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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

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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Friday, June 09, 2006

Who's Idiot of the Week? 

There's the guy who got killed when he jumped into a lion's cage to test God.

There's the guy who got went to Manchester, England, instead of Manchester, N.H.

There's the defendant who sucker-punched his lawyer.

There's the squirrel hunter who got stuck so deep in mud it took 11 firefighters to drag him out.

And then there's Dallas Cowboy Terrell Owens, who ticked off fans of his new adopted city by wearing a Shaquille O'Neal Miami jersey at the Dallas-Miami game last night ... a day after showing up eight hours late for his own youth football camp!
Who's Idiot of the Week?
Free polls from

Thursday, June 08, 2006

10 Polls in One on Donovan McNabb 

You've been reading and hearing a lot about Donovan McNabb this week. The Inquirer interviewed him ("I didn't have a big-name receiver until T.O. got here, but I had confidence in guys like James Thrash"). So did the Daily News ("I'm not a mama's boy"). And so did Howard Eskin (he spelled his website,, to promote tomorrow's diabetes-fighting fundraiser and his new line of apparel). So, here's a chance for you to pose for a snapshot of the town's current feelings. We all know, after all, opinions are cheap: They come and go like winning streaks.
Free polls from
Which statements describe your feelings about Donovan McNabb?
Pick as many answers as you like.
McNabb's too much of a mama's boy / company man.  No, he's not.  He should apologize for likening criticism to "black-on-black crime."  No, he shouldn't.  I'm worried he's overdoing his workouts again.  No, I'm not.  He needs to run more during games.  Give him a break about last season: He was injured.  He's gotta learn to be more clutch.  His bigger problem is a lousy receiving corps.  I wish McNabb was more candid about end of the Super Bowl.  He doesn't owe fans any explanations.  I'm tired of those Chunky Soup ads.  Love those Chunky Soup ads.  There's nobody I'd rather have as QB, except for Tom Brady.  I'd rather have Koy Detmer start.  Eagles fans always focus too much on quarterbacks.  No, we don't.  Everybody just get off McNabb's back.  Criticism helps athletes excel.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Plea for Full-Contact Finish-Line Team Golf 

Bob Barker and Adam Sandler demonstrate
a popular Full-Contact Golf move in "Happy Gilmore."

Yo, guys, it's time. When a 16-year-old like Michelle Wie can compete in a major men's sport, well, it's time to fix that sport! I mean, we can't have girls climbing on our leader boards and stealing our endorsements, can we? There's only one solution: Full-Contact, Finish-Line Team Golf. Each team has 2 players: a shooter and disrupter/caddie. Two teams per hole at a time. Ready, set, bang! The gun goes off, crowds scream as teams simultaneously run onto area where they tee off. Or try to. You see, in FCFLTG (Tough-Guy Golf, for short), the caddie (cad, for short) adds the much-needed element: defense. He can stand in the way. He can steal tees. He can kick the other shooter's balls. (Wearing protection is recommended. That's why cads are advised to thwart face divots by carrying tennis rackets. See note below.) Anyhow, forget dirt-inserting a tee, unless your cad can totally wrestle mine to the ground. Faster way to start: Toss ball up and whack in midair. Almost anything goes, except for using "clubs" as weapons. A few of the fine points:

Winner is first team to get their ball in the hole and their clubs past the green.
Yes, strokes don't count at all. Winner is team first across finish line after getting ball in the hole. This suggests all sorts of strategies, such as tieing other team to a tree.

Hands and feet can contact the ball. Yes, if you like, pick that ball up and run with it. Tie it to a rock or club and throw it. Loft a shot to your waiting teammate, who catches it and slams into the hole. Whoa, yeah!

If the ball goes in the lake, you gotta go get it. Floating balls are recommended. So are swimming lessons. No lifeguards are provided. Boats are optional, according to whims of course architect.

Jalai clubs, tennis rackets, croquet mallets, baseball bats, pool cues and bazookas are permitted, as long as they fit in standard golf bag.

Apparel may include body armor, knickers and funny hats.

No injury timeouts.

If a player dies, teammate must drag corpse across finish line to win the hole.

Holes per typical round: Best of 3, even if it takes all night.

Tournaments begin with 16 teams, eliminating losers each day, until final 2 square off on last day. (With actual action, this form of golf does not need to fill a course with players to provide enough TV material.)

Yes, with Full-Contact Finish-Line Team Golf, men won't have to worry about the likes of Michelle Wie wanting to compete any more. Or Phil Mickelson being able to.

Monday, June 05, 2006

6-6-06: Celebrating Halloween in June 

Tomorrow the world ends. Or so some journalists say some folks think. Women want labor to be induced so Jr. can't be accused of being spawned from Satan's seed. The Omen will bring demonic doom to theaters. (We've all seen those 6-6-06 billboards.) Ann Coulter, "wearing a simple cross above her sacred cleavage," releases her Godless book. Hell, Mich., where the Dam Site inn serves drinks called Bloody Devils, is having a party where schoolchildren pass through the Gates of Hall. Slayer was to start its Unholy Alliance Tour, until a band member fell ill. Other acts, even though Tuesday is normally album release day, wouldn't be caught dead giving birth to a new CD tomorrow. Online outlet Radio Free Satan plans Satan's Rockin' 666 Eve tonight in L.A. Here's a Daily News piece that says 666 might be a misreading, that the real spooky number was 616. And there's the lampoony Landover Baptist Church site, with a checklist of tips for Christian mothers, titled "Is My Child the Devil's Son?" Among its helpful hints (a la HELLoise?): "Ladies, keep your legs crossed until after midnight ... make sure that the child is kept in a chicken cage on the hospital floor ... and check under your child's testicles for any peculiar markings." Me, I'm going to play the lottery ... 666, of course.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Who Loves the Phils? 

The city just doesn't seem in love with this Philies team yet. Or do you disagree? Let's take a poll to get a sense of city sentiment.

What's the temperature of your Philies fever?
Free polls from

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