11/08/2011 11:37 am ET Updated Jan 08, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 8, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier succumbs to cancer at the age of 67.
  • Monday Night Football: the Chicago Bears beat Philadelphia 30-24. The last place Eagles drop to 3-5.
  • With no NBA games we can relish fun competitive college basketball like Kentucky beating Morehouse last night 125-40.

2. Joe Frazier

It's hard to not to think of Howard Cosell's famous call, "Down goes Frazier, Down goes Frazier."

But now Frazier has lost his toughest fight, liver cancer. Frazier never got the respect he deserved; you can blame Muhammad Ali for that. Ali was the people's champ and when he continually berated Frazier, Ali's adoring public ate it up. The truth is it takes two to make a great rivalry. Ali and Frazier fought three times and it somehow gets lost in the shuffle that it was Frazier who won that first epic meeting at Madison Square Garden in 1971. He was a great champion and neither Ali nor cancer can diminish that.

3. JoPa

Yes, Joe Paterno did what was legally right. But did he do what was morally right? Paterno reported an incident of sexual misconduct to his boss. That was it. The state police Commissioner Frank Noonan hit the nail on the head. He said, "Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child." Amen to that.

4. You Can't Spell Elite without Eli

I love the Eli Manning story. He won a Super Bowl yet many Giants fans doubt his ability. He went on the radio and answered a question honestly. Yes, he thinks he should be considered an elite quarterback. What was he supposed to say, "No, I really suck?" And Sunday he did it again. In his own unassuming way he willed his team to a win over the Patriots on the road. Maybe Giants fans will start to cut him some slack.

5. Lemme in Coach

It's every sports fan's dream. You're sitting on your couch and the coach of your favorite team gives you a call and says suit up. The University of Tennessee was playing Middle Tennessee State, and the Vols kicker pulled a muscle before the game. So they called over to the local fraternity house a half hour before the game to get a guy. That guy was Derrick Brodus. Coach Derek Dooley said when he made the call he was hoping that Brodus hadn't been drinking but if he had, the coach told his staff. "Hey an intoxicated Brodus is better than nobody." Turns out he was sober. Three extra points and a field goal later after Tennessee won 24-0 they gave him the game ball. A victory for couch potatoes the world over.

Happy Birthday: Former New York Met Ed Kranepool. 67.
Bonus Birthday: 60 Minutes guy Morley Safer. 80.

Today in Sports: 60 years ago today. Yogi Berra wins the first of his three MVP awards. 1951.
Bonus Event: JFK gets elected. 1960.

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