09/13/2012 10:40 am ET Updated Nov 13, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories


Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 13, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • U-Conn basketball coach Jim Calhoun reportedly will announce his retirement today after 26 years with the Huskies. He won three national titles.
  • Notre Dame will bolt the Big East for the ACC in all sports except for football. But they will play five football games a year against ACC opponents. So they'll be in and out of the ACC at the same time.
  • Green Bay hosts Chicago in Thursday night football.
  • An NHL lockout looms this weekend as both sides seem unimpressed with the proposals offered yesterday.
  • Yer outta here. Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine pulls Dustin Pedroia from last night's game with the Yankees in the seventh inning. Nah, it wasn't Reggie and Billy in reverse from 35 years ago at Fenway. Pedroia's wife had gone into labor.

2. On Schedule

Baseball released its 2013 schedule today. There was none of the hoo-ha and hour long specials on television like the NFL. Next year Houston moves to the American league, which means 15 teams in each league. That necessitates interleague play all the time. So on opening day, the Cincinnati Reds will host the Angels. Another curiosity has the Yankees and Mets both opening at home on April 1. Chicago, Los Angeles and the Bay area teams each have one team at home, and one on the road April 1. But the Yankees/Mets opening day conflict may never happen. Since the Yanks will be hosting Boston you can look for that game to be moved to Sunday night March 31.

3. Bang For Your Buck

So which pro sports teams spend the smartest? Bloomberg Businessweek checked out all the teams in the four major sports, basically cost per win. They did it over a five-year period and they gave teams bonuses for postseason victories. And the winner in the four major sports? The Tampa Bay Rays. In second and third, hockey teams, Detroit and Pittsburgh. The biggest loser, dead last at 122, the St. Louis Rams. Some interesting stuff in between. Since the NFL has a hard salary cap, the most efficient NFL teams are consistent winners like New England, Green Bay, the Giants and Steelers. Same with the NBA. The Lakers, Celtics and Heat are the best in basketball. But since baseball is all over the map with salaries, Pittsburgh, which hasn't been above 500 until this season (they're barely hanging on) ranks 23rd, right behind the Phillies. And the city champion for pouring money down the drain? New York of course. While the Yankees rank 99th out of 122, three New York teams are in the bottom eight, the Nets at 115, the Knicks at 116 and the Mets at 120. But on some level you probably knew that, right?

4. Name That Tune

Thought I'd pass along this cool video on the guy who composed the theme for ESPN's SportsCenter. I just hope he gets a royalty every time it's played!

5. Look Out Below

So what do you expect for your $250 ticket at a Denver Broncos game? How about pigeons pooping on your head? That's what happened at Sunday night's game. In this screen grab from a Denver TV report, fans seem to be having a grand old time wearing towels on their heads. By the way, when a couple complained, stadium personnel said "it's been going on for years." There you have it. Final proof that fans have long been dumped on.

Happy Birthday: Former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams. 44.

Bonus Birthday: Double gold medalist in the 200 and 400 in Atlanta, Michael Johnson. 45.

Today in Sports: Ty Cobb clinches the home run title with nine home runs (all of them inside-the-park). 1909.

Bonus Event: They ran the New York City Marathon for the first time. 1970.

A new country: The Top 5 was read in India yesterday.

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