TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 23, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the #1 pick in the NFL draft, chosen by the St. Louis Rams. In a surprise, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow goes to Denver in the first round while Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen went undrafted. Round two is tonight.
* Good news -- the NCAA basketball tournament is expanding only from 65 to 68 teams. And the new 14-year TV deal insures every game will be seen in its entirety on CBS or Turner.
* God I missed the A-Rod nonsense. Thank goodness he ran across the pitcher's mound yesterday in Oakland, pissing off A's pitcher Dallas Braden. That's more like it!
* Ken Green returns to golf today in a senior team event in Savannah. Green had his leg amputated after an RV crash that killed his girlfriend and brother.
2. Oklahoma O.K.
It's official, the state of Oklahoma is king when it comes to football. I was there for an NFL pre-season game one August with temps over 100 degrees. Kids were playing pee-wee football in full gear. So it doesn't surprise me that Oklahoma had 3 of the top 4 picks in last night's draft. And 6 players from either Oklahoma or Oklahoma State went in the first round. On top of that, Oklahoma City beat the Lakers last night, for their first ever playoff win. All together now, Broadway show-tune fans: You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
3. No Spin Zone
Wow you guys are a serious lot. What drew the most flak yesterday? Tiger? Roethlisberger? Nope. My simple fact that Barack Obama has played a whole lot more golf than George W. C'mon, lighten up. Some of you mentioned that W. didn't play in deference to the troops. Others ripped me for not mentioning how much vacation W. took. Hey, I just thought golfers would find it interesting. Now leave me alone and go back to watching Hannity and Olbermann.
4. Friday eMailbag
Last week, subscriber V.I. suggested a virtual flag in golf so you can see the hole on TV, much like the virtual first down marker in football. Subscriber Ken A., who works on CBS's golf coverage responded. "Actually we have virtually placed 'white' on the hole. The problem is cost and better technology. You have to calibrate the cameras to make sure the hole stays in perspective when you pan or zoom. That calibration process is expensive. As soon as we find a cost effective way to do it on all cameras we will."
Editor's Note: We should call my Top 5 "Ask the Experts."
When I talked about Jackie Robinson day last week, A.K. reminisced, "I Used to walk to Ebbets Field to save the nickel subway fare so I could buy a bag of peanuts."
Editor's Note: Very cool!
When I was talking about the Dolans who own Newsday, I sarcastically noted how they "have done such a wonderful job running the Knicks and Rangers." B.K. asked didn't I mean "ruining?"
And when I said I was going on spring break, R.R. emailed, "Spring Break? Len Gone Wild? I can't wait. Enjoy."
Editor's Note: Yeah, you should see me Top5-less.
5. I Like Ike
Now for some serious investigative journalism. A Top 5 subscriber asked me if Mets rookie Ike Davis is Jewish? His dad is former pitcher Ron Davis. I never thought Ron was Jewish, and he's not. But his wife is. Ike's Mom is Millie and Ike's full name is Isaac Benjamin Davis. Wonder if Ike will sit out the World Series on Yom Kippur a la Sandy Koufax? No need to worry about it Mets fans, Yom Kippur this year is in September. He'll be good to go for the Mets in the fall classic, right?
Happy Birthday: The other Espo. Goalie Tony Esposito, Phil's brother. 67.
Bonus Birthday: Ya mean they named an actress after a drink? Shirley Temple. 82.
Today in Sports: Houston Colt .45s pitcher Ken Johnson becomes the first to pitch a no-hitter and lose a 9-inning game, 1-0 to Cincinnati. 1964.
Bonus Event: The German dentist, Otto Walkhoff, was born on this date in 1860. His invention of the dental x-ray was such a success, it was hailed as a Walkhoff home run.
If you're a golfer in the New York area and want to support some great charities including the amazing Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, come play golf with me on Monday May 24th at the fabulous North Hills Country Club. Every golfer gets great gifts including an autographed copy of my best selling book, The Greatest Moments in Sports. If you don't want to play, you can come to the dinner where I'll be speaking. Here's the web site.