Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 30, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Saints Quarterback Drew Brees named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
* The baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been sent to sportswriters. Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar head the list. The results will be announced in January.
* Phrase of the day, "drink the reality potion." According to ESPN New York, that's what the Yankees want Derek Jeter's camp to do with contract talks at a standstill.
* The Dodgers sign World Series hero infielder Juan Uribe from the Giants.
* The World Series shares per player: Giants, $317,631.29. Rangers, $246,279.55. Losing Texas catcher, Bengie Molina who played part of the season with the Giants, is in line to receive one of each, totaling $563,910.84.
* Former Yankee shortstop Gil McDougald is dead at the age of 82. He will always be remembered as the batter who struck Cleveland pitcher Herb Score in the eye with a line drive in 1957.
* Mildly surprising that neither the Texans Andre Johnson nor the Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan were suspended for their heavyweight fight on Sunday. Both were fined $25,000.
* The Alabama audio guy who played "Take the Money and Run" over the public address when Auburn's Cam Newton took the field has been fired. In 1985, an organist was ejected by the umpire from a minor league baseball game after playing "Three Blind Mice" when he thought a bad call went against the home team.
2. The Big Guy
I guess it's only fair, in a way. Tons of players credit the "Man Upstairs" when something good happens on the field. Relief pitchers after getting the save, and players who cross home plate after a homer, often point to the sky as their way of saying thanks. Well on Sunday, Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson dropped what would have been the winning touchdown pass against Pittsburgh. Here's what he Tweeted. "I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO... " Wow. Taking the Lord to task.
Note to Big Guy: I'm not agreeing with him. But since you get props all the time, an occasional hit is an interesting concept. Think of it this way. You're still batting .999. (In my book that's still a thousand. Just want to be very very clear about this. You're still the one.)
By the way, as part of his Twitter profile, Johnson has "LIVE LOVE LAUGH AND TATTOOS." I must have missed the part about prayer.
3. Geography Lesson
I love the Big East. Then again, I'm partial. I was their first TV announcer when the conference formed in basketball. There were seven Northeast colleges at the time, with players like Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin. Now there are 16 with teams in the South and Midwest. And in 2012, TCU will be joining. Yup, when I think Big East, I think Ft. Worth Texas. Maybe it's time to change the names of conferences? How about simply The Big Conference, or The Geographically Challenged Conference, or better yet The Ridiculously Gargantuan Group of Colleges?
4. A Question Of Y?
There's another gender controversy in Africa. You remember the South African runner Caster Semenya. She was investigated and cleared to compete as a woman. Now comes the Equatorial Guinea soccer team. Other teams have protested that maybe two of the women are actually men. Here's the team picture.
The players in question are on the top right, and second from the left on the bottom. The team, from a small West African country, has qualified for the Women's World Cup. The U.S. also barely qualified last weekend, presumably with all women.
5. Leslie Nielsen, 1926-2010
Lt. Frank Drebin passed away the other day. Perhaps more people will remember Leslie Nielsen for Airplane! but for me, he will always be the bumbling police detective in The Naked Gun. Was there ever a more entertaining umpire in baseball?
And as someone who has traded in sports bloopers, the highlights shown on the scoreboard in The Naked Gun couldn't be beat.
How many people bring a smile to your face just by the mere mention of their name? R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen.
Happy Birthday: Football and baseball star Bo Jackson. 48.
Bonus Birthday: I appeared on several of his blooper shows, American Bandstand's Dick Clark. 81.
Today In Sports: Floyd Patterson, at age 21, becomes the youngest heavyweight champ when he knocks out Archie Moore in the 5th round. 1956.
Bonus Event: Lucille Ball marries Desi Arnaz. The marriage lasted 20 years. 1940.