Friday’s odds and ends

Some quick hits:

  • No one entered for today’s ECU-Marshall tickets — if you want them, hit me up at 559-1074 and they’re yours. Saturday’s winner is Danny Rice; Sunday’s winner is Jim Godfrey. Guys, come by TFP by 5:30 p.m. today to collect your tickets.
  • Check out this funny column on how hated J.J. Redick still is in Chapel Hill. Hilarious!

Morning News Report; April 30, 2010

GULF OIL SPILL: AN ARGUMENT AGAINST OFF-SHORE OIL DRILLING?

With oil approaching Louisiana’s shores today following an explosion on an oil rig last week, President Obama has suspended all offshore oil drilling until the investigation into the matter is complete.

My take: The situation couldn’t have come at a worse time for offshore drilling advocates — and its provided a valid argument to folks who are against offshore drilling. What happens if the same thing happens 10 miles from N.C. beaches? I’m all for cheaper fuel and getting our own fuel instead of depending on Middle East oil … but at what cost?

‘NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET’ OPENS TODAY

The remake of the iconic “Nightmare On Elm Street” hits theaters today … and not to the greatest reviews in the world, either.

My take: Still, it’s a huge part of my teenaged years; I’m still deciding whether or not I’m going to see the new version. You have to think the special effects are going to be off the hook!

NOWITZKI LEAVING MAVERICKS?

With his second-seeded Dallas Mavericks losing AGAIN in the first round of the NBA Western Conference playoffs, Dirk Nowitzki is hinting that he might not be back next year. He has the option of opting out of his contract and giving up the guaranteed $21 million he would receive next year.

My take: I’m not sure there’s another team that can even come close to offering him that much dinero, so it’s likely he’ll be back in Dallas next year … bowing out again in the first round to another team.

The iPod shuffle

Even The Losers — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Come On Eileen — Dexy’s Midnight Riders

More Than A Feeling — Boston

Will You Still Love Me? — Chicago

Easy Lover — Phil Collins

P.S.: Please join me in sending up some prayers for our dear friend, Evelyn “Mama” Kornegay, the longtime house mother and biggest fan of the K-Tribe. As many of you know, she is battling cancer … and it’s not good right now. If you haven’t seen her, you should probably try to get by and see her today.

P.P.S.S.: If you want tickets to see the ECU baseball game(s) this weekend, send me an e-mail ASAP. I’ll be drawing for winners around 1 p.m. today.

ECU baseball tickets

Sorry, kids, forgot to post this earlier, but I have four tickets a day to this weekend’s ECU baseball series with Marshall. Send me an e-mail to bhanks@freedomenc.com with “ECU tickets” in the subject line; let me know how many tickets you want (2 or 4) to which day’s games. I will draw for the tickets at 1 p.m. Friday — you’ll need to come by TFP office by 5:30 p.m. Friday to collect your winnings.

Morning News Report; April 29, 2010

ALABAMA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE WANTS DRIVER’S TEST ONLY IN ENGLISH

And continuing our xenophobic conversations from yesterday, a candidate for governor in Alabama wants his residents to only have an English language driving test.

My take: OK, I’m just poking the bear(s) with the xenophobic comment … but this is ridiculous. It makes no business sense for this to happen, unless he simply wants to close his borders to everyone.

What worries me about this kind of ad is getting the kinds of people I grew up with in the mountains of N.C. all fired up: “Yee-ha! We don’t want no durned fureners heer anyway! Eerone should speak and learn English as good as I speak it!” Yep.

The sad thing is the brilliance of this move. Alabamians (Alabamans? Alabamiens?) aren’t exactly known to be the smartest people in the world anyway and enough idiots will be “inspired” by this to vote for him.

Here’s the ad for your own perusal:

JULIA ROBERTS: WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN (ACCORDING TO PEOPLE MAGAZINE)

People Magazine has named Julia Roberts its most beautiful woman in the world … for the fourth time.

My take: Seriously? I could come up with about 1,000 other actresses who are much, MUCH hotter than the woman whose mouth is infinitely too big for her face:

042910-julia-roberts-mouth1.jpg 

042910-julia-roberts-mouth-2.jpg

042910-julia-roberts-mouth3.jpg

OK, so maybe that last picture has had some Photoshop work … but not by much!

Anyhoo, here’s my choice for “World’s Most Beautiful Woman,” as selected by you, dear bloggee, in last year’s Eye Candy of the Day Tournament — Hillary Fisher:

042910-hillary-fisher.jpg

Y’all do remember her, right? Julia Roberts has NOTHING on her. Can a brother get an amen?

WUFFIES GET LESLIE

The N.C. State basketball program received a verbal commitment from five-star recruit C.J. Leslie of Raleigh yesterday afternoon.

My take: Admittedly, I’m shocked — I was about 95 percent certain Leslie was headed to Mercenary U (Kentucky). And while I am happy for State coach Sidney Lowe, I hope he gets as much out of him as he can in the one season he’s going to have him.

But with Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown already signed — and Rocky Mount’s Tashawn Mabry ready to sign, too — this is shaping up to be one of the top classes in the country.

Still … I wish Bo Ingram was headed there. It’s a damned shame that one of North Carolina’s top players won’t play for the school he always dreamed of playing for.

The iPod shuffle

Love Walks In — Van Halen

Girls, Girls, Girls — Motley Crue

Till I Hear It From You — Gin Blossoms

Time For Myself — Robin Rogers

It’s My Life — Talk Talk

Morning News Report; April 28, 2010

WHITE HOUSE TO SUE OVER ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW?

There are rumblings from the White House that the federal government might sue Arizona over its new immigration law that will require Hispanics to carry papers proving they are citizens with them at all times.

My take: I have stayed away from posting much about this, because I am still uneducated about it for the most part. However, at first blush — what’s the problem with this? When driving, I have to carry papers to prove I have insurance and a driver’s license. If I carry my pistol with me, I have to have my permit with me for that.

What’s the difference with this? Some might call it racial profiling — but some would say if you’re following the law, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about when asked to provide documentation.

As a card-carrying Libertarian, though, I do find it disturbing that our government could invade more of our citizens’ privacy.

As you can tell, I’m of both minds on this. What are your feelings on this?

SANDRA BULLOCK FILES FOR DIVORCE

ECU’s favorite daughter, Sandra Bullock, has filed for divorce from her philandering husband, Jesse James.

My take: About time. Guys, she’s back out on the market!

BOB UECKER READY TO UNDERGO HEART SURGERY

Milwaukee Brewers’ play-by-play announcer Bob Uecker will have heart surgery Friday morning and will miss up to three months of being in the broadcast booth.

My take: Anyone who has watched “Major League” HAS to love Bob Uecker — who is one of the funniest personalities in baseball. Here’s hoping he comes through with flying colors and is back in the broadcast booth sooner rather than later.

The iPod shuffle

Maniac — Michael Sembello

Hit It Run — Run DMC

West End Girls — Pet Shop Boys

I Ain’t Going Out Like That — Cypress Hill

Comfortably Numb — Pink Floyd

Morning News Report; April 27, 2010

FORD TURNS $2.08 BILLION PROFIT IN 1Q

Detroit automaker Ford announced a huge $2.08 billion profit in the first quarter of 2010.

My take: Good for the blue oval — and the fact that it did it the right way, without allowing massive government interference like GM and Chrysler did, makes this news even better.

How long before the Obama administration tries to take credit for something it had essentially nothing to do with this?

FOUR NCSU FOOTBALL PLAYERS ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

Oh, and an N.C. State volleyball player, too, as the total of five Wuffies face marijuana and paraphernalia charges.

My take: Well, I knew they played like they were high this year …

BOBCATS SWEPT OUT OF NBA PLAYOFFS

The Orlando Magic defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 99-90, last night to complete a four-game sweep in the first round series of the 2010 NBA playoffs.

My take: As a lifelong NBA fan, albeit of the Boston Celtics and the old Charlotte Hornets, it has been gratifying this season to see the Bobcats have success this season. I am grateful Bob Johnson brought a team back to the Queen City, especially after the way Hornets owner George Shinn broke everyone’s hearts.

BUT it’s taken a long, long six years for the Bobcats to get a foothold in Charlotte. Johnson, who pissed off more than just a few folks in his time in Charlotte, did the right thing by selling controlling interest to Michael Jordan. This is a franchise with inarguably one of the best coaches in Larry Brown, some of the best young talent in the league in Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson and a fan base just begging for success.

The HB and I attended Game 3 Saturday afternoon — and were blown away by the crowd and the first 47 minutes of the game. Sure, Charlotte gave it away in the end, but one has to remember the Cats were playing a team that is probably going to be in the Finals this year. The cherry on top of the cake for her, though, was that when we walked out of the arena — after spending MORE money on Bobcats gear in the team shop — who was on the sidewalk signing autographs in the rain? Only J.J. Redick. I tried to get her to allow me to get him to sign an autograph for her or take a picture, but she got all shy and stuff.

Anyway, it was a pretty good experience as a fan. As a reporter, I was somewhat disappointed insomuch that I attempted to get a credential to cover the game for Freedom ENC, but could never get a call back. There’s a long, drawn-out, boring-as-hell story here, but the gist of it is this: the media relations department of the Bobcats obviously doesn’t care about coverage of their team in ENC. I followed all procedures and couldn’t even get a call back. When I called Friday afternoon to see if I was approved — after bouncing around from person to person to person — I was given the runaround of “Well, we’re holding two spots to see if Yahoo.com or ESPN wants an extra two seats.” After being told I would be given a call back on whether or not we’d be credentialed, I never received a call, so the HB and I just went to Charlotte as fans.

The thing that bugs me about the situation is the Bobcats sell out two games a year, they practically beg for coverage all year long … and I can’t get one seat to cover the game for the three Freedom ENC newspapers with a combined Sunday readership of more than 70,000?

Don’t get it twisted, no one in FENC covered a Bobcats game this season (although I’ve covered about a dozen in the previous five years), so that knocks you down on the priority list. I could even understand not receiving a credential to cover the game for you, the faithful bloggees and readership in ENC. But to not even get a quick e-mail or short call — after I was told I was going to get one? Unprofessional.

Anyhoo — glad I could get that off my chest; I’m sure it was FASCINATING reading for y’all.

The iPod shuffle

Another Day — Paul McCartney

North And South Of The River — U2

Role Model — Eminem

Surf Rider — The Lively Ones

Breathe — Telepopmusik

NCHSAA might cut prep football season by a week

Our good friend, Phil Gardner of the Gaston Gazette, has a comprehensive piece about some big changes the NCHSAA might make for the 2011 season when it meets next month in Chapel Hill.

Among the big changes:

  • Cutting the regular season to 11 weeks, instead of the 12 it is now
  • Creating a “pod” system of seeding for the playoffs, so teams won’t have to travel as much in the postseason

My take: Sounds like the new guy in Chapel Hill — Davis Whitfield — is listening to membership, and that’s a good thing.

The prep football season is way too long as it is; in my opinion (like legendary Belmont South Point coach John Devine), there should only be 10 games in the regular season, anyway.

I also like the pod system, to a point: what happens if you have a stacked conference, like the Eastern Plains 2A was this past season with SW Edgecombe, Tarboro and Kinston? If they knock each other out in the first two or three weeks, you end up just like 2A basketball was this past season, with Kinston playing its toughest opponents (South Lenoir, Wilson Beddingfield) in the early rounds.

Regardless, I like where the NCHSAA is going with this — it’s trying to listen to its membership and make changes where changes need to be made. Nothing AT ALL wrong with that.

Morning News Report; April 26, 2010

KINSTON TEEN DIES FROM GUNSHOT; ANOTHER TEEN IN COURT TODAY

Kinston High School junior Rasheed Jones died late Friday night, early Saturday morning from the gunshot the 17-year-old sustained Thursday in downtown Kinston. The alleged shooter, Kyliel Wade, also 17, is in jail under a $1 million bond; he had his first appearance this morning and our crime reporter, Wesley Brown, is at that appearance.

My take: This whole situation just makes me sick — kids killing kids in downtown Kinston is just inconceivable in my mind. It’s to the point where I’m seriously reconsidering whether or not I even want to live in a town where the gang problem has reached the point where kids are shooting kids — IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. What happens if I have my niece or nephew with my top down in my Jeep with me and we’re driving through one of these shootouts?

Geez.

What we need right now is someone in the KDPS, the Sheriff’s Office or one of our leaders to step up and get rid of this problem.

You wonder why people don’t want to live in Kinston? Well, take care of the damned gang problem and you might increase your population.

OBAMA VISITS WITH BILLY GRAHAM

Wrapping up his weekend visit to Asheville, President Obama spent time with uber-evangelist Billy Graham in his Montreat home yesterday. Obama becomes the 11th president to seek religious counsel from Graham.

My take: Good for Obama — I hope he got some good ol’ Southern Christian learning from a true man of God.

BRET MICHAELS SUFFERS BRAIN HEMORRHAGE

80s hair band lead singer Bret Michaels suffered a brain hemorrhage after experiencing extreme headaches on Friday. He remains stable but under watchful eyes of doctors in an ICU unit in a Texas hospital.

My take: Hoping nothing but a speedy recovery for the leader of one of my favorite bands.

The iPod shuffle

All I Want Is You — U2

Savin’ Me — Nickelback

Dancing In The Street — Van Halen

Pride (In The Name Of Love) — U2

I Will Always Love You — Dolly Parton

Morning News Report; April 23, 2010

17-YEAR-OLD SHOT DOWNTOWN

A 17-year-old student from Kinston High School was shot in broad daylight yesterday afternoon near the intersection of Independence and Peyton; police are still looking for the shooter(s). If you know anything about this, you are encouraged to call Kinston police at 252-939-3160 or Lenoir County Crimestoppers at 252-523-7777.

My take: What a crazy, crazy story — not that it would be any better if it happened at midnight, but in the middle of the day?

Many kudos to Free Press reporter David Anderson and photographer Janet S. Carter for their quick reaction to the story. Both were on the site only moments after the shooting happened, meaning we had the story up on our site before any of the TV stations. Anderson even interviewed the nurse who performed first aid on the kid who was shot.

BRADFORD GOES FIRST IN FIRST PRIMETIME NFL DRAFT

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was selected first in last night’s NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. The biggest first round surprise, though, was the Denver Broncos taking Florida QB Tim Tebow with the 25th pick.

My take: I thought the presentation by ESPN — in its first primetime weeknight performance — was great. Can’t wait to see the ratings, but you have to figure they’ll be pretty strong.

On another note — I loved Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” when it first came out, but between ESPN and everybody else playing it to death, I’d be fine if I didn’t hear it again. Every single freaking commercial that even has a little something to do with New York plays it (including the 25,000 commercials for the NFL Draft on ESPN) and I want to literally claw my own ears off my head when I hear it.

THONGS OUTLAWED AT KURE BEACH

In news that is going to certainly going to affect the way Brian North dresses at the beach, officials at Kure Beach have outlawed wearing thongs.

My take: OK, now try to get the image of North wearing a thong out of your head. Heh heh…

The iPod shuffle

Another Day — Paul McCartney

In A Little While — U2

Cedars of Lebanon — U2

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) — REM

Summertime — D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince