THE BLOG
11/09/2010 12:36 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

1. Quick Hits
  • The Dallas Cowboys fire coach Wade Phillips. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett takes over.
  • Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati on Monday Night Football 27-21. The Steelers join the Patriots, Ravens and Jets at 6-2, the best records in the AFC.
  • More collegiate hijinks. Reports say that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton had 3 instances of academic cheating while at Florida before transferring to a junior college.
  • The Oakland A's win the right to negotiate with pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. Ya think the Giants winning it all is making the A's more aggressive?
  • After two decades, the ESPN radio team of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller is ending on Sunday Night Baseball.
  • Crushing news, reports say that A-Rod and Cameron Diaz have broken up. Sorry to ruin your day.
2. Death Watch There's nothing more uncomfortable than being a reporter covering a team when you know the coach is going to get fired. I remember the sadness in Jets Coach Joe Walton's eyes as the 1989 4-12 season dragged on. You knew the axe would fall, you just didn't know when. But you still had to interview him every week and ask him about his future as fans continued to chant "Joe must go!" It dragged on until December when the inevitable became reality. And so it went in Dallas until mercifully Wade Phillips was put out of his misery yesterday.

By the way, Joe Walton turns 75 next month. He's coaching at Robert Morris in Pittsburgh


3. Carnage

I wonder if we're going to see a steep decline in parents allowing their kids to play football? If it's not the issue of helmet-hits, or post playing dementia, consider these stats. According to Fred Mueller at the University of North Carolina, typically 3 high school kids die each year playing football, while 36 players are left paralyzed. Maybe these numbers are small in the universe of kids playing football, but alarming nonetheless.


4. Fame Game

There are 12 baseball Hall of Fame candidates who will be voted on next month. The so called "expansion era" which covers 1973 to the present. The players on the ballot are all "very very good," not all time greats. Names like Ron Guidry and Steve Garvey. But it's the non-players who are the most intriguing. Names like Billy Martin, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner. If I had a vote, Miller and Steinbrenner would be slam dunks. Here's how I decide if a candidate is Hall of Famer material. If you have to think about it, he's not. The impact that Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner had on the game was monumental. Next stop, Cooperstown.


5. Trickeration

Several years back I featured a trick play in a high school football game on Spanning the World. It took place in Wichita, as the quarterback held up the football as if to say "it's the wrong ball." He walks to the sideline to get the "right ball" and then he takes off and runs for a touchdown. Well the other day in a middle school football game in Corpus Christie Texas, the quarterback doesn't even bother holding up the ball. Take a look.

Would you call it a walk-off touchdown?

Happy Birthday: The great Cards pitcher, and a former co-host of mine on the long forgotten HBO series "Race For the Pennant," Bob Gibson. 75.
Bonus Birthday: The Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno. 59.

Today In Sports: The PGA Tour eliminates its "Caucasian Only Rule." But players continued to wear those ridiculous "white guy pants." 1961.
Bonus Event: Where were you when the lights went out? (I was at college in Syracuse.) The great Northeast blackout. 1965.