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What Is Early Word?
The Philadelphia Inquirer's experimental online "morning show", which began in Sept. 2005, went on hiatus in the summer of 2006, after a gradual shift to putting more of its content directly on Philly.com.



About the Host
Peter Mucha, husband and father of two, grew up in Cherry Hill and is a lifelong Philly sports fan. He's been writing and editing for The Inquirer for 18 years. His motto (at least for today): "If I'm not brief, give me grief."

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Early Word logo
The Inquirer's ever-evolving way to start your day. Email. Phone: 215-854-2388.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Week's Hottest Topic ...
was whether to have a "Losers' Parade." So I've moved up the original item below to keep the discussion going. Some fans are all for the idea, others derisively agin it. Read the comments. Check out our poll. The dissenters have made one thing clear, though: The name "Losers' Parade" has gotta go. Suggests the marchers are losers. Sets up the city to be laughed at. Don't want that. Losing isn't something to revel in. So, how about we call it The Party-On Anway Protest Parade? Other name ideas: Lollapaloser Parade. Bummers Parade. The We Want to Win and We Want to Win Now (Go Flyers!) Parade. And scratch the idea of painting L's on ourselves. Focus instead on sarcastically recalling the indignities of the past. Mitch Williams is more the point than 'L' named celebrities (pictured below).

Late-breaking idea: The Philly Sports May Day Parade. "May Day" fits both as a plea for help and as a time to have it (May 1).


Let's Have a Losers' Parade!
This item was originally posted Wednesday, Jan. 25.

WIP's Anthony Gargano is plotting to have one in June. He's kicking plans into gear, asking callers for ideas. He hopes to have all sorts of wild and wacky participants, who will symbolize each of Philly's 88 or so consecutive seasons of ultimate failure and humiliation.

The mind boggles at the possibilities. That's why Early Word and Anthony have decided to collaborate a bit. We'll toss ideas around online, and forward him assorted suggestions, maybe even applications. Of course, you're always invited to call him middays on WIP (610 AM) at 215-592-0610 and 856-963-0610.

Now, Early Word can't resist when there's chance for our imagination to go nuts. This being such an occasion, well, ready or not, let's get this party started.

Gotta have a name for the parade. How about The Lollapa-Loser Parade? The We're Sick of Going to L Parade. The Give 'Em L, Harry, Parade. The City of Pity Parade. Or, simply, the Bummers Parade.

What's a parade without celebrities? Going with that "L" for "loser" theme, then, we gotta invite (or have people impersonate) the likes of Elvis, LL Cool J, Elle McPherson, Elton John, Elf star Will Ferrell, and the cast of Showtime's The L Word. Because there's no way to get the Frankford Market El in the parade (is there?) they could ride on elephants or in El Caminos.

Of course, there has to be a Bare-Chested Brigade, legions of men body-painted in team colors with big L's on their chests. Or maybe years. Playing a dirge on kazoos.

Gotta have a big float where guys suddenly spit beer, then throw remotes to shatter TVs.

Wanna take part? Or just go and watch? What are your ideas?

Friday, January 27, 2006

You Can Fool Some of the People ...
You can try to fool Eagles fans.
But don't try to fool Oprah!

I'll Just Tell the Police I Have Alzheimer's
That's why I'm wandering around dressed like this.

Some Crowds Are Large
Some are too large.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Penn Cheerleader in Good Condition
During last night's Penn-LaSalle game at the Palestra, a cheerleading routine went dangerously awry. Natalie Oshin "cartwheeled out of the arms of a male cheerleader who tried to catch her," according to a Daily News report. She fell, hit her head on the floor, and went into convulsions for a minute or so. Her neck was put in a brace before she was placed on a stretcher (picture above by Inquirer's Barbara Johnston) and taken to University of Pennsylvania Hospital. The dailypennsylvanian.com, the student newspaper's Web site, reported she was taken to the surgical intensive care unit, and was in stable condition.

A hospital spokeswoman went further about 8 this morning, saying her condition is good. The definition of "good," she said, means the patient is "conscious and comfortable," and "the prognosis is good to excellent." Oshin, a junior, has a 92.7 save percentage as a goalie for the women's ice hockey club. See club's page on Oshin with her picture.

Powerball Jackpot Rises to $135 Million
No ticket had all five numbers (10, 37, 43, 50, 52) plus the Powerball (14) in last night's drawing. Next drawing in the multi-state lottery is Saturday. Tickets are sold in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Tomorrow's Megamillions jackpot is $53 million. Tickets sold in N.J. and Maryland.

No Locals on 'Survivor' This Time
Survivor: Panama -- Exile Island, which begins next Thursday on CBS, has some twists, but nobody who's truly from the Philly area. There will be four tribes for the first time, and indviduals will be sent off for solitary reflection on a nearby island. Robot-developer Dan Barry, a retired astronaut, has the closest local ties. He earned grad degrees at Princeton, but lives in Massachusetts. Pilot Terry Deitz grew up in Central Jersey near the Shore, but resides in Connecticut. Cirie Fields was raised in Jersey City, and went to school in western Pa., but calls South Carolina home.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Franklin Invented Plastic Pizza-Box-Lid Holder-Upper?
Yes, he did, according to David Letterman last night, who had a tribute (of sorts) in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Philly Founding Father's birth. Besides bifocals, Franklin also invented the self-cleaning oven and Pop-Tarts. Who knew? You see it? What else did Dave say Ben invented?

"Lost" Guy's a Local
Again, who knew? His mom and dad, of course, who live in Easton. And anybody who went to school with him at Haverford. Daniel Dae Kim, whose character on ABC's Lost did dirty work for an Asian mobster, is the subject of the "Exit Interview" in the January's Philadelphia Magazine. Much of the talk centered on Kim's selection as one of People magazine's sexiest men alive.

Philly Mag: Are you afraid of being typecast as the Token Hot Korean Guy now?
DDK: [laughs] Typecasting would imply there's been a lot of people before me in that position, and, frankly, I don't know of a single guy that's been the Hot Korean Guy, ever. So I don't think typecasting is an issue.

Alas, he only offered one clue about where the show's headed: "Jin and [his wife] Sun will come to a new understanding." Philly mag quipped this means "either his character will learn English, or DDK has no idea what's going to happen."

And now a random fact about Jack Bauer
That's the name of the Web site. Folks, like me, who are hooked on 24 (and don't mind the occasional word not even Fox can air) will find such "facts" as "Osama bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive." Question for comment: Who's more nuts: the first lady or the President? On the show. What else could I have meant?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kobe: Ball God or Ball Hog?
Your opinion?

Eagles Too Stymied by Puzzles?
15 players are taking part in NFL week on Wheel of Fortune. But no one from Philly gets to buy a vowel.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Yo, T.O., Where You At?
That's what the Eagles' exiled wideout is asked in his new ad for Boost mobile phones. His answer: "I'm running routes in my head right now. ... I've matured. ... I can't be stopped. ... I'm a playmaker. I'm a game-changer."

Best part, though, is where, instead of saying anything, he just cracks his neck.

That clip’s on T.O.’s Web site, whose home page has had hardly anything new for a couple of months. Silence is golden when talking costs you gold.

Sunday, though, where he was at was a Heat game in Miami, and a Fox reporter asked if he was headed for the Dolphins. After all, coach Nick Saban recently expressed interest in obtaining Owens, who has the Eagles' blessing to seek a trade.

T.O.: "I have no clue."
Reporter: "Any chance going back to Philly?"
T.O.: "All I know is next year, I'll be playing football. Where I don't know."
Correct answer: "Yeah, I'll be in Philly, and that Iran guy will win the Nobel Peace Prize."
Reporter: "Any favorites? Dallas? Denver?"
T.O.: "I do not know. Y'all can keep fishin', but y'ain't got nothing to hook."


Look Who's on the N.Y. Subway
First there was a dead guy. Rode around for about six hours Thursday before anybody noticed.

Yesterday there was a troupe with no pants. Fear not. New York's Finest quickly ended this threat, arresting eight. The stunt was staged by Improv Everywhere, which says that one of the summons writers was Officer Panton, and that one offender, released without his pants, told it was OK for him to ride home on the subway.

The group has done other dastardly deeds, such as faking a suicide jumper ... four feet off the ground.

See That Shot by Iguadala?

Sixers game is tied. With less than a second left, ball's arcing toward the foul line. The other A.I., in midair, without catching it, somehow pumps the ball back up toward the basket ... and in. Good at video at ESPN.com. Look for videos on right, click on "more videos," and scroll to find "The Sixers' Other A.I. Nails One at the Buzzer." Read game story and Sixers notes.

NBC Says Torino, Others Say Phooey
To English speakers, it's the Shroud of Turin, not Torino. We say Florence not Firenza, Venice not Venezia. That's why many U.S. news organizations, including the Inquirer, aren't going along with Italy's name for the site of the Winter Olympics.

Officially, the International Olympic Committee has used Torino since 1999, when the town was awarded the Games, according to an article by the Associated Press, which uses Turin. NBC went along with Torino because "it's so magnificently Italian how it rolls off the tongue," a rep said. See NBC's Olympic site. (Reasoning like that is how ice-dancing winds up in a sporting event.)

Past Olympics, though, from Rome to Munich to Moscow, were known in the U.S. by their host cities' English names.

By the way, the Shroud of Turin is rarely on view. The famous but fragile artifact, which some believe to be Jesus' burial cloth, is displayed only about every quarter-century, to help it last. So, unless there's a Papal decree, don't go to Torino, er, Turin, expecting to see it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Boy, I really had those games scoped, didn't I?

NFL Playoff Picks
Going with Denver and Carolina today. Wish Pittsburgh would win. Really admired their aggressive game plan last week, but I can't see Shanahan getting outsmarted or the Steelers having enough left in the tank to win in that thin mile-high air. As for Seahawks-Panthers, I think Steve Smith is the difference. Forget Shaun Alexander. Teams that get this far can usually shut down a running game.


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