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Sunday, November 6, 2011
What's the worst dancing in sports?

By Jerry Greene
Special to Page 2

With the NFL thriving, college football peaking and the NBA washing dishes in the back, it's easy to lose track of the "little stories," even when they may be the best. One story that started bad but ended well involves a high school soccer team in Maryland that almost lost its season because it just wanted to dance like a fictional dead guy.

Yes, we live in strange times. Dead guys, especially fictional dead guys, should not get involved in high school sports. I'm certain about that.

We're talking about the Perry Hall Gators, who won a game recently and decided to do "The Bernie" afterward. That's the "dance" performed by Bernie in "Weekend at Bernie's," a semi-successful 1989 comedy that has become a minor cult favorite -- including occasional breakouts of someone "doing the Bernie."

If you missed the flick, Bernie was dead before he started dancing. You had to be there.

The Perry Hall players had such a breakout, looking like young zombies in short pants. Apparently this greatly offended some parents, teachers and other folks with nothing of their own to worry about. The school had a kneejerk reaction of canceling the team's season, including a berth in the playoffs.

Fortunately, the school's principal reversed his decision, allowing the team to play and win their opening playoff game. I'm guessing they did nothing more offensive than the samba afterward.

What's the worst dancing in sports you can remember? Here are my top five:

• No. 5 -- This season after Oklahoma State edged Texas A&M, State coach Mike Gundy broke into "The Gundy" in his locker room. The NCAA is still debating whether it was a demonstration of a lack of institutional control.

• No. 4 -- Basketball star John Wall. I still say he was doing a form of "The Dougie," although many of you think otherwise. I do know that all he needed was a couple of hand puppets to complete his act.

• No. 3 -- Jonathan Papelbon, the Red Sox closer, broke into his own "River Dance" after Game 7 of the 2007 World Series. Actually, this is a guilty pleasure 'cause he's fun to watch.

• No. 2 -- Just about one year ago we had a reader-generated "Top 10 Worst Sports Dances" list and coming in second was the Super Bowl Shuffle by the 1985 Chicago Bears. Last year, Ben M. from Peoria, Ill., wrote: "The Super Bowl Shuffle is one of the great NFL mysteries because how did guys with so little coordination win a Super Bowl? It's like watching baby deer learn to walk."

• No. 1 -- Winner of our poll last year (and who am I to disagree?): Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen during the Lakers' 2001 NBA title victory celebration. Said Bill P. of Tualatin, Ore., in last year's list: "At the 2001 celebration, Madsen can't be said to have 'two left feet' because that would be too insulting to left feet everywhere."

And now some quick thoughts while our superstar literary chefs put the finishing touches on the "Fall Back to Sleep an Extra Hour" Sunday Brunch.

• When's the NBA lockout going to end? We tried to ask Heat owner Micky Arison, but something seems to be wrong with his Twitter account.

• If you watch the Kansas City Chiefs play, let us know if anyone bought some new clothes for coach Todd "Homeless" Haley.

• Credit Hornets guard Chris Paul for enterprise. Instead of whining about not having money to feed his family, he put them to work on "Family Feud."

• Jay Leno's favorite Halloween flicks: "Dawn of the Dead Dolphins" and "The Texas Bullpen Massacre."

• The Buffalo Bills quietly announced a new deal to install wind turbines at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Can't help but wonder if that has anything to do with Rex Ryan standing there Sunday.

• And still no word on when the Miami Dolphins will hold their St. Louis Cardinals celebration.

Ding-ding. Brunch is served so don't fall back now. Good stuff ahead.

• The New York Marathon will be a Sunday get-together of perhaps 47,000 runners, each with their own story. George Vecsey of The New York Times has the story of a 20-member family dressed in blue who are running for the lost heroes of the 2001 doomed trip of United Airlines Flight 93. A great read here.

• Many think collegiate athletics should get more of the enormous financial pie. Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post thinks that's too complicated to be workable. Besides, what they really need is respect. Check it out here.

• Speaking of no respect, take the Miami Dolphins -- please. Greg Cote of the Miami Herald has terrible news for Dolphins fans: They're not bad enough to get Andrew Luck. Cote thinks the Dolphins cannot sink low enough to catch the Indianapolis Colts. See why here.

• Speaking of the Colts, Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star paints a picture with words such as "incomprehensible," "unfathomable," "ignominy" and the ever popular "impotent." That is not a pretty picture. Look at it here.

• Top it off by checking my NFL predictions. Spoilers: I pick one to win and one to lose by a point from Miami and Indy -- and also predict the Cheeseheads will turn sour Sunday. See the outcome of every game and a Hello Kitty Smart Car here.

Remember for Sunday morning, you should have fallen back and caught an extra hour of sleep. Here's hoping you didn't cheat yourself.

Jerry Greene is a regular contributor to ESPN.com and can be reached at osogreene@aol.com

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