12/21/2011 11:13 am ET Updated Feb 20, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 21, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Ohio State is hit with a one year bowl ban plus other sanctions for "failure to monitor preferential treatment and extra benefit violations."
  • Longtime Philadelphia sports columnist Bill Conlin has been accused of sexually molesting at least four children in the 1970s. He retired yesterday from the Philadelphia Daily News.
  • After being married to what's her name for 72 days, Kris Humphries will return to the New Jersey Nets on a one-year deal.

2. Runaway Train

The other pro sports leagues can only turn green with envy. The NFL is on track to once again harness staggering postseason television ratings. In the NFC you've got the Packers, Saints and 49ers for starters. The AFC will deliver the Patriots, Steelers and Broncos. With two weeks left, 22 of the 32 teams are still alive. Do you hear the other leagues drooling? And Philly, the "Dream Team," could wind up being just that. They are still alive. Now about that Eagles/Tebow Super Bowl.

3. The Nutcracker

Back home in Evansville, Indiana, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly took on the role of Mother Ginger in the Nutcracker. As everyone knows, Mother Ginger dances onto the Sugar Plum Fairy's court. She opens her skirt and eight little gingerbread children come dancing out. Talk about someone who is comfortable in his own skin.

4. Smile

Sports Illustrated came up with a gimmick where readers could choose the 2011 Sports Moment of the Year and the magazine would put it on the cover. I was all set to mention the winner and then come up with something better. But the readers selected the return of paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand. Here's the cover. This kid's upbeat attitude defies description. The readers choice is picture perfect.

5. You Can't Look it Up

We have a new word proposed by the son of Top 5 subscriber Michele C. Bradying: (Verb) The act of kicking someone over who is tebowing.

Editor's Note: Now that's the holiday spirit.

Happy Birthday: Chris Evert. 57.

Bonus Birthday: Ray Romano. 54.

Today in Sports: 30 years ago today, the longest NCAA basketball game. Cincinnati beat Bradley 75-73 in seven overtimes. 1981.

Bonus Event: There goes the neighborhood. The Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock. 1620.

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