Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 8, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The Mets are holding their breath as shortstop Jose Reyes undergoes thyroid tests today.
* For the second time since 2008, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is accused of sexual assault.
* The Chicago Bears went nuts spending tons of money for NFL free agents. Maybe they saw how well it worked for the Washington Redskins. The Redskins always win big in the off-season. The regular year is another matter.
* What's the best way to win a poker jackpot? Steal it. Four armed robbers in Germany made off with a reported $1.36 million from a poker tournament at a luxury hotel in Berlin.
2. March Madness
Here we go again. It's college basketball season. Conference tournaments, bubble teams, selection shows, and bracket filling office pools. And now the NCAA is making noise about increasing the number of teams in the tournament. What's the point of that? Since a 16th seed has never beaten a #1 seed, what's going to happen when the lousier teams get it? Oh, what's the point? Hey, this is sports, and specifically college sports. The point is money.
3. Nice Guys Finish Where?
Leo Durocher is given credit for saying "nice guys finish last." The truth apparently is, they finish 2 shots further behind in golf. Pro golfer Graeme McDowell called a penalty on himself Friday. He was trying to hit a ball out of a water hazard, and his club lightly grazed the water in his backswing. That's "grounding" the club in a hazard. So he added two shots to his score. At the end of yesterday's tournament he finished tied for 31st instead of tied for 17 and it cost him $34,500. With all the performance enhancing drugs in baseball, and the shenanigans that to on in NASCAR, think about what McDowell did. There's another sports saying that goes, "if you ain't cheating you ain't trying." Not in golf.
4. International Competition
So the U.S. lost its first round Davis Cup match to Serbia this weekend and America yawned. I guess the Davis Cup doesn't quite rank with the Olympics or even the Ryder Cup with American sports fans. Part of that may have to do with the status of American tennis players. The U.S. has just 3 in the top 50 in the world. Andy Roddick is 8th, and then come John Isner at 20 and Sam Querry at 22. With Roddick sitting it out this past weekend, it's not a huge surprise that the U.S. lost. But you probably don't care anyway
5. Lost in Translation
Ron Artest of the Lakers dyed his hair gold and wrote "defense" on his head in 3 languages, Hebrew, Japanese and Hindi. Artest is either committed to defense, or just should be committed. He couldn't stop Orlando's Vince Carter as the Lakers lost their third straight. Anybody got some Wite-Out?
Happy Birthday: Former Yankee Pitcher and author of Ball Four, Jim Bouton. 71.
Bonus Birthday: Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. 65.
Today in Sports: I guess it was a pretty big fight. You had Burt Lancaster as a commentator and Frank Sinatra as a photographer. Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali in a15 round decision at Madison Square Garden. 1971.
Bonus Event: The Beatles perform on TV for the first time on the BBC. Pete Best is the drummer. 1962.
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