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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 17, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Boston police and firefighters are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings.
  • NFL star and long-time broadcaster Pat Summerall has died at the age of 82.
  • Red hot. The Atlanta Braves are now a gaudy 12-1 after winning their 10th straight.
  • Baylor's Brittney Griner was the #1 overall pick in the WNBA draft chosen by Phoenix. Let's see where Dallas takes her in the NBA draft.
  • According to reports the NHL, in addition to the Outdoor Classic between Detroit and Toronto at Michigan Stadium New Year's Day, is planning five additional outdoor games next season including games at Yankee Stadium (two during Super Bowl week), Dodger Stadium and Soldier Field, Chicago.

2. Honoring the Victims

The sports world mourns the victims of Monday's bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon. When the Red Sox played in Cleveland yesterday, the Indians had the American flag fly at half staff. At Yankee Stadium there was a moment of silence before the Yankees hosted Arizona. And after the third inning the Yankees were one of several teams to play the Fenway favorite "Sweet Caroline." Neil Diamond tweeted, "Thank you NY Yankees for playing 'Sweet Caroline' for the people of Boston. You scored a home run in my heart. With respect, Neil." The next major marathon is this weekend in London. There will be a moment of silence before each start and runners will be given black ribbons to wear. And at the University of Texas, music student Austin Ferguson played a half hour concert on the famed bells in the U.T. Tower. Songs included the National Anthem and "Amazing Grace."

3. The Weather Report

So do we really think a 162 game schedule is a great idea in Minnesota and Denver? The Mets have now set a Major League record, snow (or cold) postponements on successive days in two different time zones. Snow is in the forecast today in Denver. And for tomorrow night's game between the Mets and Rockies it should be in the 20s. Need I ask what happens if the Twins and/or Rockies make the World Series? This is just plain nuts.

4. Here We Go Again

Under the heading of "Not News," Tiger Woods is the 9-2 favorite to win the U.S. Open in June at Merion in Ardmore, Pa. Rory McIlroy is the second choice at 10-1 according to Bovada, an online oddsmaker. Masters winner Adam Scott is the third choice at 20-1. I have a bunch of questions. Do people actually bet on golf? Do they have prop bets like the Super Bowl? For example, who will hit the flag or unintentionally break the rules? Or even, what are the odds that somebody actually knows the rules of golf?

5. Pat Summerall

I first became aware of Pat Summerall when he kicked a huge field goal for the Giants in the snow when I was a kid. Then he was a local TV sportscaster. Because of Pat, Frank Gifford and Kyle Rote I figured I couldn't be a TV sportscaster. I thought you had to have played for the Giants. Fefore long Pat was calling tennis, basketball, golf and of course football. He and John Madden were the NFL to an entire generation of fans. He was a soothing presence who never became the story. Easy on the ears as well as good. That's rare in my business and helps explain his wonderful longevity.

Happy Birthday: Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason. 52.

Bonus Birthday: Actress Rooney Mara. (Named after the families who own the Pittsburgh Steelers and N.Y. Giants.) 28.

Today in Sports: 60 years ago today, Mickey Mantle hits his famous "tape measure" homer in Washington, D.C. 1953.

Bonus Event: Houston, we no longer have a problem. The Apollo 13 astronauts safely splashed down. 1970.

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