12/16/2011 11:56 am ET Updated Feb 15, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 16, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits
  • Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd has been arrested on federal drug charges. According to a report he's a top drug dealer in Chicago and has supplied drugs to many NFL players who authorities have identified.
  • Barry Bonds will be sentenced today for obstruction of justice. Prosecutors want 15 months in prison.
  • A fourth man has accused Bernie Fine of sexual abuse according to a Syracuse newspaper. The man is currently behind bars for burglary.
  • Thursday night football: Atlanta 41 Jacksonville 14.
  • Tebowmania sweeps the nation. Two Riverhead New York high school football players were suspended for one day for leading 40 students in group "Tebowing" in the school's hallway. While at last night's Republican debate, Rick Perry said "I hope I'm the Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucuses."

2. Crime and Punishment

Does Barry Bonds deserve jail time for lying about steroids? My gut reaction is no. I understand that "obstruction of justice" is wrong, I'm just thinking about all the more severe crimes that go unpunished. As for the Hall of Fame, they can ban him forever if the writers choose. I happen to think he's a Hall of Famer. A tarnished individual? Yes. A jailbird? No.

3. A Modest Proposal

The other day I featured the annual "Silent Night" game at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. The fans keep quiet until the home team scores the 10th point of the game and then they go nuts.

Well, Top 5 subscriber Allan B. has a great idea for baseball, Silent Sunday. He writes, "One game a year -- no PA noise other than lineup introductions (without music). No birthday announcements, no subway races, nothing on the Diamond Vision -- no ads, no baby pictures. Let us watch the warm up pitches in peace. Let us think about the game between innings. At the 7th inning stretch let the PA announcer say it's time to sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame and let the fans do it a cappella."

P.S. Awesome idea Allan. I would spearhead the campaign and extend it to all sports. Of course we all know why it will never happen. Scoreboard noise is sponsored.

4. Friday eMailbag

From Top 5 subscriber S.D. on the NHL and fighting, "The only way they outlaw fighting is when someone dies on the ice. They have got to stop the fighting and hits to the head. To think Sidney Crosby could be done for his career at his young age... does anyone remember Eric Lindros' promising career... after 11 concussions he was never the player he hoped to be."

And from R.E. "The NHL saying that there's no consensus link from fighting to head injuries is like Republican Presidential Candidates saying there's no conclusive evidence of Global Warming."

Subscriber D.M. isn't a fan of Jerry Sandusky's lawyer. "Uhhhh......remind me NEVER to hire this attorney if I ever get into trouble with the law. He's so dumb, I'm amazed he isn't in Congress......Yet!!!!!"

As for the Ernie Davis video commemorating the 50th anniversary of his historic Heisman win, P.M. writes, "What struck me was what Ernie did after scoring. He finished the runs into the end zone, stopped and turned, gave the ball to the ref and headed off the field. No gyrating (like Brandon Jacobs against Dallas) fist pumping, spiking, etc."
Editor's Note: I was struck by the same thing. What a different sports world nowadays.

And with Derek Jeter reportedly plying his overnight guests with lovely parting gifts of signed memorabilia, P.S. (male) writes, "Gee, maybe Derek will take me home."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the dog racing archives and asks what are the rules? Does the winning dog actually have to run around the track?

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up, Thursday December 29th "Spanning the Year" in the 8:30 am half hour.

Happy Birthday: Former NFL defensive lineman William "The Refrigerator" Perry. 49.
Bonus Birthday: 60 Minutes lady Lesley Stahl. 70.

Today in Sports: Bills running back O.J. Simpson becomes the first to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. 1973.
Bonus Event: The original Tea Party in Boston. 1773.

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