Sunday, June 30, 2013

'Very bizarre' autographed 5'X5' Phil Knight poster in Chip Kelly's office making entire coaching staff uncomfortable

The assistant coaches will compete in a best-of-seven rocks-papers-scissors tournament at some point to decide who will approach and convince the head coach to remove the poster. "It's strange," said one Eagles' assistant position coach, "even though Phil has sun glasses on in the poster his eyes follow you wherever you are in the room."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Judge rules playground maker to pay family $1.2 million for failing to have 'may attract bears' warning label on box

No one was hurt and the small, frightened bear was on the play set for just over five minutes before wandering off. Judge: "A bear warning should really be on the box."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sister Cities Park new wave pool powered by solar energy

Philadelphia--The question was never should a wave pool be installed in Sister Cities Park. The question has long been how to sustainably power a wave pool once it was installed? The answer: the sun. Over the spring, much of the shallow children's pond adjacent to the park's green-roof capped cafe was replaced with a state-of-the-art Olympic 1000 wave pool. Solar panels affixed to nearby streetlights and on the south-facing facade of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul provide just over 85 percent of the needed electricity for the pumps and high pressure water jets. "There are still a few kinks to work out," said Jeff Sillenger, a Brotherly Love Parks and Recreation official. "Like, when a cloud passes overhead a boogie boarder can become stranded in the pool for a minute or so. There's no doubt that our battery backup system needs some refining." The park, just east of Logan Circle on 18th St., which saw huge crowds before the tide came in, has been booming since the installation and is expected to only grow more popular over the hot summer months. "The wave pool is great," said Becky Donald, 31, a resident of Fairmount, standing with her two young daughters who could not take their eyes of the park's newest addition. "But, even greater is the harnessing of the sun. Our family calls the wave pool the Sun-ami."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lincoln Financial Field upgrades: All bathroom stall doors to be replaced with hanging beads

Above: Several Lincoln Financial Field restrooms will get a meerkat-themed beaded/bamboo hanging stall door makeover. All restrooms will get beaded doors from one of over twenty themes.
South Philadelphia--The Eagles are making some changes to ten-year-old Lincoln Financial Field with new HD jumbo video screens, additional seating, better connections between upper-level seating sections, and much-needed relief to the painfully slow stadium entry process. But what has fans abuzz (and the league investigating) is the announcement that all men's and women's restroom stall doors will be replaced with hanging beaded/bamboo curtains. The team hopes the new, significantly less private stall doors will help improve and speed up the bathroom experience for all fans. "I don't mean to sound crass, but you got guys and gals that will literally set up shop when they're in the restroom stalls at the Linc," said Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie. "Trust me, I hear stories. We want people to be comfortable but not too comfortable. You know, get in, take care of business, and get out. No checking smartphones or any of that nonsense. We think the beaded doors will speed up the whole bathroom experience by making bowel relievers uncomfortable to the point that they will hasten the whole process considerably. Plus, the doors look really cool. Every doorway in my college apartment in Worcester had them." One NFL executive, who wanted to remain anonymous, said "this is a disaster waiting to happen." We'll see come the fall (literally).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

USGA declares Merion the Librarian mascot a 'frightening failure'

Above: The Merion the Librarian mascot high-fives fans while following 2013 U.S. Open runner-up Phil Mickelson.
Ardmore, PA--Everybody knows The Music Man, or so the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Merion Golf Club thought. The organizers and host of the just-completed U.S. Open were positive that the catchy songs and lovable characters of the 1957 Broadway musical (and the 1962 and 2003 films) would connect with all fans young and old. In 1993, the musical was celebrated on an episode of the Simpsons, where the salesman was peddling monorails instead of musical instruments. One of the main characters from the musical was Marian Paroo (Marian the Librarian), the love interest of salesman/con man Harold Hill. Merion teamed up with the USGA to create a Merion the Librarian mascot to meander the course to encourage "library speaking voice volumes." "We wanted a well-known character that fans could relate to, that was a play on the club's name, and encouraged quietness and proper behavior on the course. We also wanted a character that would be kid-friendly," said Merion's director of fan relations, Darryl Evanston. Well, for four days, Merion the Librarian said not a word to the throngs of golf enthusiasts that packed the East Course, but only put her left index finger to her lips to indicate quiet. "Yeah, it backfired big time," continued Evanston, referring to the creation of the mascot. "She scared the crap out kids and just generally made everyone uncomfortable for nearly a week." The USGA and Merion admitted that the reputation of Philadelphia fans was one of the main reasons behind the making of the mascot. "The crowds were absolutely fantastic, and, much to our misjudgment, it had nothing to do with Merion the Librarian.
Above:  Marian and Harold in the 1962 film: The Music Man

Monday, June 17, 2013

Report: Chase offered NY over $50 million to sponsor bike-sharing

New York City--Citibank paid $41 million dollars to be the main sponsor for New York's controversial bike-share program for five years. Citi Bike, a collection of 6,000 blue bicycles scattered over lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, allows commuting Big Applers to take short (no more than 45 minutes) trips from strategically placed bike station to strategically placed bike station. Chicago-based Chase Bank reportedly offered nearly $50 million for the naming rights to the country's largest bike-share program, but was turned down by the city. "In the end we simply felt that the word Chase--Chase Bike or Bike Chase--would become a running joke and perhaps lead to unsafe riding and driving conditions: either by bikes chasing bikes, bikes chasing cars, cars chasing bikes, pedestrians chasing bikes, or bikes chasing pedestrians. We lost a few million bucks by not going with Chase, but we feel we may have saved a whole lot of lives," explained Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

USGA, Merion reinstate grounds crew member suspended for wearing baggy rain pants

Above: Blake O'Sullivan donning baggy rain pants uses a squeegee on the 16th fairway. 
Ardmore, PA--The heavy rains over the last week in southeastern PA has not only caused delays in tee times, but has sparked a pants controversy at the U.S. Open. Yes, a pants dispute. "I just want this whole mess to be over with," said Blake O'Sullivan, 26, a grounds crew member at Merion Golf Club, host of this year's Open. "My baggy pants have become the story of the tournament and that is not at all what I intended. I didn't intend anything." The Narberth, PA, resident said he was in the grounds crew locker room and received a call to report "asap" to the 16th fairway to squeegee the rain-soaked hole, as the course has been battered by precipitation since last Friday. O'Sullivan "grabbed the only pair of rain pants" he saw and ran to the 16th to join the rest of the crew, all the while pulling the surprisingly large rain gear over his jeans during the frantic jog there. "It turns out that I grabbed an XXXL pair of rain pants and I had no time to return to the room and find a proper-fitting pair." On Monday, O'Sullivan was suspended with pay by both the USGA and Merion for "improper inclement weather golf attire" based on Rule Rt-86013-BT-zcx of the USGA grounds crew etiquette handbook. On Wednesday morning, Jesse Jackson led the charge to reinstate the crew member, flying to Philadelphia from Atlanta, and holding a press conference directly across the street from the East Course. "Did Mr. O'Sullivan demonstrate carelessness? Yes. But the crime does not fit the punishment. The ruling parties have shown great preposterousness." Matt Damon, Will Smith, and Sarah Jessica Parker all joined Jackson at the podium to lead the crowd in a slow clap, fast clap after the announcement that O'Sullivan was reinstated.

Monday, June 10, 2013

U.S. Open: Merion urging, pleading, reminding fans to please drive to course

Above: Merion Golf Club's East Course at the 14th hole with the skyline of Philadelphia in the
background. Tournament organizers are urging fans to skip public transit, carpooling, and private 
shuttles and drive alone to the course. "People, we have plenty of parking, so please drive by 
yourself to the Open,"said one Merion official.
Ardmore, PA--The historic Merion Golf Club in Haverford Township, which has hosted 17 USGA championships since it was established in 1896--more than any other course in the nation--apparently has "more parking than you can shake a one iron at." Course manager Darrell Vesitter: "We want to dispel any rumors that the club is tight on parking. Please arrive by car, in fact, arrive by two cars. We have more parking spaces than the King of Prussia Mall and the South Philly sports complex combined." The club is located in highly developed Delaware County just west of Philadelphia in the first-ring suburbs with very minimal parking. The driving request is extremely unusual--which could cause unprecedented gridlock--given that Amtrak serves Ardmore, PA, just over a mile from the East Course, site of this year's tournament. In addition, SEPTA's regional rail has stops in Haverford and Ardmore, while the Ardmore Avenue stop along the transit agency's high speed line is just steps from one of several entrance gates.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013