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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 22, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* A major scare for defending champ Roger Federer in his first round match at Wimbledon. He had to come from two sets down to beat Colombia's Alejandro Falla.
* Not only did the Lakers pay for yesterday's championship parade, the Staples Center paid $10,000 to the cabbie for having his taxi torched by idiots after the Lakers won Game 7.
* The referee involved in that controversial U.S. no-goal has been dumped for the next round of the World Cup.
* Making plans to go to the 2018 Winter Olympics? Here are the 3 finalists: Annecy, France, Munich; and Pyeongchang, South Korea. Wouldn't seeing the Olympic torch shining over Munich be a little too painful for those who remember the 1972 massacre?

2. A Familiar Ring

So why are the top European teams stinking out the joint at the World Cup? The head of the Italian soccer federation, Giancarlo Abete, has a theory. He says the top European teams just buy players from all over the world and don't bother grooming their home grown kids.
Who do these European soccer countries think they are, the New York Yankees?

3. Down in Front

Great story from subscriber Richard F. when I mentioned the NBA doubleheaders with 4 different teams they used to stage at Madison Square Garden. His late uncle told him he would smoke cigars at the games, which was legal. Two noisy ladies sitting behind him weren't happy about it and complained throughout the first game. His uncle left after the game and gave his ticket stub to a wino he saw in the street. He told the guy to go enjoy the second game. And for good measure, he handed the wino a couple of stogies to savor during the game.
Good times.

4. Same Pants, Different Pockets

An NCAA watchdog group, called the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, thinks they reward the wrong accomplishments in college sports. They don't believe schools should get millions for winning in basketball and football. Instead, the cash should be based on academic success. Oh. And if that were the case, there would be no cheating on tests, no phony grades to lift averages, and school boosters wouldn't spend zillions on shady tutors and incentives for the smart student athletes. No matter what they reward with cash, the sleaze factor will come into play. Just follow the money.

5. You Go To a Concert...

...and a soccer game breaks out. The satirical Onion had a great story. "South African Vuvuzela Philharmonic Angered By Soccer Games Breaking Out During Concerts." The story says the "Philharmonic" is particularly frustrated by the fact "It doesn't even seem like these football players are paying attention to us." And what's worse, "These brash, inconsiderate outbursts of impromptu athletics have made us a laughingstock of the international music community."
Ah, the shame.

Happy Birthday: One of the biggest draft flops in history, of course by the Knicks, Frederic Weis. 33.
Bonus Birthday: Is she the greatest actress ever? Meryl Streep. 61.

Today in Sports: Joe Louis knocks out German Max Schmeling at Yankee Stadium in the first round. 1938.
Bonus Event: The largest hailstone ever recorded, nearly the size of a soccer ball, landed in Aurora Nebraska. 2003.