12/10/2012 10:53 am ET Updated Feb 09, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 10, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Dallas Cowboys won in Cincinnati 20-19 after the latest NFL tragedy. Defensive lineman Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter after a car accident which killed teammate Jerry Brown. Dallas and Washington remain one game behind the Giants.
  • Zack Greinke is the newest Dodgers pitcher, six years $147 million.
  • Even the Kansas City Royals are bigger wheeler-dealers than the Yankees. They pick up pitcher James Shields as part of a seven player trade with Tampa Bay.
  • Barcelona's Lionel Messi scored his 86th goal of the season setting the all-time soccer record.
  • Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round Saturday night in their fourth fight. Bob Arum's first word... rematch!

2. The New Yankees

Hey Yankee-haters, you've got the wrong coast. The L.A. Dodgers are now the big spenders in town as they added free agent pitcher Zack Greinke to their collection as well as Korean starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu. With all the contracts the Dodgers took on from Boston last season it now appears that the Dodgers are a lock to have the biggest payroll in baseball history. This at a time when the Yankees are paring down. General Manager Brian Cashman even had the temerity to say "Beggars can't be choosers." So get out your hankies Yankee-haters. Tough times... except in L.A.

3. In the Nick of Time

Johnny Football won the Heisman Trophy Saturday night. The Texas A&M quarterback becomes the first freshman to ever win it. I'm just glad Johnny Manziel has a nickname. What ever happened to them? Where have the Carlisle Indians and the Galloping Ghosts gone? Actually credit the champion San Francisco Giants with at least giving it a shot. They have The Freak and Kung Fu Panda. Not exactly the Seven Rocks of Granite, but at least they're trying.

4. Rule Book

Last week when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested doing away with kickoffs, I asked you for some wacky rules changes. Some of you proposed eliminating tackling altogether. One of you suggested eliminating Roger Goodell. But the most common suggestion was increasing the number of points the longer the field goal. Top 5 subscriber R.B. had the most comprehensive plan. "Field goals 24 yards or less -- two points. 25 -54 yards -- three points... 55 plus -- four points. And when you score you maintain possession of the ball." Two good wrinkles here. The chip shot field goals would be worth more than an extra point, but less than three. And maintaining possession after scoring, might be a good fourth quarter rule to help teams come from behind. As for rewarding distance, basketball is the only current team sport that does it. A cheapy home run around the Pesky Pole is worth the exact same as a clout onto Landsdowne Street.

5. Truth in Advertising

A mom took her 3-year-old to see Santa at Lowe's Christmas Market in Toronto. He was wearing a Maple Leafs cap. Santa told the kid he shouldn't be wearing that cap because the "Leafs suck." For his honesty, Santa got sacked and the kid cried all the way home. Hey the kid should look on the bright side. He could have been wearing an Eagles shirt at a Philly mall.

Happy Birthday: Jets tackle D'Brickshaw Ferguson. 29.

Bonus Birthday: TV chef Bobby Flay. 48.

Today in Sports: The Mets trade Nolan Ryan and three prospects to California for Jim Fregosi. 1971.

Bonus Event: Hugh Hefner published the first Playboy. 1953.

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