Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 21, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Congratulations, New Jersey Nets. They have reached the halfway point of the NBA season with exactly 3 wins. They are on track for the all time futility record. (9-73, Philadelphia 76ers, 1972-73)
* The Williams sisters and Roger Federer cruise into the third round at the Australian Open.
* Another player passes on the Mets. Pitcher Joel Pineiro jumps from the Cards to the Angels.
* They're dropping like flies. Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger are the latest to drop out of the Pro Bowl with "injuries."
* Miami Dolphins stadium to be called Sun Life Stadium. As the New York Times pointed out, the stadium has had as many names as Elizabeth Taylor has had husbands.
2. A Modest Proposal
Pro golfers haven't been very forthcoming about the Tiger Woods issue. After all, he is their meal ticket. But I thought Geoff Ogilvy's comments were refreshing. He wants Tiger to talk to the media before he comes anywhere near a golf course. His reasoning? "One, out of respect for all the other golfers, and two, to diffuse the circus part. I don't believe a lot of tournaments want all the tabloid media floating around." That's a nice way of saying "hey Tiger, keep your crap away from us!"
As they say in Ogilvy's native Australia, "good on ya Geoff."
3. Neither Rain Nor Snow
Quick, what's the most famous trophy in sports? The Stanley Cup. It travels with a personal guard, but that doesn't stop the airlines from screwing it up. The Stanley Cup was sent to Vancouver the other day and it wound up in Toronto. Over the years the Cup has been used as a dog bowl, a doorstop, been left in a snowbank and otherwise lost or stolen. But no matter what, they can't kill it off. Now if only they could figure out a way to kill off a bunch of those unnecessary NHL franchises.....
I love Shaq's idea. He wants LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter to enter the slam dunk competition at the All Star game as a way to raise money for Haiti. Remember when slam dunk contests were something special? It began with Dr. J. winning the first one back in the ABA in 1976. In the early days of the NBA contest, Dominique Wilkins won it, and Michael Jordan won it back to back. But nowadays the stars sit it out. So get them off their butts, Shaq. He didn't name himself the "Big Aristotle" for nothing.
5. Game Time
In light of the Wall Street Journal determining that an NFL game features about 11 minutes of action, I received an email from subscriber Joe L. He put his stopwatch to a Yankees/Angels playoff game that lasted 3 hours and 45 minutes. He clocked 45 minutes of action. The same amount of time as the commercials. He timed pitchers holding the baseball for 1 hour and 56 minutes!
The rulebook says a pitcher has to throw his next pitch within 20 seconds if there are no runners on base. So there's your solution for endless games. Lets enforce the rules and make the pitchers just "throw the damn ball."
Happy Birthday: The Golden Bear. Golfer Jack Nicklaus. 70.
Bonus Birthday: Are you ready for some culture? Spanish tenor Placido Domingo. 69.
Today in Sports: Way to go Johnny. John McEnroe gets tossed from the Australian Open for bad behavior while leading in his match. A first. 1990.
Bonus Event: A Virginia jury acquits Lorena Bobbitt by reason of temporary insanity for you know what. 1994.
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