Morning Sports Report; Feb. 17, 2012

EASTERN PLAINS 2A CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT AT VIKING GYM

Kinston’s boys and girls — each a No. 1 seed — play host to the Eastern Plains 2A tournament championship tonight. The girls tip off the night with a game against Farmville Central at 6 p.m.; the boys face surprising Tarboro at 7:30 p.m. in an attempt to win their sixth straight conference tournament title.

My take: While it’s not that much of a stretch to imagine a Kinston/Farmville Central girls matchup, NO ONE would’ve thought Tarboro — the seventh seed in the seven-team EP2A — would’ve upset second-seeded North Pitt and third-seeded Wilson Beddingfield in the first two rounds of the tournament.

And why would they? Tarboro was 1-11 in the league and 4-20 overall entering the tournament. They’re playing for a chance to make it to the 2A state playoffs with nothing to lose — and that’s always a dangerous combination.

And don’t get it twisted — there’s a lot of raw talent on that Tarboro hoops team, which includes several members of the 2A football championship squad.

My predictions for tonight: Kinston’s girls win 53-41; the Kinston boys win a good ‘un, 73-66.

And come on out to the game: I’m giving away two sets of tickets to the Freedom Classic, which takes place next weekend at Grainger Stadium between Air Force and Navy. In fact, the first person who comes up to me at the scorer’s table and says they read this on the blog will get two free tickets to one of the games.

DUKE BREAKS SOME WUFFIE HEARTS

Duke did it again to a Tobacco Road rival last night as the Blue Devils rallied to down N.C. State, 78-73, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke trailed by 20 points with less than 12 minutes in the game and outscored the Wuffies 37-12 to close the game.

My take: Combined with last week’s unbelievable comeback and upset at the Dean Dome, it’s been a great time to be a Dookie.

THE KID’S LAST GAME WAS AN AWESOME WIN

Thanks to Deadspin for this — Gary Carter’s final hit was a game-winner for the Montreal Expos:

My take: Awesome — just awesome. I’ve watched the video five times and it gives me chill bumps every time. I’m not nearly the baseball fan as some of you are here, but if you can watch that and it doesn’t move you, you have no soul.

And what makes it better is that Harry Carey called it. Freaking awesome.

NBA DUNK CONTEST LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED

Four guys you probably haven’t heard of will participate in this year’s NBA Slam Dunk competition as part of the All-Star weekend activities in Orlando.

My take: No pun intended, but I think it’s finally time for the NBA to admit this concept has finally jumped the shark (see what I did there?). Last year’s event was pretty cool with Blake Griffin participating, but if the best you can do is Iman Shumpert … what the hell are you doing, David Stern?

I’d rather see one-on-one contests between LeBron and Kobe or a hottest cheerleader competition than this. For example — who is hotter, these Charlotte Bobcats cheerleaders:

Or these Miami Heat cheerleaders?

You decide. I report. You click on the photos for a better view.

MARIO WILLIAMS READY FOR FREE AGENCY

Former Richlands High School and N.C. State star Mario Williams is arguably the best free agent on the NFL market this year after leading the Houston Texans to the franchise’s first playoff game and win this season.

My take: And now I begin my prayer — Please, Lord … let Dan Snyder sign Mario to my Redskins. Pretty please. Amen.

The iPod shuffle

In Da Club — 50 Cent

Hello Goodbye — The Beatles

Smokin — Boston

Cool The Engines — Boston

Brass Monkey — Beastie Boys

Afternoon News Report; Feb. 10, 2012

KINSTON GOES FOR EP2A CHAMPIONSHIP TONIGHT

The Kinston boys go for their sixth straight conference championship when they face North Pitt tonight at Viking Gym — the same Panthers team that upset the Vikings last month in Bethel.

My take: It should be quite an atmosphere at Kinston tonight — especially when you consider it’s Senior Night, too. Hope to see you out there.

MACAULAY CULKIN LOOKS … BAD

And not the good kind of “bad,” either, as you can see in the photo at this link.

My take: It’s hard to imagine he’s 32 now — but he still looks a lot like the 8-year-old he was in the first “Home Alone” movie. Well, except for being emaciated.

PARENTING IN 2012

An Albemarle father, upset with a post his daughter put on Facebook, shares his concerns in this video, which has gone viral:

My take: FANTASTIC. You think she’s caught any flak at school?

Kids these days…

The iPod shuffle

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! — The Beatles

Closer — Nine Inch Nails

Becky — Plies

Gone (New Mix) — U2

Man Of Steel — Hank Williams Jr.

Morning News Report; Feb. 7, 2012

CLINT EASTWOOD: I’M NOT AFFILIATED WITH OBAMA

Remember that cool Super Bowl commercial with Clint Eastwood in which he declared it’s halftime for America? He spent yesterday claiming it wasn’t a veiled reelection commercial for President Obama.

My take: And that was EXACTLY what I thought when I watched it — that he was talking about the halfway point of Obama’s tenure; glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

However, Eastwood has a long history of conservative views — which made the ad all the more confusing.

Still — a hell of an ad and it made me want to go out and buy another Jeep:

GAS TO HIT $4 A GALLON THIS SPRING?

Experts in this story are predicting gas prices will increase to $4.05 a gallon this spring before they start falling again.

My take: And you know what we’ll do? Continue filling up our gastanks with nary a complaint.

It’s amazing how we’ve been conditioned to accept this crap. Can you imagine 10 years ago — when gas prices topped out at $1.55 a gallon (and we bitched about that!) — that we’d be filling up every day at $3.60 a gallon?

GRONKOWSKI DANCES, PATRIOTS FANS ANGRY

Following New England’s loss to the N.Y. Giants in Sunday’s Super Bowl, Patriots players — including “injured” tight end Rob Gronkowski — danced the night away in Indianapolis.

My take: The only bothersome thing here is … well, nothing. These guys are human. So, they want to dance.

And don’t forget — IT’S ONLY A GAME.

The iPod shuffle

Splurge — Nelly

Jaded — Aerosmith

Within You Without You — The Beatles

Who Wears These Shoes — Elton John

I Run To You — Lady Antebellum

Morning News Report; Feb. 3, 2012

ETHERIDGE JOINS GOVERNOR’S RACE; BOWLES SAYS NO … AGAIN

In yet another post-Bev-quitting day of excitement, former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (he of the “Who are you?” rant gloriously remembered below) announced his run for governor, while the Democrats’ favorite, former Clinton staffer and UNC system president Erskine Bowles announced he won’t run.

Etheridge joins Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and N.C. Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, as the three candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor.

My take: Dalton wasn’t a surprise and is the front-runner right now; no one knows Faison, so he’s going to have that uphill battle.

But most folks remember Etheridge from THIS encounter:

Oh, the Republicans are begging the Democrats to nominate Mr. Etheridge!

JOSH HAMILTON HAS ALCOHOL RELAPSE

Raleigh native and Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who has suffered with alcohol and drug abuse throughout a lot of his life, has had a relapse with alcohol.

My take: And that’s too bad. I’m a huge fan of Hamilton’s and I pray this is either an erroneous report or it’s just a one-time deal.

There are a lot of kids who look up to Hamilton — and adults who are suffering from alcohol and drug addictions, too.

WOODMEN CENTER TOURED BY COMMITTEE

Members of the Woodmen of the World Center committee toured the construction area of the rapidly-growing center and pool yesterday. They gave the center — whose pool is set to open in June — a big thumbs-up.

My take: As do I. With the loss of the Kinston Indians, Lenoir County needed a shot in the arm — and this is it.

I know folks were bitching about the city and government combining to give $1 million to this project, but when you see the people this is going to bring to Kinston (with their dollars), you’re going to be shocked. This is going to be the best water park in Eastern North Carolina — along with a state-of-the-art gym — and it’s going to bring hundeds and thousands of folks into our town who otherwise wouldn’t come.

Let’s look past the nose on our face, people — this is going to be a major success and we need to support it.

The iPod shuffle

Vogue — Madonna

The Humpty Dance — Digital Underground

The Gank — Nelly

Touchdown — T.I. featuring Eminem

Miss Sarejevo — U2

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.

Scott Wood wants to know if your wife is faithful

Following last night’s debacle at Chapel Hill, N.C. State’s Scott Wood answered a question from a reporter in an … interesting manner.

Check it out (it’s only about 10 seconds into this video):

My take: Whoa. And he also refers to “beating his sister” later in the interview.

Justin “The Kid” Hill made a great point: if Wood just came up with that on the fly, it’s a heck of a response. However, if he had planned to respond that way to that question (and HE KNEW it was coming), Justin thinks it’s different … but I think it’s pretty classless.

Was it the best question from a reporter? Nah, but Wood’s heard worse questions. I don’t know who the reporter was, but my gut tells me it’s some poor dude who gets to cover two or three ACC games a year from the County News-Enterprise and was humilated by an athlete who had just been embarrassed on the court at Carolina. Wood wouldn’t have done that to Jeff Gravely from WRAL or the N&O’s beat writer.

I’ve been asked — how would’ve I responded? Honestly, I don’t know. Since I’m not married, I would’ve probably flippantly responded right back, but I really don’t know.

Wondering if there’s going to be any response from N.C. State coach Matt Gottfried.

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; Nov. 23, 2011

THE 4.74 DEGREES OF SEPARATION (ON FACEBOOK)

In an interesting study by the University of Milan and Facebook, it’s been found the degree of separation between one random person and another is only 4.74 — and only 4.37 in America.

My take: If you thought the world was getting smaller … you were correct. Very, very interesting read — check it out!

REGGIE GOES FOR 23 IN UNC WIN

Former Kinston High School star Reggie Bullock popped for a career-high of 23 points — including a career-best six 3-pointers in seven attempts — in last night’s rout of Tennessee State.

Check out WRAL’s post-game interview with Reggie:


 

(Also — here’s an excellent video and blog post from former N&Oer and current ESPN reporter Robbi Pickeral in a 1-on-1 interview with Reggie)

My take: It’s good to see that smile on Reggie’s face again — and it’s good to see that shooting stroke back again.

READY FOR A HISTORIC FRIDAY NIGHT?

Ryan Herman and The Free Press are ready as Kinston, Ayden-Grifton and Jones Senior all play for their respective first chances for a state championship berth in the 2AA, 1AA and 1A football games.

My take: And who said this area is a basketball area? Should be a heck of a night Friday — if you want to follow updates from the games, follow my Twitter feed at BCHanks; I’ll be at Kinston, while Herman is at the A-G game (and we’re trying to find someone for the Jones Senior game).

And to answer Herman’s initial question in that link above — me, me, me. I picked 19 of the 32 regional finalists in Nick Stevens’ highschoolOT.com pre-playoffs video — including Kinston, A-G and JS in the regional finals. Yes kids, that’s known as “shameless self-promotion!”

The iPod shuffle

Run To You — Bryan Adams

Girl — Tori Amos

Whenever, Wherever — Shakira

Say You Will — Foreigner

Panama (Live) — Van Halen