TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 29, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner is expected to announce his retirement today. Brett Favre is expected to drag it out interminably.
* Roger Federer advances to the finals of the Australian Open. He will face Andy Murray.
* Phil Mickelson trails by 6 shots after the opening round at Torrey Pines.
* David Lee didn't make the All Star Game. The theory goes that the Knicks aren't a good enough team which hurt his chances.
* They sure know how to party. New Orleans will hold a Saints parade the Tuesday after the Super Bowl, win or lose.
Talk about a unique way to advertise a Super Bowl halftime show. Pete Townshend and The Who will be performing at halftime of the Super Bowl, so schools and residents in the area will be alerted to a sex offender in the area. Who? Right. Who. Sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine. A Florida group is sending out the warnings because Townshend was arrested in England in 2003 for cruising the Internet looking for child porn. He said he was just doing research and was never convicted. Enjoy the show, everyone.
3. Crystal Bawl
Sorry New York baseball fans, it'll be an empty October/November. Baseball Prospectus, using its complicated statistical formulas, predicts the Yankees and Mets won't make the playoffs this year. If it makes you feel any better a year ago they predicted the Mets to finish first and the Phillies to miss the post season. To refresh your memory, the Phillies were in the World Series and the Mets weren't.
4. Friday Mailbag
The Yankees/Johnny Damon divorce prompted this from J.M. on Facebook (Len Berman's Top 5.) "I put all the blame on Scott Bor-ass! (Damon's agent.) He is the single worst person for baseball in the history of the sport. Boras missed the boat and once again, overestimated what his client is worth and now Johnny is going to have to play on a 2nd or even 3rd rate team."
Editor's Note: Who knew the Yankees had a budget?
M.L. doesn't forgive and forget. When the New York baseball writers gave A-Rod their Postseason MVP Award he wrote, "It's nice to see that A-Rod can win an MVP award, which really should be called the MVC (C is for Cheaters.)"
Joepozz pointed out in the comments section of www.ThatsSports.com that with Andre Dawson joining Gary Carter as wearing Montreal Expo caps on their Hall of Fame plaques, there are more Expos than Mets (Tom Seaver) in the Hall of Fame. (And the Expos don't exist anymore.)
And the joke that keeps on giving. When I mentioned the notorious marathon cheat, Rosie Ruiz, J.L. wrote, "Rose Ruiz lives... she created a line of stockings that are guaranteed not to run."
5. Memory Lane
The joy for me in doing the Top 5 is the stories you tell. When I mentioned Super Bowl I, subscriber Lex S. in Pennsylvania emailed me that he was there. What he remembers most was all the empty seats in the L.A. Coliseum. The game was televised by 2 networks, CBS and NBC. The ticket cost him $12. and the program $1. He added " I guess 12 bucks sounds cheap by today's standards but I was stationed with the Marine Corps in Southern California in '67 making about $100 a month. But at least I can always say I was there for the very first one."
And as an aside, despite being televised by 2 networks, none of the video tape from either telecast exists today.
Have a nice weekend everyone.
Happy Birthday: Two time Olympic gold-medal winning diver, Greg Louganis. 50.
Bonus Birthday: Oprah. 56.
Today in Sports: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson are the first players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. 1936.
Bonus Event: Nevermore! Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven was published for the first time. If not for the success of the Baltimore native, who knows what the Baltimore Ravens would be called today.
I have the honor of emceeing the Thurman Munson Awards dinner next Tuesday night at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. Among the honorees are Joba Chamberlain, Lou Piniella and Darryl Strawberry. It benefits AHRC. For ticket information: 212-249-6188.
Follow Len Berman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lenbermansports