Friday, September 28, 2007

Rally towels help Phils and city

You've seen them by now. Thousands upon thousands of white waving towels urging on the home team at Citizens Bank Park. The team has given them to fans at the gate to create an exciting "playoff" atmosphere. "I'm so excited about this team I want to bark," said visibly intoxicated fan Jim Corondoni, of West Chester,Pa. Maybe it's the towels Jim.
The team approached the city over a month ago to present the "towel project." A plan that called for the towels to be made from the city's stray cats and dogs. "We have a huge stray animal problem that puts a terrible strain on this town," said Gary O'Mally, president of Here Kitty Kitty. Reports have strays chewing traffic light wires to stealing cars to turning on fire hydrants. The team contracted all the operational duties of the project to Cats-To-Towels,Inc. of Jasper, Delaware.(A separate company handles the stray dogs,but wanted to remain anonymous.)
A Phillies intern thought of the project back in June after losing ample sleep to the cats that congregated in the alley behind her South Philadelphia home. "If I heard one more meow...let's just say I'm really enjoy waving those towels," said the intern.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vick loses Nike, but gains NiteKey

Pleading guilty to dog fighting cost Michael Vick enormously, especially to his wallet. His contract with the Atalanta Falcons was terminated. So too were deals with both Reebok and the Atlanta-based AirTran Airways. The most significant endorsement deal that was victimized by Vick's run-in with the law was the loss of his Nike contract. It's difficult, if not impossible, to replace one of the world's most recognizable brands in one's endorsement collection. In the midst of all this, one company will try and has stepped up to show its support of Vick and trusts that the quarterback's image will return to its pre-electrocution-of-dogs-image. That company is NiteKey Inc., which is headquartered in Newport News, Va. not far from where Vick grew up. NiteKey designs, builds, markets, sells, and contracts keys for night deposit boxes. "We're the largest such company in the lower Chesapeake region," said Dave Wallenford, CEO of NiteKey. "We're hoping to film one commercial before he goes to the slammer," said Rolen Morgantown, a NiteKey rep. The commercial will air in the Newport News-Richmond region.
Wallenford did admit that the company "dabbled in the sneaker business early on," but found keys to be much more lucrative. The symbol on the keys resembles the world famous trademark of the Nike company. However, NiteKey uses an upside-down 'swoosh' with a line down the center. "Now don't start bringing up any trademark or copyright laws, they took us to court years ago and we won fair and square," assured Wallenford.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nats to attempt "barrel-over-falls-type" stunt

Sunday marked the last baseball game in Washington's historic RFK Stadium. The concrete-bowl park will come down with a very unusual event. Several Washington Nationals players will be chosen to experience the implosion of RFK from a "barrel" inside the stadium. The stunt is an effort to raise money for DC-area charities. Though a date has not yet been set for the leveling of the stadium, the team will use a lottery to select the players. "I'm a bit nervous that it could be me, but my wife thinks it's great for charity," said right fielder Austin Kearns. Each player will have time to raise donations around the city and region.
The four "barrels" will be designed and constructed by NASA and the Department of Defense engineers who have guaranteed the safety of the players participating. "These units are virtually indestructible and are very luxurious inside. They each have an AC, shower, and a small bar," explained Tom Wassaby, NASA spokesperson. One unit was thrown from the top of the Washington Monument with very little resulting damage.

Monday, September 24, 2007

At last minute Eagles scrap leather helmet idea

Yesterday the Philadelphia Eagles paid tribute to their 75th anniversary by wearing uniforms from 1930's. The blue and yellow ensemble was also to include a leather helmet of the same colors. The helmet the Eagles planned on using did not entail a face mask which excited many fans. "We thought about it a lot over the past week and decided it may be a bit unsafe," said Ron Morgan, director of "Throwback Week." The Eagles tried desperately in the days leading up to the game to convince the Detroit Lions, yesterdays opponent, to also wear the vintage helmet. The Lions would not budge on their decision, but as late as Saturday night the Eagles still planned on wearing them. "Picturing a hard, plastic helmet crashing full speed into one of our player's faces forced us to think twice...maybe three times. You do have to admit it would have made great television," said Morgan. The decision was made at about 11am yesterday morning to go with the safer gear.

Friday, September 21, 2007

NHL seeks ratings boost, will play football

The NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman (pictured) confirmed reports that the league will attempt to boost its television ratings by playing football instead of hockey this season. The league is trading sticks and skates for cleats and yard lines.

"We feel there is more of a market for football and that our ratings will soar," said a gleaming Bettman.

When asked if this was a permanent change Bettman replied, "I don't know...we'll see what happens."

Many of the NHL's European players are not at all familiar with American football, as most were unable to properly grip the sports oddly shaped ball. Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers, appeared excited and claimed that he was "a huge Yankees fan." Dominik Hasek, NHL goaltender, said he once saw a football in his native Europe. Bettman hinted that most of the European players would be kickers and special teamers.

The NHL has agreed to lease both college and NFL stadiums in every NHL city to accommodate the change in sport. In Detroit the Red Wings will now play their home games in the University of Michigan's football stadium. Though the surface will be grass, Zambonis will be kept as a tribute to the league's roots, making appearances at halftime to "resurface the Kentucky Blue."

Simon Gagne of the Philadelphia Flyers played the game growing up in the football hotbed of Quebec Province, Canada and aims to be the quarterback of the team. Gagne and potential wide receivers Daniel Briere and Mike Richards spent part of the off season working out in Phoenix, AZ.

One rule that the NHL will keep is substituting players while plays are going on. "We will also keep the 82-game schedule," said Bettman.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blue Cross River Rink to reduce admission price

The board that oversees the operation of the Blue Cross River Rink has decided to reduce the price of admission for the 2007-08 season. The reduction in entrance fee comes from the fact that, due to insurance reasons, the rink will not feature ice this season. The board plans to make up for not having ice by having give-aways and special themed nights. "We plan on having a bobble-rink night and a popcorn night," said Karen Kara, a member of the board.
Patrons will have to walk around the rink in a counter-clockwise direction at a reasonable pace. "We will not permit running in the rink, but light jogging is fine," said Kara. The River Rink will be renting sneakers instead of skates for the season. "So if you finish work in heels and you want to visit the rink, you still can." The River Rink will offer walkers the same great views of the past without all the slipping and sliding.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eaton confused about overtime pay

Last nights Phillies game was the last game on the schedule to finish, including the West Coast contests. That's because the game went into the 14th inning finishing after 1am Eastern Time. The Phillies were able to pull out a victory by scoring three runs in the top of the inning making the final score 7-4. That's a bit of overtime. Adam Eaton, Phillies "pitcher", asked reporters after the game to clarify MLB's overtime pay policy. "I should know it but I don't," said the embarrassed Eaton. The policy he is referring to was passed in July of this year and reads: "for each extra inning of work, a player will be payed $9.55." But the gray area lies in players that do not make it into the game, such as relievers or resting players- in Eaton's case. At a recent news conference MLB commissioner Bud Selig gave very vague answers when asked about the policy. "I didn't understand the question," said Selig to the reporter who asked the question.

McNabb sells rights to 'throwing with right hand' story to HBO

So moved by the story of Donovan McNabb playing quarterback in the NFL for nine years with his non-dominant hand HBO decided to buy the rights. "We wanted to lock up the rights before another, more inferior network swooped in to take the story," said HEO of HBO, Kathee Leeree. McNabb just recently discovered, from a blood test, that he was left-handed. HBO plans to make a mini-series from the story consisting of six one-hour episodes. The cable network has opened negotiations with Montell Williams(pictured above) to star in the lead role. The award-winning network hopes the show, still unnamed, will replace some of it's recently departed hits including Sopranos.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blood test reveals McNabb left-handed

Fresh off an embarrassing loss on Monday Night Football to the Washington Redskins last night, Donovan McNabb told a room of Media an even more embarrassing fact: that he is really left-handed. "I've been playing all these years with my right hand, it's really quite shocking," said a shocked McNabb. The news came this morning from the results of a standard team-wide blood test the players took prior to the Green Bay game last week. Many feel playing with his less-dominant hand explains McNabb's ineffectiveness in the past including last night's atrocity. But what will the quarterback do starting next week against the Detroit Lions? "We haven't made a decision regarding right or left hand for next week. The training staff will make the decision when they feel the time is right," said a somber McNabb. Who is to blame for this gaffe, who else? "Again, I take full responsibility for this situation, as I should have known he was left-handed," said a stunned Coach Andy Reid.

Monday, September 17, 2007

God stubs toe on growing tower

God is not all that clumsy, but yesterday stubbed a toe on the top of the growing Burj Dubai Tower (pictured) during a leisurely walk in heaven. The tower recently became the tallest building and free-standing structure in the world, when it surpassed the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. "I totally forgot they were building the tower so high and I just didn't see it sticking up through one of the clouds," said God. God has admittedly had a difficult week with the New England Patriots being caught cheating during a game against the New York Jets. God is the self-proclaimed number one Patriots fan in all the heavens. The toe is alright, though it was slightly bruised God healed it immediately on site. To prevent further incidents Jesus has placed several bottles of wine and water on the clouds around the top of the building as a warning.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Belichick hires sketch artist

Attempting to find a way around the NFL's video taping policy, which forbades filming of the opposing teams sidelines in order to steal signals, Bill Belichick has hired a Boston-area sketch artist to draw the signals. "It is not illegal to steal the opposing teams signals during games. It is only illegal to use video equipment," said a smug Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots. He and the Patriots were fined and penalized draft picks after being caught last week filming the Jets' sidelines.
The artist will be on the sidelines during this week's Sunday Night Football game against the San Diego Chargers and so to prepare attended practice earlier today to meet the players and draw some caricatures of the team. "He really is talented and extremely quick, he did one picture where my head was like 4 times too big," said Belichick. The artist, since drawing other teams signals is legal, will be set up directly next to Belichick on the sidelines during games. "He will have his own headset and a larger than usual easel and a small stool," said the coach. When asked if the artist would be made to wear a hooded sweatshirt Belichick ended the news conference.
Notes: NFL bans popular toy, Etch-a-sketch, from sidelines.

William Penn movie set to film

Sony and TriStar Pictures have announced that "William Penn" the movie will begin filming this coming January. Except for a few scenes the entire movie will be filmed in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. A budget for the film was not known, but is said to be "significant." What is it about? A rogue bolt of lightning strikes the 37 foot William Penn statue atop City Hall bringing it to life. Penn, now a giant, wanders the city fighting crime and assisting the needy and ends political corruption in city government. His size allows him to help construction workers lift heavy materials, but he cannot use tools due to his size, a fact that thoroughly frustrates the workers. The cast includes Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, and Penn from Penn and Teller.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Helton talks ancestry

Todd Helton, first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, is in town for a five game series against the Phillies. He is having a decent year for his club batting .318 with 155 hits. After last night's 12-0 romp over the Phillies Helton talked about his very unusual last name. "It is actually of English ancestry. But was originally spelled without the 'H'." Helton said his family dropped the 'H' for two months in 1987, but it confused friends and neighbors. In ancient times there was a machine called a helt and it was used to sharpen stones and to make porridge. "My Great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather used to operate the machine and, because it was very dangerous, would have to call out to coworkers whether it was on or off. He would have to yell,'Helt on or helt off.'" From the yelling of this information the town's people began referring to the man as "Helton." "To this day my family has some of the best porridge recipes," said Todd.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Phils still talking about Mets series

The Phillies and Adam Eaton lost to the Colorado Rockies last night 8-2 dropping them 2.5 games behind the wild-card leading San Diego Padres. But as they have done over the past several weeks following a game, the Phillies only wanted to discuss the Mets series from last month.

"Do you guys realize we swept the Mets last month," Shane Victorino told several reporters surrounding his locker after the game.

The smell of champagne still lingers in the club house from August 30 along with the odd smell of stale Twinkies. Several players still wore the hats and t-shirts that were made by the team following the Mets series sweep that read:"We swept the Big Apple,now lets eat some scrapple."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oar or oar

John B. Kelly was a world renowned rower from Philadelphia who won medals in both the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. The father of Grace Kelly, he is an icon in Philadelphia who was immortalized with a statue(Pictured above) along the Schuylkill River, the nation's rowing capital.

The statue sits at the end of the rowing grandstands adjacent to the recreation trail that follows the river. Many experts and trail users never understood the reason the oars on the statue were so short.

A recently discovered diary revealed the story. The truth is that from 1905 to 1943 it was very poor etiquette for a rower to use their boat for anything other than rowing. Kelly knew this, but decided early one crisp autumn morning to use his boat for fishing.

"It was a remarkable day for fishing as I could almost see the bottom of the river. What an immaculate river this is. I quenched my thirst with a cup of river water," wrote Kelly in 1919.

A United States Rowing Division official was on the water that morning and reported the incident to the group's officials. The USRD punished Kelly by demanding his oars be no more than four feet in length then forcing him to race.

"It was painful as the entire board of the USRD watched as I was forced to cut the oars in two," Kelly wrote.

This pushed Kelly to work harder and to prove to the USRD that he could still be an effective rower with the shorter oars. With hard work and determination Kelly felt he could make up for the disadvantage. The rest is history as Kelly went on to win three Olympic gold medals.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Area residents report sinister noise

Philadelphia Police responded to many 911 calls earlier today where concerned citizens claimed to hear loud unusual noises echoing throughout the city.

"It almost sounded like a sinister laugh, but then I thought it was a storm, but the sky was absolutely clear,' said Steffy McDunagan, of Philadelphia's G-Ho section.

After several hours of investigating police were able to locate the source. The sound was coming from Jimmy John's Bar and Grill at 3rd St and Cheese Steak Ave.

Covering their ears because of the volume, police stormed the bar only to find Jeremy Bloom watching the end of the Eagles-Packers game.

"Alls we could do was laugh along with him," said Officer John Kelly Goldberg.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Staten Island makes change

In an effort to alter its image nationwide, Staten Island has joined with Cooper Sinclair Advertising to remake itself. To lure businesses and commerce, the Staten Island Commerce Group of Associates has decided upon a name change.

"The only way to alter our image is to change our name, I don't see any other way,"said Ifnell Muggsee, president of the League of Associates.

After hours of meetings and joint meetings the committee came up with "Stanhatten." They decided to drop 'Island' from the name and be more aggressive, hip and may even add some skyscrapers.

"Welcome To Stanhatten."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hurricanes becoming more advanced

September usually means the the threat of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean from Central America to the northeastern United States. Technology has been essential in tracking and warning heavily populated areas of an impending storm. Tracking the storms, however, has become increasingly difficult during the 2007 season.

In May of this year hurricanes announced they would be using stealth technology to "fly under the radar." The technology is very similar to what the US military's Stealth Bombers use, making them undetectable to radar.

A frustrated Horace Harrier, meteorologist at the Macon, GA-based Whether Channel (Weather Channel's biggest competitor), said,"They are impossible to track now with radar, we actually have to use planes to fly overhead and manually monitor their movement. They're sneaky."

Hurricane Gloria, from the late 1980's, is the unofficial leader of the AHA(Atlantic Hurricane Association) taking power in a 2004 coup. "This stealth technology is...pretty cool. My winds gust over 80 mph just thinking about it," said Gloria.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

RBS will not rename stadium but...

An excited Steve Vorgan, president of Citizens Bank Park, announced today that Royal Bank of Scotland(RSB) will not rename the stadium in south Philadelphia. There was speculation recently that RBS, which owns Citizens Bank, would change the name to better represent the RBS brand. Reports surfaced that RBS Citizens Bank Park would be the new name.

William Wallace, CEO of RBS, said,"There will be no name change, but it is with great pleasure I announce the first ever relocation of a sporting stadium."

Many at the meeting pleaded for him to repeat the announcement because his thick Scottish accent was difficult to clearly understand. Citizens Bank Park will be disassembled, shipped and reconstructed along the banks of the Clyde River in Glasgow, Scotland, where many believe baseball started.

Stadium relocation has been discussed for years, some often wondering what would come first: relocation or retractable-roof indoor stadiums. Well, now we know.

RBS originally thought about including the Phillies in the relocation, but said,"Naaaa, that's OK." Plans are to use the stadium for soccer, the Scotish games, which are just called 'games' in Scotland and wiffle ball tournaments.

Notes:The Phillies will share Lincoln Financial Field with the Eagles. "Yes, left field will be very, very short," said Phils president David Montgomery.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Turn signals,brake lights overrated

A recent survey showed that most drivers feel that turn signals and brake lights are overrated.

"What are they really signaling to the other drivers?" asked Donna Mueller, an automobile driver.

She went on to say,"C'mon, really what purpose do they serve? It's the same with defrost features. I don't get 'em."

Monday, September 3, 2007

Phillies only willing to discuss Mets series

While most residents of the Delaware Valley were enjoying the Labor Day holiday with cookouts and barbecues the Phillies were busy losing their third straight game. The team began the current road trip with a win on Friday against Florida, but lost the last two games of the series and the first game of the Braves series today. The loss puts the Phils five games behind the first place Mets, making it more than difficult to take over the top spot before the end of the year.

Asked to comment on the team's recent futility Wes Helms, Phils third baseman, only wanted to discuss the atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park during last week's Mets series.

"I'm telling you the hair on my arm stood up when the crowd cheered like they did last week."

No player, some being very short with reporters, would discuss the losing streak. Many seemed to be stuck in time as if it were last Thursday.

When told the team was now five games back pitcher Jamie Moyer responded,"I think you have some bad information because the last time I checked we were two games back. I don't know where you are coming up with five games. You better check your sources."

Manager Charlie Manuel, meanwhile, would only talk about Ryan Howard's walk-off home run from last Tuesday night.

Roddick unveils new celebration

Andy Roddick, the 5th ranked player at this years US Open, has showcased a new celebration that he plans to perform after every match victory. Earlier today, following the triumph over Tomas Berdych, the fans in attendance got to see firsthand the new ritual. Berdych was forced to leave the match in the second set giving Roddick the win.

After the victory Roddick approached the net to shake Berdych's hand then headed for the end of the net. Urging the crowd to cheer by waving his arms, Roddick then stood on the chair next to the net pole.

"The crowd was really fired up," said Sarah Vivian, a fan from Really Long Neck, Long Island, NY.

Roddick then turned made a motion with his right hand, the kind gymnasts make to judges prior to approaching the balance beam. He jumped onto the net and, using his racket to balance, began to traverse the net like a high wire act at Ringling Brothers Circus.

"At this point we[the crowd] stood, jaws dropped, and watched with unmeasurable discomfort," said ball boy Jimmy Wizshantz.

Roddick made it about one third of the way across the net when he lost balance and jumped to the court surface. The American announced to a stunned Michael Barkann, a USA Network reporter, afterward,"Hopefully, with practice and before the end of the Open, I'll make it all the way across."

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Bloom blames boots for not making roster

Philadelphia, PA--Jeremy Bloom, who most thought, before the season began, would return punts and kickoffs for the Eagles this year, did not make the 53 man roster. Bloom was somewhat surprised, but felt he knew where he made his biggest mistake.

"Definitely when I decided to wear the boots,"said a somber Bloom.

The boots he is referring to are the ski boots that he decided to don during the Carolina preseason game and the first half of the Pittsburgh preseason game. As a former Olympic skier, Bloom has a certain comfort level with the boots.

"I really felt they would give me an advantage, but it turns out they are heavy and cumbersome for running," said the return man.

One cannot forget that the boots also cause a person to lean forward, which could help when trying for close first downs. But the boots only caused Bloom to stumble time and again.

"I realize the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] forbade me to wear the skis in addition to the boots, but there is part of me that feels if I was able to wear both, I may have excelled."