SOMEWHERE IN NEW JERSEY -- Strange as it may seem, the two entities above have something in common.
They are both topics of discussion in this blog post.
Okay, so really, they have nothing to do with each other. But while I have a few spare moments I figured I'd deal with a few odds and ends I've been meaning to write about for the last few days.
Let's start with the South Street Bridge reconstruction project, which is going to have a serious impact on your trips to the Palestra and Franklin Field for the next two years.
The Penn athletic department has put together a very good information page with instructions for driving and public transit, as well as links to maps with parking garages around campus that are open for games.
If you or anyone you know are planning to come to 33rd Street for any kind of sports event during the reconstruction project, you definitely need to read the information on that page. It matters not only for football and basketball, but also for the Penn Relays -- and you know how much of a traffic jam that causes even without any construction going on.
The parking garage information will become even more important in a few months when Penn starts its Franklin Field redevelopment project. That will close the small parking lot between Franklin Field and the tennis courts as new athletic facilities are built into the north side of the stadium.
I don't have an exact timeline for that project right now, but I will try to get one.
Also, if you come by public transportation, the 33rd Street trolley station and the 34th Street Market-Frankford line station give you a few more options besides the University City reigonal rail station.
Now for the Dick Vitale portion of the program. According to Awful Announcing, ESPN's signature college basketball voice will be at Madison Square Garden tonight to call the Villanova-Texas game with Dan Shulman and Doris Burke.
We also learn from AA that Dave O'Brien and Steve Lavin will call the Holy War on Thursday, and Brad Nessler and Bill Raftery will call Tennessee at Temple.
I hope to be at the Liacouras Center on Saturday to liveblog the game. Unfortunately, that means I won't get to hear Raftery's description of Bruce Pearl's attire in real time. Perhaps you all will be able to help me out with that.
The other local game listed on the blog post is Villanova at La Salle, but the announcers are listed as TBD. I have no information about that, but it would not surprise me if Scott Graham and John Celestand have the call. We'll see.
Finally, I pass along this blog post at The 700 Level by Schuylkill 16 voter Dan Levy about the state of the media industry. It is, perhaps appropriately, an electronic reply to Bill Conlin's column about the death of newspapers in this morning's Daily News.
It is a subject about which I could write multiple lengthy blog posts, although this probably isn't the right place for them. But allow me a few thoughts if you will.
If I was, to borrow Conlin's famous phrase, King of the World, people would want to read long stories about national politics and and other meaty subjects far more than they do now. Heck, they'd want to read about college sports more than they do.
But I read the traffic statistics on the website every day, and their message almost never changes. People want to read about the Eagles, the Phillies and celebrity gossip, especially gossip involving local television anchors. There's nothing I can do about it, and all those pageviews pay my salary.
Having said that, I know that a lot of you have ideas on why the journalism industry is in such bad shape. I know that some of you believe the problem would be solved if we just threw all the Democrats out, and others of you believe the problem would be solved if we threw all the Republicans out.
(I know this because every time you hit "Report Abuse" on a comment on the site, it lands in my inbox. And I know you do that a lot, because I often get close to 100 abuse reports a day -- and it's my job to clean them up.)
In the end, I don't think there is one simple answer to this that will solve everyone's problems. If there was, there are still enough smart people left in journalism that someone would have figured it out by now.
But the one thing I do know is that we won't get out of this mess unless we do so together. It's why I'm so passionate about building a real community of readers on here, from the interactive liveblogs to the fan photo gallery.
I hope it's working. If you have ideas on how to make the blog better, feel free to let me know in the comments or by email.
Okay, I'm almost in New York, which means it's time to pack up the computer. I'll talk to you all again tonight.