Big moment: The Phillies shock the world and sign Cliff Lee and add Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels to create what could be the best pitching rotation baseball has ever seen.
Small moment: The guys the Phillies traded Lee away for aren’t doing so hot—Phillippe Aumont was so bad he got demoted to single-A ball, Juan Ramirez needed hip surgery and Tyson Gillies got arrested for cocaine possession.
Big moment: Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson team up to become the most exciting duo in sports, proving themselves so much faster than anyone else in the NFL that it’s almost unfair.
Small moment: Former Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb is benched by his new team, the Washington Redskins—twice.
Big moment: Phillies fan Matthew Clemmens intentionally vomits on a cop and his two teenage daughters at a game for telling him to stop cursing; news outlets dub Clemmens “Pukemon.”
Small moment: Pukemon wins Philebrity awards for excommunication. Readers vote to “cast this demon out and see it never again.”
Big moment: Thousands of fans in green, black and yellow come to cheer on world’s fastest man Usain Bolt and his Jamaican team, so enthusiastically that runners can’t hear instructions over the loudspeaker. More than 54,000 people showed up, the highest turnout in the event’s history.
Small moment: “I hate losing, and I hate losing to Jamaica,” said Shawn Crawford of the second-place American team.
Big moment: “Flash mobs” of teenagers on South Street and elsewhere put the city in a tizzy for months.
Small moment: Media and police suffer from premature flash-mob declaration anytime a group of black teenagers congregates in one place.
Big moment: WebcamGate explodes in Lower Merion High School. Principle complainant Blake Robbins files a lawsuit against the school district alleging unlawful invasion of privacy as a result of a mismanaged IT security feature that enabled photographs of students at home.
Small moment: As testimony to their devout and litigious interest in privacy, the Robbins family submit pictures of the teen posing for network video cameras making sad faces while hugging a laptop.
Big moment: The feds report that kids in the Philadelphia School District are indeed getting their asses kicked left and right.
Small moment: After months of downplaying the system-wide violence, Arlene Ackerman receives “Urban Educator of the Year” award.
Big moment: Larry Platt, longtime publisher of Philadelphia magazine, gets fired. The brass cites Platt’s inappropriate behavior—including gifting a photograph of a two-inch cyst removed from his balls to departing editor Ashley Primis—as reason.
Small moment: During the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, Ashley Primis quietly tosses a photograph into the recycling bin.
Big moment: City Paper publishes a blog post that lambasts Philadelphia’s “blogger tax.” Five days later, after other outlets point out that there’s no such thing as a blogger tax, the paper publishes a new post simultaneously trumpeting that the false news went national while providing downplayed “clarifications.”
Small moment: After allowing the original false post to go viral and collect comments for 13 days, City Paper “alters” the original post to reflect, you know, reality.
Big moment: Publisher Brian Tierney is forced out after a group of lenders win the bankruptcy battle for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com.
Small moment: Tierney is somewhere admiring the only remaining copy of a 3-D Inquirer.
Big moment: City Paper disses PW story (“bad journalism,” they cried) that sheds light on what it’s like to be an average (legal) gun owner in Philly. Apparently you can’t write about this topic without also mentioning the illegal-gun problem in this city, even though they are two totally different issues—both equally deserving of coverage.
Small moment: Weeks later, CP publishes bail story—but uses illegal-gun-toter as hero?
Big moment: Aggravated assault charges against DJ Too Tuff, AKA Joseph Hicks of Philly’s Tuff Crew, stemming from a 2008 incident at Silk City Diner, are dismissed.
Small moment: Too Tuff drops Escape from Alchachaz, heralded as an instant classic.
Big moment: Tony Danza’s reality show Teach documents the Who’s the Boss? star as he tries to teach a (specially selected) English class at Northeast High School.
Small moment: After his year’s up, Danza heads back to his home in Beverly Hills. Noncelebrity, first-year public school teachers continue their lives of quiet despair.
Big moment: Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass, who sang lead in Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes for Gamble and Huff and who helped establish what came to be known as the Sound of Philadelphia, dies at 59 in the same Philly-area hospital he was born in.
Small moment: The lyrics “If you don’t know me by now / you will never never never know me” seem sadly appropriate.
Savage Love: Sondheim is solace