TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for May 11, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Philadelphia and Boston advance in the NBA playoffs, but Denver forces a seventh game with the Lakers.
- Chris Andersen of the Denver Nuggets has been banished from all team-related activities after he had property seized from his home as part of an ongoing investigation into Internet crimes against children.
- Ian Poulter and Martin Laird were the first round co-leaders at the Players Championship after shooting 7-under 65. Tiger Woods is 9 back and could miss the cut in consecutive tournaments for the first time in his career.
- Tim Tebow changes the name of his dog from Bronco to Bronx in honor of one of the five boroughs that the Jets don't call home. I hope it's not too traumatic for his Rhodesian Ridgeback.
2. P.C. Police
When Amar'e Stoudemire fouled out of game 5 the other night in Miami, Heat public address announcer Michael Baiamonte exclaimed that Stoudemire had been "extinguished" from the game. Of course he was making reference to the fire extinguisher that Stoudemire famously lost to after game two. The Heat has offered an apology for the "inappropriate choice of words." Of course when Stoudemire was leaving they played the song "Hit the Road, Jack." Now if Baiamonte had only sung his inappropriate comment, maybe he would have saved himself some grief.
3. Truly a Moment of Silence.
The public address system was silent during last night's game at Fenway Park in tribute to PA announcer Carl Beane, who died in a car accident Wednesday. Yahoo! Sports told this story of how he announced every name the same, except for Derek Jeter. In Beane's own words via fangraphs.com "I pause just a little longer between the Derek and the Jeter. He knows it, too. After one game, he came up to me in the clubhouse and said, 'I know why you do that. You do it so they can boo me twice.' I admitted that it was true, and the next night when I did it, he looked up at me and nodded." Beane went on to say that other players are booed worse. He said Jeter's boos at Fenway are Mantle-like, out of respect.
4. Friday eMailbag
As for doomsday predictions that the NFL may fold some day because of the head injury issue, Top 5 subscriber A.S. writes, "Somehow, I don't think the end of the NFL is coming. People still race cars despite possible crashes. Others smoke in spite of the known dangers. Soccer isn't supposed to be as rough but one could still get hurt getting tripped, shoved, or even heading a ball the wrong way."
And from H.L."Football dead in 20-30 years? It presupposes that we have a reasonably intelligent population. As a significant number of Americans believe more in the tooth fairy than in global warming we will have plenty of nit-wits to fill the football ranks in the coming decades."
C.P. laments the fact that when the time comes, Mariano Rivera won't be voted unanimously into the Hall of Fame. "There's always a few writers that make it all about themselves and just won't do it. It's like the eight knuckleheads that didn't vote for Cal Ripken."
And from subscriber R.R. "on the road," "Hey, I'm opening this (Top 5) in Morocco. Is that anything?
Editor's Note: Yup, it means that the Top 5 has been opened in tons of places, but still not in Russia.
5. Spanning the World
And now for the newest Olympic sport, synchronized outfielding. It's from a minor league game where there's one ball, one outfield wall and two fielders. 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: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. 23.
Bonus Birthday: Remember The Animals? "We Gotta Get out of This Place." Lead singer Eric Burdon. 71.
Today in Sports: 40 Years ago today. The San Francisco Giants trade Willie Mays to the Mets. 1972.
Bonus Event: The machine triumphs over man. For the first time a computer, IBM's Big Blue, defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov. 1997.
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