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Top 5 Sports Stories

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TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for April 5, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Final Four is tomorrow night in Atlanta. Louisville vs. Wichita State followed by Michigan vs. Syracuse.
  • Just three games into the new baseball season, and there's only one 3-0 team. Hint: It's the team many pick to win it all this year for the first time since when? Can you identify the team and the president who threw out the first ball at the World Series? (Answers below.)
  • Kevin Ware, the injured Louisville Cardinal, delivered the Top 10 on David Letterman last night. (The actual Top 10 begins at 4:50.) (#3 is laugh out loud funny.)

2. Coaching No-Nos

With the Final Four tomorrow, you knew that questions would be asked about Rutgers. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim didn't shy away. He said after watching the Mike Rice tape for ten seconds he "couldn't watch it anymore." He admits to getting verbal with players but he said you can't push them or throw things at them. He made the point that Rice's actions didn't help Rutgers on the court. Boeheim feels if Rice didn't do what he did they might have been a better team. The odds are there are other coaches like Rice out there. This should serve as a wake up call.

3. Stan Isaacs

Old time Brooklyn Dodgers fans owe long time Newsday columnist Stan Isaacs a debt of gratitude. When Stan saw the Dodgers 1955 championship banner in L.A. he kidnapped it, and returned it to its rightful place in Brooklyn. He was one of the first to write a TV-Radio column. He had some nice things to say about my work over the years and some negative as well. But I always took his criticism as constructive. It was never mean spirited. When I was a kid I caught one foul ball that was hit by Yogi Berra. Actually, I wasn't the first to catch it. A reporter caught the ball in the press box that used to overhang the old Yankee Stadium. The reporter tossed it up into the stands and I got it. I badgered the reporter to sign his name. He finally relented, and sheepishly signed "Stan Isaacs, Newsday." I quickly lost the ball but Stan endured, entertaining his readers for decades. Stan Isaacs passed away the other day at the age of 83.

4. Friday eMailbag

In light of the firing of Rutgers coach Mike Rice, C.P. asks, "Now that Rice got fired, what are the chances he coaches next season? Bobby Knight went to Texas Tech, and they knew what they were getting into. Heard there are openings at New Mexico and Florida Gulf Coast.

Editor's Note: it seems everyone gets another chance in sports. Perhaps he'll surface in a small college setting.

On the 50th anniversary of the New York Titans changing their name to New York Jets, Top 5 subscriber R.S reminisces, "Favorite Jets memories from the past 50 years: I don't have any."

Editor's Note: Ouch!

And with the minor league baseball team (Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs) coming up with a gaming system that fans can "play" at the urinal, D.P. writes, " The Iron Pigs certainly give new meaning to the term 'spray hitter.'"

And H.K. says, "Baseball is always looking for more revenue streams."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from a North American Hockey League game. I'm guessing the announcer didn't agree with the penalty call. What do you think?

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Friday April 26.

Happy Birthday: Former NFL wide receiver Ike Hilliard. 37.

Bonus Birthday: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. 76.

Today in Sports: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar breaks Wilt Chamberlain's all time career scoring record. 1984.
Bonus Event: FOX becomes a prime time TV network with a Sunday night lineup. 1987.

Trivia answers: 1924 Washington Senators. President Calvin Coolidge.

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