01/28/2011 02:20 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 28, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* Tiger Woods starts his season by shooting a 3-under 69. He trails by 5 after one round in San Diego.
* Lakers coach Phil Jackson says this is his last season.
* The Tennessee Titans part ways with coach Jeff Fisher after 16 seasons. He was the longest running NFL coach.
* Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final. The last British man to win a Grand Slam? Fred Perry, 1936.
* How cool is Bobby Valentine? He's taking his job as Stamford's Safety Commissioner seriously. He was out directing traffic during the snowstorm.
* Bloomberg BusinesWeek ranks Colts quarterback Peyton Manning as the most powerful athlete in sports.
* According to TMZ, Dallas needs more strippers. Dancing girls are in short supply for the expected demand during Super Bowl week. This is a sports story, right?

2. Step Right Up

I loved all your wisecracks about the idea of a Super Bowl blizzard in the Meadowlands in 2014. Rachel M. says we might not have to worry, "They keep adding games to the season, so three years from now, the Super Bowl will probably be played in early March."
Jim S. suggested "The halftime show may be a half-mile Iditarod or maybe Coldplay can sing." When I suggested that it'll be the first Super Bowl offering snowblowers at the concession stands, Peter A. cracked, "If the Jets make it that far in 2014, there will be no need for any of those with all of the 'hot air' that Rex Ryan will spew leading up to the game." And speaking of concession items, Micah T. found the must-have item for Super Bowl XLV, an official plush armadillo. Who comes up with this stuff?

3. Donnie Baseball

I had the honor of hosting Dodger manager Don Mattingly's charity event last night at Mickey Mantle's restaurant in New York. Some bits and pieces. A fan asked Don why he thinks he's not in the Hall of Fame? Mattingly said it was simple. He didn't put up good enough numbers long enough. But former Yankee center fielder Bernie Williams told the crowd that Donnie made everyone around him better. Mattingly did say he hopes to make it one day as he thinks Joe Torre will. As a combo player and manager, Tom Seaver was also there. He said his personal pitch count was 135. He advised Donnie not to have blanket pitch counts in L.A. Pitchers are individuals. It sure was fun talking baseball with pitchers and catchers reporting in a couple of weeks.

4. Friday eMailbag

Subscriber D.R. thinks the criticism of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler for not playing hurt is fair. He writes, "When a QB doesn't play in a game of this magnitude for anything short of his bone sticking through the skin, he deserves all the criticism he gets. Running backs play with strained MCLs. Cutler should have played until he dropped."
Editor's Note: Tough crowd.

From subscriber R.P. "I could care less about the Super Bowl now that the Jets defense imploded (my dead grandmother can tackle better than them)."
Editor's Note: Now I see where your toughness comes from, R.P.

E.G. can't leave well enough alone. "Is it ironic that the Jets fell a foot short of the end zone in their quest to reach the Super Bowl?"

D.H. remembers an "oldie but goodie." "I wish you had mentioned the passing of Jack LaLanne. While technically not sports, so many of us remember his shows and doing jumping jacks with him on TV. He was so far ahead of his time and all the fitness gyms and gurus owe him everything."
Editor's Note: Well said.

And R.M. took note of the California gold rush in my historical notes, and the naming of the San Francisco football team the 49ers. He writes, "When we lived in New Orleans the local newspaper was asking for names for the incoming NBA team. I suggested the 'New Orleans 49ers.' Why? Because, we were 49th in education, 49th in crime stats, 49th in per capita income."
Editor's note: Now that's just plain cold. Funny. But cold.

5. Spanning The World

You can call this week's Spanning the World highlight, "Follow the Bouncing Ball." I don't think I've ever seen this.

Gives new meaning to "dead ball foul."

Have a great weekend everyone.

Happy Birthday: Winner of 3 golfing majors, Hall of Famer Nick Price. 54.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Alan Alda. 75.

Today in Sports: An NFL franchise was transferred from Decatur Illinois to Chicago. At first called the Staleys, they became "Da Bears" the following year. 1921.
Bonus Event: Dodgers catching great Roy Campanella is paralyzed in a car accident in Glen Cove, New York. 1958.

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