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Top 5 Sports Stories

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TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for July 13, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • The All-Star break ends tonight.
  • A day after agreeing to a five-year $95 million dollar extension, Clippers star Blake Griffin injured his left knee during a team U.S.A. practice. He'll undergo surgery and miss the Olympics.
  • There's actually agreement on both sides of the aisle. Lawmakers are bi-partisan in their disdain for the U.S. Olympic uniforms being made in China.
  • "What did you have on the front nine?" "A 28." 62-year-old Tom Kite set the Senior U.S. Open nine-hole record en route to a one shot lead after the first round in Michigan. (He had 37 on the back to finish at 5-under-65.)


2. Penn State

I'm sure nobody was shocked by yesterday's findings. The expression "it's not the crime, it's the cover-up" doesn't apply here. The crime was abhorrent, and the cover-up was just as heinous. How many kids could have been "saved?" Some other thoughts. I feel bad for all the good people of Penn State. (Although L.S. disagrees with me on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5." She writes, "What good people at Penn State? The ones who rioted over Paterno being fired? The tens of thousands who signed a petition to rename the football stadium after a pedophile enabler?" Secondly, the Joe Paterno family really needs to go silent. Trying to defend his legacy rings awfully hollow. And finally, your turn NCAA. It'll be fascinating to see what sanctions, if any, the NCAA hands down to Penn State football. I can't believe it'll be business as usual during Saturdays this fall at State College.)

3. Hall of Shame

Here you go Hall of Fame fans. If you're not going to let a "bad guy" in, why don't you toss the "bad guys" out? Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hit leader is banned for activities that had nothing to do with his playing career, yet O.J. Simpson and Joe Paterno remain firmly ensconced in their Halls. You can't have it both ways.

4. Friday eMailbag

With my defense of Reggie Jackson for "speaking the truth" when he said that A-Rod's records are tainted by steroid use, L.C. tweeted me @LenBermanSports, "Truth? What about loyalty? What about not airing dirty laundry? What about professionalism? Reggie cares only about Reggie."

As for the anonymous Sports Illustrated poll of players who voted many of the Yankees as "overrated, I suggested it was "Pinstripe envy," S.A. writes, "Wonder what team those same players would say they want to play on if SI did another anonymous poll and asked that question. I'd bet a bunch it's the same Yankee team."

With the Pitt Panthers recruiting a kicker named Chris Blewitt. H.K. asks, "Who's his sister? Misty Upright?"

And with an Australian rugby player accused of urinating in his shorts to keep players from the other team at bay, T.B. writes, "I never thought you indulged in yellow journalism."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from Chinese hurdles. Just wondering, isn't the idea to run over the hurdles?

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday, July 19 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

Happy Birthday: Former heavyweight champ Michael Spinks. 56.

Bonus Birthday: Actor Harrison Ford. 70.

Today in Sports: Reggie Jackson hit a homer run in the All Star Game in Detroit which is probably still traveling. 1971.

Bonus Event: The Hollywood sign is dedicated in L.A. after they drop the last four letters that promoted a housing development called Hollywoodland. 1923.

Fun Fact: The Top 5 was opened recently in Mongolia! We are truly approaching world domination.

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