Happy February everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 1, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- With media day done, both Super Bowl teams will practice today in Indianapolis.
- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski showed up without his walking boot on his injured ankle. He calls himself "day by day."
- Sources are saying Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will never play football again. Peyton Manning himself said yesterday "I'm not retiring."
- The Houston Astros will remain the Astros when they move to the American League in 2013. There had been talk of a name change.
- We can all rest easy, in light of today's Bonus Event below, Madonna promises "no nipples" for her Super Bowl halftime show.
Before the start of the 2007 NFL season I interviewed Eli Manning. His brother Peyton had won the previous Super Bowl, and I began the interview with what I thought was a wiseass question. "Peyton won last year, is this year your turn?" I figured that Eli and the Giants had no shot. I don't remember how Eli answered, only that as always he handled it graciously. And then he went on to win the next Super Bowl. Now Eli has a chance to double Peyton's Super bowl victory output. Eli has proved millions of people wrong about him. And never once does he say "take that." He is indeed, the Mann.
3. Equal Time?
Top 5 subscriber J.B. asks a great question. "Do the women at the Australian Open have the same prize money for 6-3, 6-0 and about an hour of screams?" Would you believe, yes? Both the men's and women's winners pocketed the same: $2.3 million. The men's final lasted five sets and nearly six hours, the women's final a tidy two sets and one hour 22 minutes. Victoria Azarenka needs to kiss the ground Billie Jean King walks on, or at least send her a healthy cut of her jackpot.
4. Crystal Balling
A Seton Hall University survey asked respondents to look 10 years down the road. Among the questions, will Pete Rose, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds make the Hall of Fame? The results, 45 percent yes for Pete Rose, to 43 percent no. Clemens fared better. 47-39. Bonds came out even: 43-43. As you know I think all three are Hall of Famers, and the fans seem to agree for the most part. But it's the writers who vote and they're not allowed to vote on Rose since he's on the ineligible list. Clemens and Bonds show up on next year's ballot. I'm thinking the writers won't be as forgiving as the fans have shown by this poll.
5. Thurman Munson
Last night I had the honor of emceeing the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner for the 18th year. The winners included Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Mullin, Mark Teixeira, Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey who just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and another Met, Daniel Murphy. There were two living legends in the room, Yogi Berra and Lou Carnesecca. Louie presented Mullin with his Munson award. Lou said when Chris left St. John's he signed a $27 million-dollar deal with Golden State, and Louie quipped, "Just imagine if he could run fast or jump." And when Yogi spoke he told the adoring crowd he doesn't give long speeches, saying "I'm short." The guy is a walking Yogi-ism.
Happy Birthday: He won the Stanley Cup with three different teams (Pittsburgh, Carolina and Boston) right winger Mark Recchi. 44.
Bonus Birthday: Elvis' little girl, Lisa Marie Presley. 44.
Today in Sports: Dennis Potvin "doesn't suck." The New York Islanders retire his #5. 1992.
Bonus Event: The Super Bowl halftime wardrobe malfunction involving Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Oy. 2004.
I'll be at Barnes & Noble Manhasset tonight on Long Island at 7 pm discussing my last two kids' books, The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, and the New York Times best-seller, Greatest Moments in Sports.
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