03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 18, 2009 from
Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

Kansas City pitcher Zack Greinke wins the American League Cy Young
award despite winning only 16 games. Then again, Kansas City only won
65 games.

The Buffalo Bills fire coach Dick Jauron after a 3-6 start. Eric
Mangini is still coaching the Cleveland Browns.

The Olympics that never end. A middle distance runner from Bahrain
was stripped of his Beijing gold medal for doping. An Italian cyclist
was busted earlier this week, losing a silver medal.

The long nightmare for Lakers fans is over. They finally break their
impossibly long 2 game losing streak as Kobe Bryant scores 40 points
for the 100th time in his career. (Only 171 more to catch Wilt). They
beat Detroit 106-93.

2. Mariano Rivera, Sigh Young

So another American League Cy Young Award has been handed out, and
again Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera comes up empty. He didn't get a
single vote for first, second, or third. CC Sabathia of the Yankees
finished fourth in the balloting. What is the meaning of Cy Young? The
best pitcher? The most valuable? Where would the Yankees be without
Mariano Rivera? They wouldn't have 5 championship rings since 1996,
that's where. Before Rivera retires, he needs to be treated like an
Oscar ceremony. Give him a "Lifetime Cy Young Achievement Award." Oh
yeah, they call that the Hall of Fame.

3. Un P.C.

I stirred things up yesterday by advocating that St. John's goes back
to calling its sports teams Redmen, as opposed to Red Storm.
Subscriber Hal L. said "Picture the Brooklyn Yids, with a caricature
of a Hasidim with a big nose and funny hat. How would that make you
feel." But St. John's alum Gene S. says the origin of "Redmen" evolved
from the team's colors, much like Orangemen in Syracuse. Gene says
"Each year the alumni of SJU approach me for a donation. Each year my
answer is the same. I'm a 'Redman' not a 'Red Storm' man. Call me when
the Redmen return."

Sis boom bah!

4. Sign Me Up

On Monday I mentioned the Abe Stark sign at Ebbets Field that read
"Hit Sign, Win Suit." Tom M. asked me at Facebook (Len Berman's Top 5)
"Does anyone know how many suits Abe Stark had to pony up?" Apparently
very few. The sign was under the scoreboard in right center field, and
if the right fielder was any good, he would stop the ball from hitting

According to baseball historian Stan Isaacs, the sign was hit
maybe once a year. With Carl Furillo playing right for the Dodgers,
the sign was safe. Furillo told Isaacs, "I don't recall a ball ever
hitting the sign when I was in right field. I asked the man for a pair
of pants or something for guarding the sign, but he never gave me
anything." Furillo said he hit the sign twice, and when he showed up
to collect they tried to get him to pick a cheap suit. Why are we not

5. Skoal!

While we're on the subject, it seems that the President of Serbia,
Boris Tadic, got in a little trouble and faces a fine. He and two
other officials were toasting Serbia's soccer win over Romania with
champagne. One problem. Alcohol isn't legal in and around Serbian
sports stadiums. What? No booze at soccer games? How can the hooligans
possibly get fortified?

Happy Birthday: The former fierce defensive back of the Oakland
Raiders, Jack Tatum. (This is a rare mention of the Raiders that isn't
negative). 61.

Bonus Birthday: Actor Owen Wilson. 41.

Today in Sports: Hide the children! Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor
breaks the leg of Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann,
ending Theismann's career. 1985.

Bonus Event: Bullseye! William Tell picked up a bow and arrow and
shot an apple off his son's head. 1307.

A Top 5 subscriber David J. has decided to make my new kids book "The
Greatest Moments in Sports" his go-to Christmas gift. I'll be signing
all the books for him. If you'd like to do the same, just email me. By
the way, look at the subscriber's cute son and his friend!