03/14/2013 10:30 am ET Updated May 14, 2013

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 14, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Star Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker heads to Denver to catch passes from Peyton Manning. The Patriots quickly replace Welker with Danny Amendola from the St. Louis Rams.
  • Running back Reggie Bush jumps from Miami to Detroit.
  • Falling stars: Carmelo Anthony goes back to Denver. The Knicks get blown out and Anthony heads home to have his knee drained. The Lakers lose to Atlanta. Kobe Bryant is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.
  • It's now 20 straight wins for the Miami Heat.
  • Grambling basketball finishes its season 0-28.

2. Team Spirit

Fans live and die with their teams. But inside the business of pro football, teams don't live and die with their players. Wes Welker, helped by Tom Brady, led the NFL in receptions three times and has won two Super Bowls with the Patriots. In a nanosecond he was replaced by a guy who's on his 4th team in 6 seasons. Lawrence Tynes kicked the Giants to two Super Bowls. He's dumped for a kicker who's one year younger and is now on his fifth team. And so it goes. Brian Urlacher may be the face of the Bears defense, but Chicago tells him feel free to look elsewhere. Sure it's a two way street. The players may not have any loyalty either. Nobody seems to, except for the fans.

3. Secretary of Schtick

Fresh off his historic visit to North Korea, Dennis Rodman is in Rome. He said he wants to meet with the new pope, and that he'll go "anywhere in the world that I'm needed." Any suggestions where that might be? Speaking of international sports ambassadors, here's Manny Ramirez's news conference as he joined his new baseball team in Taiwan. He said he "always wanted to play in Asia." There you have it.

4. Birthday Boy

In honor of Billy Crystal's milestone birthday, here's a Tonight Show nugget from 1977, when he was just 29. Billy always did a rather fine Muhammad Ali or whatever his name might be. Enjoy.

5. White Smoke

I think we should adopt this papal signal deal for sports. We should see white smoke:

1) When pro sports becomes affordable again for families.
2) When baseball games routinely last under three hours.
3) When there are no more drug scandals in sports.
4) When contact sports are deemed safe for kids of all ages.
5) When Patriots coach Belichick cracks a joke at a news conference.

Your turn.

Happy Birthday: Golden State Warriors sharp-shooting Guard, Stephen Curry. 25.

Bonus Birthday: The multi-talented Billy Crystal (and yes I've met him too). 65.

Today in Sports: The NBA's Cincinnati Royals up and leave town to become the Kansas City Kings. 1972.

Bonus Event: We now have a machine that separates cotton from its seeds. Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin. 1794.

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