10/21/2011 03:02 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 21, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Texas, with two in the 9th, beats St. Louis 2-1 to even the World Series at one game apiece. Game 3 is tomorrow night in Texas.
  • As expected the World Series got off to a rocky ratings start, the lowest since 2006. The Cardinals were in that one too.
  • Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein will reportedly be named Cubs president today.
  • NBA talks break off. No new talks are scheduled.
  • One of the rebels who got Moammar Gadhafi was wearing a Yankees cap. The rebels who were wearing Red Sox caps were drinking beer in their bunker during the capture.
2. N.B. A-dios Did the NBA season end yesterday? It sure feels that way. There had been marathon talks with a federal mediator and then talks broke off with both sides pointing fingers. Actually, calling it one season is a misnomer. The NBA begins in the fall, and the playoffs don't begin until spring nearly lasting into summer. Nobody misses the NBA this time of year. Whether fans care half a year from now remains to be seen.

3. Exit Poll

Yesterday I mentioned the AskMen survey which chose the 49 most influential men of 2011. There were 10 sports people, none of them baseball players. It was an international poll. When I asked your choices, you quickly responded.

*Many of you mentioned Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, LeBron James, David Stern and Roger Goodell.

*J.G. "I would vote for David 'Big Papi' Ortiz. I am a die hard Yankees fan, but I think Ortiz is an amazing role model on and off the field."
Note: Last night Ortiz was honored with the Roberto Clemente award which combines excellence on the field with community service.

*E.L. "It is kind of sad that the only 'influential' athletes I can think of have to do with sponsorships and endorsements."

* M.C. "The most influential has to be Tiger Woods. He has influenced men all over the world not to text or to get a new phone that their wife doesn't know about."
Editor's Note: You see, athletes are role models.

4. Friday eMailbag

Top 5 subscriber C.A. asks, in light of the NFL coaching handshake skirmish asks, "Why don't we get rid of the coaches shaking hands in football? It is so fake. Many of these NFL guys intensely dislike each other. Baseball managers don't shake hands after the game. When did this so called gridiron custom begin? Did Vince Lombardi rush across the field to shake the hand of George Halas?"
Editor's Note: No.

W.W. has come up with the promo for the new Big East conference possibly including both Rutgers and Boise State. "From Joisey to Boise."
P.G. has this idea for naming the conferences. "Maybe they could go the route the NHL did a while back and name them after significant figures in NCAA history...just think: we could have a Reggie Bush conference, an OJ Simpson conference, the list goes on and on."
Editor's Note: Oy.

And with a Washington cemetery offering golf themed burials, J.M. says "It gives new meaning to '6-under.'"
And from D.P. If an atheist is buried there it's "An unprayable lie."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the Munich Airport. If you missed Spanning the World on the Today Show yesterday morning you missed the British crew team "practicing" on the airport's moving walkway. Of course one guy got turned around and was spotted going the wrong way in his singles scull.
The next Spanning the World airs Thursday December 1st in the 8:30am half hour.

Happy Birthday: Hall of Fame Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford. 83
Bonus Birthday: Famous person Kim Kardashian. 31.

Today in Sports: Game 6 of the World Series began on this date. Carlton Fisk's famous home run was hit early the next morning. 1975.
Bonus Event: They danced the Can-Can in Paris for the first time. 1858.

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