Morning News Report; Feb. 21, 2011

SOMEONE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF WINS DAYTONA 500

… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Trevor Bayne, who turned 20 on Saturday, won Sunday’s 53rd running of the Great American Race at Daytona. Bayne drove a Ford owned by the Wood Brothers, one of the great families in NASCAR. It was only Bayne’s second start in the Winston Nextel Sprint Cup Series.

My take: And yes, I watched a good chunk of it because of the young man up front. I grew up a Ford fan but (as many of you know) have fallen out of love with the sport over the past few years for many reasons I won’t bore you with here.

But yesterday was old school — and a joy to watch (other than Darrell Waltrip’s stupid yammering). The kid was genuinely excited, the racing was good (I, for one, don’t mind the two-by-two racing; it beats the hell out of 10-car drafts) and, for one day at least, NASCAR was fun … which it hasn’t been in a long time.

DUKE WINS, LIKELY TO ASCEND TO NO. 1 AGAIN

Duke easily defeated Georgia Tech last night in Durham; with the No. 5 Blue Devils winning — and the top four teams losing — it’s likely Duke will be No. 1 again when the polls are released.

My take: Like last year, there’s not a breakaway No. 1 or national champion contender, which means we’re going to have a heck of a NCAA Tournament.

‘UNKNOWN’ TOPS WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

Liam Neeson helped lead “Unknown” to the top of the weekend box office; in its first week, the action thriller finished with $21.8 million in receipts, narrowly defeating “I Am Number Four,” which had $19.5 million and ”Gnomeo & Juliet” ($19.4 million). “Just Go With It” was fourth with $18.2 million and “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son” ($17 million) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

My take: I wouldn’t mind seeing “Unknown,” although it looks nearly identical to “Taken,” another Neeson movie that came out last year — and it wasn’t bad. However, when is Martin Lawrence going to stop making Big Momma movies? Seriously, who watches those?

The iPod shuffle

Burning Love — Elvis Presley

Something — The Beatles

Hustlin’ — Rick Ross

Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny — The Bloodhound Gang

You May Be Right — Billy Joel

P.S.: I spoke too soon … in yesterday’s column, I announced I’d be back today at The Free Press. I’ve had a setback, as now I’m having severe muscle spasms in the middle of my back; I’m unable to take a deep breath without a lot of pain. So I’m heading back to the doc this a.m. (when I get a call back). I’ll keep you guys up to date.

One Response to Morning News Report; Feb. 21, 2011

  1. Flagan says:

    I hope you get a good prognosis and recover soon.

    My condolences to Lee’s family.

    Yesterday’s race was my favorite in many years. I, like you, grew up a Ford fan. Even more explicitly, a David Pearson/Woods Brothers fan. To have the Woods Brothers win the Daytona 500 in the year that David Pearson is going into the Hall of Fame and have a paint scheme made famous by Pearson on the car was fairy tale stuff. I held my breath the last lap waiting for someone to blow by for the win. As you know, the leader entering the last lap never wins this race. The winning move was when he left Labonte and moved in front of Edwards. It is ironic that his drafting partner for much of the day was David Ragan who he will most likely replace next year. Now if they will just get rid of the cookie cutter cars and let legitimate arguments resume between Ford and GM fans.

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