BY LEN BERMAN
Top 5 for January 21, 2013
1. Quick Hits
Super Bowl 47 is set for Sunday February 3rd in New Orleans: San Francisco is an early 5 point favorite over Baltimore.
St. Louis Cardinals great Stan "The Man" Musial is dead at the age of 92.
Former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver is dead at the age of 82.
Hockey season is underway. The Islanders have already been eliminated from the playoffs. (Just kidding, I think.)
Roger Federer, Serena Williams and the other favorites continue to march on at the Australian Open.
A library in Australia is moving all Lance Armstrong books to the fiction section.
Road kill. Both road teams won the championship games yesterday, highly unusual. And now we're set for the HarBowl, as a couple of brothers coach against each other in the Super Bowl, Jim and John Harbaugh. Can we declare a moratorium on Harbaugh stories the next two weeks? Yes, I'm sure their parents will be torn. Aside from that, I find the quarterback matchup more fascinating. Joe Flacco of Baltimore has never received his due and Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco wasn't the starter when the season began. And while we're at it, let's declare the next two weeks a Ray Lewis free zone. In fact I wouldn't mind an entire news blackout the next two weeks. Wake me up for the kickoff.
3. The Man and Earl
We lost two baseball Hall of Famers over the weekend, Stan Musial and Earl Weaver. Both giants in their own way. Musial's way was quiet and consistent. A dominant lefty hitter who had 1,815 hits at home during his career, and 1,815 hits on the road. He was Mr. Baseball in St. Louis beloved by a baseball-loving town. Earl Weaver was slightly different. He was better known for his histrionics on the field with the umps, 91 ejections including both ends of a doubleheader. He attained his Hall of Fame credentials over an 18 year career all with Baltimore where he won nearly 1500 games. His name will forever be associated with the 3-run homer. That's what he played for. As opposed to Stan Musial who hit every which way. Two baseball legends who will be long remembered and exalted.
I wrote on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5," "The bottom line on Lance Armstrong: He cheated, he lied, he bullied, he sued. That's his legacy. Your thoughts?" Here are some of them.
*R.G. Even Oprah can't help his redemption. No remorse, still arrogant.
*D.Z. Lance's disappointing personal actions should not take away from the heightened cancer awareness and support that has been fostered by the LIVESTRONG organization.
*M.F. Totally agree but don't care. Been done with this forever ago.
*K.K. There is something wrong with the public's mentality about hero-worship. Athletes are put on a pedestal that is ridiculously unrealistic, and they are paid obscene amounts of money to maintain their image... hence the "need" to cheat in order to maintain that status.
*L.R. This guy is a complete disgrace to his family, his friends, his sport and his organization. Why even give this guy an opportunity to speak is beyond me, oh yeah, I forgot, it's all about the ratings.
*P.S. Sounds to me like he's ready to run for elected office.
5. Soleful Phone Call
Remember Don Adams on the TV show Get Smart talking into his shoe phone? Well the shoe phone lives. A Greek soccer player used it to celebrate his goal. To quote Maxwell Smart, "Would you believe...?"
Happy Birthday: The Golden Bear, golfer Jack Nicklaus. 73.
Bonus Birthday: Tenor Placido Domingo. 72.
Today in Sports: Nobody was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, not even Yogi Berra! 1971.
Bonus Event: New York City bans smoking by women in public, but the measure is vetoed by two weeks later by the Mayor. 1908.
The next time you need a gift for that young sports fan in your life, check out my books. And if you'd like a personally autographed copy contact the Dolphin Bookshop at 516-767-2650.
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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.