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Streak for the Cash October winner: J. Irvin!

Jackson Irvin did it again — winning Streak for the Cash, Hanks Blog Edition, for the second month in a row, the third time in four months and four times overall. He really pulled away from Randy Capps in the final three days, breaking a tie to win by 7.

J. Irvin is now tied with Flagan (Franc Jones) for second place all-time with four wins in our contest and only trails Beale St. Buc (Seth Jones) with eight.

Don’t you want to have fun with us? You can go here to sign up to play and you could win $100,000 from ESPN for the longest streak, $2,500 for most wins in a month or some goodies from The Free Press if you win our local contest.

October’s Top 10:

1. J. Irvin — 79

2. R. Capps – 72 

3. S. Jones — 67

4. D. Pollock — 63

5. B. Barrow — 54

6. J. Barrow — 48

7. Hanks — 45

T8. J. Osterberg — 41 

T8. C. Pollock — 41

T10. A. Spence — 37

T10. Hot Blonde — 37

All-time blog winners

2009

February: Flagan (F. Jones) — 43 wins

March: B. Pelletier — 60 wins

April: Flagan (F. Jones) — 59 wins

May: Flagan (F. Jones) — 57 wins

June: B. Pelletier — 53 wins

July: Flagan (F. Jones) — 69 wins

August: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 69 wins

September: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 69 wins

October: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 62 wins

November: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 83 wins

December: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) & D. Guido — 91 wins

2010

January: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 71 wins

February: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 68 wins

March: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 82 wins

April: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) — 77 wins

May: R. Capps (Randy Capps) — 75 wins

June: P. Howard (WolfpackPete) — 69 wins

July: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) — 80 wins

August: R. Capps (Randy Capps) — 87 wins

September: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) — 73 wins

October: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) — 79 wins

Oct. 29 scores — 1:20 a.m. update

South Johnston 48, North Lenoir 25 

Clinton 30, South Lenoir 29 — a close game in which two big 3Q turnovers cost the Blue Devils the game

Parrott Academy 49, Rocky Mount Academy 26

SW Edgecombe 52, Greene Central 7

Jones Senior 20, Pamlico 14, OT

Jacksonville Northside 28, Topsail 14

Statewide scores from the Associated Press

Albemarle 68, North Moore 0

Alexander Central 19, South Caldwell 14

Andrews 20, Cherokee 14

Asheboro 14, Southwestern Randolph 7

Asheville 37, North Buncombe 8

Asheville Reynolds 40, Asheville Roberson 3

Ayden-Grifton 56, Princeton 6

Belmont South Point 49, North Gaston 3

Boonville Starmount 66, Alleghany County 0

Brevard 28, North Henderson 7

Bunn 50, Warren County 0

Burlington Cummings 41, Yanceyville Yancey 0

Burnsville Mountain Heritage 42, Avery County 34

Canton Pisgah 49, Sylva Smoky Mountain 20

Carrboro 49, Granville Central 7

Catawba Bandys 39, East Burke 19

Charlotte Ardrey Kell 35, Rocky River 7

Charlotte Catholic 42, Charlotte Harding 26

Charlotte Country Day 47, Charlotte Latin 17

Charlotte Garinger 23, Charlotte Olympic 17

Charlotte Myers Park 31, Charlotte Independence 26

Charlotte Providence 62, East Mecklenburg 12

Charlotte Vance 34, Huntersville Hopewell 14

Cherryville 49, Bessemer City 0

China Grove Carson 35, West Iredell 28

Clayton 27, Knightdale 20

Clinton 30, South Lenoir 29

Concord 35, Hickory Ridge 7

Cox Mill 48, Central Cabarrus 23

Croatan 20, Swansboro 14

Currituck County 52, Edenton Holmes 12

Davie County 27, Pfafftown Reagan 24

Durham Hillside 47, East Chapel Hill 8

East Bend Forbush 27, Ashe County 17

East Duplin 27, Richlands 22

East Gaston 23, West Mecklenburg 22

East Henderson 45, Waynesville Tuscola 30

East Lincoln 31, West Lincoln 13

East Montgomery 24, Chatham Central 7

Eastern Alamance 30, Rockingham County 9

Eastern Guilford 26, Burlington Williams 7

Eastern Randolph 50, Reidsville 23

Elizabeth City Northeastern 49, Pasquotank County 7

Enka 63, McDowell County 27

Erwin Triton 38, Pikeville Aycock 20

Fairmont 14, East Columbus 6

Fayetteville Byrd 75, Southern Lee 7

Fayetteville Sanford 21, Cape Fear 16

Fayetteville Seventy-First 36, Fayetteville Britt 33

Fayetteville Smith 30, Hope Mills South View 15

Forsyth County Day 23, Southlake Christian 20

Fuquay-Varina 26, Apex Middle Creek 21

Garner 63, East Wake 6

Gastonia Forestview 13, Gastonia Huss 6

Gates County 19, North Edgecombe 18

Goldsboro 56, Seven Springs Spring Creek 0

Graham 28, Providence Grove 27

Greensboro Page 21, Greensboro Dudley 12

Greenville Conley 46, Jacksonville 25

Greenville Rose 37, New Hanover County 16

Hendersonville 62, Thomas Jefferson 14

Hertford County 30, Kill Devil Hills First Flight 14

Hickory 42, Watauga County 0

High Point Central 28, Southwest Guilford 3

Hillsborough Cedar Ridge 12, South Granville 0

Hoke County 14, Pembroke Swett 7

Holly Springs 21, Morrisville Green Hope 7

Hope Mills Gray’s Creek 42, Fayetteville Westover 6

Indian Trail Porter Ridge 31, Anson County 6

Jacksonville Northside 28, Topsail 14

Jacksonville White Oak 34, West Craven 11

Jones County 20, Pamlico County 14, OT

Kannapolis Brown 20, Northwest Cabarrus 13

Kernersville Glenn 36, Jamestown Ragsdale 15

Kernersville McGuinness 35, West Stokes 28

Kings Mountain 38, Shelby Crest 14

Lake Norman 23, Hough High School 14

Lakewood (Salemburg) 34, Pender County 31

Lawndale Burns 41, R-S Central 21

Lejeune 47, East Carteret 22

Lenoir Hibriten 35, Newton Foard 3

Lexington 35, Central Davidson 14

Lincolnton 49, North Lincoln 7

Lumberton 24, Scotland County 19

Maiden 41, Claremont Bunker Hill 13

Mallard Creek 76, West Charlotte 30

Manteo 20, Plymouth 14, 2OT

Marshville Forest Hills 47, Cuthbertson 44

Marvin Ridge 62, Monroe Parkwood 8

Matthews Butler 56, South Mecklenburg 14

Mitchell County 28, Madison County 0

Monroe 41, Charlotte Berry Tech 28

Monroe Piedmont 21, North Stanly 0

Monroe Sun Valley 41, Weddington 32

Mooresville 23, North Mecklenburg 8

Morganton Freedom 42, Forest City Chase 21

Mt. Airy 52, South Stokes 0

Mt. Pleasant 34, Concord Robinson 28

Murphy 56, Hayesville 20

New Bern 22, Wilmington Laney 16

North Duplin 34, Rosewood 20

North Iredell 20, East Rowan 18

North Raleigh Christian 41, Fayetteville Christian 20

North Rowan 26, West Montgomery 22

North Surry 39, East Surry 38

Northampton-West 49, KIPP Pride 20

Northeast Guilford 35, North Forsyth 28

Northern Guilford 63, Eden Morehead 9

Northern Nash 49, Wilson Fike 3

Northwest Guilford 35, East Forsyth 28

Oxford Webb 26, Northern Vance 6

Panther Creek 28, Lee County 0

Perquimans County 44, Camden County 36

Person County 35, Durham Riverside 27

Polk County 28, Black Mountain Owen 12

Raleigh Athens Drive 56, Apex 39

Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 41, Orange County 14

Raleigh Millbrook 21, Wake Forest-Rolesville 12

Raleigh Ravenscroft 30, Harrells Christian Academy 21

Raleigh Sanderson 16, Raleigh Enloe 3

Raleigh Wake Christian 52, Village Christian 6

Raleigh Wakefield 45, Raleigh Broughton 42

Randleman 49, Wheatmore 6

Richmond County 51, Southern Pines Pinecrest 7

Riverside Martin 13, Chocowinity Southside 8

Roanoke Rapids 42, North Johnston 14

Rocky Point Trask 34, Dunn Midway 18

Salisbury 10, Thomasville 7

Shelby 31, East Rutherford 14

South Brunswick 53, East Bladen 21

South Central Pitt 38, Washington 13

South Columbus 51, Whiteville 21

South Iredell 32, Newton-Conover 28

South Johnston 48, North Lenoir 25

South Stanly 53, South Davidson 32

Southeast Raleigh 43, Harnett Central 6

Southern Alamance 50, Greensboro Grimsley 6

Southern Durham 13, Northern Durham 6

Southern Guilford 51, Thomasville Ledford 2

Southern Nash 34, Rocky Mount 7

Southern Vance 41, Chapel Hill 13

Southern Wayne 48, Eastern Wayne 35

SouthWest Edgecombe 52, Greene Central 7

Southwest Onslow 40, Dixon 0

Spring Lake Overhills 13, Western Harnett 10

St. Pauls 30, West Columbus 8

Statesville 44, South Rowan 0

Surry Central 45, North Stokes 38

Swain County 41, Rosman 7

Tarboro 67, Farmville Central 20

Wallace-Rose Hill 44, Clinton Union 26

Warsaw Kenan 48, Hobbton 20

Weldon 18, Southeast Halifax 6

West Brunswick 47, West Bladen 21

West Caldwell 34, Vldese Draughn 33

West Carteret 34, Havelock 30

West Davidson 20, East Davidson 7

West Forsyth 42, Winston-Salem Reynolds 13

West Henderson 24, Franklin 21

West Johnston 59, Smithfield-Selma 7

West Stanly 34, Monroe Central 16

West Wilkes 47, North Wilkes 14

Western Alamance 21, Mayodan McMichael 14

Wilkes test Central 28, Elkin 6

Wilmington Hoggard 30, Wilmington Ashley 7

Wilson Beddingfield 31, North Pitt 12

Wilson Hunt 29, Nash Central 0

Winston-Salem Atkins 48, Trinity 22

Winston-Salem Carver 33, High Point Andrews 14

Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor 40, North Davidson 37, 3OT

A good look at my industry

A friend of mine posted a link to this story on his Facebook page — and this is as well-written a history of the fall of the newspaper industry as has been printed placed on the interwebs.

My takes: I’m not asking you to read this to feel sorry for me or my fellow scribes; hell, I’ve been lucky to work in an industry that — many more times than not — is a fun and extremely rewarding job (if not financially, it has been intellectually). My dad has worked the same job that he hates for almost 35 years in a hot factory, so I know I have it pretty damned good to sit behind a computer.

It just pains my soul that when I worked long enough in a field to actually be one of the ones in charge … and now, the industry is dying. I’m like the woman in the story who said she’s too young to retire but too old to learn a new trade. That part is frustrating.

I chose this honorable profession as a full-time career (instead of as a free-lancer, which I had done for the eight previous) more than 10 years ago, switching careers at age 30, because I could work for an organization that housed my Libertarian ideals — Freedom Communications. But in the decade since, the industry has fallen apart and the company I love has gone financially bankrupt.

Yes, I think we’re turning the corner — and that’s not just sunshiny BS I’m trying to throw up here. We’re working as hard as we can to be the online/pulp product hybrid that is going to succeed in the 21st century.

But I do miss the days of The Free Press when the office was bustling with activity, instead of the quiet area it has become. As the link said — I look at all the empty chairs and desks in my newsroom and it is like a graveyard.

And worse yet — I go to the old pressroom and see, well, nothing since our press was unceremoniously stripped for parts and sent all over the world. A press that printed millions of newspapers through the years is now … nothing. It is a graveyard back there.

So … thanks for allowing me to share this very good link (and my incessant whining) with you.

Morning News Report; Oct. 29, 2010

JUDGE MULLS LAROQUE-BRAXTON LAWSUIT

Only five days before the election, Superior Court Judge Paul L. Jones has Stephen LaRoque’s lawsuit against Van Braxton under “consideration.”

My take: What does that mean? I’m not sure other than he didn’t throw it out on Thursday — which is what both camps thought was going to happen. If it had happened, the LaRoque camp was prepared to appeal the decision, and I’m pretty sure they already had their gameplan ready.

I’ve had a few interactions with Judge Jones, and I’ve found him to be a sound, decisive — and most importantly — an extremely fair juror. So, frankly, I’m not surprised that he’s going to take time to consider this decision.

WOLFPACK SLIP PAST SEMINOLES

N.C. State used a fortuitous fumble by Florida State in the final minute to eke past the visiting Seminoles last night in Raleighwood, 28-24.

My take: And you know who is happy about this (and it should shock you)? Pirate Nation. Think about it — N.C. State, the team ECU defeated a week earlier, takes out the No. 16 team in the nation. Not that it’s going to get you into the BCS or anything, but it makes that OT win at Dowdy-Ficklen that much better.

And let me say this and shamelessly suck up to Pirate Nation — I’m not sure ECU wouldn’t be in the top half of the ACC year in and year out. The Pirates certainly would be a top three or four team in the ACC the past three years — and I challenge you to call BS on this.

CLINTON (UNSUCCESSFULLY) ATTEMPTS TO GET DEM TO DROP OUT OF SENATE RACE

Former President Bill Clinton tried to get a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Florida to drop out of the race and endorse an independent candidate, less than a week before Election Day. Why? Because the Dems are afraid the race is going to be won by a Republican (and Tea Party-supported) candidate.

My take: Evidently, Clinton’s political influence isn’t as strong as he thinks it is.

But Tea Party advocates — and I know there are a few here — you should be happy. The Democrats are starting to freak out a little bit just days before the election.

The iPod shuffle

Whenever, Wherever — Shakira

The Boys Of Summer — Don Henley

Come Rain Or Come Shine — Don Henley

Let It Be — Jennifer Hudson featuring The Roots

Wake Me Up When September Ends — Green Day

Morning News Report; Oct. 28, 2010

HUDSON/JACKSON, BRAXTON/LAROQUE GO HEAD-TO-HEAD

Debates between N.C. Senate D-10 candidates Dewey Hudson/Brent Jackson and N.C. House D-10 candidates Van Braxton/Stephen LaRoque took place last night at the TACC-9 studios in downtown Kinston. The debates were sponsored by The Free Press, TACC-9 and Lenoir Community College.

My take: It got testy at times between all four candidates, but overall, it was a good time for voters to hear the real issues — and cut through all the rhetoric and negative campaign ads.

I’m not going to declare winners and losers — heck, we were happy to have all four in one place (and that was pretty hard to do!) — but I don’t think anyone hurt themselves at all. It did get contentious a few times, especially when Hudson and Jackson went back and forth about their ads and when Braxton and LaRoque essentially called each other liars at one point. Good show — and it’s going to be replayed several times between now and Election Day on TACC-9, so make some time to watch it.

Speaking of TACC-9, time for a shameless plug — check out my appearance this week on the Reece Gardner Show where Reece and I talk for about 30 minutes about the election. We really delve into the meat of the election and I think it’s one of my best appearances on his excellent program.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE TIED TO PERDUE INVESTIGATION

Democrat Tate Johnson, who is running against Eric Rouse for the Lenoir County board of commissioners District 2 seat, has been mentioned in the ongoing investigation into Gov. Bev Perdue’s alleged illegal campaign flights in 2008.

My take: Not going to go into all the details — such as they are — so just go to David Anderson’s story in the link.

But when you cut to the chase, it appears there’s not a lot of substance to the original Carolina Journal report other than one receipt that allegedly has Johnson’s signature on it — one that he denies.

BRIGHT NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR

Arendell Parrott Academy football coach Bert Bright has been named the 2010 Carolina Colonial Conference coach of the year.

My take: He has turned around a program that had dropped a bit over the past couple of seasons and finds itself back in the playoffs with a 6-3 record. And he’s done it in a way APA football fans haven’t seen — through the air. No disrespect to any of the public school teams in our area, but I think Matt Hinson and Todd Bailey are, without question, the best QB-WR combination in The Free Press area.

Congratulations to Coach Bright and the Patriots coaching staff for this honor — it’s certainly deserved.

GIANTS JUMP ALL OVER RANGERS IN GAME 1 OF WS

It didn’t take San Francisco to take control of the 2010 World Series, as the Giants rolled over the Texas Rangers, 11-7, in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.

My take: Yep, my awesome MLB prognostication “skills” reared their ugly head again. But honestly — who expects a slugfest when Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum are on the mound?

The iPod shuffle

Hit It Run — Run-D.M.C.

Break ‘Em Off Some — Cypress Hill

Lady — Kenny Rogers

I’ll Stick Around — Foo Fighters

Sledgehammer — Peter Gabriel

Pick these games, Week 11

Prep

North Lenoir at South Johnston

South Lenoir at Clinton

Parrott Academy at Rocky Mount Academy

Greene Central at SW Edgecombe

Pamlico at Jones Senior

College

East Carolina at Central Florida

Northwestern at Indiana

Florida at Georgia

Michigan at Penn State

Oregon at Southern Cal

NFL

Carolina at St. Louis 

Washington at Detroit

Miami at Cincinnati

Denver vs. San Francisco (in London)

Pittsburgh at New Orleans

Standings after Week 10

Folks were all over the board last week — and as a result, there is a new No. 1 in our overall standings.

Eastern’s solid 10-5 week propelled him to No. 1. B (Brent Pelletier) had another tough week (dude, I’ve pulled the hex off!) and is a game back in a second-place tie.

PantherFan2, J. Taplie Coile and Jourbet tied for the best week at 12-3; PF2 missed South Lenoir’s upset of Jax N’Side in preps, Missouri’s upset of Oklahoma in college and Carolina’s win over San Francisco in the NFL. Tap’s only miscues were Mizzou/OU, Washington’s win against Chicago and the New York Football Giants over Dallas. Jourbet missed SL/N’Side, APA/CC and Texas Tech beating Colorado.

PeteyPablo and Tap were the only perfectos in preps while SpareTime, Ryan Herman and Jourbet were the only ones perfect in the NFL. No one was perfect in college.

By far, the hardest game to pick last week was South Lenoir’s upset — only PeteyPablo, Trumpeting Penguin, The Kid and Tap got it right.

Here are the standings — as always, a big ol’ thank-you to the most incredible woman in the world, my HB, for helping me with this every week!

Rank (LW)                               OA wins        This week

1. (2) Eastern                             103-47 (.687)       10-5 (.667)

T2. (1) B                                      102-48 (.680)       8-7 (.533)

T2. (3) Heelatious                     102-48 (.680)       11-4 (.733)

4. (T4) Jagshouse                     100-50 (.667)       11-4 (.733) 

T5. (T10) Taplie Coile              99-51 (.660)       12-3 (.800)

T5. (T4) Jeff Howard               99-51 (.660)        10-5 (.667) 

T7. (T6) Diamondheels            98-52 (.653)       10-5 (.667)

T7. (T14) Jourbet                    98-52 (.653)       12-3 (.800)

T7. (T6) PeteyPablo                98-52 (.653)        10-5 (.667)

10. (T10) Bealestbuc               97-53 (.647)       10-5 (.667)

T11. (T6) Randy Capps            96-54 (.640)       8-7 (.533)

T11. (T6) Kelly Rouse             96-54 (.640)       8-7 (.533)

T13. (T10) Jacque Strapp         95-55 (.633)       8-7 (.533) 

T13. (T10) Lesboulez                95-55 (.633)       8-7 (.533)

T13. (T14) Smokin’ Aces          95-55 (.633)       9-6 (.600)

T16. (18) Comet65                    94-56 (.627)       10-5 (.667)

T16. (T16) Deep Run Dynasty 94-56 (.627)       9-6 (.600)

T16. (T16) Purplehaze              94-56 (.627)       9-6 (.600)

T19. (T25) PantherFan2         93-57 (.620)       12-3 (.800)

T19. (19) Sparetime                 93-57 (.620)       10-5 (.667)

T21. (T20) Canyoureadthis    92-58 (.613)       10-5 (.667)

T21. (T20) Hanks                     92-58 (.613)       10-5 (.667)

T21. (T20) JWade                   92-58 (.613)        10-5 (.667)

T24. (T25) Blake H.                   90-60 (.600)       9-6 (.600) 

T24. (T20) The Kid                 90-60 (.600)       8-7 (.533)

T24. (T20) Greg Melvin         90-60 (.600)       8-7 (.533)

27. (28) RJarman                    89-46 (.659)       10-5 (.667)

28. (29) John Q. Awesome    89-61 (.593)       11-4 (.733)

29. (27) Horns                         87-58 (.600)       7-3 (.700)

30. (T30) Rousehouse          85-65 (.567)       9-6 (.600)

31. (34) RA Jones                  84-51 (.622)       11-4 (.733)

32. (T30) JDog                       83-67 (.553)         7-8 (.467)

T33. (T32) Omega_07solo   82-53 (.607)       8-7 (.533)

T33. (T32) Jackson               82-53 (.607)       8-7 (.533)

35. (37) Ryan Herman              80-63 (.559)       10-5 (.667)

36. (35) TrumpetingPenguin 77-73 (.513)       5-10 (.333)

37. (36) GWhitley                   70-50 (.583)         —–

38. (38) JDawson                    69-51 (.575)        9-6 (.600)

39. (39) Shandshp                     65-40 (.619)      7-8 (.467)

40. (40) ECPirates11                 54-36 (.600)       —–

41. (41) Johnny Kennedy      52-38 (.578)       —– 

42. (42) TAH&KDH 7/6/10     48-27 (.640)      —–

43. (43) COliver                         44-31 (.587)       —–

44. (44) TwinFan                       39-21 (.650)       —–

45. (45) TateMooring              37-23 (.617)       —–

46. (46) Southside53                34-26 (.567)      —–

47. (47) DeepRunPirate           32-28 (.533)       —–

48. (48) JonMassey                  27-18 (.600)       —–

49. (49) Highway 24                  22-8 (.733)       —–

50. (50) Bward                           12-3 (.800)       —–

51. (51) Antoinem45                  10-5 (.667)       —–

52. (52) Heelsfan                         7-8 (.467)       —–

Morning News Report; Oct. 27, 2010

Man, I’ve missed you guys…

FORUM IS SUCCESSFUL; WORLD PREPARES FOR TONIGHT’S DEBATES

Last night’s forum featuring candidates for Lenoir County Clerk of Court, the school board and board of commissioners, along with N.C. Senate D-12 was a pretty big success, with all but two candidates (clerk candidate Kim Allison and Senate candidate William Wainwright) showing up at TACC-9 studios.

The main event is tonight as N.C. Senate D-10 candidates Brent Jackson and Dewey Hudson face off in a debate at 7:30 p.m., followed by N.C. House D-10 candidates Van Braxton and Stephen LaRoque battle at 8:30. The debates will be aired by TACC-9; my boss, Patrick Holmes, is moderating Jackson-Hudson, while I am handling the duties for Braxton-LaRoque.

My take: As well as last night went — and it was pretty crisp and moved along pretty well (I thought) — tonight’s going to be even better.

The candidates are going to be behind lecterns and the format of the event is an old-school debate style — opening statements, questions back and forth and closing statements.

I really think it’s going to be an opportunity to see these candidates live — away from the negative commercials that have dominated these races. Should be a lot of fun and I hope to see a lot of you out there. If not, please tune in to TACC-9 at 7:30 for the festivities.

CELTICS COOL THE HEAT

The 2010-11 NBA season tipped off last night with the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Miami LeBrons, 88-80.

My take: Yeah, yeah … I know it’s only one game, but it does my heart good to know everyone is not going to roll over for the LeBrons. I did like the “Siiiiiiiiiiide-kick” chant for LeBron, though!

It did bother me, though, how the ESPN talking heads tried to gaffe it off as “Well, they only played together for 3 minutes in the preseason.” Whatever. ESPN helped create this “monster,” now it’s trying to make excuses for them, headed by Rachel Nichols, the ugliest “pretty girl” the four-letter network tries to shove down our throats:

102710-rachel-nichols.jpg 

Evidently, there’s another, MUCH hotter Rachel Nichols out there on the interwebs, who is going to be in a new “Conan the Barbarian” movie:

102710-the-much-hotter-rachel-nichols.jpg 

ESPN needs to hire HER. Can I get an amen?

WORLD SERIES BEGINS TONIGHT

The Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants start the 2010 World Series tonight with Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum facing off in what could be one of the all-time pitching match-ups in Series history.

My take: My MLB postseason prognosticating skills have been AWFUL this year (I had the Phillies and Yankees in the Series), but I’ll go with the Rangers in 6 for what it’s worth.

The iPod shuffle

Ho — Ludacris

Man Of Steel — Hank Williams Jr.

Air Force Ones — Nelly

Tho Dem Wrappas — Nelly

Lust For Life — Iggy Pop

P.S.: Check out Flagan’s latest guest column – again, great work, my friend!

P.P.S.S.: Doing my damndest to post pick ‘em standings and the picks — will get both up shortly. Thanks for all the e-mails and concern, seriously! Good to know you guys and gals care.