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Quotable Philadelphia 2008

A lot of things were said in Philadelphia this year. Here are some of my favorites.

WFC WTF
“World Champions. World Fucking Champions.” — Chase Utley, at the Phillies victory parade Oct. 31.

“Honestly, I don’t know how to follow up Chase.” — Jimmy Rollins, immediately following Utley’s speech.

“Anybody who utters a word of that caliber knowing that millions of kids and adults are listening in person and on the radio, TV and Internet has no class and is certainly no hero.” — A Northeast Times editorial on Nov. 6.

“I tell all kids not to use that word. If they’re 29 and they win the World Series, I think they can say that.” — Utley on Dec. 15. Utley’s speech was broadcast live on most local networks; the Inquirer reported the FCC got 26 complaint letters.

“It was embarrassing that he was allowed to do that and if there are no ramifications I will be furious. Is there no platform that is sacred anymore?” — A complaint letter to the FCC. More »

Larry: No Sex With Alycia

Hey, that Phillymag with the article about Dawn Stensland (Fox 29 anchor, wife of Larry Mendte, etc.) finally arrived in my mailbox; credit to the paper for actually getting to the only possibly interesting thing about the story in the second section, so I could stop reading it.

Today, Dawn says she believes Larry when he says the relationship between him and Lane was inappropriately close, and included kissing, but the two did not have sex.

And if you believe that, I have an issue of Phillymag to sell you. Then again, if everyone in the TV news business is going to act like 13-year-olds, maybe people only get to second base.

Roger Ebert Predicts Apocalypse

Hey, Roger Ebert, consensus #1 film critic, author of classic reviews of North and Jack Frost, how’s life been treating you?

Oh, I see you’ve answered with a blog post titled Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. I’m down with the W.B. “Mason” Yeats, man. I knew you had good taste. Let’s see what you got for us in the post:

It’s all coming to pieces, isn’t it — the world we live in, the continuity we thought we could count on, the climate, the economy, the fragile peace. The 20th century was called “the American Century,” with some reason. I do not believe the 21st century will belong to anybody, and it may not last for 100 years of human witness. There are nuclear weapons in the Middle East and on the Indian subcontinent, and if one is used, more will follow and who can say when the devastation will end?

Um, yeah, I mean, I guess you could look at it that way if you want to be the “half-empty” kind of guy. But it’s only a few days after Christmas and the Eagles just unexpectedly made the playoffs, and I dunno, I don’t really want to have a downer of a conversation.

The weather is unhinged. It is no longer a question of global warming. It is a question of what in the hell is happening? I do not have to rehearse for you the details of this horrible American autumn, and a winter not yet half over. The tornadoes, the hurricanes, the floods, the blizzards, the wild fires, the heat waves, the water shortages, the power blackouts. The White House declares “a state of emergency” and the federal government sends money. How many states of emergency are we still in? How much more money is there?

More »

Philly.com’s New Robot Reporters Still Need Some Tweaking

New, improved at airport [Inquirer]

Turn On The Today Show Right Now

Brian Boitano is figure skating to the music of “Five for Fighting” — at first I thought he said he was skating “for firefighters” — in a set he personally choreographed for Today. He’s on the show promoting his new show, which features ice skating to the music of Seal.

Rest assured, I am not clever enough to be making any of this up.

Abridged Daily News Columnists: Brian Tierney Special Edition

There’s only one column in today’s Daily News, but it’s by Publisher Brian Tierney, so let’s make fun of it for a little bit. (Post-writing editor’s note: Or maybe for a long time, like a billion words or so. Whoops.)

WHAT HAPPENED last week was like a scene from a holiday movie.

Did an angel show Brian Tierney what it would be like if he had never lived in a gimmicky, schmaltzy way?

In the face of the biggest demand for toys in years, the Philadelphia Area Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program was experiencing its smallest contributions in memory. With a week to go in its campaign to help needy children, the toy total was less than half its usual count. And, in the most challenging economy in decades, there was little hope for improvement. Things looked bleak.

Oh. That’s not good, but I don’t really see how it’s much like Brian Tierney being visited by three ghosts and learning the true meaning of Christmas.

We started a campaign in the

I just want to point out that, currently, this is the last part of the story in regular text; everything else is in italics from this point out. I totally haven’t italicized my whole site in a while, but it happens to the best of us.

Daily News, Inquirer and Philly.com to alert our readers to this need.

A week later, 40,000 more toys came through our doors, to put the total at over 60,000. The increased cash contributions are still being tabulated.

This “Miracle on Broad Street” illustrates the extraordinary power of our newspapers - to highlight a problem, galvanize our community and make a real difference, every single day.

Let’s call a moratorium on “Miracle on [x] Street” references unless it really works from now on. This is about the third or fourth thing I’ve heard called “Miracle on Broad Street” this year (including the Phillies’ World Series win, which took place in between 10th and Darien Streets).

And, uhm, this scenario doesn’t sound much like Miracle on 34th Street. The only way this would be like a Christmas movie is if people donated Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifles. (Note: Please do not notify me of a movie called The Christmas Toy Drive or something that is about a newspaper and its heroic toy drive.)

More »

Eagles Are Playoff Bound!

Can you believe it?! Watch Jeffrey Lurie hit his wife in the face above (via Philly SportsCast) and check out Tony Romo lying on the ground after turning the ball over (via The 700 Level) and then get up and celebrate, because the Eagles are going to the playoffs! Unbelievable.

Gettysburg’s Great Lincoln Statue

The seventh graders at St. Martha’s always went to Gettysburg for their class trip. (They could still do it now.) But what my teachers did not show us — or showed us and I forgot, or they showed us and I didn’t know who Perry Como was — was this Gettysburg statue of Abraham Lincoln next to Perry Como:

122308lincolncomo.jpg

Further investigation (done by RJ) reveals the statue might just “look like” the crooner, and it’s apparently supposed to be Lincoln with “the everyman.” But whatever: This is the best thing ever. How random, how awesome.

For those of you who don’t know who Perry Como is, author Andrew Ferguson (Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America) explains: “People have forgotten Perry Como, this is awful to say the least. He was a crooner, a sort of a Frank Sinatra without the overtones of danger and sexuality but anyway, so he just looks like every man, which was Perry Como’s appeal and he’s in a cable neck sweater and Lincoln is talking to him.”

I would be remiss if I did not note Pennsylvania-born Perry Como also appeared with Superman. Let’s hope in 100 years somebody puts up a statue of Barack Obama talking to Celine Dion or something.

Time travel or feverish hallucination? [of Battles and Bibliophiles]

Darren Daulton’s Ring For Sale

122308daultonrings.png Not everyone is as lucky as the bankers and automakers; not all of us can just go to Congress and ask it to print up some free money. And, so, yet another consequence of the poor economy: Pro athletes are selling their beloved championship rings.

THe website Championship-Rings.net lists a ton of athletes’ title rings for sale, including this 1993 National League championship ring and Darren Daulton’s 1983 NL pennant ring! Daulton played only 2 games in the 1983 season as a September callup, so perhaps he’s not too attached to that one. The ‘93 ring says it is also from a player; no word if Jeff Manto needs some cash.

You can also get this 1913 Philadelphia A’s ring if you have, like, a million billion dollars.

The site also has this ring from the 1976 All-Star game in Philadelphia that belonged to Bob Lemon. The Hall of Famer retired in 1958, so one can assume it was just a really weak league that year.

Last but not least, there’s this “sample ring” from the 2008 World Series; it has Pete Rose’s name on the side so you can totally fool your friends and say you got Charlie Hustle’s World Series ring. A steal at $3,000!

There are a ton of rings in other sports, too: There’s this 1980 NFC Champions Eagles ring that belonged to an unnamed player and this sample ring from the same year. Naturally, these were made by Jostens, so they’ll match your high school graduation ring. There’s also a staff member’s 2004 NFC ring.

The Flyers are a little more flush, as there appear to only be sample rings available for the Stanley Cup wins. Nothing from the 76ers; those two teams either don’t sell their rings or sell them on the black market. And if you’re really interested, an XFL championship ring is available for just $16,000.

Update: Look! 1985 Villanova National Championship ring! Penn State 1982 national title! PSU’s 1994 undefeated season!

Man, who buys all this crap?

Abridged Daily News Columnists

Fatimah Ali: Ali’s partner of 16 years has colon cancer; I wish them both a speedy recovery.