Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 27, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* First Rafael Nadal, now Roger Federer. Novak Djokovic ousts Federer in the Australian Open semis in straight sets.
* The women's final will feature Kim Clijsters and Li Na. Li becomes the first Chinese player to reach the finals of a Grand Slam.
* 7-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin retires from tennis for the second time with an elbow injury. She's 28.
* #3 in the world Tiger Woods begins his season today in San Diego.
* NASCAR has come up with a new scoring system to make year-end results tighter. Less points for a win. Sorta like football making touchdowns worth four points to ensure closer games.
* Proof positive that winning isn't everything. Forbes says the Knicks are the most valuable NBA franchise. Just think if they actually won a title?
2. Honest to a Fault
It looks like Yankees general Manager Brian Cashman is talking himself out of a job. First he publicly disagreed with ownership over signing reliever Rafael Soriano. Now he yaps about Derek Jeter possibly playing center field some day. I say, good for Cashman. It's so rare to get honesty from a sports front office. Keep it coming. As for Jeter, why should the Yankees have to tiptoe around him? If Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Cal Ripken and Johnny Bench could all change positions, so can he. What ever happened to "for the good of the team?"
3. Can't Wait
Got a great email this morning from a Top 5 subscriber named Kevin who works for FOX Sports behind the scenes. He's in Dallas getting ready for the Super Bowl. He points out that 3 years from now, the Super Bowl will be in New Jersey. Think about that one. The New York area got buried by snow today. Won't a Super Bowl blizzard be lovely in 2014? At least there will be lots of new items at the concession stands. The first ever official Super Bowl earmuffs, mittens and snowblowers.
4. Say What?
I'll never forget what happened 20 years ago today (see below.) It was one of those many events I was at, but I didn't see. I watch the missed field goal on a TV monitor under the stands as I was about to go onto the field in Tampa to do post game interviews. Before the game, Whitney Houston "sang" the National Anthem while fans waved small American flags. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. The game was played during the first Gulf War and they used metal detectors for the first time for fans entering the Super Bowl. After the game, Giants coach Bill Parcells grabbed me and yelled "power wins." I thought it was a missed field goal that did the trick, but what do I know?
5. The Biggest Loser
You guys liked yesterday's question about the greatest athletes in each city who have never won a championship.
*Many of you chose Ernie Banks in Chicago but Jeff D. says don't forget Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers.
* Tony Gwynn got mentioned a lot for San Diego
*While Tony T. chose Steve Largent in Seattle, Ira. T. had Ken Griffey, Jr.
*Matt H. Archie Manning in New Orleans.
*Michael L. Dominique Wilkins in Atlanta. (Not Dale Murphy?)
*Eric G. Ty Cobb in Detroit. Elgin Baylor in L.A.
* Torin R. gives Barry Bonds two cities, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
*Phil G. Mattingly, Ewing, Piazza and Curtis Martin deserve consideration in New York, but don't forget Hall of Fame Rangers Ed Giacomin and Rod Gilbert.
And from S.M. "I am from Cleveland and I am not sure your column could hold the number of names that have never won the big one."
But Steve B. says Cleveland is easy. "Benedict" LeBron.
Happy Birthday: Former NFL wide receiver and current broadcaster, Cris Collinsworth. 52.
Bonus Birthday: Same date, same year. Former MSNBC yakker Keith Olbermann. 52.
Today in Sports: Wide right! Scott Norwood misses a 47 yard field goal, and the Giants escape Super Bowl XXV with a 20-19 win. 1991.
Bonus Event: How time flies. Apple introduces the iPad. 2010.
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