Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 22, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com
1. Quick Hits
- Plaxico Burress returned to the NFL with a diving 26 yard touchdown catch in the Jets 27-7 exhibition win over Cincinnati.
- Have you ever heard of soccer player Samuel Eto'o? A Russian team will reportedly pay Inter Milan 38.9 million to get him. Eto'o would then become the highest paid soccer player in the world, 28.8 million a year.
- At the Little League World Series, the largest crowd ever recorded in their 65 year history, 41,848, came to see their local team from 20 miles away lose to Kentucky 1-0 Friday night.
It's expensive to go to sports events, but is it safe? It was an ugly weekend at a couple of venues. Two fans were shot in the parking lot after the Raiders/49ers exhibition game at Candlestick Park. Police say the two shootings are connected. One of the fans was wearing a T-shirt with a derogatory comment about the 49ers. A third fan was beaten unconscious in the stadium bathroom. Two of the victims remain in serious condition. On opening day, Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and remains in serious condition. Two suspects have been charged. Meanwhile, in Torreon Mexico during a soccer game, the players and fans are seen running for their lives as shots ring out. The gunfire was just outside the stadium.
3. Happily Wedded Bliss
Why do I sense such skepticism that a New Jersey Net and a certain reality TV star won't live happily ever after? Shame on you. History is replete with athletes and their glamorous wives making a go of it. The Great One, Wayne Gretzky and actress Janet Jones. 23 years. David Beckham and Posh Spice. 12 years and counting. And even when great athletes marry each other it seems to stick. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra. OK, sometimes it doesn't work out. Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. Tony Parker and Eva Longoria. But regular folks are splittin' up all the time. And just because the basketball player and what's her name got paid $18-million for the TV and magazine rights to their wedding, it's no reason to think it isn't everlasting love. Of course if they do split up, they get 9-million each. So either way, they live happily ever after.
4. MetLife Stadium
Word is that naming rights for the New Meadowlands Stadium have been bought by MetLife for $400-million over 20 years. That means Giants and Jets fans will be getting rebates on their personal seat licenses. Yeah right.
5. No Laughing Matter
It seemed like a good idea to have some fun with the "no sex before a big game" concept. The All Blacks are New Zealand's famed rugby team, and with the Rugby World Cup coming up, an advertiser, the Telecom Corp of New Zealand had a great idea for a campaign. Forget the players, all the fans of the team should knock off sex to show their support. Check out the TV commercial they came up with featuring a former rugby star. But, when word got out about the campaign, fans weren't exactly thrilled. Opposition exploded on Facebook. One guy even started a page telling fans instead of abstaining, do the opposite. Orgy it up! After all the flak, the company scrapped the campaign. So we'll never know if fans abstaining from sex will help a team's performance. More research is needed. Any volunteers?
Happy Birthday: Yaz. Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. 72.
Bonus Birthday: The Tuna himself. Bill Parcells. 70.
Today in Sports: The infamous Juan Marichal/John Roseboro bat brawl. Look who's trying to break it up? Sandy Koufax. 1965.
Bonus Event: Althea Gibson is granted entry to the U.S. Championships at Forest Hills. She becomes the first black tennis player to ever compete for the national title. 1950.
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