Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 11, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade will all return to the U.S. Olympic basketball team. Good thing. You can never have too much firepower when you take on that pesky Iranian basketball team.
* Another old time New York Knick has passed away. 82-year old Carl Braun.
* Great rivalry. Duke beats North Carolina 64-54.
* The Braves make a pitch for former Yankee Johnny Damon.
* The Washington Nationals are hot for former Yankee pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.
* The Washington Capitals finally lost a hockey game, 6-5 in OT to Montreal, after winning a team record 14 straight.
* Dog killing quarterback Michael Vick admits he didn't give 100% when he played for the Atlanta Falcons. What a guy.
2. Celebrate Good Times, Come on
It's always a fascinating study to see how cities celebrate championships.
New Orleans police were happy. In all the jubilation they "only had" a triple shooting and a stabbing, and nobody died. Cities like LA and Montreal have burned cars and trashed store windows to show how happy they were that their teams won. I always hark back to June 14, 1994. The Rangers won their first Stanley Cup in 54 years and there was no violence and no arrests in New York City. Maybe fans were too stunned to react!
3. What's the Point?
I've never been in favor of the pros playing in the Olympics. Do we really care when the Dream Team demolishes Angola in basketball? And in hockey, who needs the NHL stars? Just about none of them will march in the Opening Ceremony tomorrow night. They all have NHL games to play. Isn't the pomp and circumstance part of the Olympic experience? The U.S. Olympic hockey team will practice exactly once before the hockey tournament begins. Contrast that with the Miracle on Ice team in 1980 and their legendary practices. NHL players may help market the sport internationally, but we will never again see a Miracle on Ice. For me, that diminishes the Olympics.
4. Up Close and Personal
One of the biggest American stars at the Vancouver Olympics will be skier Lindsey Vonn. Any other time of year, wins and losses would be all that matter. But it turns out she has a bruised shin and she is not sure she can go. If and when she steps into the starting gate, keep in mind she's estranged from her father who introduced her to the sport. Cue the music.
5. Snow Day
Many of us were cooped up yesterday, so it was the perfect time for a sports poll. I asked on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5," what's the most boring sport? I had suggested cricket and America's Cup racing. Some of the responses I got were spelling bee, shuffleboard, marbles, skeet shooting and lumber jacking. Steve H. wrote, "I know it's popular, but just when did poker become a 'sport? If I want to watch people play cards I can go to the clubhouse at any condo in S. Florida."
Thanks for playing along, everyone.
Happy Birthday: Longest Yard actor Burt Reynolds (Hey it was a sports movie, OK?) 74.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Jennifer Aniston. 41.
Today in Sports: Buster Douglas shocks the boxing world by knocking out Mike Tyson to win the heavyweight title. 1990.
Bonus Event: Now they can start shooting a rugby film called Invictus. Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years in prison. 1990.