December 02, 2007
"The Curse of Billy Penn" - A Song of Suffering
Not sure how a singer-software engineer from Flatwoods, Ky., could understand our suffering so well, but Ryan Parker posted a painful Philly sports ditty on his blog last night, exactly 12 hours before A.J. Feeley found Seattle's Lofa Tatupu for the first time.
Parker calls his song and accompanying video, "The Curse of Billy Penn."
The old Quaker, famously offended because developers were allowed to build buildings taller than he stands on City Hall, is the one who sucked the life out of D-Mac during his end-of-Super Bowl reverse peristalsis, according to Parker's reading. Yes, closer inspection reveals a quill from Billy's pen stuck to Joe Carter's fateful bat.
Thanks to the curse I don't know what's worse,
A team that never has hope,
Or a team that believes only to leave,
The Philly fans trying to cope,
Since they have suffered it's gotten much tougher,
To ever expect them to win,
It makes a fan wonder how long they'll be under,
The curse of Billy Penn ...
Looks like Parker floats these around the country, wherever fans are happy, or in this case, hurting.
By email, he said this today:
I know suffering as well being a Cincinnati sports fan...just not the four-sport variety! I've been writing these sports-related songs for a couple of years now and had received a lot of requests to cover the situation in Philadelphia. I looked into it and found out about the "curse" and thought it made for a good angle on the topic.
November 25, 2007
New England Fans
Sure they have two World Series rings and three from the Supes just in this decade. They also have too much time on their hands. Witness the entitled attitudes when A.J. Daulerio pokes a stick at Belichick and Brady, and the Athenians of America strike back. The action is in the comments.
(Yes, we're from there, but we're the sort of lovable losing Red Sox fan of the previous century.)
October 07, 2007
The Great Jimmy Dugan
But on this Indian Summer morning, when we're nursing some wounds, and looking to winter sports, (not to mention fall ones) we leave it to the great Jimmy Dugan to show the way ...
September 28, 2007
"Having seen or listened to nearly every single Phillies game since 1962, this team has just moved into the vaulted spot held by the '93 team as my most exciting Phillies team of my generation. Move over Kruckster, Lenny, Dutch and Hollins the NEW Broadstreet bombers have taken over no matter the outcome of the rest of the year."
That's it, the nectar I was searching for in Phlogdom this late-September morning when the birds are chirping, it's Friday and Indian Summer-warm, and the 2007 Phillies find themselves with a foot on first place with only three games to go.
It's from a commenter at Beerleaguer with the handle '64 survivor.
The swoon we're talking about today isn't from a legendary Phillies team, but from the team one metropolis to the North. The Mets held a 7-game lead with 17 left in the season. If you log onto to ESPN this morning, you'll savor the headline, "Shea It Ain't So."
It's so. The lead squandered. A four-game skid. Something rotten in the Big Apple.
Over at Swing & A Miss, Tom Goodman is fixated on the not-so-amazin' Mets, which is understandable.
But it's an old grudge he's trying to work out of his back molars:
Meanwhile, back at the pennant race, the Mets continue to stumble and bumble their way towards possibly one of baseball's legendary late-season collapses. It couldn't happen to a nicer team. (On occasion I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, sit up straight and ask myself, "How in the hell did the Mets beat the Orioles in '69??!!")
The exercise continues in the comments, as readers tease out of him the most agonizing memories of the Mets and 1969, and we get an argument in which the young Ron Swoboda and Tommy Agee are gamboling across the green fields of a more innocent era.
A time when one could write innocent and Mets in the same sentence.
With a fairly important weekend of baseball on the way, Balls Sticks & Stuff is thinking of sacrifice -- the sort of sacrifice the phaithful must make when hope is on the line:
Yes, we all have lives outside of baseball, but at a time like this, you have to go down to the game. I'm going tonight, despite having two jobs, a wife that is is bursting at the seams, and a dog who is very adamant about his daily walks and fetch session.
Enrico at the 700 Level is stealing time from his studies (he's dropped down to D.C. for B school, but mustard still flows through his veins) to weigh in on that special something:
The Phillies are good. Their line up can beat any pitcher in the bigs on any given day. We've kind of known this but tended to brush it aside because the pitching was so bad, so hot, and so cold. The Phillies are not only good but they have shown they have that certain something that can get win them games.
What is that special something? Can't say exactly. But if you look at Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Kyle Kendrick, J.C. Romero, etc., you see it. Heck, even Dobbs, Werth, and company off the bench give you a good feeling. On any given night it's been a different guy. It's hard not to single out Jimmy, though. He's the face of this 2007 squad and what a lovely smile it is.
Pitching. Yeah. Pitching is still a concern, as always. If the Phillies are for real, the pitching is going to have play out of their mind for the next three days. And over the next few weeks, baseball gods permitting.
Three games left in the regular season. The Phillies are tied atop the division and one back from the wildcard. In come the Nationals. This is about as meaningful a set of games this town has seen in September in ages. Get you're rally towels out.
He's a realist. Color him cautiously optimistic.
The Good Phight wastes no words:
159 games later, Phils are once again tied for first place.
What a strange and wonderful feeling.
Hey, we're a page away from October, and we've got a pennant race here.
September 21, 2007
Hire Ed Wade
Richard Justice, writing in the Houston Chronicle today, gives this view of the former Phillies GM, just hired to do the same job for the Astros:
He's a detail man in every good sense of the word and has been around enough successful organizations to know what's needed.
Want proof? Check out the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell and Brett Myers were drafted or developed during Wade's tenure as general manager.
Want more proof? He hired Ruben Amaro Jr. and promoted Mike Arbuckle. He sought the counsel of Paul Owens and Dallas Green. He knows the ingredients of a good organization. He also knows what he doesn't know.
Yo! Did we run him out of town, a friend asks, because we always need someone to hate?
A commenter named Greg at Phillies Nation is a little more critical:
I’m not sure you can hand Wade all the credit for products of our farm system. Don’t forget Turk Wendell, Mike Williams and all the other rent-a-wreck relievers he wasted talent on. Gillick’s centerpiece deal has to be getting Rowand and don’t underestimate that. J.C. Romero? Alfonseca? Werth? If the Phils make it to the playoffs, I think Gillick and Manuel deserve the Nobel Prize for their patchwork on a team decimated by injury throughout the season.
Wonder what this writer would say to that.
September 11, 2007
An odd post, really, on A.J. Daulerio's Philadelphia Magazine blog today.
A.J., whose hipster view of sports buffoonery in Deadspin has been a regular read for me, describes an unannounced visit from a NFL security man, who was sniffing out whether A.J. actually knew anything that could tie Eagles players to dogfighting.
Only, as A.J. writes, he didn't know anything. He was pursuing a rumor that got shot down by all he contacted, so he wrote nothing. "Story over."
Until this morning's visit from the football man, which gave A.J. an opportunity to spill what he knew, or didn't know. In the process, A.J. dropped the name of a beloved former Eagle who's allegedly been the subject of such rumors on another blog.
I would not like to be that beloved ex-Eagle right now. If there's no truth to the rumor, them's fightin' words.
The post will get read, given that it caught the attention of Jim Romenesko at the Poynter Institute, a regular watering hole for journos avoiding work. (That's how I found it.)
A.J.'s post attracted some good comments, but none better than the first responder, who wrote:
My only question is, can the dogs catch a punt?
August 06, 2007
"History Left to Rot"
TravelGolf.com trashes Cobb's Creek Golf Club's Olde Course. Senior writer Chris Baldwin says the public course, designed by Hugh Wilson, who laid out such luxe links as the Merion Golf Club's, is "history left to rot:"
If they ever treated the Liberty Bell like this, there'd be a national uproar and congressional hearings. Cobb's Creek is history that's been left to rot.
Cheap, depressing, but filled with potential, he writes of the old-school layout. He gets off a good line:
It's sometimes hard to tell the fairway from the rough here.
Talk about rough ...
August 02, 2007
Down on Donovan
Down, past Brett Favre, past Tom Brady, past Peyton Manning I went looking, scrolling through ESPN's list of the 50 best locks for the Hall of Fame.
And didn't find Donovan McNabb until reading a page called "On the Bubble."
There with Drew Brees and Steve McNair is the guy on whom Philly rests its hopes for an Eagles championship.
(And no snark about the list being only for players "active" in the NFL)
Being hurt is what's got him down.
Although McNabb is one of the elite quarterback talents of his generation, injuries and big-game shortcomings hurt his reputation. Three consecutive NFC Championship Game losses and a Super Bowl defeat -- in which his star receiver accused him of running out of gas -- might prove difficult for Hall of Fame voters to overlook. If McNabb can build substantially on his statistical résumé, which already includes 152 touchdown passes, his chances improve greatly. However, if his injury woes continue, he likely will need at least one Super Bowl ring to secure a spot in Canton.
But Brian Dawkins makes the cut.
The heart and soul of the Eagles' defense, Dawkins doesn't appear to be slowing down with age. He had one of his best seasons in 2006, cementing his reputation as one of the game's premier ballhawks by making several big plays during Philadelphia's late-season surge. Dawkins has been named to six Pro Bowls and has played in an Eagles-record 13 playoff games. He is the only player in league history to have recorded a sack, a fumble recovery and a touchdown reception in the same game.
Dawkins is the only Eagle to fly into Canton, ESPN predicts.
One lippy former Eagle gets his due -- he who cannot be named, only initialed. "
July 25, 2007
"It was like running through a cardboard box."
The Hit gets featured in a story on crushing tackles.
Enrico at the FanHouse notes that no less a linebacker than Brian Urlacher weighed in on the rare highlight of the Eagles season-ender.
Said Urlacher, "Those are the ones you dream about."
February 04, 2007
The Super Spots
Looks like Kevin Federline might find more work after his Nationwide spot. The former Mr. Britney Spears courted some controversy in his ad that shows him sunken to the level of a fast-food employee. Adrants reports that Taco Bell's president, Greg Creed, wrote Federline:
We know you respect those who work in our business. In fact, last year you said in an interview, "My kids are going to have to learn what a real job is, what life is. You don't have it easy with me. Period. My kids are going to work at Taco Bell."
We're flattered, but obviously they're too young to work for us. So here's our offer to you: Come work for us, just for a one hour shift. We'll get you a uniform, a custom name tag and show you what a great place Taco Bell is to work. We'll even reward customers who visit that restaurant with an order of our new Carne Asada Steak Grilled Taquitos for free.
Two words: Beard combover. What more can we say?
AdFreak co-editor Catharine P. Taylor asks if that's a wardrobe malfunction Charlize Theron is experiencing in the ads for J'adore perfume.
Find $2.6 million-per-30-seconds too pricey? Why not just post your ads to YouTube for free? TechCrunch reports that newish companies including Meebo, Meez, Multiply, Plaxo, RockYou and Technorati are going the low-budget route. Technorati borrows wholesale from The Big Lebowski. Plaxo asks, "is it cold out there?" All about the shrinkage.
Another place to see the ads you missed (if you actually missed any - maybe you got a sandwich when the game was on) is AOL, which seems to have them posted in real time.
Barbara Lippert, columnist for Adweek watches the Taco Bell ad and wonders why the lions on the velt have surfer dude accents. "What's up with giving every speaker in commercials -- from babies to wild animals -- that same slacker voice and affect?" Give her the grouchy Geico cavemen any day.
Was that Janet Reno sitting next to Mike Myers in the Chad Johnson Super Bowl party?
At Deadspin, commenter Black Aces wrote: "Snickers just pissed me off. Dammit, if I wanted to see men kissing, I would have turned on figure skating."
AdRants on same: Winning the Most Disgusting Super Bowl Commercial Award is the commercial from Snickers in hich two mechanics end up eating the same Snickers bar from opposite ends until the two meet and are shocked. They suddenly react by doing something very manly, ripping off their chest hair. Yes, it will talked about and maybe that's half the battle. It's still gross though.
New York Times graphic charts ads since 1984. Use of humor is up. Though not sure how they classify 1986's Herb the Nerd spots for Burger King.
Have a favorite ad? Hate one more than others? Visit AdBowl, the annual online poll conducted by McKee Wallwork Cleveland, an Albuquerque, NM. advertising agency.
A favorite insight from the group of live blogging Madison Avenue types at SuperAdFreak came from Tim Arnold, an AdWeek columnist and principal at Dragonfly, who said that the spots are an expensive vanity fair that don't have to work - they only need to be noticed:
Here’s why the Super Bowl is the greatest show on earth. In forty years it’s gone from a game to a spectacle, and in the process handed an enormous gift to a bunch of lucky dudes in the media and advertising industries. With every last Super Bowl TV commercial poll and analysis out there measuring nothing more than “favorite,” “best ever,” “funniest” and “most animals,” us ad dogs are off the hook. It’s akin to papal dispensation: apparently we don’t have to sell dick during the big one—just rank in one of these popularity contests. Our clients’ egos get stroked, and we can all congratulate ourselves for a job well done. Thank you very much.
Good to see the flap over too much skin a few years ago hasn't kept the spots from featuring plenty of violence and mayhem - the face-slapping Bud ad, the mouse abuse for Blockbuster, Bud Lite's rock, paper, scissors game won with a real rock, the Doritos car crash.
About that citizen-generated Doritos ad, AdRants rants:
Ooh. Doritos just made our skin crawl with their latest ad featuring a cashier getting progressively hotter and hotter over her trucker-looking customer's choice of chips. The spot ends in an aisle cleanup. You do the math.
And unless there's a wide demographic of married cashiers and truckers, we think this is a total "Sideways" rip-off. There probably are a lot of married cashiers and truckers though. In all probability Doritos may very well be the glue that keeps their love together. Who are we to talk?
Adrants was kinder to the cit-created Chevy ad:
OK. It's cheesy. It's lame. It's hideous. but we love it. Love it! Call us sick but we love the consumer-created Chevy HHR commercial in which guys turn into street strippers for a couple of women in a car.
We were pretty much leaning forward on the couch, open-mouthed, during Prince's half-time show. In the rain. With that rag and the devilish guitar, which looked more devilish when his purpleness was glimpsed behind the sheet. At Deadspin, Spectator wrote:
Prince just wanted to remind you that he rocks. Thanks for watching.
Robert Goulet, crawling on the glass like The Salamander from that old Hill Street Blues episode, and then Sir Charles Barkley getting mistaken for Dwayne Wade's dad in the same commercial break. I'm never gonna get that sandwich.
An ad to remember? Frito Lay: Fans. It's the most low key -- you hear the call of the game and see fans reacting. Young, old, they're all of color. There's a subtext: not one but two coaches who are black are leading their teams. The ad doesn't spell this out. It never has to. "We've got more than a game here," the announcer says. "We've got history. Not just getting here. But what getting here represents."