Clout: Rendell and the snow thing: Honestly, it could be wuss

Eagles field crew gets Rendell's seat all cooled-up for him ahead of Tuesday's game. Rendell blamed Eagles president Joe Banner for the stunt.
Eagles field crew gets Rendell's seat all cooled-up for him ahead of Tuesday's game. Rendell blamed Eagles president Joe Banner for the stunt.
Posted: December 30, 2010

YOU HAVE probably heard plenty by now about Gov. Rendell's rant after the NFL and the Eagles postponed Sunday night's home game against the Minnesota Vikings due to the snowstorm that was raging right around kickoff.

Rendell complained about the wussification of America, adding that China never would have postponed a football game just because of weather conditions.

Fast fact: The NFL twice considered holding an exhibition game in China between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks but scrapped those plans.

Still, we thought that it was nice of Rendell to help create and then keep alive a colorful story during the slow news week between Christmas and New Year's.

The folks who put news on television sure seemed to agree.

CNN mentioned Rendell and the Eagles a dozen times. ABC mentioned it four times on three programs. Fox News and NBC each ran three items. MSNBC also had two mentions.

That's a lot of television.

Did we mention that Rendell, who leaves office in 19 days, is now looking for work in the field of TV-news punditry?

We told you last month that Rendell is rumored to be lining up top Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel to represent him in paid, post-government TV talking.

Rendell is already well known for this type of thing as an unpaid sideline while in office. This latest TV turn sure looked like a last-minute resume builder to us.

Rendell spokesman Gary Tuma shot down our theory that his boss, who does a postgame show for Comcast SportsNet, made a fuss for attention.

Tuma said that he received three calls Sunday, two from Philly TV stations and one from Fox News, asking for Rendell to react to the game postponement.

Rendell made his comments, and then the issue - forgive us, but we can't help saying this - snowballed, with dozens of interview requests from as far as Canada and England.

"We were just swamped with requests," Tuma said. "We didn't try to generate any more interviews. We had enough trouble dealing with the requests we already had."

The Eagles apparently didn't enjoy Rendell's attention.

Al Michaels, NBC's famed play-by-play caller, said halfway through the first quarter of Tuesday's game that a "senior Eagles official" had described Rendell as "just too attention-starved."

Rendell declined to comment on that remark yesterday, but pinned the blame on Eagles president Joe Banner for the stadium workmen who jokingly packed his seat with snow before kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field Tuesday. The workmen also posted a sign in the snow pile that said: "This seat reserved for non-wussies."

The Eagles, perhaps tired of Rendell and snow, declined to comment yesterday on how his seat came to be intentionally snowed in or which team official complained to Michaels.

Rendell's rant may also have been about rewriting his football legacy in this sports town.

Consider: Before Sunday, any mention of the governor, the Eagles and snow would quickly bring to mind the embarrassing 1989 incident when Rendell, then not holding public office, dared another fan to toss a snowball onto the field during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Veterans Stadium. Rendell then paid up on the $20 bet that the snowball would not reach the field.

Now, talk of Rendell and snow and Eagles games will focus on America's competitive place in the international community.

We'd watch that on TV.

Have tips or suggestions? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or e-mail

brennac@phillynews.com.

Check out the Clout blog at:

www.phillyclout.com.


Have a news tip? Gossip? Suggestion? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or Catherine Lucey at 215-854-4712. Or e-mail phillyclout@phillynews.com.

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