12/14/2012 10:42 am ET Updated Feb 13, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for December 14, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Angels land Texas slugger Josh Hamilton: Five years, $125 million.
  • Thursday night football, Cincinnati takes a step toward the playoffs with a 34-13 win over Philadelphia.
  • Ho hum. Another Knicks win another Lakers loss. 116-107 at Madison Square Garden.
  • R.I.P. Big East Conference. It looks like the seven basketball schools are breaking away to form their own conference.

2. Battle for L.A.

Wow, a full fledged food fight in Southern California. "I'll see your Greinke and raise you a Hamilton." With the Angels landing the big free agent prize for the second straight year, their lineup is a latter day Murderers Row. And as the Angels and Dodgers try to outspend each other, you have to wonder if the goal is to win a championship or just their market?

3. Kiss My Tat

Amazing how some fads come and go. Remember Tebowing? It was so last year. But thank goodness something new has come along to replace it. It's called Kaepernicking after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He kissed the tattoo on his arm after throwing a 50-yard touchdown pass against Miami. And now everyone is doing it! A couple of examples. Oy!

4. Friday eMailbag

In our never ending quest to change NFL kicking rules, E.M. suggests, "How about a second set of uprights, inside the existing set? Get it in the inner set, and get three points. Miss the inner set, but get it in the outer set, and only get two points. Something to reward accuracy."

Editor's Note: Better yet, let's have moving goalposts. Target practice!

T.H. thinks I'm wasting valuable space in the Top 5: "Why do you even bother mentioning the hockey 'negotiations'? Mention it when they finally sign and save the space for something more meaningful like roller derby."

Count P.R. as unhappy with the way the Mets are handling the R.A. Dickey negotiations: "Wonderful. No qualms about giving a loser Jason Bay $66 million contract but throw a Cy Young winner under the bus."

And from a terse A.T. on the Yankees acquisition of Kevin Youkilis. "Youk a Yank? Yuk!!!

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the Houston Rockets. We can't let Chanukah pass without Jeremy Lin and his teammates attempting to sing I have a Little Dreidle. Enjoy.

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Spanning the Year. Friday, December 28.

Happy Birthday: Bill Buckner. 63.

Bonus Birthday: Who could have predicted that Nostradamus would be born on this date in 1503?

Today in Sports: Howard Cosell retired from Monday Night Football. 1984.

Bonus Event: Billboards on wheels! NASCAR is formed in Daytona Beach, Florida. 1947

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