Morning News Report; Jan. 31, 2012

MCCRORY SET TO ANNOUNCE RUN

Republican Pat McCrory, who narrowly lost the race for governor four years ago, formally announces his run for the same office today.

My take: It’s this simple — this McCrory’s race to lose. His appeal was so strong it forced Gov. Bev Perdue out of the race and there’s not a Democrat in the state outside of Jim Hunt who can come within 7 percentage points of him in November.

Unless McCrory does something really, really stupid — and he’s as polished as a new Lamborghini, so I don’t see that happening — he’ll be our governor-elect on Election Day.

THERE ARE DUNKS AND THEN THERE’S BLAKE GRIFFIN

Sure, the L.A. Clippers defeated Oklahoma City last night — but that’s not what the entire sports world is talking about this morning.

What they are raving about — according to Steve Czaban, ESPN SportsCenter showed it 56 times in one hour this morning! — is this emasculating dunk by Blake Griffin over Kendrick Perkins last night:

My take: Uh, yeah. That’s a pretty sweet dunk.

You think Perkins had trouble going to sleep last night?

FERRIS DRIVES A HONDA?

As it turns out, the Ferris Bueller Matthew Broderick Super Bowl commercial we looked at last week is for Honda. Yes, Honda. Here you go:

My take: Honda.

Could’ve been for Ferrari, a Corvette or even a Mustang … but Honda? C’mon, Ferris, you can do better than that!

However, the commercial was pretty sweet. If anything, film studios should look at the buzz this thing created and realize — THERE NEEDS TO BE A FERRIS BUELLER SEQUEL. The world is demanding it!

The iPod shuffle

Tennessee — Arrested Development

Mad World — Michael Andrews & Gary Jules

Hey Ya! — Outkast

Shadows And Tall Trees — U2

Blood Roses — Tori Amos

P.S.: I haven’t forgotten about our final standings for the blog pick ‘em — my goal is to get that up by tomorrow.

Morning News Report; Jan. 27, 2012

LEFTY MAD BECAUSE OF ‘GARY WILLIAMS COURT’

Former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell is angry because the University of Maryland named its basketball court at the Comcast Center after Gary Williams, who retired following last season.

My take: While I can see why Lefty might be a little upset — he does have the all-time winningest percentage of Terps coaches — I think he’s just jealous. Williams won the school’s only basketball national championship and helped restore the program back to national prominence … after Lefty pretty much buried it following the Len Bias tragedy.

So, Lefty … get over it. You have your great memories and wins — and guilty conscience over how you essentially destroyed a program you helped build.

FERRIS BUELLER TO RETURN!

Matthew Broderick is set to reprise his famous “Ferris Bueller” role in a Super Bowl commercial next weekend. Here’s the video teaser:

My take: It’s not been revealed what the product is (my money is it’s Pepsi; the font of the date gives it away).

In the interest of full disclosure: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is arguably my favorite movie OF ALL TIME (up there with “Pulp Fiction,” “Anchorman,” “For Love Of The Game” and “The Breakfast Club”). They’ve teased for years there might be a Ferris sequel … and if this is the first indicator it’s going to happen — I’M ALL IN.

NO. 1 KINSTON LOSES AT NORTH PITT

Kinston, the No. 1-ranked team in this week’s NCPreps.com 2A poll, lost at North Pitt last night, 64-53.

My take: I still think Kinston is the best 2A team in the state; maybe the Vikings needed this wake-up call — just as they did on Reggie Bullock’s Senior Night two years ago when they lost to Farmville Central.

Speaking of FC — that’s who visits Viking Gym tonight.

The iPod shuffle

On The Road Again — Canned Heat

I Wish I Was Queer So I Could Get Chicks — The Bloodhound Gang

Summer Love / Set The Mood Prelude — Justin Timberlake & Timbaland

New Kid In Town — The Eagles

Perfection — Run-D.M.C.

Morning News Report; Nov. 25, 2011

Happy Black Friday to all my African-American friends, who celebrate this day every year to commemorate the history of their struggles and successes in America.

Wait — that’s not what “Black Friday” means? It’s so idiots can stand in line for hours and even days to buy junk? Oh … OK. Well, have a happy one of THOSE, too.

Anyhoo, now on to your MNR:

IDIOTIC BLACK FRIDAY NEWS

And yes … the idiots were out, even here in Kinston. Evidently, police/security had to use pepper spray at our Walmart when shoppers got out of hand; here’s a YouTube video of the incident:

Kinston isn’t the only place, though — evidently this type of behavior and results were taking place all over the country.

My take: Craziness. There’s nothing out there that would be worth me being potentially pepper-sprayed to buy it.

And what does this say about us as a society? When it comes down to brass tacks, we’re all just animals who react as such when presented these type of situations. Sad, really.

SHOWDOWN FRIDAY FOR KHS, A-G, JS

It’s finally here — the Eastern Regional finals for Kinston (vs. Reidsville), Ayden-Grifton (at Wallace-Rose Hill) and Jones Senior (at Manteo). What’s on the line? Only a trip to the 2AA, the 1AA and the 1A state championships.

My take: Want to know who’s winning but can’t make the game? I’ll be at Kinston but will be updating my Twitter feed at BCHanks throughout the game(s).

KHS quarterback C.J. Bradshaw has organized a “Black Friday” event of his own — he and the Vikings are encouraging everyone to wear black to tonight’s game.

Also, our good friend Michael Moon — an FOB, Free Press free-lancer, KHS softball coach and all-around good fella — let us know the Vikings softball team will be selling raffle tickets at tonight’s game for a new PlayStation3 that will be given away at the end of the third quarter. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5. You know, a PS3 would be an EXCELLENT gift for someone … and you wouldn’t even have to stand in line for 10 hours to get it.

LATEST ‘TWILIGHT’ MOVIE CAUSING MALE VIEWERS TO HAVE SEIZURES

The latest installment of the boorish “Twilight” series is not only terrible, according to critics — it also could be hazardous to your health. Evidently, the vampire birthing scene is causing some male viewers to have seizures. No joke.

My take: As if you — my predominantly male reading audience — needed another reason NOT to see this junk, at least now you have a reason; just tell your significant other, “Hey, if I go, it could give me a seizure! Don’t believe me, check Hanks’ blog!”

The iPod shuffle

You Made Your Bed — Robin Rogers

Beautiful Day — U2

Come As You Are — Nirvana

Dumb — Nirvana

Shake Ya Tailfeather — Nelly featuring P. Diddy & Murphy Lee

P.S.: I had the honor of seeing FOB — and defending Blog Pick ‘em champ — Eastern two weeks ago at the NCISAA 8-man championship game in Raleigh. Eastern — aka Mike Williams — is an official with the NCISAA who has attended EVERY 8-man championship game. And, as evidenced by his great play in our pick ‘em game, he knows his football! Here’s a photo I took at the game two weeks ago:

P.P.S.S.: A dear friend of mine, Michelle Hillison, has a very talented daughter who took some great photos of UNC’s victory against Tennessee State Tuesday night. They were so good, I used one with the game story. To see all of up-and-coming sports photographer Hayley Hillison’s photos from Tuesday’s game, click here.

Morning News Report; Oct. 28, 2011

BEST WORLD SERIES GAME EVER?

In what some are calling the best World Series game in baseball history, the St. Louis Cardinals rallied in the ninth and 10th innings to down the Texas Rangers, 10-9, in Game 6 of the Fall Classic.

My take:A heck of a game, to be sure. If you’re the Rangers and you’ve had your heart ripped out the way it was last night, how do you recover for Game 7 tonight? My gut says tonight is anticlimactic — St. Louis probably wins 12-3 or something like that.

So … where does last night’s game rank to you?

‘IRON MAN 3′ TO FILM IN WILMINGTON

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue announced the superhero movie, “Iron Man 3″ will begin filming in Wilmington soon. Filming will allegedly bring more than $80 million to the state, along with 550 crew jobs and 1,000 jobs for actors.

My take: Pretty cool, although you have to wonder how much N.C. had to give up to get this to come to Wilmington. Regardless — has to be a shot in the arm for Wilmington economically.

NBA NEARING RESOLUTION TO LOCKOUT

It appears there might be some sort of deal between the NBA owners and players to end the lockout — as early as today.

My take: They better get something worked out; with baseball stealing the stage, the NFL getting its usual lofty ratings and college basketball getting ready to debut its 2011-12 edition, the NBA is already going to have to battle to gets its audience back. If it’s gone for more than the two weeks its already lost, it would be a pretty tough task to get the peripheral fans back.

The good news, though? Those (sarcasm intended) hard-to-get Charlotte Bobcats tickets should be even easier to obtain after this mess is over.

The iPod shuffle

Rock N Roll Band — Boston

Mandy — Barry Manilow

Come As You Are — Nirvana

Sad Songs (Say So Much) — Elton John

Another One Bites The Dust — Queen

P.S.: If you’re one of our Pink Hill bloggees, take a look at four of the six candidates running for your town board; Justin “The Kid” worked hard on the stories and aided Jon Dawson and I on the podcasts, which you can also access at the link.

And note I wrote four of the six — candidates Debra Grady and Marion Mitchell didn’t think it was important enough to share their messages with Free Press readers. What chaps my lips the most about that is eight candidates from Pink Hill (mayoral and town board) and 11 from Kinston and La Grange made the time to come to our office or be interviewed over the phone for this FREE feature over a three-day period, but Ms. Grady and Mr. Mitchell essentially blew us off, after multiple calls and talking to Justin.

I would never encourage to vote for or against a candidate … but I’d strongly consider my vote for a candidate who can’t take 15 minutes out of their day to share their message with voters. If they can’t take 15 minutes, how are they going to have the time to help run your town?

Afternoon News Report; Oct. 3, 2011

HEELS HANDLE PIRATES

UNC had little trouble in beating mistake-prone ECU, 35-20, Saturday night in Greenville.

My take: I didn’t go to the game but checked it out on CBS Sports Network — which was pretty bad, by the way — but that’s a conversation for another day.

ECU better get its turnover problems under control or the Pirates are going to have a very, very long season despite playing in abysmal Conference USA. However, one thing you can’t deny — ECU fans can pack a stadium. They deserved better than to see four turnovers in the first half against an arch-rival.

‘ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’ TO RETURN TO TV, BIG SCREEN

The critically-acclaimed TV series “Arrested Development” will return to television for nine to 10 episodes to set up a movie in 2013.

My take: I have to thank Jon Dawson for turning me on to that show; I watched the entire 2 1/2-season run on Netflix this summer — and it is freaking awesome. Can’t wait to see what the Bluths have been up to the past five years!

‘NEVERMIND’ BABY: 20 YEARS LATER

To those of you bloggees who are in my age range — this is going to make you feel REALLY old: here’s the baby from Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album cover, which was taken 20 years ago:

My take: Really cool concept and photo … but, damn, does it make me feel old!

The iPod shuffle

Girlfriend — Avril Lavigne

Blue Eyes — Elton John

Crazy — Aerosmith

Rebel Yell — Billy Idol

Magnificent — U2

P.S.: Here’s my Sunday column on Bev Perdue’s suggestion about suspending congressional elections to help the country recover. Ironically, it was posted at our sister ENCToday.com site, where it generated 8X the page views. Sigh.

I got a lot of hate mail (yep, been getting A LOT of that recently!), but my point was what I think the governor’s was — it would be great if congressmen/women would concentrate on turning our country around instead of constantly running for re-election.

Do I think suspending elections could/would/should ever happen? Absolutely not! But at least give the governor credit for thinking outside the box.

Morning News Report; Sept. 14, 2011

TYSON, JARMAN, AIKEN ADVANCE TO NOVEMBER BALLOT

As expected, incumbent Joe Tyson led the way in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the Kinston City Council. He will be joined on the Democratic ticket by Kelly Jarman and Sammy Aiken in a night that saw less than 10 percent of the eligible citizens exercise their right to vote.

My take: Pitiful turnout for an election that could shape the face of Kinston for the next four years. I can’t imagine it’ll be this bad in November, especially with John Nix and Jimmy Cousins on the ballot.

Also, a quick explanation of “plurality” as referenced in David Anderson’s story; if the top three vote-getters received 40 percent plurality, there is not a runoff. However, the top five did, so no runoff.

Plurality is obtained by taking the total number of votes (3,104 last night), dividing by three (the number of open seats) and multiplying that number by .40; meaning last night’s plurality was 413.9 (rounded up to 414). The top three vote-getters were Tyson (831), Jarman (632) and Aiken (481) and all achieved plurality; even Joe Plasky (436) and Ronnie Isler (426) reached the magic number … so no runoff.

K-TRIBE WINS GAME 1 OF MILLS CUP FINALS

The Kinston Indians drew first blood in their Mills Cup Championship Series at Frederick with a 3-1 win against the Keys.

My take: The victory guarantees at least a split in Frederick before the series heads back to Kinston for Games 3, 4 (if necessary) and 5 (if necessary) at Grainger Stadium. Go K-Tribe!

PALIN/RICE HOOKED UP IN 1987?

According to Deadspin.com, a new book is claiming that potential Republican presidential candidate Sarah Palin once had a one-night stand with former Charlotte Hornet Glen Rice. Allegedly, it happened in 1987 when Palin was a bright-eyed college graduate working at an Alaskan TV station and Rice was a Fab-Fiver (doggone it, thanks Jackson!) junior at Michigan playing in a tournament in the Great White North.

In the book, Rice confirms the affair; don’t know if Palin has fessed up to the tryst.

My take: That is pretty cool. The lesson here kids, is that cute person you’re hooking up with today could be the president in 25 years or so. FANTASTIC.

MARIANO RIVERA GETS 600TH SAVE

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariana Rivera notched his 600th save in last night’s 3-2 win at Seattle. He is only the second MLB pitcher to achieve the feat and he’s only one behind the all-time mark set by Trevor Hoffmann.

My take: I Yankee-hate with the best of ‘em, but you have to respect Mo — the man is 41 years old and STILL the best at what he does in the game.

‘POINT BREAK’ SET FOR A REMAKE

“Point Break,” the Patrick Swayze-Keanu Reeves movie that showed an FBI agent infiltrating a group of surfing bank robbers, is set to be remade. No cast has been revealed yet.

My take: PB is one of those great, campy, over-the-top movies that simply does not need a re-boot. And what is it with Hollywood wanting to remake Swayze movies? First “Dirty Dancing” and now “Point Break?”

The iPod shuffle

Are We The Waiting — Green Day

Summer of ’69 — Bryan Adams

Whipping Post — The Allman Brothers Band

I Wanna Get High — Cypress Hill

Lust For Life — Iggy Pop

P.S.: I’m not through with the dust-up that’s going on at Kinston High School, in which the firing of Jason Wade from the baseball program was just the tipping point. My phone wouldn’t stop blowing up yesterday from calls from teachers and coaches there yesterday — and I’ll share some of those thoughts later, if I’m allowed to.

Morning News Report; Aug. 10, 2011

WISCONSIN TEA PARTY 1, DEMOCRATS 0

Well, technically, the score was 4-2 (Wisconsin Republicans who held onto their jobs opposed to those that lost theirs) in recall votes yesterday, but the Tea Party-backed GOP state Senators still have their plurality in the Wisconsin legislature.

My take: It’s a surprise they held on, considering the tens of millions of dollars that poured into Wisconsin via labor unions and the like.

U.S. KILLS TALIBAN WHO KILLED 38 OVER THE WEEKEND

International forces have taken out the Taliban insurgents responsible for taking down an American helicopter over the weekend that killed 38 American and Afghan troops over the weekend. One of those killed last weekend was a Jacksonville man who attended White Oak High School.

My take: Payback is a bitch. I’m glad we took care of that little bit of business — now, can we clean up the mess over there and get our brave men and women back home?

NFL BACK IN L.A.?

The NFL hasn’t had a team in the country’s second-largest market since 1994, but it appears the return to Los Angeles might be on the threshold. The L.A. City Council approved a new football stadium plan and is trying to get a team to put there.

There won’t be expansion past the current 32 teams, so the teams thought to be headed to La-La Land include Minnesota, Jacksonville and Tennessee.

My take: The beauty of this is that the NFL has thrived DESPITE not being in L.A. How much larger can that behemoth grow once it gets back there?

The iPod shuffle

Don’t Be Cruel — Elvis Presley

All Because Of You — U2

Party — Boston

Bad — U2

Light My Fire — The Doors

P.S.: Saw “Rise of the Planet of the Apes last night … and it was pretty damned good. Highly suggested. On my 1-10 scale, I’d give it a solid 7.

Morning News Report; Aug. 9, 2011

LONDON BURNING

Civil unrest continues to sweep through London as gangs of people are looting and burning the city. It all started with the shooting death of a black resident Saturday and has continued throughout London since then.

My take: It’s kind of a surprise for the dignified British to be behaving like this. But with the economy crashing worldwide, I won’t be surprised if this spreads to the states…

UGGLA EXTENDS HITTING STREAK TO 29 GAMES

Dan Uggla of the Atlanta Braves extended his hitting streak to 29 games last night with a fifth-inning infield single against Florida.

My take: Two reasons for mentioning this — in one of my fantasy baseball leagues, an owner cut him when he was struggling … and who picked him up off waivers? This guy (yes, I’m pointing at myself).

Secondly, who honestly knew the Braves’ record-holder for consecutive hit games was some dude named Rico Carty in 1970? Not this guy. But still a great trivia question for you and your boys.

‘DIRTY DANCING’ REMAKE IN THE WORKS

In news that warms the deep, dark cockles of Jon Dawson’s black heart, the 1987 hit movie “Dirty Dancing” is being remade.

My take: The principal characters — made famous by the late, great Patrick Swayze and uber-hot Jennifer Grey — have yet to be cast, although it appears Justin Timberlake is in the lead for Swayze’s old part.

I doubt I watch it (unless the HB forces me to see it at gunpoint, which is likely), but the original was pretty good. Don’t judge.

The iPod shuffle

Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? — Rod Stewart

Boom Boom Pow — Black Eyed Peas

You Say You’re Leavin’ — Robin Rogers

FEZ-Being Born — U2

I’ll Be There For You — Bon Jovi

Morning News Report; Aug. 4, 2011

VIRGINIA TECH ON LOCKDOWN AGAIN

The Virginia Tech campus has been on lockdown since about 9:30 a.m. today after a report that an armed person was roaming in the area.

My take: Hoping it’s just a mistake … ’cause those poor folks in Blacksburg can’t have another incident like the one four years ago.

BUBBA ‘HIGHTOWER’ SMITH DIES AT 66

Former NFL star Bubba Smith died yesterday at the age of 66; he was known best to my generation as Hightower on the “Police Academy” movies.

My take: He was hilariously understated on those movies. And yet another quasi-icon of my youth has gone. Sigh.

OKLAHOMA NO. 1 IN PRESEASON USA TODAY FOOTBALL POLL

Oklahoma is the preseason No. 1 in the just-released USA Today football poll, followed by Alabama, Oregon and LSU.

The only ACC schools in the top 25 were Florida State at No. 5 and Virginia Tech at No. 13.

My take: I thought Alabama would be No. 1, but wasn’t much surprised much after that.

But only two ACC teams in the top 25? I thought bringing in the FSU’s, VPI’s, Miami’s and Boston College’s into the ACC was going to raise the football profile of the league. FAIL.

The iPod shuffle

Getting Better — The Beatles

Hold It Now, Hit It — Beastie Boys

Shut Up And Drive — Rihanna

Exit — U2

Angie — The Rolling Stones

P.S.: Check out our boy Jon Dawson’s column today; you guys know I think he’s one of the funniest columnists out there anywhere — but today’s is not only funny but sweetly poignant. Yeah … that’s the gayest thing I’ve said today, but it’s a great column.

P.P.S.S.: Dawson, Nancy Saunders, Richard Clark, Ryan Herman and I will be taping a podcast this afternoon where we’re going to talk about all kinds of fun stuff, including the NFL, high school football, the state of newspapers (after Richard’s excellent Sunday column). Anything you’d like us to talk about? Hit my email or comment here and we’ll try to get it in there…

Morning News Report; July 15, 2011

BULLOCK CLEARED TO PLAY

Kinston’s Reggie Bullock has laced ‘em back up and is back on the court for UNC following rehabilitation from a knee injury.

My take: From everything I’ve heard — he’s 100 percent back. This is going to be a breakout season for him and the Tar Heels — who are pretty much everyone’s pick to win the national title in 2012.

CLEMENS TRIAL ENDS IN MISTRIAL

The perjury trial for former baseball star Roger Clemens ended in a mistrial yesterday when the government screwed up. Experts aren’t sure there’ll be a retrial because of possible double jeopardy concerns.

My take: He might’ve gotten away with this but know this — he’ll never be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Guess he’ll just have to make do with his millions of dollars…

FINAL HARRY POTTER OPENS

The final installment of the Harry Potter movie series opened at midnight to packed theaters full of geeky goodness. It is expected to have the largest financial opening of any movie in history.

My take: I can proudly say I haven’t watched one minute of any of the HP movies — but more power to those who have lived and died with this series.

The iPod shuffle

Signs — Tesla

I Will Survive — Gloria Gaynor

Funky Cold Medina — Tone-Loc

What’s Going On — Marvin Gaye

Look At Me Now — Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes