01/17/2013 10:31 am ET Updated Mar 19, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories


Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 17, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's dead girlfriend is a hoax.
  • Oregon's Chip Kelly is the new Philadelphia Eagles coach.
  • The IOC strips Lance Armstrong of his 2000 bronze medal as his interview with Oprah Winfrey airs tonight.
  • Alex Rodriguez undergoes hip surgery. He won't return to the Yankees until July at the earliest.
  • They really really like them. The Baltimore Orioles give contract extensions to manager Buck Showalter and Executive VP of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette through 2018.

2. Upon Further Review

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o played this football season with a heavy heart. His grandmother died and hours later his girlfriend died from leukemia after a serious car accident. Except for one minor detail. According to Deadspin the girlfriend never existed. After the Deadspin story came out, Notre Dame said they knew about it last month and that the hoax was perpetrated on Te'o. Then Te'o issued a statement saying "To realize that I was the victim of what was apparently someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful and humiliating." So to summarize, Te'o fell in love with someone he says he never actually met, even though according to his own father she visited with Te'o in Hawaii. But she wasn't who she claimed to be, and this non-existent person inspired him on the football field and then she really didn't die. Got it? Meanwhile there's no truth to the rumor that Notre Dame has changed the lyrics of its fight song to: Weird Weird at old Notre Dame. Wake up the echoes inventing a flame.

3. Across the Pond

It's the Knicks and Pistons tonight in London. All the major sports do it, they play regular season games overseas. As usual, every time you ask why in sports the answer is the same. Money. Expanding the brand. But isn't that at the expense of the team's loyal fans? Then again the rabid fans who can't wait for the game get it 5 hours earlier. Nothing beats a Thursday NBA game at 3 in the afternoon.

4. Caveat Emptor

As expected many of you Top 5 legal "experts" had lots to say about the Miami Heat fan who is suing the San Antonio Spurs because their top players were sent home before the game.

*D.S. The law is and has to remain that when you buy a ticket to an NBA "performance," you are paying to see the teams named on the ticket play, not individual players.

*J.T. Like they say in boxing "card subject to change" purchase at your own risk.

*A.S. Miami fans should be mad at the Heat ownership for charging more for "premium" games. Gregg Popovich is hired to win championships not entertain the Miami fans.

*G.L. Glad to see all the other injustices ahead of this have been solved... now we can focus on spoiled fans.

*B.C. It's like paying to see Springsteen at Giants Stadium and the Jets show up to play.

*S.D. It's like the Top 5 being sent out by Shelley Berman rather than Len.

5. Elbowing-In

Give me a high elbow. That's what a New York youth soccer league has told parents. Because of the flu outbreak, high-fives and fist-bumps are out, elbow-connections are in. The kids could try those nonsensical high-jumping body bumps that the NBA and NFL specializes in. Then again a nice little elbow tap seems like a much nicer touch.

Happy Birthday: The Greatest, Muhammad Ali. 71.

Bonus Birthday: Singer Barry Manilow. 70.

Honorable mention thanks to Top 5 subscriber K.V. The great Don Zimmer. 82.

Today in Sports: Rookie Jim O'Brien kicked a 32-yard field goal as Baltimore beat Dallas 16-13 in Super Bowl V. Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley is named MVP, the only Super Bowl MVP from a losing team. 1971.

Bonus Events: Momentous days in golf history. The PGA was formed. 1916. And the Golf Channel was born. 1995.

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