09/18/2012 11:11 am ET Updated Nov 18, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 18, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Monday night football, Peyton Manning threw three first quarter interceptions as Atlanta beat Denver 27-21.
  • The NFL showed linebacker Jonathan Vilma a sworn statement from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams saying that Vilma placed a $10,000 bounty on Brett Favre. Vilma's attorney calls the charge a lie.
  • The closest baseball races, Baltimore trails the Yankees by one-half of a game. The Dodgers are one game out of the wild card.
  • Olympic gold medal snow boarder Shaun White is charged in Nashville with public intoxication and vandalism after pulling the fire alarm of a hotel causing an evacuation.
  • How do you like the NHL lockout so far?

2. Unwritten Rules

We always hear about "unwritten rules" in baseball. Stuff like not stealing bases or bunting with a 12-0 lead. But football? The Giants and Bucs had their big dustup over Eli Manning's kneeldown at the end of the game. Tampa Bay went after Manning on the play which upset Giants coach Tom Coughlin. So who is right, Coughlin who said you don't do stuff like that in the NFL, or Bucs coach Greg Schiano who countered that you're supposed to fight until the game is over? As for Manning, he called it a cheap shot. Perhaps in this injury conscious age when a player gives himself up it should be treated as if he's waving the white flag.

3. Dollars and Nonsense

Yawn, the NHL has locked out its players. Without boring you to tears, the NHL expanded by four teams in the late 90s. The owners were only too happy to scoop up the cash that Columbus, Nashville, Atlanta and Minnesota threw their way. My only question is why didn't they expand by eight teams or 12? What a jackpot! Anyway, as a result there are too many teams divvying up the meager TV money compared with the other leagues. Of course the owners want to pay the players less, who doesn't? When it comes to hockey, the players as a group are a great bunch of guys. Hockey fans are the most loyal and rabid anywhere. As for the owners? If they could outsource their labor to China they probably would.

4. On the Prowl

The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to become more fan-friendly. Before the team enters the stadium the players take a three-minute "Prowl" under the stands with fans on either side of them. Some college teams do it, speaking of which, the Jags will have college marching bands a halftime. In addition, to combat the high price of concessions, fans can bring their own food into the game within reason. What's wrong with this team? Haven't they heard of PSLs? Then again, maybe they've got the right idea. With traffic, high prices and drunk fans, the league is afraid that people will stay at home and watch games on TV. Jacksonville is trying to make it fun and affordable to come to the stadium. Kind of like minor league baseball. Wins might be a better idea. They lost to Houston Sunday 27-7 to start the season 0-2.

5. Winners and Losers

The biggest loser this past weekend was a replacement official assigned to the New Orleans/Carolina game. He had pictures of himself wearing Saints stuff on Facebook. Oops. The league dumped him from the game. As for the biggest winner, if a running back ran for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns, you'd say pretty fair season eh? How about one game? An Oregon high school senior named Thomas Tyner had those gaudy stats as Aloha High School beat Lakeridge 84-63 the other night. By the way, it was the kid's 18th birthday.

Today's Birthday: Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. 41.

Bonus Birthday: Singer Frankie Avalon. 73.

Today in Sports: Sammy Sosa becomes the first big leaguer to hit 60 homers in two different seasons. 1999*

Bonus Event: All the News That's Fit to Print. Volume 1 Issue 1. 1851.

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