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Len Berman

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Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: 05/30/2012 10:42 am

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 30, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • The New Jersey Devils host the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight.
  • San Antonio beat Oklahoma City 120-111 to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Western Conference Finals.
  • The NBA draft lottery is tonight.
  • Serena Williams is ousted in the first round of the French Open by #111 in the world Virginie Razzano of France. It's the first time Serena has lost a first round Grand Slam match.
  • Here come the Angels winning their eighth straight. They beat Andy Pettitte and the Yankees 5-1 climbing above the .500 mark.
  • The Miami Dolphins will get the Hard Knocks treatment on HBO.

2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

When you think of great sports franchises, how come the San Antonio Spurs don't roll off your tongues? Last night they won their 20th straight game, they're 10-0 in this year's playoffs. And they do it without flair. They pass, play defense and actually move without the ball. They are so three or four decades ago. Here's another thought. If they beat the Thunder they will reach their fifth NBA Finals. They won their previous four. So next time someone asks about great franchises, as you start to rattle off Yankees, Canadiens, Steelers. Celtics or Lakers leave some room for the San Antonio Spurs the Rodney Dangerfield of sport.

3. Dangerous to Your Health

A former English soccer player who is black has warned his minority countrymen not to travel to the European Soccer Championships this summer. The tournament is being hosted by Poland and Ukraine. Sol Campbell fears racism and violence. Here's his quote: "Stay at home, watch it on TV. Don't even risk it... because you could end up coming back in a coffin." Ukraine is said to be an unfriendly destination for black, Asian and gay people. This is what sports has come to?

4. Girl Talk

So when the Stanley Cup finals begin tonight between L.A. and New Jersey, what are Canadian women to do? That's the hot debate in Canada. Women are invited to head to the CBC web site and listen to Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso. They have a website called whilethemenwatch.com and they offer up "alternative" listening during the Finals. They call it Sex and the City meets Hockey Night. They analyze which players are hot, and discuss their fashion sense off the ice. Sounds reasonable. Uh, not in Canada where hockey is a religion. One woman commented to the Vancouver Sun, "Good job CBC. Making a mockery out of hockey and offending females who actually understand and enjoy the sport." Ouch. By the way who are the hot players?

5. Home Cooking

So if you live in Florida, which baseball team is your favorite? Right. The New York Yankees. According to a Quinnipiac poll, 20 per cent of Floridians favor the team from the Bronx. Tampa Bay comes in second at 18 percent and the Miami Marlins rank third at 15 percent. Boston, Atlanta and the Mets are next in line. Of course there's an easy explanation. Not only do New Yorkers migrate to the Sunshine State, but all those non-Florida teams have been training in Florida for more years than the Rays and Marlins have existed. And about that theory that winning creates fans? The Marlins have won two World Series. Doesn't seem to count for much.

Happy Birthday: His drug suspension ends today. Manny being Manny Ramirez of the Oakland A's. 40.

Bonus Birthday: Rapper/actor Cee Lo Green. 38.

Today in Sports: Gentlemen start your engines. The first Indy 500. 1911.

Bonus Event: The bra was invented. Discuss among yourselves. 1889.

Spanning the World airs on NBC's Today Show tomorrow morning during the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

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