In a Jan. 9 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: Regardless of what happens tonight in Cowboys Stadium, whether the Eagles are able to get past their most hated rival in a playoff game for the first time since the Carter administration, or whether tonight's wild card is a replay of Sunday's shutout debacle, Donovan McNabb will be the team's quarterback for the 2010 season. Begin with that idea. Know it. Understand it. Accept it. Take it to the zoo and buy it ice cream.
The Inquirer regrets not taking Mr. Ford to the zoo and leaving him there.
In a Nov. 19 column on the National Dog Show, Bob Ford wrote: My name is William, and I am a true Philadelphia champion, preparing for the last big game in the last season of my career. You've never heard of me, but that's your loss. I am a standard poodle, although, to be honest, I've never really liked that designation. People hear "standard" and they might think "ordinary" or "run-of-the-mill." Far from it, my friend. I would prefer standard of excellence poodle, but that probably isn't going to happen.
The Inquirer regrets not having William write more of Mr. Ford's columns.
In an Oct. 6 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: If baseball has imparted no other lesson during its 150 years as the official metaphor provider of the United States, it is that the expected seldom happens and that the difference between winning and losing only infrequently agrees with what was predicted.
The Inquirer regrets Mr. Ford's enthusiasm for the obvious, but does like the "official metaphor" line. That's a home run.
In a July 3 column on the Tour de France, Bob Ford wrote: Wherever the truth lies, it does not necessarily lie in the blood samples collected by the UCI, cycling's international governing body. When the Tour's drug testing was conducted by the French authorities (AFLD) in 2008, during a spat between the race and the UCI, there were six positive tests. This year, however, as a result of the complicated turf war among WADA, UCI, and the AFLD, the French anti-dopers will be able to request specific targeted tests that will be carried out by the UCI, but with WADA observers making sure there are no leaks in the process.
The Inquirer regrets the headache it acquired after reading this.
In a June 3 column on the Flyers, Bob Ford wrote: The only thing about the Stanley Cup Finals that sounded good at the outset of Wednesday's game was Kate Smith. You have to give it to the old girl. She's been waiting through all these years for that next Cup celebration, and she still never bounces one off the pipes. Kate's just a grainy gal in a high-def world, but she still can get the stands revved up when the situation calls for it.
The Inquirer regrets the number of Kate Smith references it has read over the years.
In a Feb. 5 column on the 76ers, Bob Ford wrote: The season became a search for survival, and new coach Eddie Jordan had to jettison all his pretty ideas the way a shipwrecked heiress throws the heavy jewelry overboard when the lifeboat begins to take on water. Princeton offense? Splash! Instinctive read-and-react basketball? Ker-plop! Build for the future with youth? Glug! Glug! Glug!
The Inquirer strongly regrets both Mr. Ford's penchant for metaphors involving the sea, and Mr. Jordan's brief term as head coach.
In a Nov. 14 column on Michael Vick, Bob Ford wrote: Even after all this time, Michael Vick's name atop the NFL passer rankings is a little jarring, like a pirate flag flying defiantly above an otherwise stately ocean liner.
See what we mean?
In an Aug. 31 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: The Phillies have displayed a frustrating and frequent habit this season of slumping on offense at the least likely times and for much longer than anyone would have ever expected. In some ways, it hasn't mattered drastically in the standings, because the pitching is far better this season. Still, it would be nice if they cut it out and started hitting the ball all around the yard again.
The Inquirer regrets the Phillies didn't take Mr. Ford's advice.
In an Aug. 25 column on Donovan McNabb, Bob Ford wrote: All these years, I thought GQ stood for Gentleman's Quarterly, but when the magazine came out with its exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Donovan McNabb this week, it's obvious the initials stand for Gone Qwazy. Because that's where McNabb has gone. Not Washington, D.C., or Landover, Md. But Qwazy, USA, Zip code 55555.
The Inquirer regrets Mr. Ford's use of the first person singular, but does admit that Mr. McNabb is batwhacked.
In a July 23 column on Michael Vick, Bob Ford wrote: As for Citizen Vick, that was a close call down in Virginia Beach. If a dog had been shot in the parking lot of the Guadalajara restaurant on June 25, Vick would be out of work again. Instead, it was just a man, so everything's going to blow over eventually.
The Inquirer regrets it must agree with that one.
In a Nov. 17 column on Roy Halladay, Bob Ford wrote: Philadelphia is not accustomed to perfection from its professional athletes, a hard-learned lesson anchored in the deep sediment of experience. And then there is Roy Halladay.
The Inquirer would like to point out that "sediment" is another water-related metaphor.
In a Nov. 24 column on the Spectrum, Bob Ford wrote: Tuesday's ceremony was more anticlimax than climax. The Spectrum has been closing so long, the Benny Goodman Orchestra might have played the farewell concert. There were a lot of sentimental "lasts" - the last hockey game, the last basketball game, the last concert, the last guy to throw up in a restroom sink.
The Inquirer regrets the number of online comments asking the identity of this Mr. Goodman and wondering whether Mr. Ford was born during the Taft or Wilson administrations.
In a Sept. 27 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: The last time the Eagles played in Jacksonville, the starting quarterback wasn't the reason they lost the Super Bowl, but he didn't cover himself in glory that evening, either. In fact, there is still debate about exactly what he covered himself with there on the field during the hectic fourth quarter.
The Inquirer regrets Mr. Ford's continuing affection for bathroom humor.
In a Jan. 17 column on baseball, Mr. Ford wrote: Mark McGwire still denies Jose Canseco's assertion that the two of them . . . injected steroids into each other's butt in the bathroom stalls of the locker room. Canseco said he's willing to take a lie-detector test on national television with McGwire to prove he's telling the truth. McGwire has so far declined, saying he "won't stoop to his level," which is apparently different from bending over.
The Inquirer officially regrets this further bathroom humor, but does admit to chuckling a little.
In an April 16 column on the 76ers, Bob Ford wrote: Would Ed Snider spring for that? He did once, but only under the persuasive spell of Pat Croce, who could sell ugly to ostriches.
The Inquirer has always had a fondness for ostriches.
In an Oct. 22 column on the National League Championship Series, Bob Ford wrote: The subtle change that took place in AT&T Park on Thursday night, almost lost amid the din and the towel waving and the amazingly clutch, 4-2 win by the Phillies, just might have been baseball beginning to turn its back on the San Francisco Giants.
The Inquirer regrets Mr. Ford didn't take this brilliant observation to the zoo as well.
In an April 25 column, Bob Ford wrote: After watching the Eagles operate during the endless arc of the NFL draft - the longest three days in American history since the Battle of Gettysburg - there is little question Andy Reid and the front office still believe they have been doing it right. Everybody might be talking about a new way of walking, but the Eagles aren't going to lose their minds just because of a setback here and there.
The Inquirer isn't sure why, but feels it must regret any paragraph containing both the Battle of Gettysburg and a reference to the Rooftop Singers.
Well, once again, an anchor weight has been lifted. The slate has been scrubbed clean like a boat deck, and there will be no repeat of these mistakes in the coming tide of a new year. No more hiding of corrections, no more lying. As always, trust is our bond.
Contact columnist Bob Ford
Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/bobford.