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

Friday, June 23, 2006

Alleged Idiot of the Week Poll 

Uh-oh. Tough decision. It's probably to jump on breaking news and nominate accused-abuser Brett Myers for Idiot of the Week. Innocent until proven guilty, right? And he did plead not guilty. What to do? Hey, how about retitling the poll? Make it Alleged Idiot of the Week? You can still vote, of course, for those who seem indubitably to belong. Like Phil Mickelson, who blew the U.S. Open with bonehead shots on the final hole. How about the Knicks owner James Dolan, for hiring whoever you blame for his now owing Larry Brown many millions? Still, let's not forget idiocy of the lowlife level, like the guy who fell asleep at his beer burglary. Or the ex-convenience store clerk who, ugh, did something too revolting to a Mountain Dew to specify. And, finally, well, there's me. The guy who recently, while giving tips on buying Eagles tickets, advised: "Be specific, not just about opponent and number of tickets but the DATE! Don't be like the guy who bought four Giants tickets only to find out they were PRE-SEASON games!!!" Ack, well, er, yesterday, I got a pair of tickets in the mail ... and WHAT?!! ... the Cleveland game is PRESEASON??!!! and ... I just paid $186!!! .... And now I'm admitting it to you???? ... Uh, er, hey, don't tell my wife, OK? ... And don't tell her not only can't you sell these on eBay, there are still other tickets available for that clunker!! ... Or that it'd be tough to even give them away to charity! ... Oh, hi, honey, didn't know you read my blog. ... Ouch! Oh! Hey, they arrested Brett Myers for that!

Who's the Alleged Idiot of the Week?
Free polls from

Excited by 'Forever Independent'? 

Here we go again. Jersey couldn't figure out a lively slogan despite big bucks and online voting. Now a coalition of Philadelphia area groups has spent $200,000 and come up with "Forever Independent." It's OK. As in: Well, it's not offensive or apologetic or dishonest. Problem is: What's it really say? Independent of what? The Brits? And what's it selling? It's not like this city's less authoritarian than others. So all that's really touted is the historical aspect, the place where America was born. Couldn't they do better? We know we could do worse, like "The City That Loves You Back." Or even "The City of Brotherly Love," which is poetic but passe poppypock. Instead, why not "Let Freedom Ring," echoing the stirring words of Martin Luther King? Or "Philly forever ... and better than ever." Has to be less the city and more the region? Admittedly, it's not easy ... unless you're poking fun. One wag already left a suggestion on the story: "Federal probe!" (Check out what Saturday Night Live suggested for New Jersey.)

Post your ideas, profound or facetious, by . And take our poll.
How would you compare this slogan to New Jersey's?
Free polls from

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Larry Brown Firing Raises Some Questions 

Free polls from

What do you think of the Larry Brown firing?
(Check off as many answers as you agree with.)

Knicks are nuts to give him the boot!
No, Knicks are better off without him.
He was a great coach here in Philly.
I'd bring him back to coach the Sixers.
I'd bring him back to be Sixers GM, too.
No way. The Sixers would be nuts to bring him back.
Hey, I'd even let him manage the Phillies!
Someone's managing the Phillies? I couldn't tell.
Quit picking on Charlie Manuel.
At least Brown doesn't cry like Dick Vermeil.
I'd rather not think at all about Larry Brown.

Coaching is overrated. The players are most responsible.

Another Weird and Wacky Week on the Web 

It's a bomb! On second thought, it's a flashing beer sign.

Delaware man's first clue about $14,000 gas bill? When utility takes $2,000 out of his bank account.

Photo at right: Hindu ascetics in India, possibly demonstrating one way to get better view a rock festival. Either that, or we don't want to know.

Gotta guard that family, Dad, from the evil dangers of public schools!

Top 10 Signs New Yorkers are becoming more polite.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Philly Brain Power Test 

Recently, a national survey found that Philadelphia trails most other major cities in having advanced degrees. Hah! Book learning ain't everything. Here's your chance to prove just how "Philly smart" you are.

How much dirt is in a pothole 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep?

Why isn't it legal in Philadelphia for a man to marry his widow's sister?

A vendor with 127 pretzels sells all but 9. How many does he have left?

What word does nearly everyone in Philly pronounce wrong?

How many years has William Penn been on top of City Hall?

How many stars and how many stripes did Dolly Madison sew on the first flag?

A South Jersey farmer has 2 haystacks in one field, and 3 in another field, and combines into one big pile. Now how many haystacks does he have?

How many outs are in one complete inning of a Phillies game?

If the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, what year does the famous phrase "Four score and seven years ago" refer to?

When did Ben Franklin invent electricity?

If you cut a Geno's cheesesteak in half, and cut each half in half, how many halves would you have?

What do the English call their Fourth of July?

6 or fewer right: You had help, didn't you?
7 to 12 right: Yo! Good for youse.
13 or more right: Sure you can count?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cheaties, the Breakfast of Allegations! 

Yes, it's time for a new toasty tribute to today's athletes! Introducing: Cheaties, the Breakfast of Allegations, made with "100 percent whole shame" by General Pills. (Hey, sometimes you just gotta open a humorus vein. So to speak. If you know what I mean.) Sorry, but if you want to know all the illegal ingredients, you'll have to Google the blacked-out grand jury transcript. Imagine all the athletes, past and present, amateur and pro, perfect for cardboard immortalizing. And not just admitted perpetrators of pharmacological funny business, like ex-Phil, ex-Diamondback, expelled pitcher Jason Grimsley (left). Why, sports history is full of cheaters. Spit-ballers. Bat-corkers. Adulterers. Point-shavers. Plus assorted agents who robbed clients blind. Warning: This product could cause disillusionment, roid rage and testicle shrinkage. Click the buttons below to see a familiar target of recent unproven allegations, and a classic case of Olympic proportions.

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