The media sure has a Tiger by the tail

Personally, the details of Tiger Woods’ personal life are something I can live without. Tiger is only on my radar screen when he’s trying to win another major.

Then again, not everybody has my extraordinary depth. There are masses of folks out there who are more superficial than a spray-on tan.

So when Tiger Woods, one of the most famous people on the planet because of his zillion dollars worth of endorsements, has his pristine image suffer a double-bogey, well, the media pounces on the story like a hungry squadron of piranha.

OK, was Tiger rushing out in the middle of the night and crashing into a fire hydrant outside his suburban Orlando home early Friday because he wanted to get a jump on his Black Friday shopping or get to the driving range to iron out a kink in his woods?

All we know for sure is that Tiger drives much better off the tee than he does on the street. And he apparently doesn’t spend much time behind the wheel with Danica Patrick.

Now comes word the Florida Highway Patrol is focusing on obtaining a search warrant — allowing them to seize medical records from the hospital that treated Woods — in an attempt to determine if the wounds Woods sustained are consistent with a car accident or domestic violence.

Is Woods, who reportedly was in and out of consciousness after the crash, stonewalling investigators to protect his wife Elin? Rumors are spreading like a forest fire fanned by the high winds of malicious gossip that she confronted him with reported allegations he cheated on her with Manhattan club hostess Rachel Uchitel.

And just how does a hostess afford a pricey celebrity lawyer like Gloria Allred? Rachel must get more tips than Tiger gets birdies.

So many questions. So few answers. It’s enough to give the world’s greatest golfer the yips.

No matter how much rough they find themselves in trying to track down the story, I’m sure the celebrity and the sporting press will swing away until they reach the green.

So is anybody ready to dub Donovan McNabb the comeback kid?

After an eternity of failing to pop the clutch when the fourth-quarter sand in the hourglass was running on empty, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles suddenly have accrued comeback capabilities.

McNabb engineered the Birds to their second straight final-quarter comeback victory, this time putting on their rally helmets to clip the Redskins 27-24 today at the Linc.

The Eagles now are 7-4 after David Akers, who kicked four field goals in the game and has booted 16 straight, nailed the winning 32-yard field goal with 1:48 remaining.

Still, it was a win uglier than Tigers Woods’ weekend. The Birds certainly didn’t win on style points against a Washington team populated with faceless uniformed dolts.

The game had a calamitous beginning for our hometown heroes.

They decided to start the proceedings with an on-sides kick that blew up in their faces and set up a gimme Redskins’ touchdown. That left Andy Reid looking like a man watching his Jaguar catch fire in the driveway.

The Eagles’ defense was a mess most of the game, especially on third down. But at least the Birds’ defenders muscled up in fourth-quarter crunch time.

It’s difficult to project just how this season will play out for the Eagles, who have exhibited a maddening inconsistency.

Boscov's robust resurrection resonates amidst the tumult of Black Friday's ringing cash registers

It’s Black Friday and I hope tons of shoppers are out there spending tons of money. If people spend cash, it’s the perfect hatch of escape from a calamitous economy.
And while they’re forking it over, I do hope they don’t forget Boscov’s.
Why?
Truth in full disclosure: My wife is Boscov’s copywriting chief in its advertising department.
But there is a bigger reason than just my own personal economic situation.
The Boscov’s story on Black Friday this year is an amazing saga of resurrection.
A year go the Reading-based department store chain seemed on the cusp of disintegration.
The odds were Boscov’s was toast, tossed into bankruptcy and apparently certain to be liquidated. The skillet it found itself stuck on was one of malarial heat. It was time to call in the coroner.
But then Al Boscov returned from retirement to right the ship that seemed to be sunk, to get the seemingly derailed-forever train back on the tracks.
The now 80-year-old Boscov pulled off a miracle by the sweat of his brow, the sheer dent of his personality, his retail wisdom and his extensive spider’s web of connections. The result was enough leverage to lift Boscov’s from the dark, dank abyss.
Boscov is a troubadour for success, a power plant of human adrenaline.
A year ago this week, a federal bankruptcy judge gave Boscov and a group of investors the green light to buy the chain out of Chapter 11 in a deal valued at more than $300 million.

The company had fallen out of family hands and into bankruptcy in August 2008 with $90 million in unpaid bills, but was returned to family stewardship by December.
The recovery was so lightning quick it flabbergasted the judge who closed the case a few months ago, and even garnered praise from the attorney for vendors who lost millions.
No wonder Al Boscov is revered and engulfed in mystique.
The man has the Midas touch. He can spin gold out of sweat.

Obama is no great shakes in the Oval Office but he sure dazzles in a tent

For some reason, some of the faithful browsers in the Zeke Blogosphere think I’m an Obama apologist.

For months the anti-Obama rhetoric in my comment fields has been selling like space heaters in Iceland.
This amuses me since I hardly think our president should be nominated for Rookie of the Year, let alone Man of the Year. But unlike some of my readers, I don’t Obama is so foul he should be wearing a Hazmat suit.
Once upon a time, I did think his presidency could be borne on currents of destiny. Now I’m merely hoping it manages to eventually take flight.
By the way, I was snubbed last night. I didn’t receive an invitation to Obama’s first state dinner. I was stuck at home eating leftover spaghetti while Barack and Michelle toasted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in an evening of regal pageantry in a tent on the White House South Lawn.
Of course, the tent that was populated with entertainers and moguls in addition to the political who’s who of the Beltway was not something you take the family camping with.
This tent had views of the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial through clear panels, chandeliers suspended from the ceiling and beige carpet on the floor.
Then again, I’m glad I wasn’t invited. I hate Indian cuisine.

The (AB)Cs of city crime

OK, we all know Reading always ranks pretty high (or low, depending on your perspective) in the CQ Press annual crime reports.

It’s our claim to fame (or shame), now that we’ve lost the Reading Railroad and its spot on the old Monopoly board.

Reading checked in as the 37th most dangerous city in the nation in 2008, compared to its No. 63 spot in 2007.

But does the actual slot really matter? The bottom line is crime abounds here every freaking year.

For years I have waxed passionately on this subject, using every boxcar-big word I could lift out of the dictionary without rupturing a disk.

But now I’m literally spent for words.

So I’m opting for a semi-alliterative approach this year.

When it comes to city crime, don’t call out City Hall, cops or churches. Call out the citizens (or non-citizens).

Despite her galactic explosion of mega success, I don't find Taylor's voice to be all that Swift

Talk about catching the tide. Taylor Swift, born in Berks, is riding an awesome wave.
The 19-year-old country singer has had a super nova of a year as she has morphed into a crossover superduperstar.
Swift is in an unstoppable rhythm. Sunday night she pocketed a leading five prizes, including Artist of the Year, at the American Music Awards.
For Artist of the Year, she toppled none other than Michael Jackson. For favorite female pop/rock artist, she beat out Lady Gaga and Beyonce. For favorite female country artist, she did a number on Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood.
Classy, charismatic and telegenic, Swift has become a global sweetheart and soon may be worshipped as a music deity.
I truly think this is marvelous for her and her family.
Nevertheless, and maybe this is just me, but I really don’t think she has that good of a voice.

A gibbering specter: An actual comeback win by McNabb and the Eagles

After some distinctly sordid and depressing performances this seamy season, the Eagles and Donovan McNabb targeted Sunday night’s tilt with the Bears in Chicago as a must-win game.
So they were unmindful of the past, uncaring of the future, existing only for the moment.
And the focus worked with a 24-20 victory in which McNabb, no longer a producer of impromptu dramatics, led the Birds to a come-from-behind fourth-quarter triumph for the first time since the Chinese invented fireworks.
McNabb chucked for 244 yards against his hometown team and LeSean McCoy scored the winning touchdown on a 10-yard run following Antonio Dixon’s block of a field goal attempt.
McNabb was 5 for 6 on the go-ahead drive, with his precision setting up McCoy’s touchdown bolt.
Besides the clutch performance by McNabb, what also was different Sunday night was the Birds weren’t using up acres of everybody’s time by foolishly passing all the time. With a renewed focus on the running game, McNabb was able to exploit the Bears with play action passes. He completed 90 percent of his passes off of play action, including two touchdowns.
Imagine that: The Eagles had a smart game plan for once and actually executed it. Which is why nobody this morning is in favor of McNabb’s or Andy Reid’s execution.

Recommendations of fewer mammograms and Pap smears put a cancer bull's-eye on women

What’s up with the medical professionals and the government seemingly throwing women under a bus?

In fact, there are bus stations that smell better than limiting cancer screening for women. And if women are being sacrificed to prune health costs, that smells worse than a hangover.

First a government task force recommends that women wait until 50 to get mammograms and now the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (can’t begin to wonder what that school’s mascot is) says women need fewer Pap smears because cervical cancer grows slowly.

Granted, cervical cancer isn’t something that a woman develops over dinner.

Still, mammograms and Pap smears are sort of like a prevent defense, like going on patrol for weak spots.

With limited cancer screening, women will just have to rely on God’s infinite mercy as a last resort.

Killer interest won't bring one long fiesta from misery for Uncle Sam

Just when you think there might be some eerie lights of hope flickering through the encircling economic gloom, you get hit with numbers of reptilian coldness.

Do you know what the interest tab is on Uncle Sam’s voracious borrowing?

Try $4.8 trillion. That boxcar total is part absurd, part sinister. And more than half of the $9 trillion in debt the U.S. is expected to build up over the next decade.

Supposedly these record levels of debt have prevented the economy from tanking into the dungeons of hell.

Still, talk about gambling with our children’s chips.