TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 12, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The New York Post reports that Tiger Woods will return to golf in two weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and that he has hired Top 5 subscriber Ari Fleischer to handle PR. The AP says Woods will return at the Masters.
* Another blow to the Mets. Jose Reyes can't resume athletic activity until his thyroid normalizes, 2-8 weeks. Opening day in jeopardy.
* Lotsa upsets. The Big East semifinals tonight will feature Georgetown vs. Marquette and Notre Dame vs. West Virginia.
* The other ski drops. A Polish cross country skier has failed a doping test at the Olympics. She helped Poland to a 6th place finish in a relay event.
2. Father Murphy
Merlin Olsen died yesterday from cancer at the age of 69. Quite a resume. A perennial pro bowl defense lineman, part of the Rams "Fearsome Foursome." TV star, commercial pitchman, NBC sportscaster. I worked with Merlin in the early 80's. His off the air demeanor was similar to Father Murphy. Kind, friendly, and most helpful to a young broadcaster. When he was the face of FTD Florist commercials, he would walk into an FTD florist and ask how things were going? He would facetiously tell the clerk he checks out every shop. Good guy, Merlin Olsen.
3. You Betcha
So did you hear the one about the dead guy who is making a bundle for his favorite cause? A guy died in England and left everything to charity, including all the sports bets he made. And they've been paying off. He bet that Roger Federer would win 14 Grand Slam titles before 2020 at 66-1 odds. When Federer won Wimbledon last year, Oxfam netted $25,000. If all his bets pay off, Oxfam stands to gain around half a million bucks. I've never been a proponent of sports gambling, but you have to admit, this is pretty cool.
4. Friday eMailbag
Subscriber P.B. had an addendum to golfer Graeme McDowell penalizing himself for his club grazing the water in his backswing. "What may have gone unnoticed, though, is the fact that Graeme signed for his score with the extra 2 shots and then went to the rope line and signed autographs for the fans. That is class."
Editor's Note: Amen to that.
As for Lenny Dykstra (in financial ruin) charging $999 for stock tips and an autographed baseball, R.Q. emails "Too funny about Dykstra. I just googled Dykstra autographed baseball and you can get one from Walmart for $87.99."
With the Yankees hosting a college bowl game, "The Pinstripe Bowl," R.B.has a bowl game proposal for Queens. "The Mets will sponsor the 'Candystripers Bowl' to raise money for area hospitals."
And with the New Jersey Nets breaking ground for a new arena in Brooklyn, S.G. asks, "The Nets are breaking ground. When are they going to break a sweat?"
5. Star Turn
So yesterday I asked if De Niro is playing Vince Lombardi in an upcoming movie, who should play A-Rod and Tiger when they make their flicks?
There was no shortage of actors for A-Rod:
Bruce L. -- Will Smith
Rob B. -- Ricky Martin
Ira T. -- John Leguizamo
Lawrence S. on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5" -- Duane "The Rock" Johnson
Sal N. -- Jennifer Lopez
And from Rob. M. -- "A-Rod would have to play himself in a movie. I'm sure he thinks no one could measure up to him."
As for Tiger Woods.
Hal L. -- Derek Jeter
SAB at wwwThatssports.com -- Denzel Washington
Mark R. -- Snoop Dog
Tom P. on Facebook -- "Obama for Tiger. Golf by teleprompter."
And for older readers, Dave P. says they should have made the Vince Lombardi movie 15-20 years ago with Ernest Borgnine. Bingo!
Thanks everyone for playing, have a great weekend.
Happy Birthday: The Straw Man, Darryl Strawberry. 48.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Liza Minnelli. 64.
Today in Sports: The birth of the most successful sports franchise in history. The New York Highlanders become an American League team. 10 years later they changed their name to Yankees. 1903.
Bonus Event: I'll take 6 boxes of Thin Mints. The Girl Scouts are founded in the U.S. originally called Girl Guides. 1912.