03/22/2012 10:14 am ET Updated May 22, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 22, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Jets trade for Tim Tebow.
  • New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton is suspended for the season without pay over bounties. (See #3)
  • The Sweet 16 gets underway tonight with four NCAA basketball games.
  • The winningest lefty pitcher in Red Sox history, Mel Parnell, is dead at the age of 89.

2. Tebowmania

You had to love yesterday's soap opera. The Jets traded for Tim Tebow. Every Jets fan in creation howled "why?" Then the trade "hit a snag" over Tebow's contract. Ya think the Jets might have read it first? Then the deal got done. Gee, I wonder why Mark Sanchez had no comment yesterday? The Jets gave him a new deal to prove he's their man after they "passed" on Peyton Manning and then they pulled the rug out from under him. The Jets come off as doing anything to sell a few extra PSLs. No less than Joe Namath called it a "publicity stunt."

3. Bounty-Gate

The NFL came down hard on the New Orleans Saints for their bounty system to knock opposing players out of games. Coach Sean Payton is gone for a year. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is suspended without pay for half a season. The Saints were fined $500,000 and will lose their second round draft picks the next two seasons. Commissioner Roger Goodell probably should have banned Williams, the genius behind the system, for life. But that's a nitpick. Good for Goodell. He sends a strong message that this crap doesn't belong in the NFL, or anywhere else for that matter.

4. Name Game

One of the bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers has asked about naming rights for Dodger Stadium. They'd be spending a bundle, they want to make back every last nickel. That's why you have to applaud the Cubs, Red Sox and Yankees. OK, Wrigley Field initially had a commercial tie-in, but at least those teams still represent the last bastion of sports purity with Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. There ain't much of that left.

5. Parting Shot

What do you get when Tebowmania meets Linsanity? 82 years combined without a championship. What, too easy?

Happy Birthday: Former NBA player and coach Don Chaney. 66.

Bonus Birthday: Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon. 36.

Today in Sports: 40 years ago today. In one of the worst trades in baseball history the Red Sox trade Sparky Lyle to the Yankees for Danny Cater. 1972.

Bonus Event: A tradition like no other. The first Masters golf tournament began in Augusta, Georgia. 1934.

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