Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 14, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Western Kentucky and BYU won last night's opening NCAA basketball games. BYU staged the largest comeback in NCAA tournament history trailing Iona by 25 and winning 78-72.
- There are two more games tonight, Vermont vs. Lamar and South Florida vs. California.
- Syracuse's chances were dealt a severe blow when center Fab Melo was declared ineligible for the tournament.
- The Miami Dolphins traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third round draft picks. The New York Post reports that Marshall got into a nightclub fight and hit a woman Saturday night in New York.
- Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby will return to action tomorrow night against the Rangers in New York. He's been out with a concussion since December 5.
- Shocker! Trouble in Knicks land. Reports are surfacing that nobody likes each other. Losing has a way of fostering that.
2. Is it Madness?
As the NCAA basketball tournament gets underway, are we so blinded by brackets and office pools that we really can't see what's happening? Take attendance. College basketball is down, and the tournament hit a five-year low last year. Geography might have something to do with it. Teams play all over the map. Gonzaga is from Spokane. Of course they're in the East regional. Then again with the millions watching on TV and on line and everyone filling out their office pools, to measure success, does it really matter how many fans actually show up in person?
3. Keep Out!
Can sports stadiums have restraining orders? That's sort of the idea. A California legislator has proposed legislation banning violent fans from attending sports events. Their names and photos would be published on the Internet and sent to sports arenas, police agencies and ticket vendors. Is it workable? Not sure. Is it worth talking about? Absolutely. Or as one California hockey fan put it. I enjoy my violence on the ice, not in the stands.
4. Dream Team
Last week I talked about a potential "Dream Team" in baseball, the best player ever at each position. Here was mine:
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
I certainly didn't expect you to write, "Great job Len, perfect." So, some of your responses:
A.A. Is this the PC version of the Top 5? (Josh Gibson and Jackie Robinson). I'm not minimizing what the man (Robinson) went through, but if this is a performance based team, I think there are better candidates.
C.R. None better than Yogi Berra, he's got the rings to prove it.
J.T. 1B Jimmie Foxx
2B Nap Lajoie because Hornsby was a grump
3B Pie Traynor
P.K. Pitcher... has to be Cy Young... namesake of an award that recognizes the best pitchers.
L.E. Center Field: Have to pick Ty Cobb. A despicable human being in many respects but he falls in that pantheon of all-time greatest and, in historical terms, had a more significant impact on the game than Willie Mays.
At least G.R. wrote something positive: I must congratulate you for not falling into the trap that so many "experts," and almost all fans, do in selecting all time teams that dramatically over emphasize recent players at the expense of the old timers.
Editor's Note: Aw shucks.
5. You're Fired!
Piling on? Even the Donald took a shot at A-Rod on his TV show. (Go to the 4:25 mark.) The Donald equates Derek Jeter with being a team player, not Alex. Ouch!
Happy Birthday: Former Charlotte and Knicks forward Larry Johnson. 43.
Bonus Birthday: Billy Crystal. 64.
Today in Sports: Just the beginning. Henry Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves homers in his first exhibition game at bat. 1954.
Bonus Event: The NBA's Cincinnati Royals, who came from Rochester, announced they were moving to Kansas City (before settling in Sacramento). 1972.
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