Top 5 Sports Stories

United States swimmer Michael Phelps speaks during a news conference at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 201
United States swimmer Michael Phelps speaks during a news conference at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 13, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The U.S. men's basketball team wins the gold beating Spain 107-100.
  • The Olympics end with the U.S. sitting atop the medals table, China second, Great Britain or Russia was third depending on whether most golds (Britain) or most medals (Russia) is your standard.
  • Rory McIlvoy wins the PGA Championship by a record eight shots.
  • Wide receiver Chad Johnson (the former Chad Ochocinco) is arrested on domestic abuse charges for head-butting his wife. The Miami Dolphins released him.
  • Top draft pick Andrew Luck's first NFL pass for Indianapolis results in a 63-yard touchdown as the Colts beat the Rams 38-3 in exhibition play.

2. The Flame is Out

And now it's on to Rio in 2016 for the next Summer Games. Some Top 5 subscribers couldn't get enough of the Olympics, others yawned. Call me an Olympics fan. You train four years and then it's over in a heartbeat, or in the case of two Egyptian wrestlers it doesn't even begin because they showed up late for their matches. Do you take pride in America winning the most medals? Or do you just admire incredible performances be they American (Michael Phelps or the lady gymnasts) or not (Usain Bolt)? Sure there were the normal controversies from whispers about China and drugs to the gold medal winning woman shot putter from Belarus who was stripped of her gold medal today for doping. Also we can't forget that runner from St. Kitts and Nevis getting the boot because he slept with his wife (he left the Athlete's Village without permission and went to a hotel). But in the end, it was a safe couple of weeks with some amazing accomplishments including a double amputee getting to run on the world's biggest stage. I really can't see how anyone could have spent the last two weeks yawning.

3. Hooray for Hollywood

Why should Dwight Howard going to the Lakers surprise anyone? Just look at the history of NBA star centers. Wilt Chamberlain won a title in L.A. Next came Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He won five NBA championships with the Lakers after forcing a trade from Milwaukee. And then there's Shaquille O'Neal. He also headed from Orlando to the Lakers where he won his 4 titles. So while the rest of the NBA can dream of championship rings, just remember, Hollywood is where dreams come true.

4. Tebowing

Yes it was just a meaningless exhibition game, but I admit I was watching the Jets to see who would play quarterback. And Tim Tebow didn't disappoint. He completed his first pass in Friday's loss to the Bengals and he showed some nifty running moves. As I sat there I was thinking I'd rather watch Tebow quarterback than Mark Sanchez. It was just more compelling. Much like golf viewers who only seem to pay attention if Tiger Woods is in the hunt. So while the game didn't mean anything, it was a window into what's to come for the Jets. It will take fans a nanosecond to wish Tebow onto the field. The sideshow is often more interesting than the main event.

5. Zebras

Of course there's lots of dumping on the NFL replacement refs, but don't the regular officials get their ton of grief? OK, in an exhibition game the other night the ref went on the mic and declared "Arizona will be not charged a time out." The only problem was, Arizona wasn't playing in the game. Then again a regular ref once botched the coin toss in Detroit on Thanksgiving. Just remember, that a lot of the shots taken at the replacement guys will be fired by the locked-out officials.

Happy Birthday: Philadelphia Flyers great Bobby Clarke. 63.

Bonus Birthday: The great Ben Hogan would have been 100 years old today.

Today in Sports: The great Man o'War was upset for the only time in his career by a race horse named Upset. (You can read all about it in my newest book for young readers Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs, due out next month. 1919.

Bonus Event: The birth of roller derby in Chicago. (Not mentioned in my new book). 1935.

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