TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for June 15, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com
1. Quick Hits
- The NBA Finals are now 1-1 after Miami handed Oklahoma City its first home loss of this postseason, 100-96.
- Second year PGA tour player Michael Thompson is the first round leader of the U.S. Open after shooting a four-under par 66. Tiger Woods is tied for second, three shots back.
- For the first time in history, there was a hockey parade in Los Angeles to celebrate the Stanley Cup champion Kings. Since 1993, no Canadian team has won the Cup, but two have from that hockey hotbed of Southern California. Anaheim won in 2007.
- Legendary New York anchorwoman Sue Simmons signs off the air tonight after 32 years at WNBC. She is one of a kind and will be sorely missed by her millions of fans.
2. Roar of the Tiger?
They say par is just a number, and at the Olympic Club that number is 70. As a result only six golfers beat par and only one of them is named Tiger Woods. That gives him an excellent chance to get back in the "Majors" race which has been stuck on 14 for four long years. Phil Mickelson has never won the U.S. Open and it doesn't seem likely this is the year after a six-over 76. Defending champ Rory McIlroy struggled to a 77. As for Andy Zhang, the 14-year-old from China, the youngest ever U.S. Open competitor, he shot a nine over 79. Masters champ Bubba Watson shot a 78, only one shot better. Another example of why golf is an equal opportunity tormentor.
3. A Modest Proposal
A school teacher who doubles as a school board member in a Philadelphia suburb may have just started something. Patty Sexton stood up at a town board meeting and said some things which might have sounded radical just a few years back. She advocates banning football at the high school level. She thinks asking taxpayers to "fund gladiators" is no longer appropriate. She said the sport is too dangerous and the kids are being put at risk for injuries, especially concussion. She said "our mission is to grow brains, not destroy them." She says if kids want to play football, fine, but let the community set it up, not the school system. This might sound blasphemous, but she has a point.
4. Friday eMailbag
As for the Stanley Cup, Top 5 subscriber T.M. writes, "Another thing I love is that, unlike the other major team sport trophies, it is presented to the players."
And from D.H. "It is by far the greatest trophy in North American Sports if not world sports."
In regards to the peaceful celebration by Kings fans in L.A., R.R. writes, "I guess that Kings fans must be different here in Southern California. No riots, no cars or buses set on fire, only six people arrested. What went wrong?"
And when I talked about the 670 yard 16th hole at Olympic, the longest hole in U.S. Open history, H.K. wrote, "670 yards? It takes the Brown' offense half a season to go that far."
5. Spanning the World
In honor of Euro 2012, this week's Spanning the World highlight comes from a Dutch training session. An amazing "goal" by Wesley Sneijder. Unfortunately for the Netherlands it didn't carry over into the actual games. They're having trouble scoring goals and face an early exit.
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: June 28th in the 9:00am hour.
Happy Birthday: Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. 54.
Bonus Birthday: Friends actress Courtney Cox. 48.
Today in Sports: The record that will never be broken. Reds pitcher Johnny Vander Meer pitches his second straight no-hitter, against the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was the first night game in the history of Ebbets Field. 1938.
Bonus Event: Go fly a kite. That's what Ben Franklin did on this date. 1752.
Spreading the gospel. New countries where the Top 5 was read this week: Cuba and Tanzania.
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