Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 28, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Wide receiver Terrell Owens agrees to a deal with Cincinnati.
* NBA star Yao Ming says he may quit basketball if his foot doesn't heal.
* Frank Thomas will have his #35 retired by the Chicago White Sox.
* Diego Maradona gets the boot as Argentina's soccer coach.
2. The Assassin
Old time Oakland Raider Jack Tatum died yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 61. It was Tatum who put the hit on Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley in a 1978 pre-season game. Stingley was paralyzed for life. Tatum relished his role as the villain, even titling his autobiography They Call Me Assassin. He also played a pivotal role in the "Immaculate Reception." He claimed he never touched the ball. If he hadn't, the touchdown scored by Pittsburgh's Franco Harris would have been illegal under the rules at the time. Tatum was the poster boy for the "big bad Raiders" when the Raiders meant something. He left a lasting impression on football for better or for worse.
3. Upon Further Review
Most people applauded Major League Baseball for announcing that they would test minor leaguers for HGH. A good first step. Garrett Broshius is a former minor leaguer. He told the Wall Street Journal it's a waste of time. HGH is expensive, and other than the top draft picks, minor leaguers can't afford the stuff.
Others claim that the blood test has to be performed within 6 hours of taking HGH, or it doesn't work. Oh well, it seemed like a good idea.
4. Book It
We don't normally do book reviews in the Top 5, but I'll make an exception for Frank Deford. If you're looking for the perfect book to take along on your end of summer vacation, pick up his new novel Bliss, Remembered. The sports connection? It's set against the backdrop of the swimming competition in 1936 at "Hitler's Olympics." It's a wonderful tale crafted by one of the top writers of our time. And I take great pride in his being a Top 5 subscriber. Enjoy!
5. Pet Peeve
Both working in TV, and watching it, here's a pet peeve of mine. Those yahoos who make a nuisance of themselves in the background while a reporter is trying to do his/her job. I nearly got in a fight once outside Shea Stadium while I was on the air, but that's another story. Check out this video from England. At least he doesn't make faces and wave at the camera!
Oh, did I mention the time I was doing a World Series standup at Yankee Stadium on top of a TV truck and got pelted by stuff? It's much safer writing the Top 5.
Happy Birthday: Former pitcher and the answer to the trivia question, who was the last American League switch hitter to win the MVP award? Vida Blue. 61.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Sally Struthers. 62 or 63. The Internet can't agree.
Today in Sports: So long to the captain. Mark Messier leaves the Rangers and signs with Vancouver. 1997.
Bonus Event: The American Dental Association comes up with a code of ethics. For example, using a welder's torch to shrink swollen gums was officially banned. Nice. 1865.
Follow Len Berman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lenbermansports