TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 10, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The NFL season opened last night with the Super Bowl champion Saints beating Brett Favre and Minnesota 14-9.
* Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was uninjured in a two car accident yesterday morning. Later he reportedly agreed to a 4 year contract extension.
* The Dallas Cowboys are ranked the most popular team in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams come in last.
* Rafael Nadal has made the semis at the U.S. Open. Should Nadal face Federer in Sunday's final, it'll feel like the biggest heavyweight matchup in New York since Ali and Frazier. The women's semis are today.
* The U.S. beat Russia 89-79 to reach the semis in the World Basketball Championship.
2. It Takes All Kinds
I'm often asked what athletes are like. I tell them they're like any other group of people. Some nice, some not so hot. On the one hand there's Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic fulfilling the last wish of a dying woman. It's a heartwarming story.
On the flip side you have 3 Mets players, who when the whole team visited wounded veterans at Walter Reed, they somehow couldn't make it.
A Mets fan, subscriber Micah T. writes of the two stories, "Couldn't be at two more completely different ends of the sports and human decency spectrum."
3. A Higher Authority
Did anyone else notice that two asteroids passed near Earth on the 12th anniversary of Mark McGwire breaking Roger Maris' home run record? Top 5 readers know that "asteroid" is the award suggested by a Top 5 subscriber for cheating sluggers. It combines asterisk and steroid. Do you suppose "somebody out there" was sending a message?
4. Friday eMailbag
Concerning the Jets new contract with Darrelle Revis, S.D. writes, "When the fans stop going to the games and paying these outrageous prices for tickets and vending, the owners will stop conceding to the players and paying them these high salaries. Something is wrong in society when a player like Revis can demand 36 million dollars guaranteed or Jeter makes 20 million plus for playing baseball while teachers, policeman and fireman in New York City are making 40k a year."
As for my position that the Yankees should just give Derek Jeter whatever he wants in his new contract, J.K. writes, "You want loyalty to win out over 'what have you done for me lately!?' Shame on you! JUST KIDDING...I couldn't agree more...if anyone deserves a lifetime membership, it's Derek Jeter!!"
A.F. has an idea for how make the empty expensive seats at sports stadiums look occupied on TV. "How about filling the empty stadiums with Photoshop?"
D.P. suggests, "Maybe the makers of auto airbags can come up with a seat cushion that pops out an inflatable upper body, say, five minutes after kickoff. Something like Otto, the co-pilot in Airplane.
Editor's Note: I was thinking simple seat-fillers, like the Oscars.
5. Spanning The World
This week's Spanning the World highlight: "There's no faking in football." Stephen F. Austin was trounced by Texas A&M 48-7 despite pulling this little maneuver to slow down the A&M offense. Check out the players in white "getting injured" at the :11 mark.
They cheat in football? Shocking!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Happy Birthday: The King, Arnold Palmer. 81.
Bonus Birthday: One of my favorite people, Roger Maris, was born on this date in 1934.
Today in Sports: For the first time in their history, the New York Mets moved into first place. 1969.
Bonus Event: I Yam What I Yam. Popeye the Sailorman was heard on NBC radio for the first time. 1935.
In conjunction with this week's release of my new kids book, The 25 Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time, once again the Top 5 is running a contest. Send us the email addresses of 3 new Top 5 subscribers and you'll be entered in a lottery to receive autographed copies. Send at least 5 new subscribers and be eligible to win autographed copies of both the new book and my New York Times bestseller, The Greatest Moments in Sports. Just contact me to enter.