Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 22, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Terry Collins is the Mets new manager.
* The Philadelphia Eagles take over first place in the NFC East after beating the Giants 27-17 last night. Who thought the Atlanta Falcons would have the best record in the NFC?
* Former Yankee Jim Leyritz was acquitted of manslaughter for the 2007 crash that killed a Florida woman. He was convicted of misdemeanor DUI.
* Wanna buy a baseball team? The Houston Astros are for sale.
* Not bad. NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson wins his 5th consecutive driving title. Just 3 more to match the 50's and 60's Boston Celtics who won 8 straight titles.
* Stop the presses. The Knicks won 3 straight games in California for the first time ever. If the playoffs started today, they'd be in.
In a move that surely will cause groans among Mets fans, 61-year Terry Collins is the choice to be their new manager. He last managed 11 years ago in Anaheim. Wally Backman, with his fiery personality, was the "people's choice," but it doesn't mean that Collins won't succeed. If Mets fans think only a manager stands between their team and the World Series they're delusional. The Mets have major roster problems with some albatross contracts. Let's see how the Mets spend their money and shape their roster. Then we can get back to discussing the manager.
3. You Betcha
Fans always ask me "who's gonna win?" I try not to answer. For one, I don't want anyone betting on my supposed "inside info," and two, I have no idea. With that in mind, one of my favorite newspapers has two pages of NFL betting info every Friday. As of last Friday, the reporter's "Best Bets" were 4-6. Mind you these was his best bets. The sure locks. A losing record. Reminds me of the old joke about a gambler who loses his shirt betting football, basketball and baseball. So his friend suggests he bet hockey. "Hockey," he sniffs, "what the **+@ do I know about hockey?"
By the way, the "Best Bet" for yesterday was the Titans. The reporter's record is now 4-7.
4. Ballot Box
Once again they asked me to vote for the Heisman Trophy. I've been doing it for about 30 years, despite the fact that I really don't get to see a lot of college football games. So, I voted for Cam Newton of Auburn. Talk about going out on a limb. And yes, he may have to forfeit his trophy some day the way Reggie Bush did. But do you think Bush is the only Heisman winner who may have broken NCAA rules? If all the cheaters were ruled ineligible in college football, maybe I'd have to suit up. Then at least I'd get to see some games.
If you were alive in 1963, you'll always remember this date. I was in high school and they dismissed school without telling us why. We were left to fend for ourselves. Walking through the streets of Manhattan that Friday afternoon, I noticed that people were paying attention to radios and TVs. Later, when I arrived at my after-school job, I found out why. Despite the national tragedy, NFL games were played that Sunday, but not televised. The late Commissioner Pete Rozelle always said it was his greatest mistake. Other sports leagues carried on as well, but they weren't criticized like the NFL. I remember going to a Rangers hockey game that Sunday night. I guess that was my way of trying to take my mind off the four worst days I lived through as a teenager.
Happy Birthday: The great Billie Jean King. 67.
Bonus Birthday: Actress Scarlett Johansson. 26.
Today In Sports: The birth of icing, eh? The NHL is formed. 1917.
Bonus Event: JFK. Dallas. 1963.