Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 23, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Las Vegas says Kentucky is now the favorite (2-1) to win the NCAA basketball tournament. Cornell is listed at 60-1.
* Alex Rodriguez will meet Friday with the FBI over his relationship with a Canadian doctor being investigated for drugs.
* NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, while supportive, says "don't hold your breath" over a change in the overtime rule. Too bad.
* Tiger Woods practices at the site of the Masters.
* Got a spare $400 million lying around? The Golden State Warriors, your 1974-75 NBA Champions, are for sale.
2. No Mas
Tiger woods is dipping his toe into the media pool -- good for him. If he wants to repair his life and get back to his Buddhist roots, fine. If he feels the need to regurgitate mantras like stripping away "denial and rationalization," that's OK. Just leave us out of it. I've heard enough. I'm not interested in hearing anymore. No more mea culpas. No more "soul searching." It's time to shut up and play golf.
3. On the Clock
So what was the average length of a 9 inning Major League Baseball game last season? 2 hours and 52 minutes. A century ago a typical game lasted about an hour and a half. Of course that was before TV commercials, promos and sausage races. According to STATS LLC, the Yankees had the longest 9 inning games last year, 3:08. The Red Sox were at 3:04, the Dodgers 3:02. All 3 teams made the playoffs, so you can make the case that their batters were more selective and took lots of pitches. You could also make the argument that those 3 teams are right at the top for highest ticket prices so they were just giving their fans their money's worth.
4. A Costly Game
Mark Ingram Sr. is the former New York Giants Super Bowl champion who was sentenced to nearly 8 years in prison for money laundering and bank fraud. But he jumped bail and didn't report to jail. He wanted to go watch his son play one last football game in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Yesterday, that one little game cost him an additional prison sentence of 27 months behind bars. Not to mention the fact that his son's team lost that football game.
5. Go Big Red
You probably know that tons of sportscasters went to Syracuse, me included. My standard punch line is that there's an easy explanation as to why. None of us could get into Cornell. The truth is, Syracuse provided an out of town college experience featuring big time sports. And yes, it isn't as difficult as the Ivy League. But as of today, in the NCAA basketball tournament, Cornell and Syracuse are both standing. And some pretty fair broadcasters went to Cornell, Dick and Jeremy Schaap and Keith Olbermann among them. Maybe they couldn't get into Syracuse?
Happy Birthday: The first man to break the 4-minute barrier, Sir Roger Bannister (featured in my NY Times bestselling kids book The Greatest Moments in Sports). 81.
Bonus Birthday: Musician Ric Ocasek (The Cars) and husband of model Paulina Porizkova. (How come rock stars always get models?) 61.
Today in Sports: The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, scores his 802nd career goal breaking his hero Gordie Howe's record. 1994.
Bonus Event: Billy Joel marries the Uptown Girl Christie Brinkley (see above). It lasted 9 years. 1985.
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