Muddy mess of malarkey — and a moment of silence

In today's edition of the Friday files, we're looking at everything from malarkey-filled advertising to Republican Party turmoil. And a nun.

But first, let's talk about the Mud Bowl.

This community — and this newspaper — has been filled with outrage and hand-wringing about the muddy conditions at the Citrus Bowl last week.

Get over it.

Of course it was a mess. Of course it should've been prevented. And of course it should never happen again.

But those people — including my affable but misguided colleague, Mike Bianchi — who try to use the sloppy field as an excuse to pour tens of millions of dollars into the stadium need to get their own heads out of the mud.

This community barely has enough money to meet its basic needs right now. And I'm sorry, Mikey, but fancier corporate-level seating and glass-fronted banquet space aren't among them.

Mayor Buddy Dyer already pledged $10 million for renovations that include artificial turf. So what we saw last week won't happen again, even if Noah has to bring his ark to the next tailgate.

Crisis solved. And until the economy turns around, that should be the end of it.

A moment of silence …

… for Sister Cathy Gorman.

If you aren't familiar with everything the "Apopka nuns" do for this community — and for our most vulnerable of neighbors — know that it is humbling in the truest sense of the word.

They've helped children learn to read and the poor to find health care. They have advocated for impoverished farmworkers, nurtured struggling families through turmoil and taught sewing and English and a lot more to immigrants who are trying to make their way in the United States.

In short, if the Apopka nuns see a need, they try to address it, giving voice to the voiceless and hope to those in despair.

Sister Cathy was a big part of that. And Central Florida lost a bright light when she passed away.

If you want more info about what the sisters do to keep that light burning all year round, go to

Greer's griping

Apparently, Jim Greer can't even go down with dignity.

On the heels of his ouster from the Republican Party of Florida, Greer tried to claim that some Republicans just weren't ready for all the big-tent inclusion he tried to promote.

What a joke. This is a man who tried to push aside anyone who got in the way of his master plans — including veteran Republicans like Charlie Bronson, who thought maybe they wanted to run for higher office.

But nowhere was Greer's version of "inclusion" better on display than at the past Republican National Convention. That was where Florida sported one of the least diverse delegations in modern history — and the country. Out of 114 delegates, three were black. There were also so few women that on "Ladies Night" at the convention — an evening meant to show support for Sarah Palin by asking all the female delegates to sit up front — Florida's delegation didn't even have enough to fill the seats. They had to recruit non-delegate seat-fillers to help out.

So, for Greer to claim that he was ousted because he was just so gosh-darn inclusive is to ignore reality.

Audacious advertising

The award for the most shameless advertising campaign in recent memory goes to the Fox network.

In the recent battle between Fox and Bright House Networks — when Fox was threatening to yank the Sugar Bowl and American Idol — Fox inundated the market with radio and newspaper ads, urging customers to call Bright House and demand that they cave in to Fox's demands.

I'm no Bright House sympathizer. But I'm also no dummy … which Fox must think most of you are. Because what Fox wanted was for Bright House to pay the network more money — money that would obviously be passed along to the customer.

So, essentially, Fox was running ads, asking Bright House customers to call and demand the cable company jack up their bills.

Amazingly, thousands of people mindlessly followed the marching orders and did just that.

Erica: Out of the mix

One of the best-known voices on Central Florida radio won't be on the air this morning. Erica Lee confirmed that she was fired after she finished Wednesday's "Scott & Erica" show on Mix 105.1. "It's been a nice long run," she said. "I will definitely miss all the listeners." Scott McKenzie and producer Jay will go on without her. You can read a full interview with Erica and what she plans to do at

The last word …

… goes to reader R.D. Palmer of Ocoee, who couldn't help but make a connection between the Citrus Bowl mess and the latest bad news for Florida's schoolchildren and their education budget.

Wrote R.D.: "Florida's education funding looks exactly like the Citrus Bowl football field. It's nothing but a sea of mud and divots."

He's right. But many residents tend to get a lot more worked up about football games than our schools.

Scott Maxwell can be reached at or 407-420-6141.

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