Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 4, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Turns out his career highlight might have been a cameo on the Sopranos. The Cleveland Browns fired coach Eric "Mangenius" Mangini.
* And you thought you had heard the last of Brett Favre? Two former Jets massage therapists have sued him for his allegedly sexually suggestive sexting. They claim when they refused his advances the team stopped employing them.
* Quarterback Andrew Luck leads Stanford to a 40-12 thrashing of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl last night. Is Luck now headed to the NFL?
* Can the Big Ten win a Bowl Game? Ohio State plays Arkansas tonight in the Sugar Bowl. By the way, doesn't Bowl Season seem longer than Regular Season?
* Are we seeing the long awaited rebirth of St. John's basketball? They knocked off a ranked Georgetown team at Madison Square Garden last night 61-58.
* Does this make sense? The U-Conn women finally lose a basketball team, so Baylor is ranked #1, even though U-Conn beat them this season.
Tomorrow's the day when they'll announce who makes it into the baseball Hall of Fame. Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are the favorites because they came close last year. Rafael Palmeiro is on the ballot for the first time. His 500 home runs and 3,000 hits would normally make him a slam dunk. Only 4 men have ever done that. But there's this little pesky steroid thing. He scolded Congress that he never took 'em, then he flunked a drug test. (He's still claiming it was a tainted vitamin.) As a result, he may never make the Hall of Fame. Will Barry Bonds?
It may be the first week of January, but my subscribers are in mid-year form. Subscriber David S. takes Jets coach Rex Ryan to task. "I simply cannot believe that Rex Ryan predicted the Jets would win the Super Bowl. He has made such an ass of himself this season and the franchise has brought so much embarrassment to itself already, this blowhard is out there predicting Super Bowl victories for his team on Jan. 2? They'll be fortunate to get by the Colts in the first round... I think Ryan should be fired after the season, not because he's a bad x's and o's coach or a poor motivator, but because he's become such an embarrassment and the team obviously lacks any semblance of discipline or respect for the game."
So much for the good tidings of the season.
Rulon Gardner is a contestant on the Biggest Loser tonight. If you recall he was the "biggest winner" at the 2000 Olympics in Australia when he won the gold in Greco-Roman wrestling. It was called the "Miracle on the Mat," the biggest Olympic upset this side of the "Miracle on Ice." And it was my job to interview him right after he ended a Russian's 13 year winning streak. And you all know what an expert I am in Greco-Roman wrestling. Anyway, Gardner has lost a toe to frostbite in a snowmobile accident. He's crashed motorcycles. In third grade he punctured himself with an arrow that he brought in for show and tell. And he even walked away from a plane crash three years ago. He's clearly on the wrong TV show. They couldn't book him on Survivor?
5. Hey Abbott!
I was excited when I heard that the Mets made a trade last week. They sent a minor league pitcher to the Dodgers for infielder Chin-lung Hu. I was so hoping that he was a first baseman. (Hu's on first?) But alas, he's mostly been a shortstop in his brief appearances with the Dodgers. The Mets just can't catch a break.
Happy Birthday: Miami Dolphin coaching legend Don Shula. 81.
Bonus Birthday: Feel like eating an apple? Sir Isaac Newton was born on this date. 1643.
Today in Sports: David Robinson of Navy sets an NCAA record (since broken) of 14 blocked shots in a game against UNC Wilmington. 1986.
Bonus Event: In one of the more dubious collisions of sports and politics, President Jimmy Carter announces a U.S. boycott of the Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. 1980.
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