11/15/2011 12:11 pm ET Updated Jan 15, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 15, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits
  • NBA players have rejected the owners "final offer." They say talks have completely broken down.
  • Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky claims he is innocent of sexual abuse while the New York Times reports several more kids have come forward with accusations.
  • The president of the Second Mile charity linked to the Penn State child sex-abuse scandal, Dr. Jack Raykovitz, has resigned.
  • Monday Night Football: Green Bay goes to 9-0 after beating Minnesota 45-7.
  • Los Angeles center fielder Matt Kemp will become the highest paid player in Dodgers history: 8 years, $160 million.
  • A couple of pitchers are the 2011 Rookies of the Year in baseball: Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson, and Atlanta Closer Craig Kimbrel.

2. Bye Bye Season
With NBA Players having rejected the owners' so-called final offer, things look hopeless. The players plan to disband the union and then file antitrust action against the league. I'm guessing you can kiss the season goodbye. The bottom line is a relatively healthy sport is getting shut down while the two sides bicker over millions. In these economic times, few can relate. And of course it's the little guys who get hurt the most like ticket takers, team employees and vendors. If the line is true that "the darkest hour is just before dawn," let's hope that hour is right now.

 3. Haunting Words
Jerry Sandusky told NBC's Bob Costas he is innocent. Here is the interview.

It seems incomprehensible that so many people would come forward to wrongly accuse one man, but that's the story that he and his attorney are pitching.

By the way, NBC has unearthed a 1987 interview with Sandusky. I promise you won't hear more haunting words than Sandusky saying, "I enjoy being around children, I enjoy their enthusiasm, I just have a good time with them."

 4. Guilty Until Proven Innocent
File this under the heading of "piling on." The Big Ten Conference is holding its first championship game next month. The winning team was supposed to be awarded the "Stagg-Paterno" trophy. Amos Alonzo Stagg helped to found the Big Ten when he coached at the University of Chicago. Well the Big Ten has now stricken the name of Joe Paterno from the winning trophy. While I understand the sentiment, can you just simply erase all the good things he did as a coach?

5. Happy Ending

I dare you to watch this video without tearing up. Lt. Charles Jacobs' parents got a standing ovation BEFORE he surprised them. Bravo Boston Bruins.

Happy Birthday: Former NBA player turned TV analyst Greg Anthony. 44.
Bonus Birthday: Lou Grant. Actor Ed Asner. 82.

Today in Sports: Race car driver Richard Petty hangs 'em up after an untouchable 200 career wins. 1992.
Bonus Event: The Queens Midtown Tunnel connecting Queens with Manhattan opened with a toll of 25-cents. The current toll is $6.50. 1940.

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