The opening day of the Nixzmary Brown trial gets two-thirds of the front of the Daily News, notes THE JURY WEEPS after seeing photos of the seven-year-old girls bruised and beaten body. This tragedy is going to be all over the tabloids for the foreseeable future: it has lurid, heartbreaking details, an obvious villain and an angel in the form of the victim. The term “monster” comes up frequently in descriptions of Cesar Rodriguez, Brown’s stepfather who is on currently on trial for her murder. (Brown’s mother, Nixaliz Santiago, faces separate murder charges in the case.) Rodriguez’s photo in the News shows him with his eyes shut, as if looking into the true face of evil may disturb readers too much. Post columnist Andrea Peyser describes his face as “rat-like, pockmarked and sullen” and the paper uses Rodriguez’s and Santiago’s mugshots for illustrations. Nixzmary’s eyes, meanwhile, are wide-open, full of innocence and haunting. The juxtaposition is jarring.
In less depressing news, there’s some sort of sporting event in three days. Thanks for the countdown, Daily News! Apparently it’s Eli Manning’s date with destiny. Hey, did you know that sometimes people who like different football teams date, even get married? The News has a story about such a couple. Also, those Midwesterners in Green Bay are just so gosh darned nice! They don’t even talk trash when you tell them you’re a reporter for a New York City tabloid.
The Post, however, has football on the mind more than the News. Two of the three front-page items are related to the sport. First, the Giants: football legend Troy Aikman says the Giants can beat the Packers. Well, then it must be true! (How convenient that Aikman works for Fox Sports as an analyst these days.)
The other pigskin story has to do with New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss and the Florida woman accusing him of battery. Apparently domestic violence is a topic worthy of punny football jokes, including the photo of a referee calling a personal foul next to the headline “Roughing call on Randy Moss.” The photo caption of Moss on page 13? “Illegal use of the hands.”
What really sends this over the edge is the story right below the Moss one on page 13. Hey, there’s a big playoff game this week! Featuring a hometown team! Let’s see what the mayors of New York and Green Bay are offering up for a wager. For the record: If Green Bay wins, Mayor John Schmitt will get 20 pounds of Porterhouse steak from Peter Luger’s and six bottles of steak sauce, a 10-pound cheesecake from the Carnegie Deli, and a case of Brooklyn Lager. If the Giants pull it off and win, Mayor Bloomberg will be up to his ears in cheese spreads (17 different varieties from US Specialty Cheese), 20 pounds. of strip steak from Smithfield Beef, three pounds of chocolates from Beerntsen’s Candies, and a pair of cheese-wedge sunglasses.
If you want to tie all the Post’s front-page stories together, then you’d make the obvious joke that there’s a retired member of the NYPD who could consume the winnings of Bloomberg’s wager in one sitting. The “Fat Cop” story is front-page news for the tabloid. The News has a piece about ex-cop Paul Soto’s quest for more disability pay all the way back on page 27. Soto claims the fall he took outside a doctor’s office was in the line of duty, and he deserves more pay. Good page-one lead, though, Post: “Talk about pound-ing the beat!” The page-five hed for this story is “He’s Biiig Blue,” another nod to the Giants.
Odds and Ends
Follow-ups The Daily News covers the deployment ceremony of the Fighting 69th Battalion of the National Guard, noting that no city politicians were at Hunter College to see the soldiers off. The News also has an editorial scolding various officials for not attending. Yesterday the News covered the deployment as well. The Post’s brief page-21 blurb about the deployment highlights quotes from several soldiers who are “excited” about going to Afghanistan.
Stuyvesant High race-walker Valerie Piro is paralyzed after Saturday’s van crash in New Hampshire. Her dad tells the News she’ll walk again. The Post highlight’s Piro’s “bravery.”
The News reports the concrete at Trump SoHo may not have been completely dry when supports were removed. This may have been the cause of the collapse that killed a construction worker earlier this week.
Exclusives The Post reports that Gov. Spitzer’s campaign committee has paid $129,150 in fines for placing posters on streetlamps during the 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
Congestion pricing cash will go into the a transporation “lock box,” the News reports.
Sensational and ridiculous Post headlines: “ACLU
FOR TOILET SEX,” and “FURIOUS JUDGE SLICES UP O.J.”
Bernie update Virgilio Cintron, the “Bernie” in the corpse check-cashing scandal, will be laid to rest Tuesday. There will be a wake Monday, the Post reports.