01/18/2013 10:47 am ET Updated Mar 20, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for January 18, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Lance Armstrong admitted to just about everything in his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
  • Bruce Arians is the new Arizona Cardinals coach, he was the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator.
  • At the Australian Open Maria Sharapova dumped Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in a third round match.
  • Gussie Moran is dead at the age of 89. In 1949 she "shocked" the tennis world with her short skirt and ruffled underwear.
  • Al Pacino will play Joe Paterno in an upcoming movie that will be titled Happy Valley.

2. The Lance and Oprah Show

I watched the interview last night and to his credit Lance Armstrong pleaded "guilty as charged" and didn't try to shift the blame. He only dodged once, I'm guessing so as to not contradict sworn testimony. Other than that he appeared contrite. As for what he hopes to accomplish? I have no idea. If it's just to cleanse his soul then it's a good start. But he will never cleanse his name. He cheated, he lied, he bullied, he sued. That's his legacy. And I'm guessing his admissions open him up to multiple lawsuits and possible criminal charges as well.

3. Explain Thyself

The world is still waiting for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o to answer all the questions about his non-existent dead girlfriend. Until he does, the speculation will run wild. The website which chronicles the gay sports community headlines the question, "Is Manti Te'o Gay?" It certainly is a plausible explanation. And then it leads to the next domino which could theoretically make him the first openly gay player in the NFL. Te'o is leaving himself exposed to all kinds of stuff until he "fesses up." He's also a national punch line. The Florence Freedom, a minor league baseball team in Kentucky will hold a "Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead Night" in May. The first 1,000 fans will receive empty boxes. One section in the stands will be set aside for fans to sit with their "imaginary friends, girlfriends/boyfriends or spouses."

4. Friday eMailbag

When I asked on twitter @LenBermanSports "Does the secret recording of Carmelo Anthony strike anyone else as being Steinbrenner-esque?" A.J. replied, "Downright Belichick-ian."

Last week I included the latest preview to 42 a film about the life of Jackie Robinson opening in April. S.S. wasn't pleased. "As a devoted BROOKLYN Dodger fan, WHY would they open this trailer with a scene OF MANHATTAN? If the producers wanted to begin with an iconic shot, why didn't they use the Brooklyn Academy of Music, right across the East River? Once again, Brooklyn gets dissed!"

And with a new baseball rule allowing translators to go out to the mound with the manager to visit pitchers M.F. asks, "So, if the catcher is Spanish and the pitcher is Japanese -- does that mean two interpreters will be allowed on the mound at the same time?"

Editor's Note: You go to a baseball game and the U.N. General Assembly breaks out.

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight comes from the KHL hockey All-Star Game in Russia. It's a goal on a penalty shot which begs the question, does it count as a shot if he doesn't actually shoot the puck?

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Friday January 25 in the 8:30 a.m. half hour.

Happy Birthday: New York Rangers captain Mark Messier. 52.

Bonus Birthday: Actor Kevin Costner. 58.

Today in Sports: Willie O'Ree, the first black NHL player makes his Boston Bruins debut. 1958.

Bonus Event: Remember the Eastern Shuttle to Boston, New York and Washington? Eastern Airlines went out of business. 1991.

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