Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 13, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Thanks to the snowstorm in Minneapolis, the Vikings will "host" the Giants tonight in Detroit.
* The Patriots become the first NFL team to clinch a playoff spot.
* If it wasn't bad enough that the Jets offense disappeared for the second straight game, their strength and conditioning coach stuck out his knee and tripped a Dolphin while he was running down the sideline. Bush league.
* The Yankees and Texas await pitcher Cliff Lee's decision on where he'll sign.
* As expected, Cam Newton easily won the Heisman. Now comes the hard part, keeping it.
2. Reading the Tea Leaves
So what are we to make of Cliff Lee not announcing his decision over the weekend? It's assumed that the Yankees offered him more money and more years than Texas, so obviously this isn't a slam dunk for the Yankees. The more interesting story is if he stays with Texas. It would mean the Yankees just can't wave their checkbooks and have players come crawling. And it means the Yankees have to come up with a Plan B. Knowing their history of signing free agents, they probably didn't have one. Which mean they might have to be smart and creative. In other words, like any other team, for a change. Wouldn't a salary cap be fun?
3. Snow Date
The NFL schedule is greeted with great fanfare when it's released each year. And to quote an old Yiddish proverb, "Man plans, God laughs." The Vikings hosting the Giants in Minnesota yesterday seemed like a good idea. Then the storm hit, the Metrodome roof collapsed, and the game was shifted to Detroit.
All tickets for tonight's game are free. If you had a ticket for yesterday's game, you'll get a refund. In these tough economic times in Detroit, the Sports Gods had a better idea for fans who can't afford tickets and PSL's. Very cool.
In Detroit, at hockey games, they are likely to throw an octopus on the ice. In Toronto, a new tradition was born last week: waffles. Unhappy fans threw them after a loss to Philadelphia. It sparked a huge debate in the hockey world. Why waffles? Do they actually sell them at the stadium? Within hours, somebody cleverly posted a little "waffle video."
And the biggest question, what would happen if the Maple Leafs lost to Montreal Saturday night? We'll never know. Toronto beat the Canadiens 3-1. Maybe Toronto fans would be better served this holiday season by taking their "frustrations" to a food bank.
It set a record for sports memorabilia. The original 13 rules of basketball, as written by Dr. James Naismith in 1891. They sold at auction for over $4 million. The rules were very different back then. Nine players per team, using soccer balls. No dribbling. Peach baskets for hoops. Although one rule looked familiar. It stated that when the NBA is formed, you'll be allowed to take three steps before traveling is called, four in the playoffs.
Happy Birthday: Oisk. Former Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine. 84.
Bonus Birthday: Rob Petrie himself, actor Dick Van Dyke. 85.
Today in Sports: The Green Bay Packers beat the Boston Redskins 21-6 at the Polo Grounds to win their first NFL Championship. Why was the game played on a neutral site? The Redskins had already announced they were moving to Washington the following season. 1936.
Bonus Event: It was so 10 years ago. Al Gore concedes. W. wins the White House. 2000.
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