My take: I’ll never understand the political game — and this is a great example of why.
Gingrich, who has famously been married and divorced several times (including cheating on his spouse), is the voice of the conservative right? I guess it’s that “do as I say do, don’t do as I do” political strategy.
I’ll say this much — President Obama and the Democrats have to be smiling like Cheshire cats and praying that Gingrich wins the GOP nomination … cuz if he wins, the race becomes a lay-up for the Democrats.
My take: You know … you have to figure that NASCAR fans aren’t exactly the Obama/Biden demographic. Just sayin’.
Oh, and Tony Stewart won the Winston Nextel Sprint Cup championship if you care about that kind of thing … which I don’t. I’ll echo what former Free Press Sports Editor R.L. Bynum tweeted last night — if it’s a “cup” championship, why isn’t a cup awarded to the winner?
My take: I know this much — if Virginia’s Mike London doesn’t get coach of the year in the ACC, there’s no justice in the world. All he’s done is take a team some had finishing behind Duke this year and has them on the precipice of an appearance in the ACC championship game.
And my Wuffie friends need to explain to me how you can beat Clemson, Virginia (on the road!) and UNC … but lose to Boston College and Wake Forest. By the by — not one player in our picks contest picked State to win Saturday, and that includes several Wuffie grads.
It’s certainly been an up-and-down year in the ACC this season — and one in which I hope my Cavahoos walk away with the title on Dec. 3 in Charlotte.
The iPod shuffle
Been Around The World — Puff Daddy & The Family featuring The Notorious B.I.G.
Kinston and A-G lost in last year’s playoffs to tonight’s opponents while Jones Senior was eliminated from the postseason two years ago by NE.
My take: I’ll post my picks in a bit, but as you’ll see then — I think all three teams have an excellent opportunity to get some vengeance tonight.
If you’d like to keep up with the games tonight, follow me on Twitter at BCHanks — I’ll be updating all three games; I’m at North Edgecombe, Herman’s at A-G and I’ll have someone feeding me updates from Kinston … could it be you? Let me know and I’ll promote your Twitter and you here on the blog.
KINSTON’S JONES NAMED NCPREPS.COM 2A PLAYER OF WEEK
In last week’s 53-20 second-round win against Topsail, Kinston’s George Jones had a performance that has had him named the We-It Athletics/NCPreps.com 2A player of the week.
George Jones of Kinston High School has been selected as the We-It Athletics/NCPreps.com 2A Player of the Week for Playoff Week 2. Jones ran 9 times for 129 yards with 3 TDS and returned an INT for a score in the Vikings’ 53-20 win over Topsail.
My take: This was investigated by ESPN and a local newspaper in Syracuse several years, but both organizations came to the conclusion there wasn’t enough there to run a story.
I’m thinking with all the ongoing Penn State drama, it makes this more “relevant” — and if I know anything about newsgathering organizations, it’s this: everybody wants a story. Not saying it did or didn’t happen (and SU coach Jim Boeheim is denying it did) but everyone wants that story.
And here’s some irony for you — the guy accusing the SU coach is named Bobby Davis, who is 39 years old. But no, it’s not our Bobby “Heelatious” Davis — who is also 39 — who said it’s been a “freaky” couple of days.
ASTROS MOVING TO AL; ANOTHER WILD-CARD GAME ADDED
Following a sale of the team, the Houston Astros announced they will be moving to the American League in 2013.
My take: The Astros move means there will be 15 teams in each league — meaning there will now be interleague games essentially every day of the season. The fabric of baseball has officially been ripped apart … thanks, Bud Selig.
And it continued with the addition of the playoff round. Before long, MLB — whose lone remaining charm was that not every team made it to the postseason — will be like the NBA and NHL, where if you finish .500 or better (or sometimes, NOT EVEN .500), you make the playoffs.
And MLB wonders why it continues to lose fans to the NFL, who gets it right — lesser is sometimes better. Sure, the NFL could go 22 or 24 games — but a nice 16-game season makes folks want more.
And don’t get me started on that NASCAR crap, where the season begins in February and ends in late November.
My take: Honestly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened quicker than this.
It’s this simple — JoePa was told nine years ago that his close friend and assistant coach of four decades RAPED A 10-YEAR-OLD BOY IN A LOCKER-ROOM SHOWER ON HIS FREAKING CAMPUS. Process that for a second.
Now put yourself in JoePa’s position: what kept him from beating the dogsh*t out of Sandusky? Protecting his own job? Disbelief? Fear? There is NOTHING that should’ve kept Paterno from reporting this to law enforcement … NOTHING. Even if his supervisors threatened him, he should’ve gone to the police with this. And honestly now, who has been king at Penn State for 50 years?
Another disgusting thing that has come from this whole mess — and believe me, there’s more than a normal person can digest here — was the way PSU students and fans gathered on Paterno’s lawn last night and serenaded him with cheers and tears. They should’ve been there with pitchforks and torches.
ECU STUDENT-RUN PAPER RUNS PHOTOS OF STREAKER
Two days ago here on this very blog, we debated whether we’d run photos of that idiot streaker in The Free Press or on Kinston.com who ruined the halftime salute to the military at Saturday’s ECU-Southern Miss game in Greenville.
My take: All I have to say about this is that wouldn’t fly in Kinston. I held a newsroom discussion about this Monday and it was about 75-25 to run blurred photos.
But unblurred photos? Eh, no.
Am I slamming the East Carolinian? Absolutely not. College newspapers are a bit more liberal than family publications such as your Daily Free Press. It was a gutsy (albeit, stupid) move that’s going to probably bite someone in the ass. Pun intended. But I respect the paper’s student editors for making the decision — they’re certainly getting the buzz they were trying to get.
My take: Normally wouldn’t be the kind of story I’d post here, except for this hilarious nugget — the best sports talk host in the world (Steve Czaban, listen to him on Yahoo Sports Radio or on your Tune-In app from 6-9 a.m. every day) had this line: “Ms. Duggars, your uterus isn’t a clown car.”
My take: Only Cain and his accusers know the truth about these charges. Until I see some real proof (i.e., photos, tapes, etc.), it’s going to be hard to convince me these allegations are true.
One thing I will agree with Cain with is this, from a campaign email sent to his supporters:
“… the emphasis on ‘gaffes,’ gotcha questions and time devoted to trivial nonsense – and everyone knows the process only became further detached from relevance this week as the media published anonymous, ancient, vague personal allegations against me.
Once this kind of nonsense starts, the media’s rules say you have to act in a certain way.”
And he’s right. In this age of TMZ and gotcha journalism, this is what is going to continue to happen. I blame Richard Nixon.
My take: And this is what NASCAR deserves; it bragged about how it was bringing back old-time racing and fightin’ in the preseason and all Busch did was live up to it.
NASCAR IS A JOKE. If you’re still watching it, you’re the type of mindless sheep the quasi-sport wants in its camp. Congrats. And how long are the sponsors going to stay on board? You have to figure M&Ms are just ecstatic about their poster-boy doing this.
My take:If you’re an NBA fan — and yes, I count myself among that quickly fading group — prepare yourself for a 40-game season, if we even get one at all.
The only good news to come out of this, though, is something I’ve said here before — if you thought tickets were easy to get in Charlotte before, wait until this mess is over. The Bobcats will practically be giving tickets away to get butts in the seats.
My take: Other than the fact he’s been at three high schools/prep schools in the past year, a good get for new State coach Mark Gottfried, who is putting together quite the first class for the Wuffies.
Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down — Puff Daddy & The Family featuring Mase
On The Run — Pink Floyd
Takin’ Care Of Business — Bachman Turner Overdrive
Legs (Remix) — ZZ Top
Enter Sandman — Metallica
P.S.: I made an appearance on The Reece Gardner Hour this week, where Mr. Gardner wanted to discuss the battle the HB is going through; if you’d like to check it out, please click here. And as always — THANK YOU for the prayers for her. She appreciates it immensely, as do I.
Reece and I also talk about the City Council race and other local issues. Also, stay tuned later this afternoon for this week’s Free Press High School Football Podcast with Ryan Herman, which features FOB Brian North and highschoolot.com/WRAL CBS-5′s Nick Stevens this week. . Trust me — you’ll enjoy it.
My take: Due to a familial situation, I won’t be able to attend tonight’s game – I said my good-bye at Wednesday’s game.
I’m anticipating a sell-out, but I won’t be surprised if there isn’t. What pisses me off the most about this whole situation is this — WE DID THIS TO OURSELVES. We had an opportunity this season to pack Grainger Stadium to show prospective new teams how much support this community has for professional baseball, but when there’s less than 1,000 fans at a beautiful Wednesday night game — TWO NIGHTS BEFORE THE FINAL GAME — there’s no excuse.
Wednesday was just a microcosm of the 2011 season. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I know the 20 or so games I attended this season, there were fewer and fewer asses in the seats than there have been in past seasons.
I seriously don’t want to hear any whining about Cam McRae — he put up with losing money with this team for a quarter-century to keep baseball here. He’s gone WELL beyond the call to keep the K-Tribe here.
Kinston and ENC — this one’s on us. When we’re watching Coastal Plains League baseball (or nothing but concerts and American Legion baseball) here next summer instead of High Single-A, blame yourselves.
CHRIS JOHNSON FINALLY SIGNS
Former ECU football star Chris Johnson is now the highest-paid running back in NFL history as the Tennessee Titans signed him to an extension that will pay him $30 million of guaranteed money in a $53.5 million contract.
My take: He’s certainly worthy of it — he’s been one of the top running backs in the NFL the past three years or so.
And I know there are fantasy football players all over the world breathing a sigh of relief right about now!
Here’s the funniest tweet I saw about Johnson’s signing last night, from Owen Good: “Chris Johnson just raised the average salary for ECU graduates to $5.16 per hour.” I don’t agree with it … but it seriously made me chuckle.
JUNIOR RE-SIGNS FOR FIVE YEARS WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS
My take: He does this while there are dozens of other drivers out there with infinitely more talent toiling at the lower levels. Sigh.
Junior is arguably the most overrated “athlete” in sports history, including Danica Patrick, Shawn Bradley, Anna Kournikova and Tony Romo. Throw me some more names out there — this might make a great “lists” blog entry.
My take: Having lost my Grandma Hanks to Alzheimer’s, I know exactly how cruel that disease is. I’ve never been a fan of Summit’s — or women’s basketball, for that matter — but you have to respect what she’s done to get her sport on the map. My prayers are with her and her family as they battle this terrible disease.
128 MPH IN A 45? LOSE LICENSE FOR SIX WEEKS
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Kyle Busch pled guilty yesterday in Statesville to driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone — and lost his license for 45 days. He was also fined $1,000 and will serve 30 hours of community service.
My take: Seriously? Seriously?
If you or I do that, we’re probably thrown in jail for a year and lose our license for the same amount of time.
NASCAR should suspend him for the same amount of time — how the heck can you drive on a track with a suspended driver’s license? Just another reason to look down on the pseudo-sport.
The iPod shuffle
It’s Bad You Know — R.L. Burnside
Can’t Fight This Feeling — REO Speedwagon
Drive Slow — Kanye West feat. Paul Wall & GLC
Magnificient — U2
Finish What You Started — Van Halen
P.S.: There will not be a Friday night football game this week, as all have been moved because of the potential of Irene. Kinston at South Lenoir, North Lenoir at West Montgomery, Greene Central at Ayden-Grifton and Jones Senior at Warsaw Kenan are all on Thursday. Arendell Parrott Academy’s home season-opener against Hobgood Academy has yet to be scheduled, but when it is, I’ll let you know.
My take: And it gets worse — our Jones Post reporter Justin Hill (known as The Kid to you faithful bloggees) was kicked out of a meeting in Maysville last night when the town mayor and board went into an illegal closed meeting.
Why was it illegal? The town, by law, has to give media outlets a 48-hour notice of the meeting. Maysville NEVER contacted us – it was only by an unnamed source we found about it.
They illegally closed the meeting — WITHOUT making a motion to go into the closed portion of it. They used a Maysville town cop to kick Justin out of the meeting and then locked the door to keep him out.
And then the mayor, James Harper, tried to sneak out of the meeting through the back door before Justin and a camera crew from WCTI ABC-12 tracked him down. Even then, he “no-commented” them and sped off in his car.
What’s worse is that Justin has been on the phone all day trying to get town councilmembers to simply verify that the new interim town manager is Dale Gurganus-McCullough, the current town clerk and financial officer … who sent out the email saying she’s the new interim town manager. And not one of these elected officials will go on the record to say they voted on it, which, ironically would be illegal since it didn’t happen in open session.
If I’m a Maysville resident, I’m incensed. The people I elected to represent me don’t have the cajones to answer the questions from the press. They are conducting town business in secret. Not a very transparent — or American — town government in Maysville.
My take: As some of you know, I grew up in Wilkes County, only 20 miles or so from the track. Some of my best high school memories come from going to qualifying on Fridays and going to a handful of races.
When Bruton Smith bought the speedway and moved its races to New Hampshire and Texas Motor Speedway in 1996, he essentially killed the Wilkes County economy. The two then-Winston Cup races brought in millions of dollars to the local economy — money that has never been replaced.
The track went into serious disrepair before Alton McBride (who, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, had some financial troubles of his own) took over about a year-and-a-half ago. But now … here we go again. At least McBride tried and I appreciate he and his group for that.
It does bug me that NASCAR doesn’t rehabilitate the track and even put a truck race there. Yet another reason for me to hate the wanna-be sport, though.
My take: And sadly, he’s probably the best candidate the Republicans have at the moment. He has the name recognition and the political clout … but is that enough to defeat Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin for the GOP nod and then Obama for the presidency?
Is this the best the GOP has? If so, Obama is going to be pretty much a sure shot for reelection.
If those crazy kids can’t make it after a quarter-century of marriage, what hope is there for the rest of us?
The iPod shuffle
Return To Innocence — Enigma
Dead And Bloated — Stone Temple Pilots
You’re Never Over — Eminem
Even The Losers — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
All Shook Up — Elvis Presley
P.S.: Congrats to Friend of the Blog (FOB) and Kinston baseball coach Jason Wade for the birth of his daughter, Mollie Jean Wade, this morning. Coach says mom and baby — all 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches of her — are doing fine. Congratulations, my friend!
P.P.S.S.: My good friends at the Gaston Gazette picked up my column on Robin Rogers; you can read it here – and see the awesome comments folks have made about Robin. Thanks, Hunter Bretzius and the folks at the GG for sharing my feelings about my friend in your awesome paper!
My take: And yes, I watched a good chunk of it because of the young man up front. I grew up a Ford fan but (as many of you know) have fallen out of love with the sport over the past few years for many reasons I won’t bore you with here.
But yesterday was old school — and a joy to watch (other than Darrell Waltrip’s stupid yammering). The kid was genuinely excited, the racing was good (I, for one, don’t mind the two-by-two racing; it beats the hell out of 10-car drafts) and, for one day at least, NASCAR was fun … which it hasn’t been in a long time.
My take: Like last year, there’s not a breakaway No. 1 or national champion contender, which means we’re going to have a heck of a NCAA Tournament.
‘UNKNOWN’ TOPS WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Liam Neeson helped lead “Unknown” to the top of the weekend box office; in its first week, the action thriller finished with $21.8 million in receipts, narrowly defeating “I Am Number Four,” which had $19.5 million and ”Gnomeo & Juliet” ($19.4 million). “Just Go With It” was fourth with $18.2 million and “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son” ($17 million) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
My take: I wouldn’t mind seeing “Unknown,” although it looks nearly identical to “Taken,” another Neeson movie that came out last year — and it wasn’t bad. However, when is Martin Lawrence going to stop making Big Momma movies? Seriously, who watches those?
The iPod shuffle
Burning Love — Elvis Presley
Something — The Beatles
Hustlin’ — Rick Ross
Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny — The Bloodhound Gang
You May Be Right — Billy Joel
P.S.: I spoke too soon … in yesterday’s column, I announced I’d be back today at The Free Press. I’ve had a setback, as now I’m having severe muscle spasms in the middle of my back; I’m unable to take a deep breath without a lot of pain. So I’m heading back to the doc this a.m. (when I get a call back). I’ll keep you guys up to date.
Following yesterday’s 19-16 overtime loss to America’s Team (the Washington Redskins), the Tennessee Titans may have also lost their starting quarterback. Trouble child Vince Young — who already has a disturbing history with the Titans — threw his shoulder pads into the crowd and had a heated exchangewith coach Jeff Fisher.
My take: Young had already injured the thumb on his throwing hand in the game that might require season-ending surgery, so he’s possibly done for 2010.
But combined with his alleged suicide attempt of a couple seasons ago and all his other prima donna attitude, this probably marks the end of his tenure in Nashville.
JIMMIE JOHNSON (YAWWWWWN) WINS ANOTHER NASCAR TITLE
My take: And yes, I think that helps ring the death knell for the pseudo-sport. Ratings have stunk all season for NASCAR and a fifth-straight title by one of the blandest personalities in the field can’t help.
If Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart had won five straight titles, it’d be a different story. But JJ — despite being a seemingly good guy — is about as exciting as wheat toast.
But NASCAR deserves this — it has done everything it can to take the excitement out of its product, so … congratulations. The finale was on ESPN again yesterday — AGAINST THE FREAKING NFL — so its ratings are going to suffer again.
The final race should be on Saturday night, when it’s not up against the NFL, or even put it on a Monday night.
Again, the idiot powers-that-be at NASCAR have made their bed — I’m betting the sport is almost dead (in NHL territory) by 2020.
Why is that important? With the census being finished, the previously-gerrymandered districts (including the ridiculous N.C. House 12 seat that William Wainwright occupies) can be re-drawn.
My take: As I have stated many previous times, I don’t have a preference between the GOP and the Democrats — I just want to see fairness in districting and the political system. It’s pretty evident that when you have a barbell-looking district in our own backyard — and some more ridiculous-looking districts in N.C. — the Dems twisted the districts to fit their needs.
No, I’m not suggesting the GOP do the same thing; I am suggesting districts be drawn that reflects the people that live in them.
Still, this is a significant development that a lot of the mainstream media are not reporting yet; but it’s coming.
My takes: At least someone picked Moss up — and I thought there might be a team that wouldn’t claim him. The bad news is that he has a bye week, so he’s not available until next week; even then, I think his value takes a serious hit — I’m not sure he’s a sure start every week (and he sure as hell isn’t worth the first-round pick I wasted on him in my big money league).
And yes, I have Gates in two leagues, so I spent this morning scouring the waiver wire for a replacement. Go Jacob Tamme!
I hate to see anyone go out of business in this putrid economy, but this couldn’t happen to a better industry. At least North Wilkesboro Speedway is making a comeback — but it warms the deep, dark cockles of my heart that these super-tracks that took NASCAR away from its roots are failing en masse.
Awesome. Now, bring a Nationwide race back to North Wilkesboro — the cradle of the sport.
The iPod shuffle
Dirty Day — U2
Roadhouse Blues — The Doors
Can’t Stop Lovin’ You — Van Halen
Bullet The Blue Sky — U2 (“The God I believe in isn’t short on cash, mister!”)