Huffpost New York
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Len Berman Headshot

Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: Updated:

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for May 4, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • Yankees star closer Mariano Rivera tore his ACL shagging fly balls in Kansas City. His career may be over.
  • The Knicks lose an NBA record 13th straight playoff game, 87-70 to the Heat. Miami leads three games to none. Oklahoma City also leads champion Dallas 3-0.
  • NHL playoffs: The Devils now lead Philadelphia 2-1, L.A. leads St. Louis 3-0.
  • Junior Seau's death has been ruled a suicide. His family will allow his brain to be studied by scientists studying the long-term effects of head trauma.
  • Tomorrow's the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby.

2. No Mo

It could truly be the end of an era, in more ways that one. Mariano Rivera doesn't know if he'll pitch again and while fans ponder what the Yankees will be like without the best closer in baseball history, stop for a moment to think what the Yankee trophy case would look like if they never had him. Of all the Yankees who passed through this latest "golden era," he was the most valuable. Without the automatic Rivera, do the Yankees win five championships since 1996? And now, for the first time since Jackie Robinson took the field, no player will be wearing #42. Mo was the last. Off the field, he was just as impressive. A class act through and through. Start making your reservations for Cooperstown later this decade.

3. Kissing the Ring

I said it, I take it back. I did it, I'm sorry. Some interesting back tracking in the NFL the other day. First Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said the Patriots championships were "stained" by cheating. Then he later back-pedaled pronouncing that the Patriots and Saints championships were "earned." Then former Jets coach Eric Mangini piped up and said he regrets ratting out Bill Belichick for "Spygate." So what's the deal? Harbaugh has to play in the same league with Belichick. Mangini has to broadcast and needs access. Would they be so "remorseful" if Belichick were retired? Or do they just want to stay on his good side?

4. Friday eMailbag

Top 5 subscriber S.D. wasted no time telling me his feelings about Mariano Rivera, "If this really is the end for Mariano Rivera, the only thing I'll take solace in as a fan is this, the peak of his career never declined. But unfortunately, it just stopped one day."

With Jonathan Vilma appealing his year's suspension in the Saints bounty scandal, D.P. writes, "I think Jon Vilma needs to shut up, take his punishment and get a CT scan of his brain during his suspension. If he's lucky, maybe his brain is still healthy, so he can count his blessings."

With headlines breaking every few minutes on Wednesday including a triple overtime hockey game and a no-hitter in baseball, R.H. wrote, "Those moments are what makes sports wonderful and better scripted than some of those reality shows with fabricated music to increase tension."

And V.L. sent along a new T-shirt design.

5. Spanning the World

Who doesn't love a good pratfall? This week's Spanning the World highlight involves Katy Andrews, a BYU senior, running the steeplechase. And nobody got hurt!

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: #2 golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy. 23.

Bonus Birthday: Country singer Randy Travis. 53.

Today in Sports: Houston's Bob Watson scores the one-millionth run in Major League baseball history. 1975.

Bonus Event: A new awards show is born, the first Grammy Awards. Comedian Mort Sahl hosts. 1959.

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