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Len Berman on Sports: Bowl Games, Numbers Games ... and Black Monday

LenBerman_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY LEN BERMAN
TOP 5 FOR JAN. 2, 2013

1. Quick Hits

Stanford beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl 20-14.

In the Orange Bowl Florida State easily beat Northern Illinois 31-10.

Hey, every half century or so Northwestern wins a bowl game. Yesterday was that day, 34-20 over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.

Denver ends the Clippers franchise-best 17 game winning streak, 92-78.

NHL players and owners continue to negotiate. I guess if Congress can agree on something.....

2. Black Monday

One by one they were forced to walk the plank on Monday. Eagles coach Andy Reid (said to be the leading candidate in Arizona).

Bears coach Lovie Smith (despite a 10 win season). Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel. Browns coach Pat Shurmur. Bills coach Chan Gailey. Chargers coach Norv Turner. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. General managers also bit the dust on the Jets, Browns, Chargers, Cardinals, Panthers and Jaguars. The NFL has it right. 12 teams make the playoffs. But for those other 20 teams it feels as if the sky is falling. For some reason in the other sports, the consequences for not making the playoffs don't seem quite as harsh. By the way, the Jets didn't snub the media by not explaining their firing. They stiffed their fans.

3. Numbers game

So you have a 9-7 record and you go on to win the Super Bowl. The next year you have a 9-7 record and you don't make the playoffs. They say it's a fine line between winning and losing. There's no better proof than the Giants.

4. Award Season

When I was broadcasting the news on a regular basis I routinely ignored the press releases lauding the coach/manager/player of the week/month/fortnight. What was the point? That was driven home last week when the NBA coach of the month for November, Avery Johnson of Brooklyn, was fired in December. Boy he became a bad coach fast. As his son tweeted, "I'm sorry the best players couldn't make open shots. Yeah that's my dad's fault, totally." Can't wait to see who wins coach of the month honors next.

5. Oscar Madison

One of the most famous sportswriters of our era passed away during the holidays, Oscar Madison. He was a rumpled sportswriter (is there another kind?) Of course he was fictional played on television of Jack Klugman who died in December at the age of 90. Thought you might enjoy this "clash of the titans" when the sportswriter met up with the sportscaster, none other than Howard Cosell.

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Happy Birthday: Former Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez. 50.

Bonus Birthday: Model Christy Turlington. 44.

Today in Sports: Joe Namath makes an absolute fortune, $400-thousand, to sign with the New York Jets of the AFL. 1965.

Bonus Event: President Nixon signs a bill making 55 mph the maximum speed limit to conserve gasoline. 1974.

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To receive Len's free Top-5 email go to www.ThatsSports.com.

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About Len Berman:

Len is an Emmy-Award winning sportscaster and New York Times Best Selling Author who has covered just about every major sports event including multiple Super Bowls, World Series, and Olympics during his 40-year career in broadcasting.

 
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