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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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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Alleged-Idiot-of-the-Last-Two-Weeks Poll 

Since I was on vacation last week, I've doubled the time frame.

But this could still be an uncontested election.

Mel Gibson. Need I say more?

OK, I will, but just for fun.

First of all, I'm not including Chuck Bednarik for saying he didn't like Reggie White, and then saying yesterday on WIP he didn't mean it because he got Reggie mixed up with Terrell Owens and/or Mike Mamula ("He dropped his pants!"). Two reasons. (1) He's 82. (2) Even at 82, he could probably still pound me to a pulp.

Sung Koo Kim of Oregon, after getting caught with 3,400 pairs of panties, plus dryer lint, gets at least nine years in prison.

Unidentified Serbian has stomach surgery because, as doctors discover, he'd swallowed the entire contents of a Home Depot. OK, I exaggerate. But they did find eight nails, a knife, a pen, a screw, a spoon, a clothes-peg (whatever that is) and 3,400 pairs of panties. Oops. no panties. Getting my stories mixed up. I meant, a '79 Ford Pinto. OK, no Pinto. A Chevy. Sorry, I can't help joking, because this guy's nuts, even for an America's Got Talent contestant, which he wasn't.

Florida man calls for an ambulance a day after he shoots himself in the head.

Woman on a Tokyo-bound airplane prefers getting kicked off the plane to stowing her Gucci handbag under her seat.

Donald Ray Bilby, the inmate who signed his own real name to bomb threats. Criminal mastermind!

Tim Patch, the Australian artist who paints with his, uh, you know. (Hint: He's not a cubist, he's a pubist.) But who's more idiotic? Him, or the customers who pay $300 a portrait?

Who's the Alleged Idiot of the Last Two Weeks?
Free polls from

Philly Sports Rumors Roundup 

Should fans here expect the unexpected? We keep hearing all sorts of inklings about moves and non-moves that might surprise. OK, this info's sketchy, but we'll keep looking for more and better sources.

Is Comcast leaving the door open to a Sixers sale? First, the Boston Globe pressed a case that the team was up for sale, then a Comcast executive denied that. Yesterday, though, Howard Eskin reported on WIP that Comcast has hired a hotshot financial firm to handle inquiries from possible buyers. So far there have been a dozen information requests, but no bids, he said. Doesn't mean the team's on the block. Just that Comcast knows it's smart to listen.

Could the Phillies make more moves soon? First of all, they can. Yes, the trading deadline has passed, but if a player clears waivers, he can still be swapped. But do the Philies want to make more deals? Well, the team tried to trade Pat Burrell, who vetoed a deal to Baltimore, according to reports. Further, Eskin says GM Pat Gillick is under orders to cut the payroll to about $70 million next season, so, if that's true, expect more salary dumping, and perhaps even the return of manager Charlie Manuel next year. (That's contrary to a Chicago Sun-Times column today, that Lou "Piniella's old boss and friend, Pat Gillick, is said to be targeting him to manage the Philadelphia Phillies." Oh, and forget about the catcher-needy Red Sox wanting Mike Lieberthal.

Will the Eagles trade for a wideout? Word is the Eagles would like disgruntled Denver wideout Ashley Lelie (not Oakland malcontent Jerry Porter). But supposedly the price is too high. Some reports say Denver wants a first- or second-round pick, but ESPN's John Clayton writes that "the asking price ... is a third-round pick, and there are teams willing to give up a fourth-rounder. ... It's not going to be a matter of if Lelie is traded. It's a matter of when." Nothing new in the Denver papers today, at

(Speaking of receivers, there's this tidbit: T.O. was named as a witness to a bar fight. Speaking of Owens, the picture you see here with Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb might be the funniest part of a long video cartoon out of Dallas.)

Will Eagles sign Brodrick Bunkley soon? Maybe not. The first-rounder's agent once held tight end Keith Jackson out for 50 days. And owner Jeff Lurie sure didn't sound ready to compromise during yesterday's remarks. Stubbornness is also cited by, which asserts: "Although past precedent suggests a five-year contract for the No. 14 and No. 16 picks, the Eagles and Fins are believed to be taking a hard line pursuant to a 'you asked for it, you got it' attitude toward the NFLPA and the new CBA." (That's the players association and collective bargaining agreement.) One reason: The stakes are much bigger than fans might think. The site speculates that the NFL salary cap could soar by a whopping 50 percent over the next five years. So the sooner Bunkley can get to free agency, the sooner he's eligible for a big cut of that pie. That's why the two sides have been haggling over the length of the deal, and may have even stopped talking for now, as observers have reported. Oh, and apparently it's not true that a deal was close and the agent backed out.

Gagne deal in the works? Yes, writes the Inquirer's Ray Parrillo.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What in the World Wide Web?! 

URP! Who runs Burger King? Terrorists? Evil feminazis? The Cardiology Cartel? 'Cause one thing's for sure: Any place that offers a sandwich with FOUR beef patties is daring you to play Let's Stop Your Blood From Rushin' Roulette. There it is! The new BK Stacker, complete with bacon and cheese and sauce, of course.

What goes around, comes around, bites you in the "buttocks": Guy, arrested for cruelty to animals, escapes, but gets recaptured by a police dog taking a real bite out of crime.

Dead ugly creatures deserve respect, too: British town cancels its dead-eel slinging contest after one anonymous emailer whines about being nice to lifeless legless sea critters. So the wusses, I mean, men of Lyme Regis became a-Freud to whip out a 25-pound conger (here's a picture you probably don't want to see), and used a car fender instead to knock each other off-balance like human bowling pins to raise money for lifeguard crews.

New bird flu panic grips the badminton set! Oh no. There's a shortage of feathers for shuttlecocks because millions of geese in China were executed to control the disease that might mutate and kill us all. (Wonder if the Chinese first came up with the gun-illustrated message I saw in a car window today: "Keep honking while I reload.")

Thank goodness you won't find this "clip" on Youtube: Circumcision festival in Kosovo. Here's a delicately edited photo (by Ermal Meta/AFP/Getty Images):

Why some drinkers need designated thinkers: Sure, waitress, here is this stolen ID that looks exactly like you.

Pun of the week (from "Many girls in line for STD treatment; each one minds herpes and queues. ("in line" ... "STDs" ... "Herpes and queues" ... get it?)

Joke of the week. How come women with large breasts can work at Hooters but a man with a peg leg can't get a job at I-Hop? (OK, not from the Web. I heard this on WIP's midday show. So?)

Some guys'll do anything to get out of the house: British "mole man" banned his own mansion because he dug all sorts of tunnels under it. Ah, guy's probably just angling for a part as a villian in some X-Men or Spiderman sequel.

Yo, Barbaro, check this out: Three-legged horse gets a prosthetic leg, complete with hockey puck for a hoof. Where? Where else? Hockey-crazy Canada. Calgary, to be precise. Eh?

Monday, July 31, 2006

12 New Slogan Ideas for the Phillies 

The Great 2006 Salary Dump could be good if the Phillies spend that money for impact players, could be a disheartening mess if the goal's just to save money.

But one thing's clear: As GM Pat Gillick says, the team's rebuilding and might not be a contender for a couple of years.

So maybe it's time to sum up our feelings with a new slogan for the Phillies.

Here are my Top 12 ideas. Bet you clever dogs out there can do even better.

1. We Will Spend Money on Pitchers
... of martinis for our next owners' meeting.

2. Watch Our Players Win Multiple Titles (With Other Teams)

3. One Postseason in 23 Years Is Better Than Nothing!

4. You Gotta Disbelieve

5. We Owe You One Dozen

6. Trust Our Brain Trust: Monty, Bill and Charlie

7. Mission Impossible: Fixing This Bullpen

8. Ryan and Chase, and the Quest for an Ace

9. "Please Go to Church. Pray for Us."

10. We Play on Grass. We Keep Blowin' Smoke. Get the Connection?

11. Bobbleheads, Dollar Dogs and the Phanatic -- What More Could You Want?

12. Quit Whining, or We'll Buy the Sixers, Too

Go to: Early Word = Philadelphia Inquirer = = Lighter Side

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