10/23/2012 10:33 am ET Updated Dec 23, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories


Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 23, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! San Francisco beats St. Louis 9-0 in game 7 to advance to the World Series.
  • Monday Night Football: The Bears beat the Lions 13-7.
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says if the level of play doesn't improve, the league may cancel the Pro Bowl.

2. The Fall Classic

So here we go, starting tomorrow night in San Francisco it's the Giants hosting the Tigers in the World Series. It's a matchup that's never happened before and a matchup virtually nobody predicted before the season began. The heavy money was on the big money: the Yankees, Phillies and Angels. Texas got lots of love because the Rangers made it the last two years. But the Tigers and Giants? And how about 37-year-old Marco Scutaro winning the NLCS MVP award? The Giants got him from Colorado this summer for a minor leaguer. Scutaro began his career with the Mets, in fact he joined four other former Mets Angel Pagan, Xavier Nady, Guillermo Mota and Joaquin Arias on the Giants playoff roster. Which means a fifth of the Giants are former Mets.

3. And the Winner Is...

....Nobody!!! Now that Lance Armstrong didn't win seven straight Tour de Frances between 1999 and 2005, who did? In track and field when they bust a doper it's the second place finisher who gets the gold. But in bike riding? There were five different second place finishers to Armstrong, and guess what? Almost all of them have their own doping issues. Germany's Jan Ullrich finished second three times to Armstrong. But Ullrich was busted for blood doping. So the record book will remain blank for the "Armstrong Years." Nobody won. The entire sport lost. The question is, can it ever recover?

4. Sticky Wicket

The San Diego Chargers are being investigated for using Stickum in their Monday night game against Denver. Stickum is sticky stuff that you put on your hands to help you hang onto the ball. The NFL has outlawed it. The Chargers could lose a draft pick as a result. Serious stuff. But if they were breaking the rules, it didn't help. That's the game where they blew a 24 point halftime lead and lost to Denver 35-24. Incidentally, Stickum is also illegal in the NBA. It really helps shooters. My guess is lots of players use it anyway. The fine for the first offense is $25. Not much of a deterrent in a sport where the average salary is over $5 million.

5. Awww!

The Top 5 is a sucker for happy endings. Check out what happened at the University of Massachusetts. Two police officers "broke into" a football team meeting and "served papers" on two players. It turns out it was all a ruse by Coach Charley Molnar. It was a surprise gift of two full scholarships for the players. Enjoy the sappiness, I did.

Happy Birthday: Former quarterback Doug Flutie, and yes he's featured in my new book (see below). 50.

Bonus Birthday: Soccer great Pele. 72.

Today in Sports: Yankees manager Billy Martin gets into a fight in Minnesota with a marshmallow salesman and George Steinbrenner fires him. 1979.

Bonus Event: The beginning of East Side traffic jams in New York City. The U.N. General Assembly convenes for the first time. 1946.

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