Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 6, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The Boston Celtics are one game away from the NBA Finals after winning in Miami 94-90. The Celtics lead three games to two in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- The Los Angeles Kings go for the Stanley Cup four-game sweep tonight at home against the Devils.
- Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both come from behind to win in five sets reaching the French Open semis.
- 84-year-old Tommy Lasorda is hospitalized in New York after suffering what's described as a mild heart attack.
2. Not in Kansas Anymore
Sports are like The Wizard of Oz. "My! People come and go so quickly here." Actually, it's because of all of us -- the fans and the media -- are so quick to make absolute pronouncements. What happens at this very moment will stick forever. A couple of days ago we were all praising the San Antonio Spurs for their old school teamwork, their unselfish play. Sports like it oughta be! Tonight the Oklahoma City Thunder could beat the Spurs for a fourth straight game. In the space of eight days, the Spurs could go from being the toast of sports, to just toast. And tonight's game is in Oklahoma City. "There's no place like home."
Give L.A. Kings fans credit for creativity. They taunted the Devils the other night with big pictures of the gang from Jersey Shore. You normally see stuff like this to distract foul shooters in basketball. But of course never in golf. In light of my Monday comments that they should turn golf galleries into parties, Top 5 subscriber J.M. seems to agree. "It sounds like you'd like golf to be like it was in Happy Gilmore. I think that could be fun. Can you imagine someone holding up a big head of Elin trying to distract Tiger on the 18th?" Now we're talking!
4. A Helping Hand
Now this is what sports is all about. At a high track meet in Ohio, Meghan Vogel had about 20 meters to go in a 3,200 meter race. But Arden McMath, from a rival high school, collapsed in front of Vogel. Rather than just run by her, she got Arden to her feet and helped her across the finish line, making sure McMath finished ahead of her. Rules prohibit helping runners, but in this case they were given a pass. Bravo to all involved!
5. History Lesson
In 1944, the allies landed in Normandy and turned the war around. Over 70,000 American troops were involved that day. By one account there was one major leaguer and eleven minor leaguers. The major leaguer was former Pirates, Cubs and Dodgers pitcher Larry French. One of the minor leaguers who survived was none other than Yogi Berra. A fellow sailor asked Yogi what he did and he said he was a ballplayer. According to the newsletter Baseball in Wartime, one guy remembered, "And we looked at him, with his bandy legs. What the hell kind of ballplayer is this; are you pulling our leg? Were you a batboy or something?" That's our Yogi, a veteran of D-Day 68 years ago today.
Happy Birthday: The great tennis star Bjorn Borg. 56.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Paul Giamatti, son of the former Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti. 45.
Today in Sports: The birth of legally taking 4 or 5 steps to the basket. The NBA is born. 1946.
Bonus Event: D-Day. 1944.
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