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Len Berman

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Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: 07/20/2012 10:35 am

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for July 20, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

  • Adam Scott was the first round leader at the British Open at 6-under-64. Tiger Woods was three shots back. The second round is underway, you can check the current leaderboard here.
  • Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, the #1 pick in the NFL draft has signed a four-year deal with Indianapolis for $22.1 million.
  • Edinson Volquez pitched a one-hitter for the San Diego Padres against Houston. The Padres are the only franchise without a no-hitter.
  • Defending Olympic champ Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the London games saying he is "not in condition to compete."
  • Women athletes complained in Japan and Australia that some of their Olympic athletes flew economy to London, while their male counterparts flew business class.


2. Flaming

The Olympic cauldron will be lit one week from tonight in London. Subscriber D.N. thinks the Top 5 should post wacky odds on who will light it. Why post wacky odds when you can bet on anything in England. Off the top of my head I would choose rower Steve Redgrave who won gold medals in five consecutive Olympics. My second choice would be Sir Roger Bannister who was the first man to break the four-minute barrier in the mile. And wouldn't you know it, after checking the odds, those are the top two choices. David Beckham is a long shot at 25-1. By the way, in 1996 after Redgrave won his fourth consecutive gold he said if anyone found him rowing a boat again they could shoot him. He came back four years later and won his fifth. I interviewed him in Sydney after he did it. I asked him about rowing again, or should we just shoot him? He laughed. And neither happened.

3. Less Rex

Jets coach Rex Ryan made the rounds yesterday boasting his 105 pound weight loss after lap-band surgery in 2010. At 242 pounds he now weighs less than Tim Tebow. And the weight loss is the only thing he's boasting about these days, no Super Bowl predictions. So let's make Rex Ryan the poster boy for the adage "Less is more."

4. Friday eMailbag

J.D. has a unique idea of how the NCAA should punish Penn State. "Do not suspend the program. Why punish the players who chose to go there? Instead, take every cent of profit from the football program and the bowl games the team plays in and give it to the boys who were damaged by this tragedy.'

Top 5 Subscriber T.H. isn't bothered by the U.S. Olympic uniforms being made in China, he writes: "To me the real problem is the uniforms themselves. These are supposed to be the uniforms of Team USA, but on the left chest where the USA logo should rightly be is a larger than life Polo logo. Since when do we advertise the sponsors on the uniforms -- this isn't NASCAR for crying out loud?"

When I asked if you would still watch beach volleyball if the players wore long clothes because of the gloomy London forecast, J.N. wrote: "I vote for sideline heaters."

And when I wrote about the Michigan woman who propped up a dead guy for 18 months watching NASCAR races, I asked if dead people count in the TV ratings? J.S. tweeted me @LenBermanSports, "Only in Chicago."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the world of mascots. Norfolk Tides mascot Rip Tide took a little spin on an ATV and oops! And nobody got hurt!

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up -- this coming Monday in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

Happy Birthday: A new member of the Miami Heat, former Boston Celtic Ray Allen. 37.

Bonus Birthday: Mrs. Tom Brady, model Gisele Bundchen. 32.

Today in Sports: Yankees pitcher Mel Stottlemyre hits an inside-the-park grand slam homer against the Red Sox. 1965.

Bonus Event: One small step. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. 1969.

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