Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for March 1, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Performance of the night, Joakim Noah in the Chicago Bulls win over Philadelphia. He's the first player in NBA history to have at least 20 points, 20 rebounds, 10 blocks and shoot 65 percent in the same game.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks have now played their first 20 games without losing in regulation extending their own record.
  • Word is the "Catholic 7" basketball schools will add Butler and Xavier and be known as the Big East Conference next season with more teams to come.
  • Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus wasn't able to play in a Cactus League game because his arm was still sore after getting a new tattoo. Get the picture?

2. Medical Mystery

I suppose the time is getting close when teams won't divulge anything about player injuries. The NHL now uses "lower body" to describe an injury. When Giants coach Tom Coughlin was asked about a player injury he said "it was on his body." In some sports they go the other way and identify triceps or oblique and we're supposed to have the anatomical know how to understand what they're talking about. Teams really don't want to reveal anything so as not to give opponents an edge. Then there are privacy issues. So I guess some day all injuries will be Coughlin-esque. Unless of course they are out of body experiences.

3. Any Volunteers?

Next year's New York/New Jersey Super Bowl committee is looking for a few good men and women, actually 20,000 of them. You don't get to go to the game, but you do get a nifty new uniform and you may even get to stand on a cold street corner in New York City being helpful, friendly, courteous, kind... no wait, that's the Boy Scouts. No word on whether snow shoveling is part of the job description.

4. Friday eMailbag

With the talk about possibly trying to eliminate the home plate collision in Major League Baseball, Top 5 subscriber J.O. echoed what many of you wrote: "Little League rules around home plate are "slide or avoid" the catcher. If the catcher blocks the plate (umpires judgement) he can award the runner home."

As for the Daytona 500's strong TV ratings, which I attributed to Danica Patrick, P.V. countered on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5" "I don't think it had anything to do with her. You couldn't see her in the car anyway. The higher ratings were fueled (no pun) by the previous days' crash. Crashes get more attention than the race."

As for the race itself, J.S. was not a fan. "I absolutely watched because I was hoping Danica would show the boys how to race, but that event was determined mostly by pit stops and accidents. There was a constant lineup, single file, at the top of the track. Most boring 500 of any kind I have ever seen."

In regards to the story that Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha ate lunch alone his car rather than with his teammates at practice, T.M. (an Eagles fan) wrote, "The guy may be an introvert. Introverts can only take so much togetherness. It exhausts us, so taking some time to be alone is rejuvenating. I doubt it has anything to do with his performance. I wish he had played better though, don't get me wrong."

And when I wrote on Facebook "Cardinal Dolan says his chances are better of replacing A-Rod at third base on the Yankees than becoming pope. Some would say the chances of A-Rod becoming pope are better than finishing out his Yankees contract," R.F. replied, "He'd be more of a team player than A-Rod."

5. Spanning the World

It's March, so this week's Spanning the World highlight will get you warmed up for March Madness. It's a game-winning college shot where the announcer goes incomprehensible. Let the madness begin.

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Friday March 29.

Happy Birthday: Former Michigan and NBA star Chris Webber. 40.

Bonus Birthday: Justin Bieber. 19.

Today in Sports: A sad day for sure, the Mick retires. 1969.
Bonus Event: The birth of Yahoo! 1995.

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