Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!


Next week debuts the 2013 high school football season. Be sure to catch my on-line predictions at TheRoanokeStar.com for the week-one ‘Big-11’ games which will appear next Friday. (TheRoanokeStar.com is updated continuously with local sports and news.)

Five ‘Big-11’ games involving seven local teams take place in the Roanoke Valley next Friday night. Here’s a list so all fans can get out to support high school football.

Cave Spring at William Byrd
Patrick Henry at Hidden Valley
Amherst County at Northside
Galax at Glenvar
Rappahannock at Roanoke Catholic

At press time the Salem Red Sox had jumped out to a 2 1/2 game lead over Carolina for the final Southern Division post-season playoff spot. The Sox are currently in the middle of a six night road trip before returning to Salem Memorial Stadium August 28th to close out the regular season with series against Frederick and Lynchburg.

This weekend will be showtime for the Wild Bill column. I’m heading to the Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s NASCAR Iriwin Tool 500 Night Race. Our crew will be reporting straight from the infield as the NASCAR drivers trade paint, and Wild Bill chases the likes of my racing partner Greg Biffle and NASCAR sweetheart Danica Patrick. As you may remember, The Chief won the media day race at Bristol, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled in case he’s a last-minute replacement driver for injured Tony Stewart. (Publisher’s Note: Negotiations in progress.)

Well. readers, it looks like this column’s late-night product reviews have finally shed some light (or lack thereof) on a renowned classic.

Last fall in these pages, I reviewed the highly trumpeted Olde Brooklyn Lantern, which was fresh on the market and made an outrageous claim that its LED bulbs and their associated miniature battery could keep the lantern lit continuously for 100,000 hours.

You’ll be hard pressed to pull the mathematical wool over the eyes of the Wild Bill column, so I simply challenged this claim that meant the fixture would stay lit for nearly 11 1/2 straight years.

Looks like our corporate attorneys and The Chief can breath a sigh of relief. The Olde Brooklyn Lantern pitches have returned just in time for the holiday season, sans the 11 1/2 year claim of continuous illumination. For you out-of-state readers, ‘sans’ means ‘without’, in French. See, you always learn something when you read this column.

The new buzzphrase for the Olde Brooklyn is now “vibrant illumination.” The revised pitch implies that you only need a single OBL to light up a room during an electrical outage and/or romantic interlude. But, they have eleven lanterns set up in one scene and eight in another. As Barney Fife once said in the old Remshaw house when eyes in a picture moved, “it’s probably just the light.”

The pitch continues as an attractive young woman tells us it’s the perfect gift for the guy in your life. If I’m the guy she’s referring to, and my fiancee gave me a lantern, I’m sending her 2-carat engagement ring straight to Chumley in Vegas for a quick hock.

All that being said, I now give the Olde Brooklyn Lantern another neutral rating. The price is great at 3-for-$19.95 plus S&H. But, I’m concerned with the pitch of another spokesperson who is excited because her living room now looks like an old-west train depot.

Let’s take a quick peek in the mailbag where one reader asks for an opinion from the infamous Old Farmer.

Dear Wild Bill: We’ve had a record amount of rain in July alone. If these weather patterns continue, what would the Old Farmer say we might get in terms of snow come January? (Wesley/Floyd)

Well, Wesley, I don’t even know the Old Farmer. But, I did find out that we got about 16 inches of rain in July. If that pattern continued and it was cold enough, that would equate to about 16 feet of snow. Interested in plowing my driveway?

Until next time, shovel a few questions to [email protected] It may be getting deep around here before long.