Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 8, 2012 from Len Berman at
1. Quick Hits
  • Peyton Manning is now a free agent. His agent has reportedly been contacted by 12 teams.
  • Is this the soccer equivalent of hitting five homers in one game? Superstar Lionel Messi became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match, as Barcelona crushed Bayer Leverkusen 7-1.
  • Is Linsanity nearing an end? The Knicks have now lost three straight after losing in San Antonio 118-105.
  • You can't make this stuff up. 47-year-old Jose Canseco will not play in the Mexican League because he took a banned substance.

2. Peyton's Ex-Place

Have you ever seen a classier break-up? Peyton Manning left the Colts yesterday thanking the people who fired him. He got emotional about his teammates, the media, and most of all the fans. It's not easy for teams to part with superstars, but the Colts and Manning showed you yesterday how it's done. Whoever gets Manning may not get him at his best on the field, but as a person, there's nobody better.

3. Your Turn

You had plenty to say about the newest sports scandal... bounty hunting.

*H.S. Player and coaches alike... if they condoned and/or participated... should be fired on the spot! Pensions and benefits CANCELLED!

*G.B. It's been going on for decades so why are they making a big deal now?

*T.M. on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5. Suspend any team found to have had such a policy within the last 10 years from next year's post season. Wouldn't it be exciting if a team won the Super Bowl by default?

Editor's Note: Hardly.

4. Dream Team

I was asked to vote for the "perfect baseball team." The best player in baseball history at each position. Right field was easy, Babe Ruth. In fact I was sure of all the fielding spots. But pitcher? How can you pick one? I settled on Christy Mathewson but in truth any number of pitchers fit the bill. You too can vote to here. There's a charity involved teaching kids journalistic skills. Here's my dream team.

1B Lou Gehrig
2B Jackie Robinson
SS Honus Wagner
3B Mike Schmidt
LF Ted Williams
CF Willie Mays
RF The Babe
P Christy Mathewson
C Josh Gibson

If you vehemently disagree, let me know.

5. Sue Simmons

I can't let today's Top 5 end without a word about Sue Simmons. For those of you who are outside the New York area, Sue is the legendary WNBC-TV anchorwoman who is being dismissed. I worked with her basically forever. And she made me sweat on the job. I never knew what she'd ask on the air, so I'd over-prepare. It took me years to figure out how to handle her. Finally, when she'd ask "How many years has Kareem Abdul-Jabbar been in the league," I'd answer something like "80 or 90." She made my job fun and was a great audience. And tell me another anchorperson who could say on the air, "Turn me upside down, it's a party." Sue will be sorely missed by her legion of fans, me included.

Happy Birthday: Former Yankee pitcher Jim "Ball Four" Bouton. 73.

Bonus Birthday: Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. 67.

Today in Sports: The Fight of the Century. Joe Frazier beats Muhammad Ali in 15 rounds at Madison Square Garden. 1971.

Bonus Event: 60 years ago today. Ronald Reagan marries Nancy Davis.

To enter the Top 5 Men's NCAA Basketball contest, click here.

To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.