The Inquirer regrets Mr. Ford's continued fascination with bathroom humor and apologizes to those readers who enjoyed this column over breakfast.
In a Jan. 31 pre-Super Bowl column on Ray Lewis of Baltimore, Bob Ford wrote: Lewis sprayed the deer antler spray and stuck the hologram stickers and drank the negatively charged water (something that doesn't exist, according to - I don't know - water experts) and attempted to, in the words of Mitch Ross, the former stripper, "rebuild your brain through your small intestines."
Maybe Ray Lewis has different stuff going through his small intestines than the rest of us, but it does sound as if some of it got to his brain.
The Inquirer, once again, regrets this intrusion on the breakfast table.
In a Feb. 7 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: There is an overwhelming number of reasons to believe that Vick will not be on the roster when the season opens in September. Some of those are the obvious: He gets hurt all the time, he gives away the football too often, and he has lost that spark in the open field that once made up for his deficiencies.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford is not a very prescient predictor of the future.
In a Feb. 10 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: This is the final year of Manuel's contract with the Phillies. The accepted logic is that, while he might be offered another role in the organization, 2013 will be his last season as manager. It is assumed that his successor is likely to be Ryne Sandberg, who will coach third base for the Phils this season. If the Phils were to play poorly, the transition could happen even sooner. All of that is possible as Manuel puts on the uniform for another spring.
OK, The Inquirer has to admit Mr. Ford got that one right.
In a March 5 column on the 76ers, Bob Ford wrote: The image of what [Andrew] Bynum would have meant as the starting center of the Sixers is growing fainter. Like the Cheshire Cat that disappeared slowly from sight leaving behind only its grin, Bynum's place in the organization is fading by the day. Eventually, nothing will remain but his hair.
The Inquirer regrets allowing the fine work of Lewis Carroll to be dragged into this mess, but the part about the hair did make it snicker.
In a March 10 column on college conference realignment, Bob Ford wrote: Locally, the question is where this leaves Temple, which finds itself in the position of having moved into a once-desirable neighborhood only to find that someone opened a smelting plant on the edge of town.
So, to generalize, Temple might have positioned itself in a good football and bad basketball conference even though its traditional strengths are exactly the reverse. That might not be a recipe for disaster, but it isn't German chocolate cake, either.
The Inquirer has always had a fondness for a nice bit of cake.
In a March 26 column on the La Salle Explorers, Bob Ford wrote: "Their 6-[foot]-1 guard went at the best shot-blocker in the history of our program," Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said Sunday night, saying it out loud almost for his own benefit, just so the audaciousness of it could sink it. He was talking, of course, about Tyrone Garland's game-winning drive that sent La Salle to the Sweet 16. The shot that Garland had to learn at the courts of the Myers Recreation Center at 58th and Kinsessing - the "Southwest Philly Floater," Garland called it - he had to learn it because there are some bad shot-blockers there, too.
"I'm not scared of nobody," Garland said.
The Inquirer is working on the Market Street Floater, but regrets not having the same success yet.
In an April 7 column on Rutgers athletics, Bob Ford wrote: This wasn't a failure of process. This was a function of process. There shouldn't have been a process at all. There should have been an athletic director sending out a release to announce the coach's dismissal about 30 minutes after he saw the practice video. That's the process.
The Inquirer agrees with that one, too.
In an April 25 column on the NFL draft, Bob Ford wrote: It could be that the three teams picking ahead of the Eagles will take offensive tackles Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, and Lane Johnson. That would leave Kelly with a decision, but it is more likely that at least one of those teams will go in another direction, possibly for defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. The Raiders pick just ahead of the Eagles, and it's always impossible to predict what that organization will do. Oakland could draft an offensive player, a defensive player, or a wirehaired fox terrier. There's no way to know.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford did not realize Mr. Floyd would drift to 23d, or that, while Oakland might draft a whippet, there is no legitimate NFL use for a wirehaired fox terrier.
In a May 1 column on the Flyers, Bob Ford wrote: The NHL managed to start its postseason Tuesday night without any help from the Flyers for just the second time in the last 18 seasons. It seems that the organization itself is a little mystified with what went wrong. Here's how you tell: The coach isn't even being fired.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Laviolette did eventually take the fall for Mr. Holmgren.
In a May 5 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: Baseball rewards panic the same way a pit bull rewards sudden movement. There's no future in simply turning and running from a bad start by a baseball team, or in trying to repair a six-month season with a few weeks of glue and duct tape.
The Inquirer wishes Mr. Ford would pick a lane when it comes to the number of metaphors in a paragraph. One will do nicely.
In a May 22 column on USGA rules banning anchored putters, Bob Ford wrote: The real world is somewhat different. It might not be within the rules of the game to use an anchored putter in three years, but there's nothing in the rules that allows a FootJoy wedge from under a pine tree, either. The USGA and the PGA can harrumph at each other and get into a putter-measuring war if they like, but, for the average golfer, banning long putters won't stop them from using one any more than they will stop buying those slice-correcting balls and square-grooved irons.
The Inquirer truly regrets the putter-measuring line, but did just send away for some hook-preventing tees.
In a May 27 column on golf, Bob Ford wrote: Golfers can't even cheat properly. It takes some rules nerd sitting at home watching television to point out an illegal drop, which occurs when the placement of the ball, as measured by a nuclear-powered plumb line, exceeds the circumference of the nearest sprinkler head divided by pi.
The Inquirer has always been a stickler for sportsmanship.
In a June 12 column on the U.S. Open at Merion, Bob Ford wrote: The sun came out Tuesday at the U.S. Underwater and there hasn't been that much rejoicing on the Main Line since the long-term capital-gains tax became law.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford wouldn't know the difference between a debenture and a dinosaur.
In a July 31 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: The [Phils] invested heavily in the players who carried them during their five-year glory run, and those players are still the most innately talented in the organization. They just can't show it as consistently as they once did. The Phils are essentially house-rich and cash-poor, stuck with these stately mansions that are expensive to operate but getting draftier by the year.
The Inquirer actually likes that metaphor. Please continue.
In a Sept. 22 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: It would be a lot easier to feel warm and nostalgic about the greatest era in Phillies baseball if it would just end already. As it is, this has the feel of a rock band that hangs around after the platinum albums are only a memory and the remaining members of the original lineup are all dying their hair and wearing hearing aids.
The Inquirer has fond memories of Foghat and Molly Hatchet.
In an Aug. 17 column on Charlie Manuel, Bob Ford wrote: That was a good man who walked slowly out of the ballpark in the middle of the afternoon on a beautiful day for baseball. He deserved better, but the game doesn't always give you what you deserve. It gives you what you get. No hard feelings. In fact, usually no feelings at all.
Friday was a little different in that way. Everybody felt this one.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Amaro did not join Mr. Manuel on that walk out of the stadium.
In a Sept. 19 column on Andy Reid, Bob Ford wrote: Reid led us to the altar on more than a few occasions and always seemed to have left the ring in his other tuxedo. Getting back together like this for a farewell one-night stand under a full harvest moon won't change anything about that, but at least it will give us a chance to take back some of those nasty things we said along the way.
The Inquirer regrets the mental image of a one-night stand with Mr. Reid.
In a Nov. 4 column on the Eagles, Bob Ford wrote: And then Sunday's game happened in the decrepit O.co Coliseum, with its legions of costumed fans and its eternal flame to honor team founder Al Davis, which shuts off as soon as the game ends. It happened, and Nick Foles, who went into the game needing luck to keep his job, came out of it on the same page of the NFL record book as Sid Luckman and a few other guys who threw seven touchdown passes in a game.
Kelly got back his genius crown, the Eagles kept pace just behind the Cowboys in the division, the defense continued to defy expectations, and the season that will neither take off nor crash continued on its unpredictable way.
The Inquirer does not regret how much it enjoyed this season, but Mr. Ford's luck-Luckman play on words is unfortunate.
In a Nov. 14 column on the Eagles and the National Dog Show, Bob Ford wrote: Nick Foles is an Afghan hound, DeSean Jackson a whippet, LeSean McCoy a doberman, and Evan Mathis an Alaskan malamute. David Frei says it, so it must be true, because the man knows his football and he knows his dogs.
The Inquirer is still at rather a loss on this one.
In a Nov. 19 column on the Phillies, Bob Ford wrote: Ruben Amaro Jr. has heard all the jokes by now. He may not be laughing, but he hears them. The Phillies like the Old-Timers Game promotion so much, they're going to hold 81 of them at Citizens Bank Park next season. The 2014 team photo will be taken by Matthew Brady. When Amaro promised he'd help build a dynasty, he didn't say it was going to be the Ming Dynasty.
The Inquirer regrets that Mr. Ford will be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitresses. Try the veal.
Well, once again, I feel better. The slate has been wiped clean for the new year and there will be no repeat of the same mistakes, the same hiding of corrections. As always, trust is our bond.