "discriminating, fueling ethnic hatred and unfair to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people."

Boy, it's a good thing the Dutch didn't call their women ugly.

4. Friday eMailbag

On the subject of violence in sports, S.B. writes, "Vicious hits in hockey. A bounty for knocking football players out of the game. A monstrous, unprovoked cheap shot by Ron Artest that could have as easily killed James Harden. There needs to be a broad initiative to cut down on the violence in professional sports, both because of the danger it poses, and because of the examples it sets for kids."

As for six of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World being athletes, J.P. writes "That's a pretty sad commentary on our society. Jeremy Lin is going to be a factor in children's development?! Lionel Messi and golfer Yani Tseng??? PLEEZ!!!"

With the Nets playing their last game in the Garden State before heading to Brooklyn, P.M. writes, "Nets were still in Jersey? Thought they left years ago."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the world of Serbian basketball. It's one of the most unbelievable baskets you'll ever see. Shouldn't that count for four points or more?

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday May 24 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

Happy Birthday: The Iceman, basketball great George Gervin. 60.

Bonus Birthday: Oscar Madison. Odd Couple star Jack Klugman. 90

Today in Sports: 65 years ago today. Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium and ballparks around the country. He died the next year. 1947.

Bonus Event: R.C. Duncan came up with something new. He patented Pampers. 1965.

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