Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 10, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* What home field advantage? The road teams won 3 of the 4 NFL playoff games this weekend. The only home winner... the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks. Go figure.
* Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh will coach the San Francisco 49ers. His brother coaches Baltimore. The two teams meet next season.
* After making coach Tony Sparano look foolish by interviewing Jim Harbaugh, the Miami Dolphins give Sparano a two year extension. Who's running that franchise -- Moe, Larry, or Curly?
* Auburn finally plays Oregon tonight in Glendale, Arizona to decide the BCS college football championship.
* A mega, three-team NBA trade is percolating among New Jersey, Denver and Detroit. The end result would bring Carmelo Anthony to the Nets.
2. Unspeakable Tragedy
My heart goes out to long-time baseball man Dallas Green, the former Phllies, Yankees and Mets manager. His granddaughter was the 9-year-old girl killed in the Tucson shooting rampage which injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Was it the vitriol spewed in the name of politics that led to this lunatic opening fire? These days, people are emboldened to say almost anything in the media, and that includes the sports arena. Has all of that hate-talk led to this? Sad beyond words.
3. Delayed Kickoff
And you think it takes forever to play the Super Bowl. How wacky is this BCS stuff? When Oregon and Auburn take the field tonight they will have been idle since December 4th. Over a month! What kind of momentum do they have? Now, I'm not saying a playoff is the way to go. Hey, I love all the controversy. But quick, who won the Cotton Bowl? The GoDaddy.com Bowl? This system ain't so hot either. Maybe we do need a playoff.
4. Rule Book Nerds
Only in golf. A guy watching on TV in Florida got a pro golfer disqualified in Hawaii. The viewer knew an obscure rule, so Camilo Villegas was done for the tournament. It had to do with fixing a divot while the ball was still in motion. The ball was coming back down a hill toward where he was standing. Enough already. If the golfers or the rules officials don't pick it up at the scene, that should be the end of the story. Golf is a "game of honor," not a game of "world wide nit-pickers."
5. Ryne Duren, 1929-2011
If you were a Yankee fan during their late 50's early 60's heyday, fast-baller Ryne Duren always brought a chuckle. The reliever would enter the game with his "Coke bottle" eyeglasses, and proceed to throw his first warm-up pitch back to the screen. Who would want to step in and hit against this guy? In 1958 he led the league in saves with 20. An ironic number for someone who had far from 20/20 vision. It was a very different world back then. This year's Major League saves leader, Brian Wilson of the Giants, had 48. In game 6 of the 1958 World Series, Duren worked 4 2/3rds innings to beat Hall of Famer Warren Spahn. Nowadays, 6 or 7 relievers would have worked those innings. Most of them would probably have made you tear your hair out. None of them would have made you laugh.
Happy Birthday: Boxing champ George Foreman. And yes of his 10 kids, 5 are boys, all named George. 62.
Bonus Birthday: Rocker Rod Stewart. 66.
Today in Sports: Ben Hogan appeared in a golf tournament for the first time after a near fatal car accident the previous year. He tied Sam Snead in the L.A. Open, but lost in a playoff. 1950.
Bonus Event: This one's for you, history majors. The pamphlet Common Sense is published by Thomas Paine. A simple title, but it advocated an immediate declaration of independence from England by the American Colonies. 1776.
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