01/26/2011 03:22 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 26, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* The bid for the "Rafa Slam" is over. Rafael Nadal, fighting a leg injury, is ousted in the Australian Open quarters by David Ferrer. Nadal had won the last 3 Majors.
* The Yankees say it's possible Derek Jeter won't remain at shortstop for the duration of his new contract. Next stop, center field.
* The athlete formerly known as Ochocinco. Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (85) says he plans to go back to his real name, plain old Chad Johnson.
* The Chicago car salesman who was fired for wearing a Packers tie has been offered a job at another car dealership.

2. And the Oscar Goes To...

The Fighter, based on the story of boxer Micky Ward, copped 7 Oscar nominations. As I said before, Christian Bale should be a slam dunk for Best Supporting Actor. It's always nice to see sports movies in the mix. There have been some great ones from Raging Bull to A League of Their Own, to Rocky, with Caddyshack, Slap Shot and Hoosiers thrown in along the way. My favorite is The Natural. You just can't beat Roy Hobbs hitting the game winning shot off the light tower. I'm a sucker for "limp-off" homers.

3. Time's A Wastin'

Ratings have been slip sliding away for NASCAR, so FOX Sports chairman David Hill has an idea. Shorten the races. He says they are way too long, some stretching longer than 3 hours. He knows the NASCAR people aren't likely to change things, but with fans ever shortening attention spans, The Twit Generation, (140 characters or less), maybe we need less. I'm looking forward to those 7 inning ballgames, 14 hole golf rounds and the Daytona 378.

4. More Say Hey

When I mentioned Willie Mays playing stickball with the neighborhood kids in New York City, Top 5 subscriber Marshall B. shared this story growing up in San Francisco.

I was a 10 year old kid when the Giants came to town in 1958. We would spend all day virtually all summer at Julius Kahn Playground playing baseball. One day in '59 or '60, we see a guy come walking out of the woods near the playground walking a toy poodle... It was none other than the Say Hey Kid. He stopped and chatted with us, hit some flies, gave us some tips. Twice more that summer he came by the park, once even with a couple of other Giants: Jimmy Davenport was one. He was on the DL, and we were told not to tell anyone he'd been playing with us! This could never happen today. Did any of us think to get an autograph? No way. Our ball probably already had the hide hit off of it and was taped so it couldn't be signed.

Thanks for sharing Marshall. What a different sports world we inhabit today.

5. Great But No Cigar

Hey, if you need something to keep you busy waiting for the Super Bowl, Morgan K. suggests coming up with the greatest athlete in each city never to win a championship. Morgan says Boston is easy: Ted Williams. So is Miami: Dan Marino. Salt Lake City: Karl Malone. But what about New York? Patrick Ewing? Don Mattingly? Mike Piazza? Who's the winner/loser in L.A? In Detroit and Buffalo, is it a pair of Heisman winners, Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson? Your turn.

Happy Birthdays: The Great One. Wayne Gretzky. 50. And (speaking of sports movies) a nod to Bob "just a bit outside" Uecker. 76.
Bonus Birthday: Ellen DeGeneres. 53.

Today in Sports: Pete Rozelle is elected NFL Commissioner on the 23rd ballot. 1960.
Bonus Event: It was so last year. Avatar becomes the highest grossing worldwide movie of all time. 2010.

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