Morning News Report; April 26, 2012

Sorry I’ve been away, bloggees — real life is a bitch. Anyhoo — a pretty special MNR:

COPLES SET TO MAKE HISTORY

Former Kinston High School/UNC football star Quinton Coples will likely be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft tonight. He’ll be first player in Lenoir County to earn the honor.

My take: I couldn’t be more proud of a young man who has worked hard to get to this point in his life. I’ve watched him and covered him since he was in the eighth grade and playing recreation basketball for Larry Powell with Bo Ingram and the rest of the “Six Shooters.”

He’s been a stand-up young man who did what was best for his family and himself when he left Kinston as a senior — a decision that has helped him to where he is today: on the threshold of becoming a multi-millionaire NFL player.

A behind-the-scenes look at what we’re doing tonight at TFP: we’re hoping he is selected earlier rather than later because we’ve switched press times with one of our sister papers, giving us a little bit later deadline than our typical ridiculously early deadline. Award-winning page designer Richard Clark has a freaking fantastic front page ready, so … Carolina Panthers — TAKE QUINTON COPLES!

MONTAGUE SET TO MAKE HISTORY

When legendary North Lenoir baseball coach Jim Montague’s Hawks take the field against Kinston today, they’ll be going for the coach’s 350th career victory.

My take: One thing I’ve always liked about Coach Montague — he never takes credit for his team’s success but always takes the brunt of their losses.

Some of the best times of my journalism career was covering those championship teams in 2005-2007, with Sthil Sowers, Brandon Sutton, Andrew Manning, John Alphin and the others. In 20 years of covering prep sports, I’ve never seen a pitching combo like Sowers and Sutton, who were as confident and successful as any pair of high school pitchers EVER. Montague coached his tail off, too, and if a certain western N.C. school hadn’t put together an all-star team to take down North Lenoir, the Hawks would’ve had three straight state titles.

Congrats, Coach! Stay around for 400!

BOBCATS GO FOR HISTORY TONIGHT … OR NOT

When the Charlotte Bobcats take the court against the New York Knicks tonight — on national TV, no less — they’ll be trying to avoid their 23rd straight loss and the infamy of being the worst team in NBA history (by percentage).

My take: Yikes. I’ll be pulling for the Bobcats … but if I were a betting man, I sure as heck wouldn’t bet on them.

And check out this scatching Chicago Sun-Times column on Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan. Yikes again.

GOP GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES CHALLENGE MCCRORY TO DEBATE

Contrary to popular belief, there is actually a primary for the Republican nomination for governor. While the Democrats have had several debates and forums, the GOP has had none, since everyone naturally assumes Pat McCrory (who has been campaigning for the last four years anyway) will get the nod.

One Republican, though, is challenging McCrory to a debate.

My take: If I were him, though, I wouldn’t hold my breath. McCrory has nothing to gain by debating a Republican challenger … nothing. All he’d do is lend credence to that opponent.

The iPod shuffle

Against The Wind — Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Summer of ’69 — Bryan Adams

Evverybody’s Talkin’ — Harry Nilsson

Drop It Like It’s Hot — Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell

Hand On The Glock — Cypress Hill

Morning News Report; Monday, March 5, 2012

UNC NO. 1, DUKE NO. 2 IN ACC TOURNEY

Following UNC’s 88-70 whitewash of Duke in the regular season finale for both teams, the Tar Heels are the No. 1 seed and the Blue Devils are No. 2 in this week’s ACC men’s basketball tournament in Atlanta.

My take: Gotta admit — Carolina is the class of the ACC and I doubt anyone is going to make a run at the Heels, especially with the added motivation and knowledge that they probably need to win this week’s tourney to get a coveted No. 1 seed.

The bigger question is this: who will get into the NCAA tournament from the ACC? I think the top 3 — UNC, Duke and Florida State — are locks and that my beloved Virginia is a highly probable. And that’s it — unless N.C. State or Miami get hot this week, the ACC will only get four teams into the tourney.

And although I no longer have a vote for ACC player of the year and All-ACC, here’s how I would vote for player of the year — Kendall Marshall, UNC. Marshall is the most indispensable player in the league, period. Could Carolina win without Tyler Zeller, John Henson or Harrison Barnes? Yes — but they’d be a fourth-place ACC team without Marshall.

My first-team All-ACC: Marshall; Mike Scott, Virginia; Zeller; Henson; and Austin Rivers, Duke. I can hear Heelatious already losing his mind — “What? No Harrison Barnes on first team? Oh my God!” It’s this simple — Barnes is a one-trick pony; he’s a hell of an offensive player, probably the best in the ACC. But at this moment, Rivers is a better player than he — and a better pro prospect.

ELECTION 2012 IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER

In my Sunday column, I took a look at the local races; later this week (very likely, tomorrow), I’ll do a quick hit on the statewide and national races — hopefully, with your input.

My take: A preview, though (although I’ve touched on this several times): the presumed front-runner for the governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, has already fallen to second in a statewide poll — because of his early-campaign gaffes. Ironically, Dalton will be in Kinston Thursday night and I’m hoping he’ll come by The Free Press office to talk about his campaign.

WILLIAMS POPS FOR 57 VS. TERRIBLE BOBCATS

Deron Williams finished with a franchise and career-high 57 points against the Charlotte Bobcats last night.

My take: Congrats to Williams — but to me, the bigger issue is how bad the Bobcats are. Charlotte is 4-31, which brought a fantastic tweet from former Free Press sports editor R.L. Bynum. He speculated the Carolina Panthers might end up winning more games in 2012 than this season’s Bobcats — and that’s highly likely.

Heck, I’ll take it a step further — this year’s Bobcats might not win more than the 2011 Panthers, who finished with six wins. That would mean Charlotte would need to finish 3-28 over the final 31 games, a winning percentage of .097; the Bobcats currently have a winning percentage of 0.114.

Wow. And does anyone seriously think it’s going to get better in coming years? Kemba Walker is a nice player, but no one thinks he’s going to be a legitimate star. D.J. Augustin is all right and Gerald Henderson could start for four or five NBA squads — and he’s considered the “star” of this team. Going to be some tough, tough winters in Charlotte.

The iPod shuffle

Broken Wings — Mister Mister

Another One Bites The Dust — Queen

Wake Me Up When September Ends — Green Day

Believe It Or Not — Nickelback

Poundcake — Van Halen

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 Sports Report; Feb. 15, 2012

LINSANITY GRIPS NEW YORK, THE NATION

Jeremy Lin has had an historic few weeks for the New York Knicks – and “Linsanity” has surpassed Tim Tebowism in its national fervor.

My take: The NBA has to be absolutely LOVING this, especially coming off the strike. This reminds me of the MLB strike in 1994, when Cal Ripken Jr. brought many fans back to the game with his consecutive games streak. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s steroid-fueled home run derby helped MLB, too.

But this is a fascinating story in which you have to pull for this kid. I’m not exactly going to run out and buy his jersey (although A LOT of people are), but I’m looking forward to seeing him play this weekend on national TV.

FOUR FOOTBALL PLAYERS AMONG 17 TCU STUDENTS ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

Seventeen TCU students — including four football players — were arrested today for selling drugs.

My take: Frankly, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often on college campuses; drugs are plentiful and kids want ‘em, creating the supply and demand I learned in 10th grade at North Wilkes High School.

The players’ names haven’t been released yet, but more arrests are coming. Interested to see who they’ll be.

EP2A SEMIFINALS TONIGHT AT KHS

One side of the semifinals of the Eastern Plains 2A basketball tournament are tonight at Kinston High School; the top-seeded Vikings girls face Wilson Beddingfield while the top-seeded boys take on Farmville Central.

As you prepare yourself for those games, check out this awesome story by Ryan Herman on Nakeil Williams and Andrew Lopez – whose fathers are serving or have served our country.

My take: Should be a pretty good atmosphere at Viking Gym tonight — and kudos to Nakeil and Andrew’s fathers for raising such great young men.

The iPod shuffle

Down And Out — Tantric

We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel

Pop Goes The Weasel — 3rd Bass

Hooked On A Feeling — B.J. Thomas

Synchronicity 2 — The Police

P.S.: Check out this excellent column by Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy on the DOJ decision. All I can say is: Amen. Outstanding observations.

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; Dec. 15, 2011

THE WAR IS OVER! THE WAR IS OVER!

As of this morning, the war in Iraq is officially over.

The costs to America: 4,500 dead, 32,000 wounded and $800 billion.

My take: Frankly, we should never have invaded a sovereign nation to begin with — but it’s a good thing this chapter is finally closed. At least a madman like Saddam Hussein is gone and there are no WMDs there.

How long before Iraq is taken back over by a Hussein-ish dictator? And what is our game-plan if that happens? Lots of questions remain.

KINSTON HAS SPENT $123K ON ANNEXATION LAWYERS

David Anderson reports this morning the City of Kinston has spent more than $123,000 fighting for involuntary annexation since December 2007.

My take: I understand both sides of this issue, so don’t insult my intelligence by emailing me or commenting about how Kinston needs to grow. I know it needs to grow. But it is patently un-American to force people who don’t want to be part of your city to BE part of your city.

You want Kinston to grow? There is no simple answer, but I know this much — as long as there is a shooting/murder/robbery EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DAY in town, we’re paying 35 percent more for electricity than every neighbor surrounding us and more than 50 percent of the populace is on public assistance, Kinston isn’t going to grow.

Take care of those problems and we’ll be on the road to recovery. And yes, I know there are hard-working people — including Mayor B.J. Murphy, city councilman Joe Tyson, state legislator Stephen LaRoque and businesspeople all over the city — trying to rectify this sorry situation. Their work is appreciated.

STERN JOINS ‘AMERICA’S GOT TALENT’

Shock-jock Howard Stern has been hired to join NBC’s reality TV competition show, “America’s Got Talent.”

My take: Never watched one second of this show in my life — and I’m not sure this will make me want to watch it, either. But you have to give Stern credit: pretty much everything he touches turns to gold. I’m sure NBC is betting on that, too.

CHRIS PAUL HEADED TO BLAKERS

Former Wake Forest star and NBA All-Star Chris Paul has been traded from the New Orleans Hornets to the L.A. Clippers, where he’ll join rising star Blake Griffin.

My take: Honestly, one of those few trades that makes both teams better — the Blakers get arguably the best PG in the game, while the Hornets get three possible starters AND a first-round draft pick that is likely to be a lottery pick (via Minnesota).

And as many of you know, I abhor the Lakers — which makes this trade (and the Clippers) even better. It is entirely possible the Clips might finish with a better record than the Lakers and Kobe. High-larious.

The iPod shuffle

Ultraviolet (Light My Way) — U2

Talkin’ 2 Myself — Eminem featuring Kobe

Express Yourself — Madonna

If Love Is A Red Dress — Maria McKee

Fantastic Voyage — Coolio

Afternoon Sports Report; Nov. 18, 2011

KINSTON, A-G, JS ENTER 3RD ROUND OF PLAYOFFS

As I mentioned on this week’s Free Press High School Football Podcast (listen to it! It’s awesome!) and Herman wrote in his preview today, tonight’s three prep football playoff games — Bunn at Kinston, SW Onslow at Ayden-Grifton and Jones Senior at North Edgecombe — all involve a bit of revenge.

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.

Also, I continue to dominate WCTI ABC-12′s Brian North and Chris Miller, Rick Scoppe and Mike Boaz from the Jacksonville Daily News in the JDN’s picks contest (read Miller’s column, but scroll to the bottom for the standings). It ain’t easy, but it sure is fun.

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.

From NCPreps:

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: Congrats to George and the Vikings!

ANOTHER CHILD-SEX/COLLEGE SPORTS SCANDAL

This time, it’s at Syracuse; an assistant basketball coach is being accused of molestation of two ball-boys more than 20 years ago.

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.

Also, another round of the playoffs has been added to the MLB postseason — a one-game wild-card contest, and it could happen as soon as next season.

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.

Morning News Report; Nov. 9, 2011

Here’s a king-sized MNR, since I was Election Boy yesterday; speaking of which, I’m going to have a separate blog post on all the local results after this not-so-little ditty…

PATERNO LIKELY OUT AT PENN STATE SOON

In the wake of the disgusting Jerry Sandusky situation at Penn State, Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno is probably preparing for his final home game of his legendary career in Happy Valley.

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.

Well … the ECU student newspaper trumped us all — the East Carolinian published three unblurred photos on the front of yesterday’s edition and online.

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.

WOMAN SET TO HAVE 20TH(!) BABY

A 45-year-old woman — and reality TV “star” — is going to have her 20th baby.

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.”

Gold, Jerry, gold.

CAIN TAKES ON ACCUSERS

The GOP front-runner for president in 2012, Herman Cain, is being attacked left and right on sexual harassment charges. He is fighting back and says he’s staying in the race.

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.

RIP, SMOKIN’ JOE FRAZIER

One of boxing’s all-time greats, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, died of liver cancer on Monday at the age of 67.

My take: Admittedly, his time in the sun was before I was cognizant of sports — and boxing — but he was a heck of a boxer and man. To put up with the junk Muhammad Ali threw at him proved that.

KYLE BUSCH PARKED BY NASCAR

A few days late, but worthy of a note here — after wrecking a fellow driver during a caution period in a truck race Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR bad boy Kyle Busch found himself in the pits for Saturday and Sunday’s races. He was also fined $50,000 and placed on probation for the rest of the season.

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.

NBA PLAYERS HAVE UNTIL 5 P.M. TODAY TO MAKE DEAL

NBA owners have given their players until 5 p.m. to accept their latest offer — or it’s going to be even worse … allegedly.

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.

HAYNESWORTH CUT BY PATRIOTS

The New England Patriots cut malcontent defensive end Albert Haynesworth yesterday.

My take: Nothing much to say here other than this:

 

The iPod shuffle

Graceland — Paul Simon

Wait For Me — Daryl Hall & John Oates

Private Eyes — Daryl Hall & John Oates (wow … three Hall & Oates in two days?)

Elevation — U2

Zombie — The Cranberries

Deacon Blues — Steely Dan

I Look Good — Chalie Boy

Animal — Def Leppard

So Cruel — U2

Against The Wind — Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

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?

Morning News Report; Oct. 13, 2011

DOG IN STOLEN TRUCK FOUND, RETURNED TO OWNER

Here’s your feel-good story of the day: a dog that was in a stolen truck near Winston-Salem was found by an unemployed woman, who returned the pup to its owner.

My take: I over-simplified the story — so go check it out. But it does my heart good to know there ARE still good folks out there. Pay it forward, indeed.

BLACKBERRY SERVICES DOWN, BUT SLOWLY RETURNING

Blackberry owners the world over have been frustrated as their POS have been suffering through service interruptions for up to four days.

My take: This might very well be the death blow for the outdated Blackberries — but never fear, the iPhone 4S is on sale!

RED SOX SELF-DESTRUCTION

In news that brings a smile to Heelatious’ face, the Boston Red Sox have literally self-destructed over the past couple of months. Here’s a well-written and informative column by ESPN’s Howard Bryant on the sorry state of Red Sox baseball.

My take: It amazes me how a franchise can’t stay successful because of ridiculous egos. Need more examples? The Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s and the L.A. Lakers of the early 2000s immediately come to mind.

I guess winning that ring just ain’t enough, eh?

The iPod shuffle

The Way I Live — Baby Boy Da Prince featuring P. Town Moe

You Give Love A Bad Name — Bon Jovi

The Devil Went Down To Georgia — The Charlie Daniels Band

One Call Away — Chingy featuring J-Weav

Good Good Night — Roscoe Dash