Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for February 22, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Not exactly a miracle. (See below.) But the U.S. beat Canada in Olympic hockey for the first time in 50 years, 5-3.
* American skier Bode Miller won his first Olympic gold medal, winning the super-combined.
* So how did that work out exactly? Johnny Damon reportedly turned down $14 million over two years from the Yankees. He wound up getting $8 million for one season from Detroit.
* In golf, Ian Poulter won the Match Play Championship. More fans seem interested in the fact that Tiger Woods headed back to sex addiction rehab.
2. Control Freak
So Tiger Woods broke his silence Friday with his hermetically sealed "news conference." Yes it seemed rehearsed, especially that pause before he looked right in the camera to say "I'm sorry." I would have liked some more talk about his fans, and less about religion. And I'm glad, in a nod to Tom Watson, he said he has to be "more respectful" of the game. That means less cursing and throwing clubs on the course. But the truth is he doesn't owe us all the gory details of his philandering. To his fans, he just needs to be a better role model. Hopefully this was the first step.
3. Winter Break
In no particular order of importance, here's some of the other stuff that happened while the Top 5 was on vaco last week.
*Potholes plagued the running of the Daytona 500. What's next, toll booths?
*What a host. The Canadian Women's Hockey team beat Slovakia 18-0. Maybe when they hit double figures they could have cut down on their shots on goal?
*The U.S. recaptured the America's Cup. A nation yawned.
*They've worked out a deal so a boxing match can take place at Yankee Stadium in June instead of a bar mitzvah. Unfortunately, they couldn't do anything about the bris.
4. Do You Believe in Miracles?
Older readers will remember exactly what they were doing 30 years ago today. The U.S. Olympic hockey team beat the Russians 4-3 in the semi-final game at Lake Placid. I chose that game as the #1 all time sports moment in my kids book The Greatest Moments in Sports. Since then, people have told me where they were that day. One reader was at a Sha Na Na concert at Madison Square Garden. Jay and the Americans opened. Jay said he was going to play Only in America because "we beat the F-ing Russians." Lovely. Another told me he was a student at USC and people were running along side the freeway waving American flags. It was the ultimate feel good moment for Americans. We've had far too few of those, recently.
5. And the Winner Is....
Before the Top 5 went on vacation we held a contest. Who could guess the cauldron lighter at the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver? It turns out 4 athletes were supposed to light ceremonial cauldrons, but one of the 4 cauldrons broke. You guys only guessed two of the four, Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash. Some of your guesses included Celine Dion, Michael J. Fox and Pamela Anderson. Yeah, she had a shot. Gretzky then lit the permanent cauldron, so Gerald H. And Lon S. are the winners. (Enjoy your non-prizes.) The best response went to Curtis R. He wrote, "It's Canada. Well how 'bout Eh-b Vigoda? Or the birthday boy, Eh-b Lincoln?"
We have some lovely parting non-gifts as well.
Happy Birthday: One of my faves, Dr. J. Julius Erving. Happy 60th Doc!
Bonus Birthday: Actress Drew Barrymore. 35.
Today in Sports: The Miracle on Ice. The U.S. hockey team shocks the Russians at Lake Placid. 1980.
Bonus Event: The original "George W." was born in this date. 1732.