My picks, Week 6

Prep

Kinston 34, Farmville Central 8

Erwin Triton 42, North Lenoir 14

Topsail 24, South Lenoir 20

Tarboro 28, Greene Central 14

Southampton, Va. 34, Parrott Academy 32

College

UNC

Wake Forest

Michigan State

Texas A&M

Colorado

NFL

Dallas

Washington

Minnesota

New England

Baltimore

ECU-UNC ticket silent auction update

HUGE update for our UNC-ECU ticket silent auction — I now have three pairs of tickets to Saturday night’s game; the current bid is $100 for a pair (they’re valued at $120).

As I said Wednesday, the money raised by these tickets is going to go towards helping a needy family at Christmas. It’s a project we do every year in conjunction with the Salvation Army.

SO — get your bid in! You have until 2 p.m.! Email me at bhanks@freedomenc.com or leave a comment with this post.

ECU, UNC to continue football series in 2012, 2013

From ECU’s Sports Media Information Director:

EAST CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA TO CONTINUE FOOTBALL SERIES THROUGH 2013

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina and North Carolina have agreed to a two-year home-and-home football series in 2012 and 2013 according to a joint announcement by both institutions Thursday.

The Pirates and Tar Heels, who will also meet at 8 p.m. Saturday at ECU’s sold-out Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, will continue a series that began in 1972 and currently spans 13 games. The new agreement includes a visit to Kenan Stadium on Sept. 22, 2012 before UNC returns to Greenville on Sept. 28, 2013.

“It remains important for us to maintain ties to our regional rivals and continuing our football relationship with North Carolina certainly is in line with that,” East Carolina Director of Athletics Terry Holland said. “The anticipation and excitement make this a tough ticket in both stadiums and creates interest throughout the region.”

Saturday’s contest will mark the third-straight year the two programs have met, but the first at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium since the Pirates’ 34-31 victory in 2007.

My take: Outstanding news for both institutions and programs. With ECU perhaps on the verge of joining the Big East, this has been a big news week for Pirate Nation.

Afternoon News Report; Sept. 29, 2011

CARDINALS, RAYS EARN MLB’S WILD CARD BERTHS

Thanks to massive meltdowns by the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Devil Rays won the National League and American League wildcards, respectively.

The MLB playoffs begin tomorrow with Tampa Bay at Texas and Detroit at the N.Y. Yankees; Saturday’s NL postseason starts with Arizona at Milwaukee and St. Louis at Philadelphia.

My take: There are some who are claiming last night was one of the best in MLB history. I wouldn’t disagree with them.

While it was a pretty big surprise the Red Sox faded the way they did, I wasn’t that shocked at Atlanta. Boston was expected by virtually everyone to win the AL and even the World Series, while many didn’t even have Atlanta going to the playoffs.

But to lose out the way both did — squandering huge leads in the wild card race in the final few weeks of the regular season and collapsing in the 162nd game of their seasons – has left bad tastes in their fans’ mouths.

Don’t believe me? Check out Twitter — which almost exploded last night when the Cardinals and Rays clinched.

I know one thing — there are a lot of Braves and Red Sox fans who had a tough time getting up this morning and facing a world in which their teams blew chances to be in the postseason.

PERDUE WAS JOKING? MAYBE?

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue is taking a lot of heat from all over the nation for her comments that the U.S. Congress should suspend elections for a couple of years so members could concentrate more on helping folks instead of seeking reelection.

My take: For someone already facing a tough reelection cycle herself — against former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory again — this was poor timing on her part.

Did she mean it? I think there was probably a kernel of truth there, but I don’t think she wants to stop the political process like many Republicans would lead you to believe. As always, politicans on BOTH sides of the aisle will try to bend something to fit their agenda — and that’s what is happening here.

REYES TAKES EASY WAY OUT TO BATTING TITLE

N.Y. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes won the National League batting title yesterday when he bunt-singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning — and then pulled himself from the game to protect his (at that time) 2-point lead. It worked, too, as Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun was 0-for-4 to finish 5 back from Reyes.

My take: Disgusting. As good as last night was (as seen above), this is the reason some folks can’t stand professional baseball — for selfish wusses like Reyes.

Instead of winning the title like a man, Reyes disrespected the memory of true athletes like Ted Williams, who won the batting title in 1941 – just before he headed off to fight for our country in WWII — by going 6-for-8 in a doubleheader on the final day of the season. Williams could’ve sat out the games and finished with a .400 average but he wouldn’t settle for that.

HOLLY MADISON INSURES HER ASSETS

Some “reality” “star” named Holly Madison has insured her bosoms for $1 million. Or should the “bosom” be singular? I can never remember.

My take: Nope, I’d never heard of her, either — but here’s a look at her and her million dollar boobies:

Click on the photo for a better view.

The iPod shuffle

Another Day In Paradise — Phil Collins

Nightswimming — R.E.M.

Baby Be Mine — Michael Jackson

Nellyville — Nelly

Fight For All The Wrong Reasons — Nickelback

Standings after Week 5

Gotta admit: I like it when the guy/gal who has the best week jumps to first place overall — and it happened last week when Lee was the only one to turn in a 12-3 week and is now in first place overall.

He leads Jackson (11-4 last week) by one game, three-time blog pick ‘em champ JWade (11-4) by three games and me (11-4) by four games. There is a crazy nine-way tie for fifth place, five games out of first place.

Lee was one of only two players (Randy Capps was the other) to finish undefeated in college; his only misses were C.B. Aycock over North Lenoir and Parrott Academy over Raleigh St. David’s in prep along with Tampa Bay over Atlanta in the NFL.

Nine of us — Deep Run Dynasty, Horns, Eastern, Jacque Strappe, John Q. Awesome, Smokin’ Aces, B, Jagshouse and I — were undefeated in preps while only one — Trumpeting Penguin — was perfect in the NFL.

The toughest game of the week was the Tampa win over Atlanta in which only five players — Trumpeting Penguin, Taplie Coile, Jackson, Ryan Herman and I — got it right.

As alway, a big thank-you to the love of my life, The Hot Blonde, for helping me with the standings. Any mistakes here are mine, not hers.

Rank (LW)                               OA record      Last weeek

1. (T1) Lee                                55-20 (.733)       12-3 (.800)

2. (T1) Jackson                         54-21 (.720)      11-4 (.733)

3. (T4) JWade                           52-23 (.693)      11-4 (.733)

4. (T6) Hanks                            51-24 (.680)    11-4 (.733)

T5. (T6) BealeStBuc                 50-25 (.667)       10-5 (.667)

T5. (T6) BehindTheCounter   50-25 (.667)     10-5 (.667)

T5. (T11) Deep Run Dynasty     50-25 (.667)       11-4 (.733)

T5. (T6) Eastern                         50-25 (.667)      10-5 (.667)

T5. (T11) Heelatious                  50-25 (.667)    11-4 (.733)

T5. (T6) Ryan Herman           50-25 (.667)     10-5 (.667)

T5. (T1) Jourbet                            50-25 (.667)     7-8 (.467)

T5. (T4) The Kid                        50-25 (.667)     9-6 (.600)

T5. (T11) PeteyPablo                  50-25 (.667)    11-4 (.733)

T14. (T15) B                                    48-27 (.640)      10-5 (.667)

T14. (T17) JacqueStrappe          48-27 (.640)     11-4 (.733)

T14. (T15) Jagshouse                     48-27 (.633)    10-5 (.667)

T17. (T17) Smokin’ Aces               47-28 (.627)    10-5 (.667)

T17. (T11) Jeff Howard                   47-28 (.627)     8-7 (.533)

T19. (T21) ECPirates11               46-29 (.613)     10-5 (.667)

T19. (T17) RouseHouse               46-29 (.613)     9-6 (.600)

T21. (T17) Canyoureadthis        45-30 (.600)     8-7 (.533)

T21. (T23) Horns                        45-30 (.600)     10-5 (.667)

23. (T26) John Q Awesome      44-31 (.587)     10-5 (.667)

T24. (T23) Comet65                    43-32 (.573)     8-7 (.533)

T24. (T26) Blake H.                     43-32 (.573)      9-6 (.600)

T24. (T21) Shandsp                     43-32 (.573)     7-8 (.467)

T24. (T23) TrumpetingPenguin 43-32 (.573)   8-7 (.533)

28. (31) Randy Capps                  42-18 (.700)    11-4 (.733)

29. (T29) RJarman                     42-33 (.560)       10-5 (.667)

30. (T29) Sealgirl                        40-35 (.533)     8-7 (.533)

31. (T32) Taplie Coile                  38-22 (.633)     10-5 (.667)

32. (T32) Kelly Rouse                  37-23 (.617)      9-6 (.600)

33. (28) CCPirate                         33-21 (.611)    —–

34. (34) Patriotflash                     28-17 (.622)     11-4 (.733)

35. (35) JDog                                 12-3 (.800)        —–

T36. (T36) Deep Run Pirate          10-5 (.667)       —–

T36. (T36) Wimpy57                      10-5 (.667)        —–

38. (38) Richard Clark                  9-6 (.600)         —–

39. (39) Lesboulez                           7-8 (.467)            —–

See UNC-ECU, hang with The Kid and help a needy family! (UPDATED)

We did this a few weeks back and made $100 for our Christmas family … so here we go again — I have two tickets to Saturday’s 8 p.m. football game between UNC and ECU at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville.

I’ll start the silent auction bidding at $80 for the $120 tickets — email me at bhanks@freedomenc.com and we’ll go from there. I’ll post updates for the prices here on this thread. The money raised will go to help a needy family at Christmas.

Here’s some added treats — whoever wins the bidding (which closes at 2 p.m. on Friday) will receive a pair of Free Press coffee mugs, a Free Press umbrella and will get to sit beside The Free Press’ very own Justin “The Kid” Hill, a UNC alum who will personally make sure this game is one you will never forget.

So — get on it and get your bids to me ASAP!

7:30 p.m.: There is a $100 bid! Get yours in!

Pick these games, Week 6

Prep

Kinston at Farmville Central

Erwin Triton at North Lenoir

Topsail at South Lenoir

Greene Central at Tarboro

Parrott Academy at Southampton, Va.

College

UNC at ECU

Wake Forest at Boston College

Michigan State at Ohio State

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M

Washington State at Colorado

NFL

Detroit at Dallas

Washington at St. Louis

Minnesota at Kansas City

New England at Oakland

N.Y. Jets at Baltimore

Morning News Report; Sept. 28, 2011

ANDY ROONEY RETIRING FROM ’60 MINUTES’

Longtime pseudo-columnist Andy Rooney is retiring his segment, which always airs last, from “60 Minutes.”

My take: Admittedly, I haven’t watched “60 Minutes” in more than a decade, but I always liked his dry wit and common sense. In fact, I like to refer to Jon Dawson as the Andy Rooney of The Free Press newsroom. OK, I’ve never actually said that, but it could be true.

IPHONE5 ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK

The announcement of the next round of the best smartphone on the market — the iPhone — will be made next Tuesday. Here’s a good round-up of all the rumors.

My take: I’ve owned two of the past three versions — the 3G and the 4 — but it’s probably going to be a few months before I grab the 5. However, if you want to see one, be sure to visit TACC-9 owner Clark Tutt — he always gets the newest one when they hit the shelves.

I’m not sure there’s going to be a huge rush this time around, though — the only significant addition is the A5 processor, the same one used in the iPad2. I’ll stick with my 4 for a minute and see what the fuss is all about.

FINAL DAY OF MLB SEASON — TWO TIED WILD CARD RACES

Today is the last day of MLB’s regular season — but the wild card races in each league is tied. The Atlanta Braves — who host Philadelphia at 7:10 p.m. today — and the St. Louis Cardinals — who play at Houston at 8:05 — are tied for the National League wildcard. If both are tied after today’s games, they’ll have a one-game playoff tomorrow at 8:07 p.m. in St. Louis.

The Boston Red Sox — who play at Baltimore at 7:05 p.m. today — and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays — who host the N.Y. Yankees at 7:10 p.m. — are tied for the American League wildcard. If both are tied after today’s games, they’ll have a one-game playoff at 4:07 p.m. tomorrow at the Rays’ home.

The iPod shuffle

Waiting On A Friend — The Rolling Stones

Boom — The Bloodhound Gang

Black And Yellow — Wiz Khalifa

Mysterious Ways (Solar Plexus Club Mix) — U2

Dancing In The Street — Van Halen

P.S.: Here’s the video from yesterday’s WNCT piece on our Catch A Criminal feature:

 

Thanks again to Tony Rawlings and the folks from WNCT for getting this information out there so we can clean up our streets!

Odds and ends

Some odds and ends for your perusal this afternoon:

  • I waspart of a WNCT CBS-9 report that was filed by Tony Rawlings about our Catch A Criminal program, in which we’ve seen 5 of the 7 folks listed become arrested; it’s thanks to the little bank and The Free Press. The report aired at 5:30 p.m. and in subsequent newscasts — I’ll pop a link to it soon.
  • I had the honor of meeting Comet 65 — Mark Meadows — 11 days ago at the North Lenoir-Cleveland game; his son is a lineman on the Cleveland junior varsity team. Mark has supported the blog since virtually its inception and it was a lot of fun talking to him the entire game. Here he is:

  • You’ve read my raves about Amanda Hickey’s Within Driving Distance blog and her articles in the Max Magazine portion of the Jacksonville Daily News. Sadly, she’s calling it quits with WDD, although she’ll still pop a press release up there occasionally. I still feel like this is one of the best features in Freedom ENC — you can catch up on some of Amanda’s travels by clicking on the link above or to the right.
  • A very, very happy birthday today to one of my favorite folks in Kinston — the venerable Reece Gardner. I truly believe there is not a single person in this town who is more positive than Mr. Gardner; I wish his positive attitude would rub off on more of us here and Kinston would be a much better place.

Morning News Report; Sept. 27, 2011

KINSTON RECORDS 10TH HOMICIDE OF 2011

A 54-year-old man lost his life Saturday night in what is believed to be another gang killing in east Kinston. Norris Cobb was the 10th victim of homicide in our city in 2011.

My take: We had had a brief respite from the killings for a month or so, but crime seems to have picked back up in the past couple of weeks. It’s time for the KDPS to get back out there on point — these kinds of senseless murders are going to literally kill Kinston.

NANCY GRACE HAS A WARDROBE MALFUNCTION

Everybody’s Most Hated Quasi-newswoman — Headline News’ Nancy Grace — jiggled the top of herself out of her dress on “Dancing With The Stars” last night.

My take: I’m not going to stoop to linking to a photo of the “incident” – although there are a million out there and they’re hardly PG-13.

But I’ll say this: it’s made me not want to have lunch today. So, there’s that.

GODLESS COWBOYS DEFEAT GOD-FEARING REDSKINS

Wrapping up a perfectly terrible sports weekend for yours truly, my Washington Redskins lost to Richard Clark’s Dallas Cowboys last night, 18-16. It ended a weekend in which my Cavahoos somehow, someway lost to the pride of Conference USA Southern Miss, 30-24.

My take: Geez. Go ahead, Cowboy Nation (include Will the Thrill) — take your shots now, ’cause when you bring your sorry team to D.C., you’re walking away with a loss.

Hopefully.

The iPod shuffle

All Summer Long — The Beach Boys

Next Contestant — Nickelback

Turn Off The Light — Nelly Furtado

Walking On The Moon — The Police

Time To Get Ill — Beastie Boys