THE BLOG
08/23/2011 11:35 am ET Updated Oct 24, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 23, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.


1. Quick Hits

  • The Oakland Raiders spent a third-round draft choice for former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the NFL's supplemental draft.
  • After the fan violence at last weekend's Raiders/49ers exhibition game, the NFL may scrap the annual exhibition game between the two rivals.
  • No U.S. city will bid for the 2020 summer Olympics.


2. One Tough Negotiator

When it came to negotiations, the late Jets owner Leon Hess was one tough cookie. As the regime of Muammar Gaddafi falls apart, it recalls the time when Hess sat down with the Libyan lunatic to talk oil. Gaddafi put his revolver on the table. A reporter asked Hess what happened. Hess told the writer, "I'm still here!" After that, you think player negotiations fazed Hess?


3. Piling On

I'm not the biggest Plaxico Burress fan, but enough is enough. After he caught a touchdown pass in his return to football from prison for shooting himself in the leg, various tabloid headlines read:

*Hot Shot!
*Back With a Bang.
*Under the gun, Plax delivers.

OK, we get it. Time for a cease fire.


4. Duh Raiders

So when the Oakland Raiders chose Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor yesterday in the supplemental draft, you probably went "duh." Pryor got into trouble at Ohio State so he ditched college for the pros. The NFL immediately suspended him for his past transgressions. Enter the renegade Raiders, the franchise that coined the phrase, "Most teams take what the offense gives them, we take whatever we want." No player has been too troubled or overrated for the black and silver to take a flyer on. Remember quarterback JaMarcus Russell? He was the #1 overall pick 2007. He of course held out, so they paid him a bundle. He was basically a bust. And the Raiders don't exactly intimidate anyone anymore. They last made the playoffs in 2002 and they haven't had a winning record since. So if Pryor doesn't work out? Will anyone even notice?

5. Creeping Commercialism

What took 'em so long? The WNBA closed a deal for a mobile phone company to advertise on the front of the jerseys of 10 of the 12 teams. The other two already have deals. Soccer teams have been doing it for years. NFL teams have sponsors on their practice jerseys. Even beach volleyball came up with something special for the digital age. A bar code on the rear end of the bikini bottoms. When it's photographed by a smart phone, it takes you to a betting web site. They haven't sold mens bottoms yet, but give it time. What's next, baseball? Heck, the Yankees won't even put their names on the back of their jerseys. But for the right price, don't you think a nice logo on the front would go smashingly with the interlocking NY? It's only a matter of time before all of sports turns into NASCAR.

Happy Birthday: Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. 33.
Bonus Birthday: Actor Scott Caan (Entourage, Hawaii Five-0, son of James Caan). 35

Today in Sports: The great Bob Feller (featured in my latest book The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time), makes his first Major League start for the Cleveland Indians at the age of 17. He struck out 15 St. Louis Browns en route to a 4-1 win. 1936.
Bonus Event: Seattle pitcher Gaylord Perry is ejected from a game against the Red Sox for throwing a spitball. It took umps 21 seasons to catch him. 1982.

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