01/09/2012 11:04 am ET Updated Mar 10, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 9, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Three favorites and one underdog (Denver) won on the first weekend of the NFL playoffs.
  • Alabama and LSU will play for the BCS Championship tonight in New Orleans.
  • The results of the Baseball Hall of Fame balloting will be announced today.
  • "Mr. Bowling" Don Carter is dead at the age of 85.

2. Elite Eight

Have you been Tebowing since last night? The guy who wore 3:16 on his eye black at Florida, passed for 316 yards against a terrific Pittsburgh defense as the Broncos won in stunning fashion in overtime. You better start reading your Bible. But, do Tim Tebow and the Broncos actually have a prayer in New England Saturday night? And looking further down the road, of the eight teams left in the NFL playoffs, aren't the best four are in the NFC anyway? By the way, the long range forecast for Green Bay has temps well into the 20s next Sunday. A virtual heat wave compared with that ice box four years ago when the Giants beat the Packers in overtime, the coldest I ever felt in my life.

3. BCS Championship

Outside of SEC country, does anybody care about tonight's championship game between Alabama and LSU? The game hasn't generated one comment from Top 5 subscribers and, ahem, you guys have something to say about EVERYTHING! For example, you did have lots of comments about the current crop of bowl games. Friday, I yearned for the "good old days" of four bowl games on New Year's Day. I wondered if 25 years from now we'll think that these were the "good old days?"

*J.M. By my count there will be 35 Bowl games, including the 10th annual Belk Bowl and the 15th annual Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. What's a Belk?

*P.M. On the Yahoo! sports listings, the games show only the matchups and times, without even mentioning which bowls they are! I used to love settling in for the four bowls on Jan. 1. No, Len, these are not the good old days for sports.

*B.C. Who cares anymore? Over half the teams play in one, and I have no idea if I'm not watching a pair of 6-6 behemoths or the "national championship" game. They aren't games, just content for TV. No thanks.

4. Hip Hip Jorge

Word is that Jorge Posada will retire as a Yankee. Good for him. That makes him a throwback, an athlete who spends his entire career with one team. You couldn't fault him if he chased some final big bucks around the majors. He could ride into the sunset cashing checks from Tampa Bay or Baltimore or Miami. Some of the biggest names have done that in every sport. But instead his legacy is 100 percent 'pinstripes.' Five years from now you can debate his Hall of Fame credentials, but there's no debating his value to four championship teams. His rings, his accomplishments and his membership in the "Core Four" will not be sullied by some money-grabbing farewell tour.

5. Amen

There's a trivia question out there. Among the Yankee greats in Monument Park, how many ex-Cardinals are there? The answer: Roger Maris and two Popes who delivered mass at Yankee Stadium. Perhaps one day the newest Cardinal, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, will join the club. You will not meet a more affable religious leader who happens to be a big baseball fan. When he was asked on 60 Minutes about his chances of becoming the first American Pope he said that was about as likely as the Mets winning the World Series. All I can say to that is "Let's Go Mets!"

Happy Birthday: Hall of Fame Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr. 78.
Bonus Birthday: The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. 30.

Today in Sports: At Madison Square Garden Oscar Robertson outscored Seton Hall 56-54 as Cincinnati won 116-54. 1958.
Bonus Event: Five years ago today, Apple unveils the iPhone. 2007.

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