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Columns

September 26, 2016

BLACKSBURG, Va. — East Carolina's grip on the Atlantic Coast Conference slipped through the Pirates' fingers on Saturday.

Special means, among other things, better or greater than the usual. The founders of organized football could not have chosen a better word to describe a team's other unit…

East Carolina Virginia Tech Football

September 25, 2016

The stuff’s all gone now. The lawnmower, the giant workbench, the old leather jacket, the edger. Even the rug the dog peed on was taken. But it’s their shadows that count. 

After a certain age, having a garage sale is a physical and emotional strain. Last week I worked constantly…

092516alcolphoto

September 24, 2016

Today’s young, male pickup drivers are becoming more creative in the ongoing effort to annoy fellow motorists. Just having big tires and a low rumbling, high-riding rig has become cliché.

Some of Tennessee’s promising young lads have turned to diesel engines for ramping up the…

Mark Rutledge

September 19, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Do you believe in curses?

In a familiar scene in South Carolina's capital city on Saturday evening, the visiting East Carolina football team offered another compelling layer of proof for those who do.

East Carolina South Carolina Football-14

September 18, 2016

In the long battle to convince us that habits our mother lectured us about aren’t as bad as they seem, industries and lobbying groups are attempting to shape scientific research.

Mom warned you that smoking was bad for your lungs, right? Well, the tobacco industry has made considerable effort to ease fears about the effects of secondhand smoke.

091816sugarl.jpg

September 17, 2016

The house we’re renting belongs to a wonderful couple spending two years abroad as missionaries. They left their pet cockatiel in our care.

They didn’t say a word about not giving us our deposit back if they come back to a bird that chirps expletives.

Whether or not that colorful bird…

Mark Rutledge

September 16, 2016

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season began seven months, 26 races and 9.969 miles ago.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup begins today at Chicagoland Speedway with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400. I typed that sentence solely for the thrill of seeing that race name in print, although I’ll admit…

NASCAR Richmond Auto Racing

September 12, 2016

At about the 7-yard line late Saturday afternoon inside a purple- and gold-striped Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, N.C. State linebacker Airius Moore hitched a ride to the west end zone on James Summers' back.

By the time they arrived, nearly the entire N.C. State defense was on board, East Carolina fans…

091116ecufootball1.jpg

September 10, 2016

Last October, my wife moved to start her job in Tennessee. I was working furiously to get the house ready to sell, knowing the girls and I would have to move come January.

New jobs, new schools and new routines leave precious little time for pausing to consider what you had before the move and what…

September 10, 2016

I love “Days of Thunder.”

I’m not ashamed of it. I’ll gleefully tell anyone that it’s my second-favorite movie behind “The Dark Knight.” I know the thing almost word-for-word.

It’s not a great movie, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

One of my favorite lines…

NASCAR Darlington Auto Racing-3
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