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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 27, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Monday Night Football: Carolina hands Philadelphia its seventh straight loss, 30-22. Misery loves company. Jets fans say hello to Eagles fans.
  • Tampa Bay signed third baseman Evan Longoria to a six-year extension on top of his current four years left. Bottom line: 10 years, $138 million.
  • Federal Mediators have gotten involved in the stalled NHL talks.
  • Breaking news: Marvin Miller, the first baseball union chief is dead at the age of 95.

2. New York, New York

In the New York area they're making a big deal of the new NBA rivalry, New York vs. Brooklyn. Not quite yet. There are no such things as instant rivalries in sports, they build over time. You can argue of the nine New York area sports teams, the Knicks are the third most popular behind the Yankees and the Giants. The Nets are way down the ladder. Let them battle it out in the playoffs a couple of times before we can anoint this intra-borough squabble a rivalry.

P.S. The Nets won last night's first meeting in Brooklyn, 96-89 in overtime. Not a bad start.

3. Slapshot

Credit the Ontario Hockey League with trying to do something about fighting in hockey. This year if a player gets into more than 10 fights he gets an automatic two game suspension for each additional fight. Lo and behold, fighting is down this year. There are good hockey people who will say you cannot eliminate fighting in hockey. The game is too fast and too physical. But this is a great start. How about the nine-fight rule next year and eight the year after? And what if the NHL, if they ever return, tries the same? It bears repeating: There is no fighting in college or Olympic hockey and the last time I looked those versions of hockey are also fast and physical.

4. Belly Putters

The word on the tour is that belly putters are about to be outlawed by the two major golf governing bodies. Ernie Els won the British Open, the third golfer to win a Major championship with the long putter in the past 12 months. Supposedly they'll be banned starting this coming season. It has to do with anchoring the putter to another body part. Uh oh. Amateurs, me included, could be banned from using them starting in 2016. Do you think amateurs will revolt? Will major fights break out over $2 Nassaus? Things could get ugly.

5. Name Game

When I wrote that the Philadelphia Phillies double-A team is changing its name from the Reading Phillies to the Fightin Phils, I wondered if that was just the beginning. How about the Maulin Mets, the Shufflin Cards or the Collapsin Cubs? You guys didn't disappoint.

*M.S. Perhaps they should be the Malled Mets... spending time at the local mall might be better entertainment than watching the Mets.

*S.H. The L.A. Fallen Angels and Draft Dodgers, and the Seattle Ancient Mariners. On second thought that last one might be more appropriate for the Yankees.

Pitthetic Pirates.

*G.L. How about that baseball team in the Philippines that always loses leads late in their games -- The Manila Folders!

Happy Birthday: Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. 34.

Bonus Birthday: Caroline Kennedy. 55.

Today in Sports: Defense. The Washington Redskins kick a 29-yard field goal with 7 seconds left to beat the New York Giants 72-41. The highest scoring game in NFL history. Why did Redskins coach Otto Graham send in his kicker in a rout? "He needed the practice." 1966.

Bonus Event: All aboard! Penn Station opened in New York City. 1910.

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