03/01/2011 11:17 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 1, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* March begins with the clock ticking. The NFL labor contract expires Thursday at midnight.
* The Washington Redskins cut running back Clinton Portis.
* As expected, Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran will shift to right field.
* Job opening at Wrigley. The Cubs are looking for a new public address announcer. Singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is not part of the job description.

2. Dodgers in Our Midst

With the passing of Duke Snider, you guys reflected on growing up in Brooklyn, where the Dodgers were "normal people" who lived in the neighborhood.

*Subscriber M.F. was the polar opposite of me. I hated Duke as a kid, and learned to regret it as an adult. He writes, "I hated Mantle & Mays and ripped up their cards when I got them in a Topps pack. Stupid. Could have sent my kids to college on the Mantle cards."

*From Subscriber J.R. "The Duke and his family lived on Marine Avenue in Bay Ridge, near the entrance to the Belt Parkway. We used to drive past, hoping to see him and his neighbor Pee Wee Reese on the stoops of their houses. Compare that to where Derek Jeter (and other players) have their living quarters today, usually behind gates or doormen."

*And subscriber M.L. related a story about a friend of his. "Families used to invite the Dodger players for dinner. The players weren't multi-millionaires and lived, in part, on community support." One night Duke Snider came for dinner. His friend's mom made her best kosher chicken dish. "During dinner, the Duke asked for a glass of milk, which was heresy." But since he was "The Duke" they relented even when Duke said, "What about the kid? He needs milk to grow-up to become a ballplayer." It was the first time the kid had milk with meat.
Talk about another world.

3. Eyeballs

What if they gave a hockey game and nobody watched? Here's what you won't see in this week's NHL press release. Last week in Canada, a women's curling match had over 1 million viewers. It was followed by an NHL game between Edmonton and Colorado. The hockey game had half the ratings of women's curling. But that was terrific when compared with what happened in Miami. The Florida Panthers ratings were so low they were beaten out by an infomercial for the Ninja Professional Blender, Chopper and Ice Crusher. Come to think of it, the chopping and ice crushing sounds like hockey on steroids.

4. Lost in Translation

Iran threatens to boycott to 2012 London Olympics because they think the logo spells out Zion instead of 2012, so they consider the logo racist. You be the judge.
Personally I think the logo reads "Ahmadinejad is nuts," then again, I don't speak Iranian.

5. Contest Time

It's March, and that means the NCAA basketball tournament. So today we're announcing our newest contest. Pick the winner of the NCAA basketball tournament. And for the tiebreaker, the final score of the championship game. Thanks to our friends from Steiner Sports, the winner has his choice of a Magic Johnson autographed basketball1, or a Steiner Sports gift card worth $250. To enter, got to Entry deadline March 14th. Good luck. And let the madness begin.

Happy Birthday: Holy Cow! The great Harry Caray would have been 97 today.
Bonus Birthday: Holy Cow! Singer Justin Bieber is turning 17.

Today in Sports: My hero Mickey Mantle retires. 1969.
Bonus Event: The Salem witch trials begin. 1692.

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