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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 21, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland wins the U.S. Open, the first European to win it in 40 years.
* Wimbledon gets underway today.
* It's parade day today in L.A. for the NBA champion Lakers.
* The French soccer team sure sounds like fun. With their abysmal performance in the World Cup, the team refused to practice yesterday and the director of the team quit. Sounds more like they're in a war rather than a soccer tournament, non?

2. Pebble Beach

A couple of thoughts about the Open. Isn't watching a train wreck like Dustin Johnson the most sickening feeling in sports? It's worse than missing a winning field goal at the end of the Super Bowl, or letting a baseball roll through your legs in the World Series. It's not just one play, but an excruciating water torture that refuses to quit. And if Tiger Woods had shot just even par yesterday, he would be the U.S. Open champion. Makes you wonder if he'll ever regain the old magic? He did for 9 holes on Saturday, and he proved that nobody puts a charge into a crowd as he does. Maybe he's destined to be very good from here on out, not just sustainably great.

3. Lady Gag-me

She was at it again Friday night. Lady Gaga, after her boffo bird-flashing performance at Citi Field, she took her bra and panties act to Yankee Stadium. If they're going to ban vuvuzelas for attacking the ears, how about banning this attention deprived individual for assaulting the eyes?

4. Manute Bol, 1962-2010

Back in the 80's I had a show on NBC called Sports Fantasy. A kid wrote to me that he wanted to challenge Manute Bol to free throws. He billed it "Manute vs. Minute." Very cute, so we did it. Manute was working out in New Orleans one summer to increase his flexibility. So off we went to tape the segment. I'd interviewed Kareem and Wilt, but this guy at 7'7" was a string bean giant. To hold the microphone near his face during the interview, I had to stand with my arm straight up fully outstretched. Incredible. And aside from basketball, he did some marvelous social work in his native Sudan. Manute was anything but minute. A giant on and off the court who passed away the other day far too soon, at the age of 47.

5. Show Time

Not that you're dying to know this, but I went to the Broadway show Promises Promises the other night. At one point the lead character goes to a doubleheader basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Yup, they used to play doubleheaders, with 4 different teams. One game featuring the Knicks, wasn't enough of a draw. Obviously it was a dated show. Then again, in the show, the Knicks lost.

Happy Birthday: A couple of former New Jersey Nets. Derrick "whoop de damn do" Coleman. 43. Richard Jefferson. 30.
Bonus Birthday: Prince William of England. 28.

Today in Sports: Future Senator Jim Bunning, a Phillies pitcher, throws a Father's Day perfect game at Shea against the Mets. 1964.
Bonus Event: Lou Gehrig hangs 'em up due to illness. A few weeks later, on July 4th, he delivers the most famous speech in sports. 1939.