03/23/2012 10:42 am ET Updated May 23, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for March 23, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Syracuse, Louisville, Ohio State and Florida all advance in the NCAA basketball tournament.
  • There are four more games tonight.
  • Tim Tebow's Jets deal won't be official until tomorrow so he won't be introduced to the media until Monday.
  • Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin says he will conduct a Judiciary Committee hearing into sports bounties to determine if crimes are being committed.
  • Charlie Wi and Jason Dufner lead the Arnold Palmer Invitational at six-under 66. Tiger Woods is three back.
  • Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones will retire after this season.
  • Brewers announcer Bob Uecker will get his own statue "just a bit outside" Milwaukee's Miller Park.

2. No Fun League

The NFL may be changing its instant replay procedure. How we loved to sit in the cold for hours while the zebras peered into their monitors trying to figure out what actually happened. The NFL is considering knocking the refs out of the equation. The proposal would have all replays decided upstairs in the booth. But wait, there's more. Replay continues to expand. First they reviewed every scoring play, now they're thinking about reviewing every turnover. So let's recap. No officials, more replay, the booth rules. Now instead of fans sitting in the cold for hours watching the players endlessly standing in the cold waiting for decisions, the refs will be idle as well. Works for me.

3. Ron Erhardt

A football lifer passed away the other day. Ron Erhardt was forever an assistant coach in the NFL with the Patriots, Giants and Jets. He was one of those people who was only too willing to talk football or anything else you had in mind. Before a game in Seattle in 1997, I was talking with Ronnie when Jets coach Bill Parcells poked his head out of the locker room and yelled at me "You're not allowed to talk with my assistants." It was classic Parcells on his bully pulpit. Erhardt, and I weren't even talking about football and Ron apologized to me for "getting me in trouble." I assured him he hadn't. Just wanted to mention one of those good guy assistants who was only too happy to stay out of the limelight and let others take the credit.

4. Friday eMailbag

Lots of Tim Tebow, of course.

V.C. on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5." "Tim Tebow is a class act and brought a tremendous amount of excitement to our Denver Broncos this past season....In my humble opinion, the Jets are lucky to have him."

L.S. "All I have is respect for him, and I hope he can help us win more games this season and get the Jets back in the playoffs."

J.F. "Great deal if you're looking at the bottom line--Tebow t-shirts and jerseys will fly off the shelves."

H.K. describes the punishment that the New Orleans Saints received. "The main villains of Roger Goodell's "Scrutiny on the Bounty" have been made to walk the plank.

With animal activists being upset with the Miami Marlins using a fish tank as a backstop, they claim the noise will be upsetting to the fish, I wrote, "Someone should tell the activists that baseballs are made of cowhide."

E.M. wrote on Twitter @LenBermanSports "And footballs are made of pigskin."
Editor's Note: Actually it's leather, but don't tell the "activists."

A.W. wrote, "Someone should tell those animal activists that there is no stadium noise at Marlins games."

And from B.L. "Tell the animal activists that they are only using hearing impaired fish. That should shut them up."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the world of Italian soccer. One player, who faked it, actually had a conscience. Nicely done.
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday March 29 in the 8:30am half hour.

Happy Birthday: Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd. 39.
Bonus Birthday: The first man to break the 4-minute mile, Sir Roger Bannister. 83.

Today in Sports: Wayne Gretzky scores his 802nd career goal breaking his hero Gordie Howe's record. 1994.
Bonus Event: Paydirt! Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific coast. 1806.

Fun fact. The Top 5 is regularly read in Mali. (That's in Africa for the geographically impaired.) The other day some soldiers staged a coup d'etat in that country. Maybe they were inspired by the Top 5.

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