BY LEN BERMAN
TOP 5 FOR DEC. 13, 2012
1. Quick Hits
The NFL is thinking about expanding the playoffs to include 14 or 16 teams, they currently have 12. Why not just let everyone in? All 32 teams. 5 weekends. Just one more than now.
Congress takes up the subject of HGH testing in the NFL. The players still won't go along with it. Don't you wonder what percentage of NFL players is using the stuff?
Just another soccer game. Sao Paulo was leading Tigre of Argentina 2-0 when a scuffle broke out. Tigre players claimed police pointed guns at them in their locker room at halftime so they refused to come out for the second half. Sao Paulo was declared the winner of the tournament.
2. Not So Charitable
New Yorkers proved they could take a punch from Sandy, and now New York sports fans have proven it too.
Adam Sandler performed at last night's "12-12-12 Concert." And in his song he took shots at Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, A-Rod, the Mets and Isaiah Thomas. Sandler's song maintains that the bad times from Sandy will "pass" just like the above "bad" sports moments. Maybe a stretch, but still kind of funny.
3. Lotsa Goals
Records are made to be broken. Lionel Messi set the record this week for 86 soccer goals in a year. Not so fast. A Zambian soccer player broke Messi's record... 40 years ago. According to Zambia's football federation, Godfrey Chitalu scored 107 goals in 1972. Is there any sports record that doesn't come with some sort of baggage?
4. Numbers Crunching
As yet another example of how much time you guys waste at work, when I came up with a list of famous 12s yesterday in honor of 12/12/12 of course you had some additions. Many of you came up with Kenny Stabler. Here are some others:
*L.F. What about Yvon Cournoyer? He wore #12 after Dickie Moore, and is in the Hockey Hall of Fame!
*A.F. The late Ferrari star Gilles Villeneuve ran with the #12 (also #27) …but #12 in the year he finished 2nd in the F1 championship.
*B.L. In 1990 Michael Jordan dropped 49 points on the Magic while wearing No. 12 after his jersey was stolen before the game.
Editor's Note: Here's picture proof.
And when I mentioned the Big 12 as one of my choices, F.D. wrote, The Big 12 Conference has 10 members. It's a fake dozen.
And as R.S. points out: You forgot the number of teams in the Big Ten (12).
Editor's Note: Now I'm totally confused.
5. What Am I Bid?
Which is the most dramatic/important goal in the history of American hockey? You would have to say Mike Eruzione's game-winner against the Russians at the 1980 Olympics. Of course it's featured in my new kids book (see below). More important, the jersey that Eruzione wore when he scored that goal is up for auction. So is the stick he used. So is the jersey he wore in the gold medal game two days later against Finland. Start saving up. When the auction is held in February the jersey is expected the fetch around a million bucks. The gold medal jersey around 200-grand and the stick around 100-grand. So some old hockey gear could fetch upwards of $1.5 million or more. Do you believe in miracles?
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Happy Birthday: Jets coach Rex Ryan. 50.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Taylor Swift. 23.
Today in Sports: The Brooklyn Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to the New York Giants. He retires instead. 1956.
Bonus Event: Naming names. The Mitchell Report is released naming 89 baseball players who used performance enhancing drugs. 2007.
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Here's my interview with Mike Francesa Tuesday on WFAN and the Yes Network.
I'll be in Sparta, New Jersey tonight for a book signing at Sparta Books. 5 p.m.
Looking for a holiday gift for that young sports fan in your life? If you'd like to purchase a personally autographed copy of my new book The Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs, please contact the Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington, New York at (516) 767-2650.
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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.