Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 7, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Really Hard Knocks. The Patriots take over first place crushing the Jets 45-3. Jets coach Rex Ryan calls it the biggest "butt kicking" he's ever taken as a coach.
* The Denver Broncos fire coach Josh McDaniels.
* The four finalists for the Heisman trophy are Oregon running back LaMichael James and 3 quarterbacks: Stanford's Andrew Luck, Boise State's Kellen Moore and Auburn's Cam Newton. They dish out the hardware (probably to Newton) Saturday.
2. Don Meredith, 1938-2010
Turn out the lights, the party's over. How many times did we hear former Cowboys quarterback Dandy Don sing it during the heyday of Monday Night Football? It was 30 years ago tomorrow when Howard Cosell broke the news on MNF of John Lennon's death. And now Meredith and Cosell are both gone. MNF was a cultural phenomenon. It preceded the ESPN sports era, and by comparison, Meredith's ditty seems kind of quaint. There was a period of time when Meredith left ABC to work with Curt Gowdy on NBC, but he always seemed like a fish out of water, so he headed back to the "bright lights" of prime time. Those "lights" are a little dimmer today.
3. Crash And Burn
At what point last night would Don Meredith have starting singing about the Jets? In which quarter would Howard Cosell have anointed Tom Brady the greatest since Sammy Baugh? The Patriots undressing of the Jets was thorough. I'm not a big box score guy, but just look at the quarterback stats. Mark Sanchez for the Jets: 17 of 33 passing. Zero touchdowns. 3 interceptions. Sammy Baugh (I mean Brady), 21 of 29 passing. Four touchdowns. Zero interceptions. I have no idea what quarterback ratings mean, but Brady outpointed Sanchez 148.9 to 27.8. So maybe Jets fans should lower their expectations just a tad. But look at the bright side, Jets fans. The Knicks have won 5 straight.
4. The Joke's On Us
It turns out the new Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson is a funny guy. When the Washington Nats spent a bundle for the Phillies Jayson Werth, Alderson was quick with the quip. "It makes some of our contracts look pretty good," he said. Then he added, "That's a long time and a lot of money. I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington, D.C." Are Mets fans laughing? Their team has publicly announced they are not going to be buyers this off season. Is the real reason their collection of bad contracts, or the looming presence of Bernie Madoff? Until we find out, I'm sure Mets fans would like their General Manager to spend more time working on improving the roster and less time on schtick.
5. The Holiday Spirit
If this clip doesn't get you in the holiday mood, what will? It comes from subscriber Dave Parsons who's the Sports Information Director at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, in Ohio. It's a halftime basketball showdown between "Baby Jesus" and the "Christmas Tree." Do you have any doubt how it turns out?
"Baby Jesus" won free tanning for a year from Hottie Body Tanning. Now you're talking gifts. The Three Wise Men only ponied up gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Happy Birthday: A couple of Hall of Famers. Celtics great Larry Bird. 54. Reds great Johnny Bench. 63.
Bonus Birthday: Still ticking. Active actor Eli Wallach. 95.
Today In Sports: The Red Sox acquire the contract of 19-year old Ted Williams. 1937.
Bonus Event: The Day of Infamy. The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. 1941.
To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.