Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Michael Vick Out Against Panthers, Ron Mexico In

When the Eagles take the field against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night many expect recent signee Michael Vick to be part of the Philadelphia contingent, but sources close to the team tell The Phunyun that no player wearing a Vick jersey will appear on the field that evening.

Instead, wearing number 7 for the Eagles will be Ron Mexico, the name Vick has legally taken following the outrage after his signing earlier this month.

Some might find the name change as a surprise, but there is some precedent.

In 2005, a female healthcare worker filed a lawsuit against Vick, claiming that she contracted herpes simplex 2 after having unprotected sex with the Atlanta Falcons QB. In the lawsuit, the woman claimed Vick knew he had herpes after being tested multiple times for the disease under the name Ron Mexico.

Although the case was settled out of court with Vick never acknowledging his use of the pseudonym, he has now decided to embrace the Ron Mexico moniker, saying the embarrassment surrounding the name is easier to handle than what he went to jail for.

"Who wants to go around admitting that they have herpes?" Mexico (nee Vick) said in an exclusive interview with The Phunyun. "But I just had to ask myself, 'what's easier to swallow, having herpes or killing and electrocuting puppies?' I'm going with herpes."

As with most decisions surrounding the former No. 1 pick, the Eagles were heavily involved in the evolution of Michael Vick to Ron Mexico.

"This wasn't necessarily a 'football decision,'" said Eagles president Joe Banner. "But sometimes you have to look at things from a PR perspective. And at the end of the day what's an easier thing to sell to public? Using a false name to see if you have herpes or forcing dogs into death matches and allegedly hanging them? I'm going herpes every time."

The decision to change Vick's name to Ron Mexico may have financial repercussions for the Eagles who will be unable to sell Mexico jerseys in stores or online because of a ban on the name by the NFL.

But some, like Philadelphia resident Charlie Balducci says he's showing his solidarity with the Eagles QB in another way.

"Look, who out there can saw we didn't go down to Cancun for spring break or something and not come back with a present we didn't exactly want?" said the 38-year-old mechanic. "You know what I'm saying? A little Valtrex. Boom! All better."

While the name change seems to get the Eagles and their new player one step ahead of the backlash from PETA and a variety of other groups, a new challenge may be facing the team and its quarterback in the coming months.

According to sources south of the border, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is considering a boycott of Philadelphia-based products if Mexico takes the field Thursday night.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who's the Boss Actor Attends North East High Orientation

Tony Danza pictured in front of North East High School in Philadelphia

In a 3-1 vote just days ago, the School Reform board approved television and film star, Tony Danza, to shoot the new reality series "Teach" at North East High School in Philadelphia. The show won't air till sometime in 2010 on A&E, but that didn't stop its star from getting up-to-speed by attending his teacher's orientation. "I've played a male-nanny, a baseball pitcher, and a field goal kicking trash man, but teacher is the toughest role I'm ever gonna play."

The 58 year old Brooklyn native recently moved into a duplex on the corner of Pennway and Brighton Streets, just blocks from North East High. He states, "I wanted to be close to the kids and the school... and the 7-11." Danza currently holds a bachelors degree in history education from the University of Dubuque, and will team up with a primary teacher once school starts this week. Cameras will remain hidden so the students can feel more comfortable, and the school has permission to cancel the series if they feel the show is becoming a distraction. Prospective "Teach." Sophomore, Johnathan Monangela shared, "Its cool for the school and all, to have like, a famous guy teaching class... plus, Alyssa Milano... I'd hit that."

The Phunyun was able to procure a copy of Danza's syllabus, which contains an interesting curriculum. Firstly, his class's grading policy will not be based on the traditional A-F scale. Rather, students will receive either a passing grade of "Ay-oh" or a failing grade of "Oh-ay." And secondly, students are expected to recite the theme song to "Who's the Boss?" on command no matter where they may cross Danza's path: the halls, the cafeteria, even the bathroom.

A&E hopes "Teach" can match the popularity and dedicated viewership of its other Philly-based reality series, "Parking Wars". The original prospective cast to host "Teach." included John Ritter and Christopher Reeves, but they both died.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Corp. Sponsors Follow Eagles Lead, Give Vick "2nd Chance"

In April of 2007, then Atlanta quarterbacking runner, Michael Vick, was convicted of felony charges for his involvement in a large unlawful interstate dog fighting ring. He was sentenced to 2 years of prison time, was indefinitely suspended by the National Footballing League, lost all his corporate sponsors and had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He lost everything. One of those sponsors was Vicks Chemical Group, makers of numerous health products including the world famous "Vicks Vapo Rub." CEO of Procter & Gamble, William Suitsky stated, "It was a win win situation. He did amazing things on the field... we did amazing things on your chest, but he blew it."

Suitsky demanded his marketing team remove Vick from all promotional materials, including displays and the bottles of rub themselves. He even went as far as removing the name Vicks from the label, something that had been around since 1890. He states, "To be honest, it hurt business. Nobody wants to just buy Bob's Vapo Rub... they want Vicks."

Meanwhile, Vick completed his prison sentence and was re-instated into the league by commissioner Roger Goodell in July, where he was promptly signed to a 1 year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Head play coach, Andy Reid fought hard and long to convince owner Jeffery Lurie to sign Vick. Reid stated, "Everyone deserves to get seconds..."

When asked how the partnership between number wearing 7 and Procter & Gamble was revisited, Suitsky replied, "It all started with a phone call." Former Horse Colts head play coach Tony Dungy contacted the corporation and told them that Michael Vick was a changed man. "Mr. Dungy was pretty adamant about Michael seeing the error of his ways. I have a hard time trusting black people, but I'm willing to give Mr. Vick a second chance." When told that Tony Dungy was also black, Suitsky responded by laughing hysterically.

Calls were made to all of Vick's former sponsors, including Nike, EA Sports, Coca-Cola and Hasbro with a response of "no comment."

Notes: Michael Vick will be eligible for football play by Week 6 of the Eagles game season at the latest. He can participate in all practices and meetings, and the final two preseason footballing games. Vick is more known for his ability to speed run and less for his ability to arm throw football passes.