Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for December 21, 2009 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* And then there was one. The Saints were beaten by the Cowboys for their first loss of the season. That leaves the Indianapolis Colts as the only undefeated team in the NFL at 14-0.
* Philadelphia, San Diego and Arizona all clinch playoff spots. The Jets, and Miami both lose as playoff hopes fade.
* 'Tis the season you're asked to give. The NFL has taken that to extremes asking players to give their brains to science to study concussions. We're guessing they mean after the players pass on.
* That trade sending Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell to Texas is off. He has a torn ligament in his thumb.
2. A Break in the Action
Thank God for the East Coast snowstorm. It knocked Tiger Woods off the front page for the first time in weeks. Can we now call a moratorium? Let's leave the divorce and bimbo talk to the gossip pages, so we can go back to discussing the really important issues in sports, like which is the best bowl game this week, The San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl or the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl? (These are real bowl games, honest.)
3. Ring Ring
With Johnny Damon's apparent exit from the Yankees, some have wondered if he's the only player to win championships with both the Red Sox and Yankees? Not quite. First there's Eric Hinske. Then there's pitcher Ramiro Mendoza. And way back, there were a bunch of players. First they played for Boston's championship teams from 1915-1918. Then they played for the Yankees first title team in 1923. The most notable of those guys? George Herman Ruth, Jr.
4. Good One!
Mets fans continue to be frustrated by their team's lack of action. At least they haven't lost their sense of humor. A subscriber named Mark wrote, "With the Red Sox dropping out of the bidding, the Mets may actually win the Jason eBay auction."
5. That Special Time of Year
It's awards time in sports. I'll have the Top 5 best and worst sports moments of year later this week. I like Bill Plaschke's take in the L.A. Times which subscriber John G. sent along. Bill's 2009 Sportsman of the Year is....tada.... Sleaze! He said Sleaze's domination of the year started last January in Miami when basketball star Dwyane Wade allegedly gave his wife a sexually transmitted disease, just two years after being named Father of the Year. And Sleaze continued all year ending this month in "a national search for the one woman who has not claimed to have had sex with Tiger Woods." In between there was Rick Pitino and scores of others.
I second Bill's conclusion: "Sleaze may be Sportsman of the Year, but part of me wishes it would go back to Washington, return to Wall Street, leave sports alone."
Happy Birthday: Tennis star Chris Evert. 55.
Bonus Birthdays: Everybody Loves Raymond. Ray Romano. 52. Not everybody loves Jane Fonda. 72.
Today in Sports: Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley announces that managers are expendable so he employs a "college of coaches" to manage the team in 1961 and 1962. As a result the Cubs were just as dreadful as ever. 1960.
Bonus Event: There goes the neighborhood. The Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock. 1620.