TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 5, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Kickoff for Super Bowl XLIV is scheduled for 6:25pm Eastern on Sunday.
* According to a Marist Poll, the most annoying Super Bowl sportscaster cliche is, "it's too bad somebody has to lose."
* The Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver Winter Olympics is one week from today.
* The NJ Devils acquire high scoring superstar Ilya Kovalchuk from Atlanta.
* L.A. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy is out. He'll remain general manager.
* Lord I'm cured! Reports say that Tiger Woods is leaving his sex rehab clinic in Mississippi.
2. Super Duper
I'm often asked what's the most exciting moment in sports? The bell for round one of a big heavyweight championship fight is a good answer. Unfortunately, we haven't had one of those in years. So my current answer is the kickoff for the Super Bowl. After two weeks of waiting and build up it's a huge relief. Although you can't top Super Bowl XXV in Tampa. It was the first Gulf War, metal detectors were used for the first time. Whitney Houston "sang" the National Anthem. Jets overhead. Everyone waving an American flag. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. At the end of the game, there wasn't a dry eye in Buffalo when Scott Norwood missed "wide right" and the Giants won the Super Bowl.
3. National Holiday
Super Bowl Sunday is as close to an unofficial national holiday as one can get. But what about the day after? Some have suggested a Monday after the game holiday. It certainly makes sense for the cities involved in the game. This Monday in Indianapolis, schools will open two hours late. They hope that fixes what happened two years ago after the Colts won the Super Bowl. School had to be canceled when bus drivers failed to pick up the kids. I guess the two hour leeway on Monday allows for "sleeping it off time."
4. Friday Mailbag
G.H. disputes the Harris poll which says football is way more popular than baseball. He writes, "Take gambling out of the equation and baseball wins hands down."
N.K. commented: "Ultimately I think it comes down to parity (or lack thereof) in baseball. With the rare occasion, the majority of mid- and small-market teams are unable to compete year-to-year in MLB, and this has simply destroyed fan bases across the country. You think folks in Kansas City are excited for the new season to start?"
When I posted a link to a Mickey Mantle appearance on David Letterman in 1987, L.N. sent along a You Tube link to a TV commercial for a Roger Maris baseball board game.
The price tag for the game: $2.98. Imagine that!
J.M. wrote in the comments section of www.ThatsSports.com "Whitey, Billy and The Mick... What a shame that we can't have the likes of them in the game again."
Editor's Note: Sounds corny, recalls the lyric from The Way We Were. "Can it be that it was so simple then?"
5. Wanna Bet?
Forget the Colts and Saints, there are lots of other things to bet on. The over/under on Peyton and Eli Mannings' dad Archie being shown on TV is 4. The over/under on the length of Carrie Underwood singing the National Anthem is 1 minute 42 seconds. The odds of you getting a life if you bet big money on this stuff? 0.
Happy Birthday: Hammerin' Hank Aaron. (The real home run champ?) 76.
Bonus Birthday for tomorrow: Paris Hilton's great aunt, Zsa Zsa Gabor. 93.
Today in Sports: A guy by the name of Fred Newman hits 88 straight foul shots in San Jose, blind folded. 1978.
Bonus Event: The Disney film Peter Pan opens to mixed reviews in New York. What, they thought Tinker Bell was a little light on her feet? 1953.
I'll be signing copies of The Greatest Moments in Sports tonight in Cambridge, Ma. at Porter Square Books. 6pm.
Tomorrow I'll be at Wellesley Booksmith at 2pm.