TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for June 1, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The streak is over. Oklahoma City beat San Antonio 102-82 in game three of the NBA Western Conference Finals. That broke the Spurs 20 game winning streak. San Antonio leads the series 2-1.
- Phil Mickelson withdraws from the Memorial citing fatigue after shooting a 79. Scott Stallings is the leader after shooting a 6-under 66. Tiger Woods is four shots back.
- Marathon Man. American John Isner, who won that Wimbledon epic 70-68 in the fifth set two years ago against Nicolas Mahut, lost a five hour 41 minute match yesterday to Paul-Henri Mathieu, 18-16 in the fifth, in a second round match at the French Open.
2. Slam Dunk
The fuddy duddy media is down on the Pro Bowl and its 59-41 touch football results. You go to the Pro Bowl and the NBA All Star Game breaks out. I think we're all missing the point. We need to make the Pro Bowl more like the NBA, better yet, the ABA. Let everyone go in motion. Make big fat linemen eligible to go downfield for passes. Instead of the three-point contest, have 60-yard field goals count for five points, 80-yard bombs count for 12. In place of the slam dunk contest, have the players compete at halftime for best end zone dance. Now we're talking. And one more thing. Red, white and blue footballs!
3. Jack Twyman
Mention the name Jack Twyman to a young NBA fan and he'll look at you like a deer in headlights. Too bad. Twyman was one of the NBA's great players for a decade starting in the mid '50s, a Hall of Famer. But it wasn't his prolific scoring in college or in the pros, both in Cincinnati, that made him special. Nor was it his sportscasting career that followed. He was on the air for ABC when Willis Reed famously limped out of the tunnel in 1970. It was his work as a teammate. When a terrific player named Maurice Stokes became paralyzed from a seizure, Twyman not only created the "Maurice Stokes" charity game at Kutsher's which raised funds for Stokes and later, after Stokes died, for other needy NBA players, but he became Maurice Stokes' legal guardian so he could help with his medical care. There should be a "Teammate" award given annually in basketball. And it should be named after Jack Twyman, the embodiment of the essence of "teamwork."
4. Friday eMailbag
As for my belief that Pete Rose belongs in Cooperstown, Top 5 subscriber D.L. writes, "The only solution I see which satisfies everybody (except the players) is to induct Rose, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire Palmiero posthumously. That way, their incredible (if tainted) achievements are recognized, but they don't get to gloat or profit from it."
And from M.T. "Please don't ever give up on your campaign to right the wrong of denying Pete Rose the opportunity of a vote on admission to Cooperstown. Certainly, one of the most talented players of his generation, who played the game as it was meant to be played."
A final entry for "the piece of sports memorabilia I'd most love to own." C.A. "The golf club Elin used to take swings at Tiger Woods and his SUV."
And in regards to the Miami newscaster who called the Philadelphia NBA team the 69ers, B.H. on Twitter @LenBermanSports "Reminds me of when I saw NY Cosmos game, the graphic had next game vs. "Tulsa Rednecks" (Instead of the Roughnecks.)
5. Spanning the World
This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from a college baseball game. I'm not a big fan of the phrase "walk off homer," which has now been modified to cover any winning play such as the ridiculous "walk off walk." But why can't defensive plays be considered "walk off?" Here now a "walk off catch" to save the game!
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: June 28th in the 9:00am hour.
Happy Birthday: Indians pitcher Derek Lowe. 39.
Bonus Birthday: Heidi Klum. Also 39. And Marilyn Monroe would have been 86 today.
Today in Sports: Lou Gehrig enters the game as a pinch hitter and the next day he replaces Wally Pipp at first base. Gehrig wound up playing 2,130 consecutive games. 1925.
Bonus Event: This is CNN, for the first time. 1980.
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