11/06/2012 11:21 am ET Updated Jan 06, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories


Happy Election Day everyone, here's my Top 5 for Tuesday November 6, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The NFL "Least." New Orleans beat Philadelphia 28-13, completing a perfect 0-4 weekend for the NFC East. Check out the trick play that nearly worked for the Eagles, the old "lie down in the end zone" kickoff return.
  • Doctors say that Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano's leukemia is in remission.
  • The Red Sox have signed designated hitter David Ortiz to a two-year deal worth at least $26 million.
  • NHL talks resume today with a touch of optimism.
  • The fundraiser for the Mets senior director of media relations Shannon Forde has been rescheduled for November 29. She is battling breast cancer.

2. Power to the People

I was lucky. I lost power for almost a week. That's it. I didn't lose my home or all of my possessions as others did. I ran into a fireman from Rockaway who described a total disaster area with very little help on the way. If there's a silver lining in disasters like this, it's the goodness of people. Just about everyone wants to help. From donations to music telethons. I love the idea of Sporting News writer Jesse Spector. He implores both sides in the hockey dispute: "For one night, I urge you to forget about the lockout and play. For one night, stop squabbling over hockey-related revenue, and donate 100 percent of it to people who need it much more than you ever will. For one night, give your fans a chance to smile." He proposes a charity game. Of course that means that both sides would have to actually get along for a few minutes to work out the details.

3. Running on Empty

Yes the initial decision to run the New York City Marathon was ridiculous, but so was everything that happened afterwards. Mayor Bloomberg had the gall to say "We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it." A cloud over the race? How about a cloud over the boneheads who were going ahead with it? And no, Bloomberg didn't actually "say" that quote. A politician, who loves to waltz in front of cameras to let us know what a great job everyone is doing, somehow couldn't find a camera, so he hid behind a press release. Even someone as rich and powerful as Bloomberg has a bit of trouble "facing the music."

4. The Role of Sports

These are the times where everyone gets all philosophical about the role of sports. After JFK was shot on a Friday, NFL Commissioner Peter Rozelle admittedly made the mistake of playing NFL games on the following Sunday. After 9/11, games were postponed for 10 days. They were right to postpone the Nets debut game against the Knicks in Brooklyn as well as the Marathon. And no, I really don't think that sports helps the "healing." It does nothing for people who are sleeping in the cold and can't watch or listen. By the same token, life goes on, not only in sports, but everywhere. And while Carmelo Anthony's three-point bomb at the first quarter buzzer against Miami wasn't exactly Mike Piazza's game winning homer after 9/11, it was still pretty cool. And just to be able to say "First place undefeated 3-0 New York Knicks," has to bring a smile.

5. Name Game

And now for a break in the action. The Top 5 appropriate sports names of the day.

*El Presidente. Nickname of former Major League pitcher Dennis Martinez. He was hired yesterday as the Astros bullpen coach.

*Former minor league pitcher Agapito Mayor.

*The Governor. Nickname of former major league infielder Jerry Browne.

*Former minor leaguer Robert Campaigne.

*Costa Rican swimmer Claudia Poll.

Editor's Note: When she leaves the pool it's your basic exit-Poll.

Today's Birthday: Former NFL All-Pro and Army Ranger Pat Tillman would have been 36 today.

Bonus Birthday: Actress Emma Stone. 24.

Today in Sports: The first college football game. Rutgers beat Princeton 6-4. 1869.

Bonus Event: Phil Donahue began a TV talk show in Dayton, Ohio. (I worked at that station when Phil was there.) 1967.

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