Afternoon Sports Report; April 10, 2012

Wrapping up the weekend…


He owns the General Lee I from the “Dukes of Hazzard,” he’s never had a golf lesson … and his name is Bubba Watson. He’s also the 2012 Masters champ.

My take: Admittedly, I’m not a huge golf fan. Also, I wasn’t particularly pulling for him when I picked up the Masters with about 10 holes to go. But if you weren’t a little misty-eyed when Bubba was hugging his caddy and then his mama, you aren’t human.

THIS is the kind of story golf needs, instead of incessantly asking Tiger when he’s going to return to normal.

What I really liked about Bubba’s story (and there were about a dozen awesome angles to it) was that he got on Twitter and tried to personally thank as many of his followers that he could who had taken the time to congratulate him after his victory. Who does that in this self-absorbed day and age? I’m a fan now.


Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended five games for his comments about Fidel Castro, in which Guillen admitted his admiration for the Cuban dictator.

My take: I really thought it might be a little longer than five games, especially when you consider all the extenuating circumstances, i.e., the Marlins new stadium is in Little Havana, etc.

When do you get to the point that “Ozzie being Ozzie” isn’t enough of an explanation?


The New Orleans Saints — without a head coach because of Sean Payton’s one-year suspension for player bounties — will also not have former N.Y. Giants/Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells as their interim coach.

My take: Back to the drawing board for a franchise that, combined with the suspensions and loss of draft picks, could fall off considerably this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Saints go 4-12 or worse this year.

The iPod shuffle

Communication Breakdown — Led Zeppelin

Heartland — U2

A Day In The Life — The Beatles

The Journey — Boston

Dirty White Boy — Foreigner

Morning News Report; Aug. 8, 2011


Following the lowering of the United States’ credit rating from AAA to AA+ late last week, the U.S. stock market dropped 200 points in the first few minutes of today’s trading.

My take: And the economy continues to worsen. I’m betting there are some of my banking buddies here and all over the country who are sweating it a bit this morning…


In two tales of prep sports woes, the South Johnston football program was fined $400 and given probation for illegal activities this summer. In the Southeastern Regional of the American Legion national tournament, Cherryville Post 100′s season ended in a double-forfeit after a melee in Sumter, S.C.

My take: You might be asking — what do these two incidents have in common? The reputations of the respective coaches is the answer.

Joe Salas brought South Johnston to unparalleled heights in South Johnston’s football history — but he did it in unclassy fashion, including that infamous 84-6 defeat of North Lenoir on the Hawks’ Senior Night in 2009 when Salas had his team run up the score in the fourth quarter.

Salas resigned under pressure by the South Johnston administration late last month because of the NCHSAA investigation.

Post 100′s coach — Bobby Dale Reynolds, who also coaches East Rutherford High School’s baseball team — is arguably one of the best coaches in North Carolina’s prep baseball history. He’s won seven Legion state championships and several NCHSAA titles.

He has also drawn the ire of Legion and NCHSAA officials on several occasions with his boorish behavior through the years. I can promise you this: Reynolds’ poor reputation among Legion officials (national and state) sped up their decision to force the double forfeit. Why else would they double-eliminate both teams when it was clearly the Georgia team that instigated the behavior in the game (watch the video at the above link)?

Allow me to add this: I covered Cherryville Post 100 baseball for six or seven years when I was a stringer and reporter for the Gaston Gazette and Shelby Star in the 1990s and early 2000s. I love those folks in Cherryville and at Post 100 and I hate what happened to those kids — they deserve much better than what happened to them. Maybe this will be the impetus to show Post 100 officials they can do much better than the coach they have in place now.

South Johnston administration learned that lesson and that program will be better for it.


Steve Williams, the former caddie for Tiger Woods, caddied for Adam Scott, who won this weekend’s Bridgestone tourney in Ohio. Afterward, Williams — who was unceremoniously dumped by Tiger a few weeks back — essentially took the credit for the victory, a fact that is rubbing some of those in the golf community the wrong way.

My take: I didn’t watch the tourney, but from what I’ve read and heard on sports talk radio this morning, Williams didn’t take any of the shots or make any putts for Scott.

Someone just needs to tell “Stevie” to STFU … until his best-selling novel about being Tiger’s caddie hits bookshelves. THEN he can talk about whatever he wants.

The iPod shuffle

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (Reprise) — The Beatles

Smells Like Teen Spirit — Nirvana

I Don’t Wanna Cry — Mariah Carey

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For — U2

The Original Miami Vice Theme — Jan Hammer

P.S.: I was invited to participate in a fantasy football draft by FOB (and two-time HBFL Online Draft champion) Brent Pelletier on Saturday — and had a blast. I’ve played fantasy football since 1995 but took part in an auction draft for the first tim in my life. Can’t wait to do my next one. Thanks, BP!

Morning News Report; July 22, 2011


The NFL owners unanimously approved a labor deal last night and are now waiting for the players to vote on it. The deal is through the 2020 season and means there wouldn’t be another lockout until at least then … if approved by the players.

My take: If it’s over — and that’s still a might big “if” — this is the type of lockout/strike I can deal with: one that doesn’t mess up the “real” season! Y’all ready for some football … and fantasy football?


Tiger Woods’ former caddie, Steve Williams, was recently fired by the philandering duffer. Williams isn’t happy with it — and is letting everyone know about it.

My take: Now I have to admit, if Williams wrote a book about all his cover-ups of Tiger’s affairs … I might have to read it. Of course, the book would be — at least — rated R and maybe even NC-17!


Yes, it’s almost time for the triumphant return of one of the greatest TV shows in the history of that medium — MTV is on the threshold of bringing back “Beavis and Butthead,” which is set to be back in October.

A sneak peek:

My take: Yes, it’s stupid. Yes, it’s gross. And yes … it’s one of my favorite shows of all time. I CAN’T WAIT TO LOSE BRAIN CELLS WATCHING IT AGAIN.

I am Cornholio!

The iPod shuffle

Bad — U2

A Man And A Woman — U2

I Saw Red — Warrant

I Will Survive — Gloria Gaynor

Bustin’ Surfboards — The Tornadoes

Morning News Report; July 11, 2011


Remember last week when we screwed up at The Free Press and ran a story about a fake war hero? Well … it’s not uncommon. Doug Sterner investigates these “stolen valor” cases and has even authored a federal law to combat the plethora of incidents. Here’s the story by Jane Moon about Stolen Valor.

My take: Still no excuses for our gaffe — but it’s good to know there are good men like Mr. Sterner (along with Michael Kirk and the good folks at who rat these rats out.


The lawyer for Casey Anthony admits he is worried about what will happen to his client after she is released from jail on Sunday.

My take: He should be concerned. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the public — men AND women — this worked up over a situation. Facebook has a few dozen anti-Casey Anthony groups and you can’t shake a stick without hitting someone upset about this.

Admittedly, I didn’t follow this story that closely until the verdict, but I have to agree with FOB Randy Capps’ assessment (stolen from HIS Facebook page):

“If people spent as much time worrying about abused and neglected children in their own neighborhoods as they are fretting over the Casey Anthony trial, imagine the kind of world we could be living in.”



The hottest thing crawling all over the interwebs last night was that Tiger Woods was going to make a major announcement on the Golf Channel at 11 a.m. today.

Evidently, it’s not going to happen.

My take: My gut says there was going to be an announcement, but Tiger decided not to do it.

So what was it going to be? Taking off the rest of the season or altogether retiring? More affairs? An engagement? Who knows?

I know this — the PGA is infinitely more interesting with Tiger on the course. It’s almost unwatchable without him.

The iPod shuffle

Until The End Of The World — U2

One Step Closer — U2

Into The Groove — Madonna

Dance Hall Days — Wang Chung

Hip Hop Hooray — Naughty By Nature

Morning News Report; June 20, 2011


Thanks to everyone who read my Sunday column and the many responses it’s received on the site. I’ve also received quite a few emails and Facebook messages — but it still doesn’t solve the problem we have.

Do I know what the solution is? No — but I’m willing to work towards something that will solve the problem. We are losing our kids and we are losing our town. If we care about either, something needs to be done immediately or Kinston is going to become more of a ghost town than it is already becoming.

As I said in the column — I (and The Free Press) are willing to do whatever it takes to turn this mess around. Hit me up in comments, call me (252-559-1074) or email me ( with your ideas and thoughts.

And no … I’m tired of the “just blow up the east side of town and start over” BS I’ve seen. It’s easy to pick out the racists in our midst — they are the ones who drop that crap. These are children we are trying to rescue here.

Now, the wanna-be animal gangsters? Blow their asses up — I don’t give one shiny damn for them. And I’ll let you know when one of their cowardly bunch comes to my office, although I can go ahead and tell you — it ain’t going to happen. As one astute commenter on the story said, there’s not a “real” gang in Kinston, just a bunch of wanna-be’s who are mimicking what they see in rap music videos. They have no honor, no code and don’t give a crap for anything other than getting a few dollars.

While we’re talking about gangs — thanks to old friend and journalistic colleague Jon Jimison of the Wilson Times for sharing this story from the mother of the 31-year-old who was gunned down three weeks ago. Well-written story.


With less than two weeks to go before filing begins for three Kinston City Council seats, there are only two declared candidates — unaffiliated John Nix and Republican Lennie Peterson.

Although there are no declared Democrats for the seats, current councilman Joe Tyson has said if there are no Dem candidates, he’ll throw his hat back in the ring.

My take: I am really, really surprised no Democrats have stepped up, although I think they might be just waiting for July 1 to get here to make the announcement. The Lenoir County Democratic chief said she’s got three candidates committed to run, but decided not to reveal their names.

I’ll be really interested to see who they are. If Tyson runs, he’s a shoo-in — although I don’t agree with everything he stands for politically, I have found him to be an honorable man and a solid councilman.

But who are the other two Democrats? I’ve heard a few names bandied about — including former Kinston Department of Public Safety Chief Greg Smith (who has denied any interest in running) and Real-O Drugs President Rob Bizzell — but no solid commitments.

As for Nix and Peterson, I think Nix is very electable. He’s a successful businessman with a strong personality and an equally strong spouse. Nix has been out in the community quite a bit since declaring his intent to run and hasn’t been afraid to get his name out there — unlike his Democratic counterparts, who are confident that just having that (D) beside their names will get them elected (they might’ve forgotten what happened in 2009?).

Peterson? Might be a good guy, but I don’t know the first thing about him except for what our David Anderson has written about him. I haven’t seen the first sign or heard him speak in public.

Stay tuned: it should be interesting in a couple of weeks.


With the sudden resignation of Edwin Rodriguez, the Florida Marlins are expected to name 80-year-young Jack McKeon as their interim manager.

My take: I am a huge fan of McKeon and would absolutely love to see the Fish make this move. It’s a reason why baseball is so timeless — what other sport could you see an octogenarian take over a team … and get better (as I anticipate the Marlins will do)?

Also, check out one of the best writers in Freedom Communications — Burlington Times-News Executive Editor Madison Taylor — and his take on McKeon coming back to the Marlins. Madison is one of the most talented journalists in my company and his blog is one of my must-check-out places on the Web on a daily basis. And he’s also funny as hell on Facebook, too; send him a friend request and tell him I sent you.

I don’t know what McKeon’s potential move means for Kinston native Chris Hatcher, who is at Florida’s Double-A Jacksonville Suns and is set to appear in the Southern League All-Star Game tomorrow night in Jackson, Tenn., as a pitcher who is leading the league in ERA. But how sweet would it be to see Hatch play for McKeon as a pitcher later this season?


Rory McIlroy, a 22-year-old from Northern Ireland, won the U.S. Open in historic fashion, finishing 16-under-par for the tournament, breaking Tiger Woods’ record by four strokes. McIlroy finished eight strokes ahead of second-place Jason Day.

My take: And the inevitable comparisons between Rory and Tiger have become. Is Rory better than Tiger? When he’s passed Tiger in majors titles, maybe. But it’s going to be a while before THAT happens.

But is he better than Tiger right now? I think the answer to that is yes. I just hope Tiger has some more in his tank when he heals so we can see some good battles between the two.

The iPod shuffle

Call On Me — Chicago

Slow Ride — Beastie Boys

Lay Down Sally — Eric Clapton

Along Comes Mary — The Bloodhound Gang

Mad World — Michael Andrews & Gary Jules

Morning Sports Report; April 7, 2011


In a busy day of college basketball announcements, Duke’s Kyrie Irving declared he’ll leave for the NBA while UNC’s John Henson and Tyler Zeller said they’ll stay in Chapel Hill for another year. Their teammate, Harrison Barnes, is still mulling his decision.

My take: If you’re a Tar Heel fan, yesterday was a pretty damned good day for you — Duke loses its point guard and two of your top three players announce they’re coming back.

Now, if Barnes comes back — and there’s no reason to think he won’t, at this point — UNC is almost a lock to win the 2012 national championship in New Orleans next year.


I received two emails from Maryland partisans yesterday — including one calling me a “worthless a**hole” — after I wrote that Terps hoops coach Gary Williams was a horse’s ass.

Hey … I did say he was a hell of a coach, though.

But that’s nothing compared to what’s Gregg Doyel had to say about Williams on David Glenn’s awesome radio show on Raleigh’s 99.9 The Fan on Tuesday. Some snippets (which I didn’t get to listen to, but is well-written in this link from the Washington Post):

  • “I don’t want to give that little tiny little petty human being that much credit” (referring to whether Williams impacted the State coaching search).
  • “I want to make this very clear, that if Gary Williams does not return my call, he’s scared of me. And so he can act all big and bad, and he can stand there on his coaching bench and turn around and yell at his assistant coaches, who’ve done nothing wrong. And when a guy on the court travels, he can turn around and yell at the 12th man on his bench, because he’s a little bitty tiny coward runt of a man.”
  • And this:  ”… if he doesn’t call me back, then all that means to me is he’s a little bitty tiny coward of a man.”
  • And how about this: “Gary Williams, you call me back, or you’re a spineless little fraction of a man.”

My take: Wowzer! That, my friends, is called not holding back from one of the most talented writers in the sports field. And those were only the highlights; you can listen to it from Glenn’s excellent show by hitting the link at the Post above.

OK, time for me to get personal: I met Gregg while he was with the Charlotte Observer and I was working for the Gaston Gazette as both a free-lancer and a sports writer. As a nobody trying to feel my way around the big, bad ACC, Gregg was one of the good guys who saw a dork on the verge of making big mistakes and was extremely kind and helpful to me as I learned my way around.

In fact, one of my prized possessions is a biography Gregg wrote about Coach K that he signed for me. I’ve never forgotten how he treated me and I’ve tried to do the same with young writers I’ve encountered since.

Gregg is opinionated, uber-intelligent and hard-core. Frankly, I love his writing and agree with about 95 percent of his views. And you know what? He’s spot-on about Gary Williams — a d-bag (can’t wait to get today’s emails!) human being who will undress and bully a sportswriter for asking a question he doesn’t want to answer (fortunately, it wasn’t me) or embarrass the 12th man on his bench, as Gregg alluded to in his interview with David Glenn.

It’s truly refreshing to have a national sportswriter who isn’t afraid to take on guys like Williams, instead of the sychophants who make up most of the profession (including one of Gregg’s former coworkers at the CO … who will go unnamed here). Keep up the great work, Gregg!


With its 111-102 loss in overtime to the Orlando Magic, the Charlotte Bobcats were eliminated from playoff consideration.

My take: Frankly, the Bobcats were knocked out when they traded Gerald Wallace a few weeks back. But at least they put up some semblance of a fight in the last few weeks, thanks mostly to the play of former Dookie Gerald Henderson.

(Sidenote: Don’t worry, though — he’ll be traded or cut soon enough. Want to know why? I own his jersey. And why is that significant? Because every Charlotte Bobcats jersey I own, from Emeka Okafor to Adam Morrison to even Raymond Felton — those players are gone. Sigh. Back to my take …)

It all brings me to this — a good friend from my Gastonia days (yes, I’m reminiscing a lot today) posted this video on his Facebook page:



Man, I loved those Hornets … and still hate George Shinn with every fiber of my being for ripping that team away from Charlotte.

The iPod shuffle

Hypnotize — The Notorious B.I.G.

Ode To My Family — The Cranberries

I Run To You — Lady Antebellum

X — Xzibit

Hot N Cold – Katy Perry

P.S.: Congrats to our very good friend Michael Moon, who won our blog pick ‘em title this year. He finished with 66 points, four ahead of second-place Glenn Whitley and nine ahead of third-place Darren Becton. Kelly Rouse and Trey Kriger were tied for fourth with 54. Moon wins a $20 gift card to East Coast Wings and the undying admiration of all us blogging fools.

Morning News Report; Aug. 24, 2010


There is — no joke — a traffic jam that has currently lasted 10 days and stretches for dozens of miles in China.

My take: That’s a fascinating — and scary — story. I know I won’t complain about being stuck in a traffic jam on I-40 that costs me an hour again!


It’s official: Tiger Woods and his smoking hot wife are divorced.

My take: That’s right, Jon Dawson — your dream of hooking up with Tiger is on again! Congratulations!


I’m not as tuned in to the Charlotte sports scene as I used to be, but evidently there is talk about the Panthers needing a new stadium.

My take: OK, this is getting out of hand — Ericsson Bank of America Stadium is only 14 years old! Yes, I read the whole story and realize that it’s not as serious as it sounds, but I’ve been around this business long enough to know that owners/officials usually float these ideas first before acting on them.

What that means to me is this: Panthers officials have seen the new Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey and Jerry Jones’ Dallas palace and they’re thinking, “We need this.” Today, they’re saying there’s nothing to it … but wait two years and it’ll be back up again.

That’s what happened with the old Charlotte Coliseum — it wasn’t even 20 years old and the genius powers-that-be decided there needed to be a new arena, which eventually became the Time-Warner Cable Arena that houses the Bobcats.

The iPod shuffle

Thnks Fr Th Mmrs — Fall Out Boy

Everybody’s Talkin’ — Harry Nilsson

Love In An Elevator — Aerosmith

Peaceful World — John Mellancamp

Can’t Stand Losing You — The Police

Morning News Report; Aug. 12, 2010


Six University of North Carolina football players were named in a letter from N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall to sports agents for information: Marvin Austin, Greg Little, Deunta Williams, Kendric Burney, Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant.

South Lenoir fans will never forget the interception Burney had of Blue Devils QB Brandon Rouse in 2005 when Burney jumped about 5 feet off the ground to snap the pass. 

The above report also states that UNC might be getting a ruling from the NCAA by Friday; however, WTVD ABC-11 in Raleigh says that’s not true.

There is a presser taking place today in Chapel Hill, though, and we should know a little more about the situation.

My take: I’ll be REAL interested to see what ends up coming out of this whole mess.


In news that is going to make Jon Dawson weep for days, the comic strip “Cathy” will be coming to an end in October.

My take: I know it was  comic for women … but I’m not sure I ever laughed at a single one of them.

However, I wish they’d bring back “Calvin and Hobbes.” Now THAT’S comedy.


U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and Golf Channel “reporter” Jim Gray had a heated exchange yesterday after Pavin claimed Gray misquoted Pavin about including Tiger Woods on the Ryder Cup team.

My take: I’ve had zero respect for Jim Gray since he tried to interview Pete Rose before an All-Star Game a few years ago — and that level of respect dropped even further after the LeBron “Decision” fiasco a few weeks ago.

It’s people like Gray and Jim Rome who make it hard to be taken seriously as sports reporters. The good news is that everyone in sports reporting are not like those douchebags.

The iPod shuffle

You Be Illin’ — Run-D.M.C.

Walk This Way — Run-D.M.C.

New Sensation — INXS

Ocean Avenue — Yellowcard

With Arms Wide Open — Creed

P.S.: Check out Jon Dawson’s funny column about how to decide the winner in the N.C. House District 10 race.

P.P.S.S.: Don’t forget to send me an e-mail at if you want to win two $25 tickets to Saturday’s Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame. Put “Hall of Fame” in the subject line and how to contact you in the body of the e-mail. I will draw for the winner tomorrow at about noon.

While you’re at it, check out today’s HOF feature on former Arendell Parrott Academy football coach Bill Rowe, one of my all-time favorites.

Morning News Report; Aug. 9, 2010


Joel Gerber has a fine article today in which N.C. House candidate Stephen LaRoque is accusing incumbent Van Braxton of “push polling” — a practice that involves shaping opinion under the guise of polling.

My take: Folks, this is going to be a hell of a race this year — easily the best and, probably, most-contested in our area. Stay tuned.


You thought your weekend was bad? (Why, yes, mine was …) It wasn’t as bad as Tiger Woods’ was — he finished 18 strokes over at an event he had won five seven (thanks, Alan Wooten!) times in the past decade over the weekend. It was his worst tournament finish ever as a professional.

My take: What the heck? You’d think his mind would be clear now and that he’d be able to get back out there and be himself.

Maybe “being himself,” though, was banging strippers and lying to his wife. It’s amazing how quickly he is fading.


Will Ferrell’s “The Other Guys” was No. 1 this weekend at the box office, pulling in $35.6 million. Second through fifth were “Inception” ($18.6 million), “Step-Up 3D” ($15.5 million), “Salt” ($11.1 million) and “Dinner For Schmucks” ($10.5 million).

My take: Didn’t get a chance to see “The Other Guys” over this crappy weekend — but hope to see it tonight. DON’T GIVE ANYTHING AWAY!

The iPod shuffle

Break Ya Neck — Busta Rhymes

Careless Whisper — Wham!

Fight For Your Right — Beastie Boys

Kyrie — Mister Mister

Burning Love — Elvis Presley

Morning News Report; June 18, 2010


BP CEO Tony Hayward appeared before a Congressional committee yesterday to answer questions about his company’s performance in the Gulf oil spill disaster. Some members of the British media are upset that Hayward was “savaged” by the congressmen.

My take: The news bites I’ve seen showed that Hayward seemed like he didn’t really know exactly what the heck is going on down there. Nice.


A porn star is claiming her son is the result of a tryst with Tiger Woods, who is playing in the U.S. Open. She filed a paternity suit against Tiger yesterday in Manatee County, Fla.

My take: Seriously — are you surprised by any news that comes out about Tiger and his libido any more? Anyhoo, here’s the woman, whose name is Devon James:


Yep, that’s as clean a photo as I could find…


It’s starting as I type this — the United States soccer team is taking on some country called “Slovenia” in the World Cup. The U.S. is heavily favored in the matchup, according to my favorite soccer odds site,

My take: I’m not even going to attempt to feign interest here, although I’d like to see the U.S. win, of course. And Capps — yes, I have it on my TV in my office. Don’t fall over, dude.

The iPod shuffle

Stronger — Kanye West

Heard ‘Em Say — Kanye West featuring Adam Levine

Da Da Da, I Don’t Love You, You Don’t Love Me, Aha Aha Aha — Trio

Running To Stand Still — U2

Don’t Come Around Here No More — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

P.S.: OK, I haven’t forgotten about Game 7 of the NBA Finals — I’ll have a special post for it coming up soon. If I can stop crying…