Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 27, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and Bill Parcells speak regularly fueling speculation that Parcells could possibly fill in for Payton.
- Baylor and Stanford (both #1 seeds) reach the Women's Final Four.
- Hall of Fame horse racing trainer Bob Baffert is expected to be released from the hospital today after suffering a heart attack yesterday in Dubai.
- Seattle and Oakland open the baseball season with two games in Japan starting tomorrow.
- Vegas and British bookies list Tiger Woods as the favorite to win the Masters.
2. Under the Big Top
It was the biggest news conference in world history for a backup quarterback. The owner, general manager and coach were no-shows, with other business to attend do. That didn't stop them from yapping. Owner Woody Johnson declared that Tim Tebow was a "football decision." That means that selling personal seat licenses and Tebow Jerseys had nothing to do with it. Oh. And coach Rex Ryan says the Jets didn't get Tebow to hold a clipboard. Which should delight the incumbent quarterback, the Sanchise himself, Mark Sanchez. And Ryan hints that Tebow could play other positions, which would also be news to Tebow who views himself as a quarterback. Welcome to the world of the Jets. Step right up and see the bearded lady.
3. Many Happy Returns?
Is he really back? Many, like myself thought Tiger Woods would never win another golf tournament. And yet that certainly looked like the old Tiger at Arnold Palmer's tournament. Heck, he even smiled every now and then. But is he really, really back? We're about to find out. The Masters is approaching, and Tiger has always maintained that all he cares about is winning majors. He's now stuck on 14, four behind Jack Nicklaus. Winning seven Palmers, or seven Firestones fattens the bank account, but it doesn't add to his legacy. But if he really does win some more majors, then it was one helluva comeback. In this TMZ age, maybe the best ever. But it hasn't happened yet.
4. Selective Justice
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended for five games without pay by the NHL for elbowing Vancouver star Daniel Sedin in the head. Wow, what a tough league. That'll show everyone that there's no place for violence and potential injury. But what was the NHL's response to the pre-arranged fight between the Rangers and Devils? The two teams dropped the puck to start the game last week and didn't go for the puck, they went for each other. Nothing. Silence. The NHL by its inaction condones this nonsense. What a message to send to its players, fans and young people everywhere.
5. Bert Sugar
I couldn't just give Bert Sugar the one quick mention I did yesterday. The headline: the famed boxing writer and historian died at the age of 74. The inside story: he was one of the most affable, funny, interesting and knowledgeable guys in the business. In fact he was the "go-to" guy when something big happened in boxing. Need some perspective? Call Bert. And when I asked him if some controversy or other had given boxing a black eye, he would invariably answer, "no way, they've got no eyes left to blacken." The sports world will miss the likes of Bert Sugar. I know I will.
Happy Birthday: Former Villanova and NBA star Eddie Pinckney. 49.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Mariah Carey. 42.
Today in Sports: Oh joy. NFL owners vote to make instant replay permanent. 2007.
Bonus Event: The first long distance telephone call was made from Boston to New York. (The caller I think yelled "Yankees Suck.") 1884.
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