Friday, August 06, 2004

Morning Bytes; Fitzpatrick Bites

If it's Friday, that must mean it's time for another Morning Bytes column in the Inquirer. Not to mention a brand-new Shallow Center feature -- a weekly assessment of Frank Fitzpatrick's painfully unsuccessful attempts to bring the funny.

Today Frank leads with a pretend memo from the Phillies' owners to the team's staff suggesting possible ways to cut costs. You know, because the Phillies are cheap. What's that you say? They're spending more than 90 million this year on a second-place team? It's not that they're not spending, it's that they're not spending wisely?

Things get even worse with Frank turning his middle-aged attention to the Eagles and Terrell Owens. Among the list of things he hopes "T.O." doesn't stand for are "Totally Obnoxious" and "Too Outspoken."

I'll pause while you wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes and catch your breath.

Frank's "NASCAR Note of the Week" -- he's so funny for ripping on NASCAR; why didn't anyone else ever think of that? -- includes a Montezuma's Revenge reference, as there will be a race in Mexico City next year. So now we're trading in ethnic slurs. How the hell did Last Comic Standing miss this guy?

And the coup de grace: "'X' marks the slop. It's ESPN's X Games time again. Among the new events added to this 10th edition of the slackers' favorite sporting event will be body defacing, parental resource draining, grammar butchering and nihilistic narcissism." Oh, stop, Frank! You're killing me! If you keep this up, people might stop thinking of you as an amusing curmudgeon and start calling you a cranky and nasty old bastard embittered beyond belief and incapable of seeing value in anything that's happened since the Kennedy administration.

A gratuitous shot at the Big 5, based on recent scandals at La Salle and Villanova, concludes the hilarity for the week.

Have you stopped laughing yet?


At August 6, 2004 at 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom - congrats on the MVN gig, I linked you up to the Philling Station. You're a busy guy these days. I completely agree with you on Fitzpatrick, the guy used to be able to write a little bit and he helped me a little bit (via e-mail) with my master's thesis (on the Phils' record of racism), but the dude just isn't funny. I think it's high time that he retire.

Keep up the good work,


At August 6, 2004 at 7:36 PM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

Thanks for taking up this week's fight. If I did so, my head would have exploded. I e-mailed this jerk to call him on the NASCAR bashing, and have yet to receive a reply after four weeks. Go figure. If he had a spine, he would stand behind what he wrote.

The X Games shot is ridiculous, and it is obvious that he has never seen one minute of the events. And he shows his complete ignorance with the Big 5 rant. This man needs to be fired, but it appears that negative -emails are shielded from the sports editors' desk.

At August 10, 2004 at 6:13 PM, Blogger Tom Goodman said...


For years I've read Fitzpatrick's column while wearing asbestos gloves. I even exchanged an email or two with him at one point taking him to task (or, more likely, begging to differ with him) for something he wrote. His reply was equally charitable.

Tom Goodman


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