01/19/2012 10:57 am ET Updated Mar 20, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 19, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Texas Rangers and Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish agree on a six-year $60 million deal. The Rangers paid an additional $51 million for the right to negotiate with Darvish.
  • It turns out Denver quarterback Tim Tebow played the second half against the Patriots with torn cartilage in his ribs and a bruised lung.
  • Andy Roddick retired due to an apparent leg injury in the third set of his second round match with Lleyton Hewitt at the Australian Open. Hewitt was leading two sets to one.
  • Reportedly the next NHL Winter Classic will feature Detroit and Toronto at the University of Michigan's football stadium next New Year's Day. The Big House seats nearly 110,000 for football.

2. Fan Fare

Is it getting too ugly to go to sports events? The physical abuse is well chronicled, from opening day at the Dodgers game to the Winter Classic in Philadelphia. Subscriber A.C. passed along this letter to the San Francisco Chronicle written by a Saints fan. He and his teenage daughters were verbally assaulted both inside and outside Candlestick Park. I'm sure this is not an isolated incident. Is it all about alcohol, or is there more to this?

3. I Love a Parade

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thinks if the Giants win the Super Bowl the parade should be in New Jersey. His reasoning: they play and train in the Garden State. Did the governor actually see the celebration for the Giants when they won their first Super Bowl? No parade. They dumped a fake cooler of Gatorade, shredded paper, over Bill Parcells outside Giants Stadium. That was the highlight. And the first time the Devils won the Stanley Cup, they staged a dopey "parade in the parking lot." I understand the geographic implications of the governor's suggestion, but the Patriots don't stage their parades in Foxboro. The "New York" football champs deserve the Lower Broadway ticker tape treatment.

4. Causing a Racket

Under the heading of a poor workman blames it on his tools, Marcos Baghdatis took it out on his tennis rackets after dropping the first two sets of his second round match at the Australian Open. I believe that breaking four rackets in one sitting is a Grand Slam record, but I could be wrong. And yes, he wound up losing the match.

5. Tweet Tweet

The Twitter universe was sent reeling yesterday when none other than actor and Colts fan Rob Lowe tweeted that Peyton Manning was all set to retire. He talks about it on today's Ellen DeGeneres Show. Of course there were denials all around. Colts owner Jim Irsay had the final word when he tweeted "My sources tell me Rob will star in an epic remake of 'Deep Throat' with aging porn stars and 4 finger circus clowns!" A part of me hopes that Lowe is right. Being an "NFL Insider" has become a cottage industry. Wouldn't it be funny to see an NFL outsider break the story?

Happy Birthday: Giants Super Bowl XXV M.V.P O.J. Anderson. 55.
Bonus Birthday: Dolly Parton. 66.

Today in Sports: Notre Dame beats UCLA 71-70 ending the Bruins 88 game winning streak. 1974.
Bonus Event: 75 years ago today. Howard Hughes sets a cross-country record, flying from Los Angeles to New York City in seven hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds. (Or roughly the length of the Super Bowl pregame show.) 1937.

For those of you in the Bay area, I'll be on KNBR radio tomorrow morning, Friday, January 19th at 7:20 AM.

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