Friday, November 28, 2008

NFL devises plan for broadcasting Lions on turkey day—Networks will share misery

The NFL, facing pressure from fans and television networks, has developed a plan for televising the perennially inept Detroit Lions on future Thanksgiving Day games. The winless Lions were thrashed yesterday, 47-10, by the Tennessee Titans(11-1). The plan calls for the five different networks that currently televise NFL games to "share the pain."

FOX, NBC, CBS, ESPN and NFLN will each be assigned one quarter of Lions' play(15 minutes) to cover on the fourth Thursday in November. This plan will commence in 2009 with NBC, ESPN, CBS and FOX showing the first through fourth quarters respectively.

The system will be rotating, where the fifth network—NFLN in 2009—will be given a reprieve from showing any part of the game. If a network televised the first quarter one year, they will televise the second quarter the next year and so on. The network that is given off will televise the first quarter the following year.

"It's not fair for any one network to bear the brunt of televising an entire Lions game to a national audience," said NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell.

When asked which network would be responsible for showing an overtime session should the game require one, the commission laughed uncontrollably and called for the next question.

"Is this ideal? No. We would rather have Detroit removed from Thanksgiving all together," said CBS executive, Jim Harstein,"but this is much better than what we had. Yesterday, we ran a commercial for Carl's Corner Deli in Huron, MI during the last quarter. Carl's Corner Deli? What is that about?"

The Nielsen Ratings for the fourth quarter of yesterday's lopsided Lions-Titans game showed a total of 47 tv's(total) tuned into the game. Thirty-seven of those sets were in Flint, MI, 5 were in Nashiville, TN and 5 were in Houston, TX—former home of the Titans.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reid did tell McNabb that 'Shurmur has something he wants to tell you'

"Don was walking next to me coming out of the tunnel and I told him that Shurms[Shurmur] has something he wants to tell you," said Reid at Monday's press conference, when asked how he informed the quarterback that he was not starting the second half of Sunday's game against the Ravens.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another visitor mistakes Mummer Museum for Mutter Museum

Luke Eminger had been looking forward to visiting Philadelphia for almost ten years. The heart surgeon, from Seattle, WA, has long known of Philadelphia's prominence as a US medical center. But, even more, the surgeon knows that the city is the undisputed center of American medical history.

"From Pennsylvania Hospital and the Mutter Museum to Jefferson Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania [Philadelphia] is the heart of US medical History," proclaimed Eminger.

At the center of that history may be the world-renowned Mutter Museum. Located near 22nd and Chestnut Streets, the museum's mission, as described on its website, is as follows:
Today, it serves as a valuable resource for educating and enlightening the public about our medical past and telling important stories about what it means to be human. The Mütter Museum embodies The College of Physicians of Philadelphia 's mission to advance the cause of health, and uphold the ideals and heritage of medicine.

Eminger, his wife and three children landed at Philadelphia International Airport last Tuesday at 10:03 AM barely able to contain their excitement (at least Eminger could not). So excited, in fact, that the family hopped in a cab and asked to be taken directly to the Mutter Museum even before checking into their hotel.

Twenty minutes later they arrived at 2nd Street and Washington Ave at the Mummer Museum.

"I knew Mutter was German and so I thought the double M's were pronounced like D's. Plus, I was very excited to get inside so I didn't think anything of it," explained Eminger.

The Mummer's Museum website reads:
The Mummers Museum opened in 1976, and is dedicated to the Philadelphia celebration of the new year. The museum houses a rich collection of mummers' paraphernalia and memorabilia, including spectacular costumes, a few of which date back to the turn of the 20th Century.

After the first display, the family returned to the information desk to confirm that this was, in fact, the Mutter Museum. The women confirmed that, yes, indeed, this was the Mummer Museum.

"It was not at all what I expected. I was thinking there would be more medical oddity-type things. Although it was odd, there was nothing medical about it other than the no smoking sign out front and most of the visitors tended to ignore that rule," said Eminger.

The non-smoking family took in the rest of the museum while smoking, even the children, and became even more confused at the Budweiser display that concluded the tour. The Emingers now plan to return to Philadelphia on every New Year's Day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coach found no humor in Thai food question

Philadelphia, PA--On Monday, Eagles head coach Andy Reid gave his regularly scheduled day-after news conference concerning Sunday's game for the ages in Cincinnati. The Eagles and the Bengals played to the NFL's first tie in six years. It had been eleven years since the Eagles' last tie.

One reporter, who wanted to add a spark to the usually lifeless gatherings, asked Reid about the teams' pregame meal.

"Did the Eagles and the Bengals eat Thai food before the game?" asked the reporter, who did not want to be named.

The room erupted in a roar and there were high fives and handshakes exchanged and promises of rounds at the bar. The question and reaction was not intended to disrespect the coach.

"I really was only kidding around. I thought Andy would get a kick out of it. But I guess when you're 5-4-1...," said the reporter.

After the question Reid shot a glare at the journalist rarely seen from the head man. For a split second, it appeared Reid was going to smile; however, he quickly gathered his play laminated charts and left the room.

The press room was still filled with chuckling writers trying to contain themselves as the podium stood empty.

"[The reporter] beat me to it. I was going to ask [Reid] if he could recommend a good Thai place in the city," said one local sports radio personality.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Budget cuts will eliminate yellow from city traffic lights

The City of Philadelphia and Mayor Michael Nutter recently announced massive cuts to the city's budget. On the list of cuts were pools, libraries, manhole covers and city-owned post offices.

The city added to the list yesterday when it was stated the yellow light, or warning light, in most county traffic lights would not be replaced after burning out.

"We studied this with great care," said Nutter,"and I met with transportation officials and we determined that eliminating the yellow lights would save a few thousand dollars and would only minimally affect traffic flow."

The yellow light was added to the traffic light in 1959 when vehicular traffic was increasing exponentially. Prior to this only red and green were used to warn drivers when to stop and when to go. The warning yellow has been credited with drastically reducing automobile accidents since its inception.

"We have already begun instructing the Streets Department to refrain from replacing burned out yellow bulbs," said Jim Salynz, assistant to the mayor. "Although it appears they stopped long ago."

TrafBulb, Inc., a Media, PA company, manufactures the yellow traffic light bulbs exclusively and was disappointed by the city's decision.

"We stopped making red and green bulbs four years ago. There was no money in red and green bulbs. I just hope cutting yellow lights doesn't become a national trend," said TrafBulb CEO, Connor Hamilton.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Newspapers, sports websites spending millions to add tie column to N.F.L. standings

Philadelphia--Newspaper print workers and computer web developers had their work cut out for them after the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles played to a 13-13 tie yesterday. The tie was the first in the NFL since 2002 and the Eagles first since a 10-10 tie in Baltimore in 1997.

The Philadelphia Inquirer called in their print specialist, who was away on vacation, as newspaper printers had to be adjusted to include a tie column in the NFL standings.

"Type settings had to be moved and then moved again and then saved and ... there was ink all over the place," said Courtney Allen, the paper's print specialist.

Web designers also worked overtime. Standings have not included a column for ties in six years. Many were unable to program the correct HTML code that allows for a third results heading in the standings.

"I tried adding a tie column and I got so frustrated. It took me about two hours, my code was all jumbled," said web developer, Jennifer Williams.

Williams has been with the website since November 12, 2002. She replaced Fred Sniles, a developer who resigned the day after the NFL's last tie between Atlanta and Pittsburgh on November 10, 2002.

FoxSports wasn't the only site having problems adjusting their NFL pages.

"I usually update the NFL standings as the games end. I can do it from home while watching most of the contests. It's a sweet gig, but today was no sweet gig," said's Darren Flinton.

Notes: Comcast SportsNet's Derrick Gunn will interview former Eagles quarterback Bobby Hoying this week to discuss the Eagles last tie in 1997 ... The Inquirer will print a commemorative "Tie" poster on Thursday featuring photos from the team's two most recent ties.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reid to shake things up, will shave mustache

Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Andy Reid is feeling the pressure from fans and the media after his team dropped to 5-4 on the season following last Sunday's loss to the New York Giants.

The team's inability to run the ball and stop the run are becoming more evident each week. Playing in football's toughest division that likes to run the ball doesn't bode well for Eagles playoff chances. Changes have to be made.

"I'm shaving the mustache. Time's yours," announced Reid from the NovaCare complex in South Philadelphia.

Many feel this is a desperate attempt to take the focus off his struggling team and place the attention directly on his mustache. The ploy may work for a few weeks, but experts feel the attention will eventually return to team performance.

"He's trying to make us focus on the mustache and not on the team. I mean ... I wonder how long he's had his mustache. What lengths has he trimmed it to in the past," said one local writer.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Burrell:'I would sign with the Riversharks to stay here.'

Pat Burrell has made it clear that he would very much like to stay in Philadelphia with the Phillies to finish his career. The free agent left fielder is riding quite the high right now after helping the Fightin's win the World Series for the first time since 1980.

Across the Delaware River from Philadelphia is Camden, NJ home to the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent league not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The team has recently expressed interest in Burrell.

The ALPB attracts players trying to make the majors, minor league lifers and former Major League players attempting to extend their careers. Burrell does not fit any of these catagories as he finds himself in the prime of his career.

This fact sheds light on just how much Burrell likes the area and wants to remain here , which could play a huge factor in the amount the player is paid.

"I love it here. I have no interest in leaving the city for another MLB team. The area is my home and I would sign with the Riversharks to stay here," said Burrell.

If Burrell does sign with the Riversharks the team announced they would play all of their weekend home games in Citizens Bank Park. The team's third jersey for Sunday afternoons would be identical to the Phillies' home uniforms. Twelve roster spots would also be eliminated to free salary space.

"Pat would fit in nicely here. His 86 RBI's and .250 batting average would lead the league or at least the division," said Sharks' manager, Jerry Tilden.

After learning of Camden's interest the Phillies have decided to open talks with Burrell's agent. Let the bidding war begin.

Notes: Former MLB all-star Rickey Henderson played on the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League after retiring from the majors. In 2006 the Riversharks tried to lure Hank Aaron out of retirement by offering a two-year contract.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nabisco officials irked by, enjoy Teddy Graham knockoffs

Hanover, NJ--The Nabisco Company has been making award winning snack foods since the late 1800's. The company takes pride creating a line of snacks that range from Chips Ahoy and Oreos to Cheese Nips and Ritz Bits Sandwiches.

"I love them all," said CEO, Nancy Villers, when asked which snack was top on her list. "But Teddy Grahams are my favorite."

The bear-shaped cookie appears to be the favorite of many. In 2005, the cookie took first place at the annual Animal Snack Awards in Erie, PA, which was hosted by musical group Hanson. Animal Crackers, another Nabisco product, took second and has yet to win the coveted award. Though not an animal shaped snack, Oreos took home third place.

The fact that Teddy Grahams is a prize-winning product makes company officials more sensitive to imitation bear cookies that pop up on the market.

"We work hard [at Nabisco] and every so often I'll walk down the isle of a supermarket and see a new bear cookie with similar packaging and similar name and I just have to shake my head," said Villers.

The CEO along with other company officials recently made a trip to a North Jersey grocery store (they would not reveal the name) and purchased two packages of the imitation cookies. One, in a resealable bag, was called Teddy Bear Cookies. The other, in a box, was labeled Teddy Bears.

"We bought the items to use during a shareholders meeting, but we were all very hungry on the ride home and had to open the bag ... and box," said CMO, Darryl S Reed.

Reed went on to say that Teddy Graham knockoffs are often given to under-performing employees.

What the company officials found was very shocking to the group. "We loved them! They really were delicious. And the bear shapes seemed angrier, like they were going to help me digest other food that was in my stomach once they arrived," said Reed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SEPTA, NJTransit, PATCO blame leaves on track for parade transit fiasco

Every November, usually mid-month, a traffic and transit report on on the local news radio station(1060AM) warns listeners of delayed regional rail trains. The cause of the delay is a gift from mother nature in the form of falling leaves.

During the fall season tens of thousands of leaves fall from their trees in the Delaware Valley. Wind carries them from a couple of feet to a few hundred miles from their origins. Wet leaves tend to carry further in the wind and find their way onto the tracks of SEPTA's rail lines and can cause schedule nightmares by making them extremely slippery.

One of these such nightmares occurred on Friday when the transportation system was pushed beyond capacity before, during and after the Phillies' championship parade. Local resident's were urged to take public transportation into the city for fear the roads could not support the number of automobiles.

"We were all set to go," said Dale Rocco, a SEPTA official, referring to the authority's preparedness for the parade,"and then the leaves began to get all over the tracks. We weren't expecting this on the last day of October."

At about 2AM on Friday morning a conductor shutting down a passenger car noticed a single leaf on the tracks near Paoli station on the R5 line.

"I was like 'this is gonna get ugly and silly' because when one leaf falls a whole lot of them fall," said conductor, Karen Thompson. "I called my supervisor and that was that."

A stiff southwesterly wind began to blow from the southwesterly and soon the tracks were covered with about twenty-five leaves. Similar reports were filed from stations along the R1, R2, R3, R4, R6, and R7 lines. Chalfont station reported 32 leaves on the tracks at 4AM.

When service began in the morning SEPTA officials ordered all inbound trains not to make any scheduled stops out of fear the cars would be unable to stop. Some stations were so conjested with Phillies fans that crowds were 50 deep in some places.

In Ardmore fans got word of why the trains were not stopping and began to pick the leaves off of the tracks.

"We started clearing the tracks but they kept falling. I would point out all of the leaves to make sure people saw them," said Sarah Dieglz, a Phillies fan from Ardmore.

Clearing the tracks made no difference as trains continued to pass full stations. Many missed the parade and SEPTA finally issued and apology.