09/28/2012 10:38 am ET Updated Nov 28, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for September 28, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The regular NFL officials return to cheers as Baltimore beats 0-4 Cleveland 23-16.
  • In college football Washington stunned #8 Stanford 17-13.
  • The Ryder Cup begins today in Medinah, Illinois.
  • Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey wins his 20th game, the first knuckleballer to do so since Joe Niekro in 1980.
  • Cleveland fires manager Manny Acta.
  • NHL talks resume today as the entire preseason is canceled.
  • Adam Greenberg will get his first Major League at bat Tuesday for the Marlins. In his first plate appearance for the Cubs in 2005 he was beaned and never made it back to the bigs. The Marlins have signed him to a one-day contract. Good on them!

2. R.A. Dickey

You have to admit we talk a lot of negative around here from replacement refs to NHL lockouts to Melky Cabrera to Lance Armstrong. And then there's the antidote to all that. His name is R.A. Dickey. Talk about persevering personally and professionally to reach the heights. And he did that in the off season too when he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity. All that and I ran into him at my local yogurt store sharing a treat with his kids. Whether he wins the Cy Young award really doesn't matter. He's already a true champion in every sense of the word.

3. The Greatest Moment in Sports

I've now written two books about the greatest moments in sports, but I'm the first to admit it's purely subjective and all about where you live. Americans may agree that the 1980 Olympic hockey victory over Russia ranks #1 in the U.S., but it ain't #1 in Russia. And if you're Canadian, today is the anniversary of arguably the greatest moment in Canadian sports history. Paul Henderson scored the winning goal in game 8 as Team Canada beat team USSR. As this video modestly calls it the "Goal of the Century." Americans remember where they were when Mike Eruzione's goal beat the Russians at Lake Placid, so too Canadians who can recall exactly where they were when Paul Henderson scored that goal 40 years ago today.

4. Friday eMailbag

When the NFL players union called for an end to the officials lockout, K.C. wrote, "If the NFLPA really feels strongly about it, why don't they in a show of solidarity say they won't play while the officials are locked out?"

Editor's Note: For sure that would have ended the lockout sooner.

As for Melky Cabrera taking himself out of the batting race because of his drug suspension, L.L. writes, "Since Melky Cabrera was the All Star MVP, he should return the car he won. As in beauty pageants, the car should go to the runner-up."

And with a Reno man who lives on a golf course taking a shotgun and shooting at two golfers after a window was broken in his house by an errant golf ball, J.S. writes, "I've played in many golf outings where we had a 'shotgun' start but never a shotgun finish."

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight is filed under the heading of "premature exhilaration." A field goal is blocked in a North Carolina high school football game, and while the defense is celebrating they lose the game!

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday, October 25 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

Happy Birthday: LPGA Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak. 35.

Bonus Birthday: Actress Brigitte Bardot. 78.

Today in Sports: Team Canada beats team USSR 6-5 to win the Summit Series 4 games to 3 (There was one tie).

Bonus Event: Both pitchers pitched as if they were double parked. The Giants beat the Phillies 6-1 in 51 minutes, baseball's quickest 9 inning game. 1919.

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