Pick these games, Week 16

Prep playoffs

Pender at SW Onslow

East Bladen at Tarboro

Eastern Alamance at Havelock

Northern Guilford at Wilson Hunt

New Bern at Durham Hillside

College

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

Florida State vs. Virginia Tech

Auburn vs. South Carolina

Connecticut at South Florida

Nebraska vs. Oklahoma

NFL

Chicago at Detroit

Atlanta at Tampa Bay

St. Louis at Arizona

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

N.Y. Jets at New England

Standings after Week 15

Another extremely balanced week as an 11-4 mark turned in by The Kid was the best record of the week. TK’s only misses were SMU over ECU and Maryland over N.C. State in college, along with Minnesota over Washington and San Diego over Indianapolis in the NFL. He was also the only player last week to go 5-0 in preps.

The overall leader is still Eastern, who finished 10-5 last week with seven others. His sterling 155-70 record is four games better than Heelatious (also 10-5 last week) and about six better than B (Brent Pelletier).

The hardest game to pick was the Maryland-N.C. State contest — not a single one of 31 players last week got it right. The second-hardest game was Pender’s upset of Goldsboro in the prep playoffs; only The Kid, Horns, Deep Run Dynasty, Taplie Coile and Jacque Strappe got it right.

Here are the standings; as always, a big thanks to the Hot Blonde, who helps me put this together every week.

Leaders by percentage (min. 210 games selected)

Rank (LW)

1. (1) Eastern                 155-70 (.689)

2. (3) Heelatious            151-74 (.671)

3. (2) B                            139-71 (.662)

4. (T5) Jagshouse          148-77 (.658)

T5.  (4) Taplie Coile       147-78 (.653) 

T5. (T5) Jeff Howard    147-78 (.653)

T7. (8) PeteyPablo           146-79 (.649)

T7. (9) Diamondheels    146-79 (.649)

9. (7) RJarman               136-74 (.648)

10. (10) JWade              144-81 (.640)

Leaders by total wins

Rank (LW)                          OA wins           This week

1. (1) Eastern                    155-70 (.689)       10-5 (.667)

2. (2) Heelatious               151-74 (.671)         10-5 (.667)

3. (T4) Jagshouse             148-77 (.658)       10-5 (.667)

T4. (3) Taplie Coile          147-78 (.653)        8-7 (.533)

T4. (T4) Jeff Howard       147-78 (.653)       9-6 (.600)

T6. (7) Diamondheels       146-79 (.649)        10-5 (.667)

T6. (6) PeteyPablo            146-79 (.649)       9-6 (.600)

8. (8) JWade                      144-81 (.640)       10-5 (.667)

9. (T9) Sparetime              142-83 (.631)       9-6 (.600)

10. (T12) Canyoureadthis   141-84 (.627)       10-5 (.667)

T11. (T9) Bealestbuc           140-85 (.622)      7-8 (.467)

T11. (T12) Hanks                 140-85 (.622)       9-6 (.600)

13. (11) B                               139-71 (.662)        7-8 (.467)

14. (T12) Smokin’ Aces       139-86 (.618)        8-7 (.533)

T15. (T12) Jourbet              138-87 (.613)        7-8 (.467)

T15. (16) Kelly Rouse         138-87 (.613)       9-6 (.600)

T15. (T18) The Kid             138-87 (.613)        11-4 (.733)

18. (17) RJarman                136-74 (.648)       8-7 (.533)

T19. (T21) Randy Capps    134-91 (.596)        9-6 (.600)

T19. (20) Jacque Strapp     134-91 (.596)       8-7 (.533)

T19. (T18) John Q. Awesome 134-91 (.596)         7-8 (.467)

T19. (T21) Greg Melvin         134-91 (.596)         9-6 (.600)

23. (23) Blake H.                     133-92 (.591)         9-6 (.600) 

24. (24) Horns                         131-84 (.609)        8-7 (.533)

25. (25) Lesboulez                  130-80 (.619)       8-7 (.533)

26. (T27) Jackson                   129-81 (.614)        10-5 (.667)

27. (26) Deep Run Dynasty   127-83 (.605)       7-8 (.467)

28. (30) Comet65                      124-86 (.590)        8-7 (.533)

29. (29) Rousehouse                 124-101 (.551)        7-8 (.467)

30. (34) GWhitley                     121-74 (.621)       10-5 (.667)

31. (32) JDog                             120-105 (.533)        7-8 (.467)

32. (T27) PantherFan2             119-76 (.610)      —–

33. (31) Ryan Herman               116-87 (.571)         —–

34. (33) Purplehaze                    112-68 (.622)      —–

35. (35) TrumpetingPenguin     107-103 (.510)       —–

36. (36) Shandshp                           93-57 (.620)          —–

37. (37) Omega_07solo                  90-60 (.600)           —–

38. (38) RA Jones                            84-51 (.622)          —–

39. (39) JDawson                            81-69 (.540)          —–

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)          —–

Afternoon News Report; Nov. 30, 2010

K-TRIBE NAMES NEW GM

And his name is Ben Jones, who has been involved with the Wilson Tobs for the past few years.

My take: Good luck to him — he has some mighty big shoes to fill in Shari Massengill (and North Johnson before that).

FOX NEWS USES ONION STORY AS REAL STORY

Fox News used a fake Onion story as a real story on its website, drawing much ridicule and scorn before taking it down.

My take: Bet that person who did that loses their job (or is, at the very least, demoted). Check out the link, though — it’s hilarious that some people really thought it was real!

And now Fox News and the communist Chinese government have something in common: both have used Onion stories and tried to pass them off as legit. Hilarious.

HATCHER NO LONGER A CATCHER

Kinston’s Chris Hatcher, who made his MLB debut as a catcher this season, will now be transformed into a pitcher by the Florida Marlins.

My take: How many players — outside of Rick Ankiel and Babe Ruth — can say they’ve made the show as both an everyday player and a pitcher? Good for Chris; I can’t wait to see him on TV mowing down batters!

The iPod shuffle

Throwing It All Away — Genesis

Blue Eyes — Elton John

Believe It Or Not — Nickelback

What I’ve Done — Linkin Park

Everybody’s Talkin’ — Harry Nilsson

P.S.: Got some very sad news about a dear friend; MaryMac Ritch, one of Kinston’s all-timers, is gravely ill. Her family is with her and she’s being kept comfortable, according to a mutual friend. I ask that you toss a prayer up to the Big Guy for Ms. Ritch — one of the nicest people I’ve met in Kinston.

Morning News Report; Nov. 29, 2010

LESLIE NIELSEN DIES AT AGE 84

One of the best comedic actors of the 20th century, Leslie Nielsen, died yesterday at 84. He was best known for his roles in “Airplane” and the “Naked Gun” series of movies.

My take: Those movies are the kind, for me, that if they’re on HBO or even on a basic cable or over-the-air channel, I have to stop and watch.

One of my favorite scenes from the first “Naked Gun”:

RIP, Lt. Drebin.

ANDRE JOHNSON BEATS THE CRAP OUT OF SOMEONE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

In an otherwise boring 20-0 rout for Houston over Tennessee yesterday, Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson — normally a mild-mannered sort — beat the snot out of Cortland Finnegan late in the game.

The fight:

My take: I really follow football … and had never heard of Finnegan. But one thing is for sure — I bet he doesn’t talk crap to Andre Johnson again!

TCU TO JOIN BIG EAST

It’s official: TCU is become a full member of the Big East Conference.

My take: Seriously? Texas Christian University … in the Big EAST?

Geez.

I know there was some chatter out there about ECU joining the Big East, but you would have to think this would hurt the Pirates’ chances.

I still think Miami and Boston College should be kicked out of the ACC, though, and replaced by ECU and Charlotte. My 49ers will be playing football in 2013 and Lord knows they’ll be as good as Virginia, Duke and Wake Forest before too long.

The iPod shuffle

It Takes Two — Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock

My Band — D12

Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress — The Hollies

Nikita — Elton John

Angel Of Harlem — U2

P.S.: Our two blog survival pool finalists, Heelatious and Brent Pelletier, both picked the N.Y. Jets to win on Thursday … and both won for the 12th straight week! Guys there are a lot of national contests you two could’ve entered and made a hell of a lot of money, so keep up the great work.

Received a few more payments this week, but Jagshouse, Purplehaze, Jourbet, Beale St. Buc, Jonathan Massey and BHatcher still owe your $5 fee.

Here are the picks for the guys so far this season; get your picks to me by noon on Sunday.

1. Heelatious (N.Y. Giants, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Kansas City, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, San Diego, N.Y. Jets):

2. Brent Pelletier (N.Y. Giants, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Kansas City, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, San Diego, N.Y. Jets):

Standings after Week 14

A very balanced week as nine players (Smokin’ Aces, Jackson, Canyoureadthis, Taplie, PeteyPablo, Jagshouse, Sparetime, BealeStBuc and Ryan Herman) went 11-4. As a result, Eastern — who went 10-5 — held on to the overall No. 1 spot over B (who didn’t get his picks in) and Heelatious.

No one went undefeated in preps or college, but 10 (John Q. Awesome, Smokin’ Aces, Jackson, Canyoureadthis, PeteyPablo, Sparetime, BealeStBuc, Ryan Herman, Jeff Howard and Horns) were perfect in the NFL.

The toughest pick of the week was Rice’s upset of ECU — no one got it right. The second toughest one was Ayden-Grifton’s win over Gates County, where only seven players — John Q. Awesome, Jacque Strappe, Taplie, JWade, BealeStBuc, JDog and RouseHouse — were correct.

As always, thanks to the wonderful HB for helping me put this together.

Leaders by percentage (min. 195 games selected)

Rank (LW)

1. (1) Eastern                 145-65 (.690) 

2. (2) B                            132-63 (.677)

3. (3) Heelatious            141-69 (.671)

4. (T5) Taplie Coile       139-71 (.662)

T5. (T5) Jeff Howard    138-72 (.657)

T5. (T7) Jagshouse        138-72 (.657)

7. (4) RJarman               128-67 (.656)

8. (9) PeteyPablo           137-73 (.652)

9. (T7) Diamondheels    136-74 (.648) 

10. (10) JWade              134-76 (.638)

Leaders by total wins

Rank (LW)                          OA wins           This week

1. (1) Eastern                    145-65 (.690)       10-5 (.667)

2. (3) Heelatious               141-69 (.671)         10-5 (.667)

3. (T4) Taplie Coile          139-71 (.662)        11-4 (.733)

T4. (T4) Jeff Howard       138-72 (.657)       10-5 (.667)

T4. (T6) Jagshouse          138-72 (.657)       11-4 (.733)

6. (8) PeteyPablo              137-73 (.652)       11-4 (.733)

7. (T6) Diamondheels       136-74 (.648)        9-6 (.600)

8. (9) JWade                      134-76 (.638)       10-5 (.667)

T9. (T10) Bealestbuc        133-77 (.633)      11-4 (.733)

T9. (T10) Sparetime         133-77 (.633)       11-4 (.733)

11. (3) B                               132-63 (.677)        —–

T12. (T16) Canyoureadthis   131-79 (.624)       11-4 (.733)

T12. (T13) Hanks                   131-79 (.624)       10-5 (.667)

T12. (T13) Jourbet                 131-79 (.624)        10-5 (.667)

T12. (T16) Smokin’ Aces       131-79 (.624)        11-4 (.733)

16. (T16) Kelly Rouse             129-81 (.614)       9-6 (.600)

17. (15) RJarman                    128-67 (.656)       8-7 (.533)

T18. (T21) John Q. Awesome   127-83 (.605)         9-6 (.600)

T18. (T21) The Kid                   127-83 (.605)        9-6 (.600)

20. (T23) Jacque Strapp           126-84 (.600)       9-6 (.600)

T21. (T23) Randy Capps           125-85 (.595)        8-7 (.533)

T21. (T23) Greg Melvin            125-85 (.595)         8-7 (.533)

23. (26) Blake H.                        124-86 (.590)         8-7 (.533) 

24. (27) Horns                            123-77 (.615)        9-1 (.900)

25. (T10) Lesboulez                  122-73 (.626)       —–

26. (T16) Deep Run Dynasty   120-75 (.615)       —–

T27. (T29) Jackson                    119-76 (.610)        11-4 (.733)

T27. (20) PantherFan2              119-76 (.610)      —–

29. (31) Rousehouse                    117-93 (.557)        9-6 (.600)

30. (T29) Comet65                      116-79 (.595)        8-7 (.533)

31. (32) Ryan Herman                116-87 (.571)         11-4 (.733)

32. (33) JDog                               113-97 (.538)        9-6 (.600)

33. (28) Purplehaze                   112-68 (.622)      —–

34. (34) GWhitley                        111-69 (.617)       9-6 (.600)

35. (35) TrumpetingPenguin     107-103 (.510)         8-7 (.533)

36. (36) Shandshp                           93-57 (.620)          —–

37. (37) Omega_07solo                  90-60 (.600)           —–

38. (38) RA Jones                            84-51 (.622)          —–

39. (39) JDawson                            81-69 (.540)          —–

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)          —–

My picks, Week 15

Make you own picks here (even if you forgot the ECU game started at 2!)

Prep playoffs

SW Onslow 42, Ayden-Grifton 21

Tarboro 24, East Duplin 20

Goldsboro 28, Pender 24

Elizabeth City Northeastern 27, Bunn 14

Northern Nash 34, Wilson Hunt 31

College

SMU

N.C. State

UNC

Florida State

South Carolina

NFL

Washington

Green Bay

Kansas City

Indianapolis

San Francisco

P.S.: Working on putting last week’s standings up soon!

Hot, fresh ECU tickets here (with winners)!

I have a few pairs of ECU football tickets for Friday’s 2 p.m. game with SMU — and I want to give them to you! Hit my e-mail up at bhanks@freedomenc.com with “ECU tickets” in the subject line; I’ll draw for them at 3 p.m. today.

I’ll also have a four-pack of tickets to the game I’ll be giving away at tonight’s South Lenoir-Kinston basketball game — be sure to listen well to the P.A., because I’ll give them out sometime during the game.

Also — I have eight tickets to tonight’s ECU/Lenoir-Rhyne basketball game and I’ll give them away first-come, first-served. Again, hit my e-mail and they’re yours!

UPDATE 3 P.M.: Ticket winners –

Four basketball tickets and two football tickets: K.K. Wynn and Adam Spence

Two football tickets each: Scott Smith, Chris Lavender and Michael Goff

I have e-mailed all of the winners, but if you haven’t received your e-mail yet, you can pick up the tickets at our front desk until 5:30 p.m. today. Or if you’re coming to the South Lenoir-Kinston game tonight, I can bring them with me to give to you there.

Congrats, guys — and thanks for supporting the blog!

Morning News Report; Nov. 24, 2010

HAWKS DOWN BLUE DEVILS IN OT TO OPEN 2010-11 SEASON; COMMUNITY SUPPORTS CORBIN

North Lenoir and South Lenoir got the 2010-11 season off to a great start as the Hawks overcame poor shooting to defeat the Blue Devils, 67-58 in overtime in Wheat Swamp last night.

My take: And what an awesome start to a season! It keeps going tonight as South Lenoir visits Kinston in the Vikings’ first game in its 2A title defense and the Hawks play at home against North Lenoir. The Hawks and Vikings hook up Friday night in Kinston.

I can’t believe there are this many great games in the first week of the season. And I’m honored again to be the P.A. voice of the Vikings, so come by and say howdy tonight and Friday.

On another sidenote — our community really came together again last night in raising money for Corbin Hawkins, a North Lenoir senior student-athlete who is in a tough fight with leukemia as I write this. Thanks to our good friend Jonathan Davis (Heelsfan), who helped put together a 50/50 drawing that ended up with $950 — and kudos to North Lenoir student John Delaney who won his half ($475), then promptly turned around and donated it back to the family! John is the son of Pat Delaney, the manager of the Plaza Piggly Wiggly; according to JD, the Delaneys bought more than 200 tickets with the goal of donating the money back to the Hawkins family.

JD also told me there is a meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the NL auditorium for parents and students who want to help plan a fund-raiser. If you can make it, please do so.

I am asked all the time what I love about Lenoir County … well, this is why. I’ve been all over the state and I’ve NEVER seen a community come together the way this one does. Yes, I’m in love with Lenoir County and I’m proud of it. Thanks for the way we take care of ours!

EASLEY GETS AWAY WITH SLAP ON THE WRIST

Former N.C. Gov. Mike Easley pled guilty to a felony yesterday – and was fined $1,000.

Yep, that’s it.

My take: Sure, he’s the first former governor convicted of a felony — and that hurts his ego, maybe — but for the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent investigating him and this is what emerges? Whatever he paid his lawyer(s) was certainly worth it.

He doesn’t even lose his right to vote, although, as a convicted felon, he had to submit a DNA sample and loses the right to carry a firearm.

All-in-all, he got off pretty easy.

HEAT CUTS STACKHOUSE; CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE

The Miami Heat cut Kinston’s Jerry Stackhouse yesterday; he averaged 1.7 points, 1 rebound and shot 25 percent in the seven games he played in this year.

The Heat continue to struggle — losing to lowly Indiana at home, 93-77, Monday night to fall to 8-6. They play at Orlando tonight.

My take: It couldn’t happen to a better group of guys. I was holding back my vitriol because of Stackhouse playing for them, but now that they’ve cut him … I hope they go .500 or worse this year. Please, Lord … let that happen.

What is hilarious to me, though, are all those “experts” who said the Heat were going to win 70 games in the regular season. Let’s see, if my math is right, the LeBrons have to go 62-6 the rest of the way. Anyone want to put money on the fact THAT isn’t going to happen?

The iPod shuffle

Deacon Blues — Steely Dan

I’ve Got You Under My Skin — Frank Sinatra & Bono

Truck Volume — Busta Rhymes

Drop The World — Lil’ Wayne & Eminem

Don’t Treat Me Bad — Firehouse