My Friday Five: Our Country & Tourney Time

Photo: Chris White 1. State of the Country We are in the heart of election season and this has been a particularly intriguing one. ...

Photo: Chris White
1. State of the Country

We are in the heart of election season and this has been a particularly intriguing one. I've noticed a lot of things but one always sticks out. It seems like there has been a proliferation of a total disrespect for someone due to differing opinions. For example, a couple "friends" I added on Facebook had to be blocked because both have said some disparaging comments toward Democrats, such as myself. Both apparently have been supporting Donald Trump - that's a story in itself - and I've seen numerous comments throughout the past several weeks. It finally came to a head and I blocked both of them. I have no use for that kind of crap on my Facebook.

At this point, all I can say is we need to pray. Pray not only for our country but for people in general. We must do better, America!

2. Joe's Crab Shack

Kind of going along that line, Joe's Crab Shack was in some seriously hot water this week - and rightfully so. The restaurant chain's location in Roseville, Minn. came under fire after patrons discovered a historical photo appearing to show a group of white people watching the public hanging of at least one black person, according to an article by WXIA-TV. The article also stated that the photo had a caption that read "All I said was I didn't like the gumbo." Joe's Crab Shack did apologize, according to CNN. Wow. I'm truly at a loss for words. How can the higher ups at this restaurant not utilize the sense God gave them to recognize the repercussions the photo would bring? Not only was the photo blatantly racist but who in their right mind would want to see a photo depicting a public hanging of anyone? I understand an apology was given but, in my opinion, a restaurant chain that made such a putrid decision as this should no longer be in business.

3. Idol Recap

This week was yet another huge disappointment in terms of the format. It was reported earlier in the week that the "Judges' Save" would no longer be in play. However, there was yet another last-minute change. According to a tweet by insider, Idol Radio Show, the "Judges' Save" would actually still in play this week, with the judges choosing which contestant goes home from the bottom two. Ugh. The idea of American Idol has been thrown out the window. For real. With the last minute format changes, giving the majority of power to the judges and having a shortened season, I ask: what's the point? What's the point of having this season when all the showrunners want to do is literally run this once great show into the ground? I believe this is why Idol has trended downward in recent years. Just stick to works best.

In the end, Tristan McIntosh was sent home. I was highly disappointed with this as well, especially since she's had some really nice performances as of late. Now, it's down to the Top Five - which is hard to believe - but that's what happens with a shortened season, I guess.

4. My UPS Experience

This is going to be short but I wanted to let you all know about a recent experience I had with UPS. I ordered tickets for the NCAA Tourney 1st/2nd Rounds in Raleigh. I received the tickets right on time, however, they were almost damaged. The UPS delivery person decided to be a bonehead and place the envelope under the welcome mat at my house, which was soaking wet from thunderstorms we had experienced the day before. It's a miracle the seller placed the tickets in another envelope and I picked up the package when I did because the tickets would have more than likely been damaged otherwise. The water had already done a pretty decent soaking job on the outer envelope and had seeped through, starting on the inner envelope, when I opened the package. I contacted UPS but all they did was tell me to file a damage claim. Well, I would had my tickets actually been damaged. I still feel UPS should be held accountable, so I contacted the ticket seller. We'll see what happens.

5. Tourney Time!

Ah, March. One of my favorite times of the year. In case you didn't know, I'm a college basketball junkie. Well, I love sports in general, but college basketball is my favorite hands down. There's just this special feeling that accompanies the college game, especially with the NCAA Tournament - a.k.a. March Madness. This year, Raleigh is hosting First and Second Round action at PNC Arena.

One of my beloved teams, North Carolina, earned a No. 1 seed and the right to play in Raleigh, just a few miles away from Chapel Hill. Believe it or not, as much of a college hoops junkie I am, I have never been to an NCAA Tourney game in person. That has now changed. First thing's first, each host site holds open practices for the teams playing there. This gives fans a chance to see their favorite teams up close and personal. The Heels had an open practice in Raleigh and it was pretty dang awesome. It was cool to get a different look into the world of Carolina Basketball. From how the team runs plays to fun stuff like a dunk contest (see Isaiah Hicks, pictured right). The team even came by to sign autographs and take pictures after the practice ended (see Marcus Paige and Joel Berry, pictured left).

Then came the game. Carolina took on 16 seed Florida Gulf Coast in the First Round on Thursday night. I had a great view of the game (pictured below) - quite possibly the closest I've ever seen the Heels play in person - and it was awesome. Carolina started out a bit flat but showed why it's a No. 1 seed in the second half, winning 83-67. I had a blast going and, especially, supporting this team during the past couple days.


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