Archive for October, 2008

Grammar: Us did it

October 31, 2008

Cross-posted in Grammar Sleuth

The Phillies winning the World Series on Wednesday rendered the “Why Can’t Us?” rallying cry useless, but the grammar-abusing fun isn’t over yet.

“Us Did It” and “Us Can” designs have already appeared on Cafe Press, but oddly enough there’s still no sign of “Yes Us Can.”

News and Notes: Michael says it ain’t so

October 31, 2008

Pop-singer Michael Jackson has released a statement calling BS on big brother Jermaine shooting his mouth off about a series of Jackson 5 reunion concerts in 2009, according to the BBC.

“My brothers and sisters have my full love and support, and we’ve certainly shared many great experiences, but at this time I have no plans to record or tour with them,” stated Jackson.

The 50-year-old Jackson, whose “Thriller” video is always a hit at Halloween, apparently has mostly Jackson 5-minus-4 on his mind these days.

“I am now in the studio developing new and exciting projects that I look forward to sharing with my fans in concert soon,” he added.

Jermaine Jackson announced earlier this week at an event in Sydney that the Jackson 5 and sister Janet Jackson would be hitting the road for a series of concerts in 2009.

City of brotherly stupidity?

October 30, 2008

This one goes out to all those people who had their cars flipped over or smashed in (I saw a car all busted up at Broad & Ellsworth today), to the statue of the Man Holding the Umbrella, to the postal carriers who had their boxes knocked over, to the parents in Mayfair who couldn’t get their babies to bed, to the poor young ladies who were flashing teenagers Mardi Gras style, and to Joey Mahoney’s Russian neighbor who really did not know what was going on. Sorry about last night.

Sorry about the frat boys jumping through fire on Broad Street, for the luggage store getting robbed, and sorry about that Jeanne Zelasko. I founda a bunch of youtube videos here-not great quality, but this guy was really bummed about the situation and was in the right place at the right time.

The AP actually called the outburst last night minor, although many personal stories would say otherwise. My one friend made the observation that so many of the people doing idoiotic things came in from out of town to trash the place. It made him want to go up to Wayne, PA, and do some “celebrating”!

-Joshua Grace, Ghost Ride the Whip!

Wendell Berry’s time

October 30, 2008

Kentucky poet, writer and farmer Wendell Berry’s time is now. So says Dallas Morning News columnist and Crunchy Con blogger Rod Dreher in a wonderful essay that appeared in the paper earlier this week. Dreher writes:

Could any man be less relevant to the politics and culture of our time than an old Kentucky poet-farmer who is so out of step with the times that he refuses to use a computer and still tills his earth using draft horses? And yet, given the converging crises of this extraordinary moment in American history, it just might be that in the winter of a long and honorable career, Wendell Berry’s moment has arrived.

Click HERE to read the rest.

News and Notes: Another ‘curse’ bites the dust

October 30, 2008


So long Curse of William Penn, congratulations to the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Congrats are also in order for the Tampa Bay Rays. Going worst-to-second is still something to brag about, especially when your $43 million payroll this year was a fifth of what the Yankees paid to not even make the playoffs and $55 million less than your NL opponents.

Curse of the Bambino. Gone. Curse of the Black Sox. Gone. Curse of William Penn. Bye bye. Curse of the Billy Goat. Wait ’til next year?

Jackson 5 to reunite?

October 29, 2008

Jermaine Jackson reportedly announced at a recent TV industry function in Australia that the Jackson 5 will be getting back together for a series of concerts in 2009.

Though not part of the popular R&B group five of her brothers formed in 1966, Janet Jackson will apparently be joining Michael and the gang for the shows.

As much as I love my Jackson 5 greatest hit collection, I’m having a hard time getting excited about the prospects of 50-year-old Michael, the original Jackson Five’s youngest member, hitting the road with his family again.

Video: Scooping dog crap for votes

October 29, 2008

Metaphors about experience aside, there’s got to be a better way to gain Alaskan votes than showing yourself prancing around the backyard with your dogs, scooping up their crap.

Politico has this and nine other worst of the worst offerings from this year’s campaign season, including one from another Alaskan who stares at the camera, throws a large rock into a creek and walks away.

Article: Big city, small market?

October 29, 2008

By Matthew Ralph

In all of the talk about TV ratings for the World Series this year, phrases like small market, little guy and Cinderella seem to keep coming up in references to one or both of the party-crashing opponents not named the Dodgers or the Red Sox.

But what exactly does it mean to say this is a small-market World Series or at the very least a World Series where the small-market Rays have taken a Louisville Slugger to Fox’s bottom line?

The Phillies’ brass may not always act or spend like it, but the team plays in the fourth largest TV market in the country and the sixth largest city in the country.

The Rays play in the 13th largest TV market despite playing in the 75th largest city. And while St. Petersburg is small as far as big league cities go, that No. 13 ranking doesn’t sound quite as small when you consider there are 13 other big league teams playing in a smaller TV market than the Rays.

Where the disparity between the Rays and the rest of the league really starts to show up is in payroll and attendance. Only their National League neighbors to the south with their measly $21 million blue light special had a smaller payroll in 2008. The Rays payroll was $43 million. As for putting butts in seats, the Marlins and Royals were the only teams to draw less than the 1.7 million fans (about 22,000 a game) who showed up at the Trop to see what was a first-place team in the American League East for most of the year. They played in front of an average of only about 8,000 more fans per game on the road.

The Phillies, meanwhile, invested more than twice what the Rays did for a star-studded lineup that includes two MVP winners with a $98 million money clip that ranked them 13th in the league. Sure, it’s a small price to pay to get to within one win of a World Series crown when compared to the $138 million the Tigers and Mets spent to watch the series on their couches or the $209 million the Yankees threw at aging superstars but is it fair to call it small? Their attendance was anything but small. The 3.4 million fans they drew to their bandbox to watch a lot of their games turn into home run derbies was good enough for fifth in the league. Their average road attendance was only good enough for 13th, a factor that probably speaks to the Phillies status as a smaller national market team.

Still, the question is, is all of this small enough to qualify the Phillies, at the very least, as the little guy swimming in a deep-end media market with three million-plus fans watching?

Hardly. A big market team with a medium-sized payroll and a supportive if mostly local fanbase would probably be more accurate. As for the Rays, their TV market ranking puts them more at the level of a medium-market team with a miniscule payroll and a terrible fanbase almost everywhere they go (their average road attendance even playing 18 of their games in Boston and New York was only good enough for 21st).

Rather than a battle of David versus David, this World Series is perhaps more accurately a matchup of a big market team Fox probably didn’t prefer to have go all the way with a smaller market team they for the sake of ratings and series losses by the Dodgers and Cubs absolutely did not want to see pull off the worst-to-WS feat.

Of course, none of this fits very smoothly into a headline, a lede or a blog post.

It’s much easier to call it a ratings bust of a series between two small-market clubs and start warming up the Hot Stove chatter about CC, Manny and the other top dollar free agents that only teams in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and maybe one or two other cities might be willing to pay and able to afford.

Quotation: An unsalvageable series?

October 28, 2008

This World Series is unsalvageable. It is a disaster borne of people who think cowbells and haircuts make them fans, owners who are so greedy that they accept late-October baseball and late-evening start times, and a commissioner who unilaterally changes a rule while he’s carrying the book in his left hand.

Game 5 is suspended. Rain washed through Citizens Bank Park from the beginning of the Philadelphia Phillies’ potential championship clincher to the sixth inning, when the Tampa Bay Rays tied the score 2-2. No one knows when the game will resume. Could be tonight. May well be Wednesday night. Or even later. It is on Mother Nature, which is a good thing, because if it were up to the baseball gods, they would smite the series before it could continue any longer.

-Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports columnist, in today’s column.

Elsewhere: Hate is bi-partisan

October 28, 2008

In case you were starting to think that the fear-mongering haters this election were all of the right-wing-Obama-is-a-Muslim-terrorist variety, some hater in West Hollywood has hung an effigy of Sarah Palin by a noose from his house and engulfed another effigy of the Republican actually running for president (I know, I keep forgetting too) in flames on the chimney. 

According to the LA Times, sheriff’s officials don’t consider it a hate crime.

Still, it doesn’t have to be a hate crime to be hate. This is anything but good Halloween fun. In fact, it’s just as disgusting and counter-productive as that jerk in Ohio who thought it would be a good idea to hang a ghost with an upside Obama sticker on it in front of his house.

Only one more week until the madness ends.