I could say, "the time has finally come" but it's more like, "man that got here quick" -- the grand opening of Charlotte Premium Outlets.

Nelly was asked what it's like to be a part of Michael Jordan's inner circle as a part-owner of the Hornets, as well as his thoughts on Lance Stephenson.

The online comments quickly took an unexpected turn. Many said that DeAngelo had been duped by a faker because the so-called Marine's uniform display broke protocol.

Ashby has begun filming in Charlotte, with Mickey Rourke, Nat Wolff, Emma Roberts, and Sarah Silverman among the cast.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One of Charlotte's best restaurants is getting the national attention it deserves. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is featured on this week's episode of Travel Channel's Food Paradise, which premiered Tuesday night. The hour-long episode, titled Hamburger Paradise 3, showcases great burgers from restaurants around the country, from Seattle and Chicago to Philadelphia and Charlotte. Among the Cowfish burgers highlighted is the burgushi, which I once raved about.

One of the Cowfish's burgers featured on Food Paradise. Served with sweet potato fries!

The segment on Cowfish opens with the narrator proclaiming: "Fewer burger spots have a bigger buzz than Cowfish in Charlotte. It's the most popular North Carolina mash-up since tar met heels." You can watch the entire episode online by clicking here (Cowfish debuts around the 13:30 mark). You can also catch it when it re-airs on Travel Channel over the coming days by checking the channel's schedule.

In addition to the original Cowfish location in SouthPark, there's also one in Raleigh, and a location is scheduled to open this year at Universal Studios in Orlando.


Ryan Lochte ate in one sitting what you probably ate total the last three days.

The 11-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer (including five golds) shared a photo on Twitter Monday afternoon, showcasing what he was about to eat for, what I presume was, lunch. He offered the caption: "#Streamlining in preparation for my 10,000 calories. Let’s see your best pose. @swimtoday #funnestsport." It was talked about today on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption (near the end of the show, which is how I found out about it; h/t).


As most of you in Charlotte probably know, Lochte moved to the Queen City last October to train with the renowned SwimMAC Carolina and its Team Elite, which is filled with several past Olympic champions and current and future contenders.

You're wondering how far above the recommended daily caloric intake Lochte is, right? Well, according to websites like WebMD and CalorieKing, someone of Lochte's demographic (male, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, 195 pounds, age 29--he turns 30 on August 3) who lives an active lifestyle, should consume about 3,000 calories a day to maintain his weight. Of course, he's extremely active as a world-class swimmer, so it should be expected that his caloric intake would be off the charts. Professional swimmers (i.e. Michael Phelps) are known to consume high amounts of calories to keep up with the extreme amounts they burn when rigorously training.

Lochte's rather active on the social scene as well. Two Saturdays ago I spotted him, and his good friend and fellow Olympic swimmer and Charlottean Cullen Jones, at Vault nightclub at the EpiCentre. He's also a regular at Oak Room in South End. That's why back in December, on my Dusk Till Dawn blog, I included him in my year-end list of "Biggest Moments in Charlotte’s Nightlife and Social Scene in 2013."

Play hard, work hard... or as Lochte would say, jeah!


I could say, "the time has finally come" but it's more like, "man that got here quick" -- the grand opening of Charlotte Premium Outlets. The dates for the four-day grand opening celebration were announced months ago, but it's still astonishing to see this 100-store outlet mall come to fruition after only breaking ground last September. I've driven past it each of the last two weekends, where you can see it clearly from Interstate 485 (Exit 4 NC 160/Steele Creek Road). I blogged in March about how Charlotte Premium Outlets will greatly transform that part of town.


Photos credit: Facebook

The grand opening events kick off this Thursday at 10 a.m., and there'll be live bands performing over three days in the commons areas--Charlotte favorites like 5 on Sundays, Early Ray, and Hot Sauce. There will also be two prizes given away every hour between noon and 5 p.m. Plus, there will be in-store events and entertainment taking place at several of the stores, such as DJs inside the Converse, Puma, and Hilfiger stores; and gift card giveaways at Aeropostale, Eddie Bauer, J.Crew, Lane Bryant, Nike, and many others. Reality TV star, author, and entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel is scheduled to appear Saturday at the VIP Shopper Club Lounge. It's also possible that other celebrities and special guests could appear throughout the weekend.

Click here for the full schedule of grand opening events.

Charlotte Premium Outlets now has social media accounts: facebook.com/charlottepremiumoutlets and twitter.com/CharPremOutlets; the hashtag for the grand opening is #CPOGO (stands for Charlotte Premium Outlets Grand Opening, FYI). Charlotte Premium Outlets, 5404 New Fashion Way, 704-523-8865, charlotte@premiumoutlets.com, premiumoutlets.com/charlotte.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rapper/hip-hop mogul Nelly has been a part-owner of Charlotte's NBA team for several years now, since previous majority owner Bob Johnson brought him into the fold as part of the Bobcats ownership. And when Michael Jordan bought the majority stake from Bob a few years ago, he kept the St. Louis native in the elite group. Of course, now the team is the Charlotte Hornets again, and there's a whole lot of excitement around them as they prepare for the upcoming season, enhanced even more by last week's free agency signing of Lance Stephenson.

Nelly appeared on SportsCenter on ESPN this morning, and he was asked, among other things, what it's like to be a part of Jordan's inner circle, as well as his thoughts on Stephenson. I've often said the Bobcats/Hornets should use Nelly's popularity more. He's in Charlotte often, sitting court side at games, hosting events, and such.


Nelly also made his rounds on other ESPN shows, including appearing on Numbers Never Lie to discuss similar topics.





Thursday, July 10, 2014

I received an email this afternoon from the University of South Carolina Athletics, with the subject line: Brag on your Gamecocks‏. The email contained the link to a video of highlights from several USC sports from the 2013-2014 seasons, and a list of the "Gamecock Top 10" from the year. As a proud alum, I nearly busted out into a "Gaaaaaaaammmmmmme ... Cocccccccckkkkkkks," fascinated by how much our talented student-athletes have accomplished.

My view at the Gamecocks homecoming game last year. Photo by Jarvis Holliday

Here's the list, verbatim:

2013-14 GAMECOCK TOP 10
1. Two SEC Champions (Women’s Basketball and Equestrian).
2. Capital One Bowl Champions.
3. Two National Coaches of the Year (Boo Major, Equestrian, and Dawn Staley, Women’s Basketball).
4. Eight teams finished the season ranked in the top 25 nationally in latest poll or national championship of their respective sports (Equestrian - 2nd, Football – 4th, Women’s Golf – 6th, Women’s Basketball – 8th, Men’s Golf – 9th, Women’s Soccer – 15th, Women’s Indoor Track & Field, 19th, Baseball – 23rd).
5. 28 All-America and 20 All-SEC selections.
6. One of only four schools in the nation to have its men’s and women’s golf, men's and women's tennis, softball, and baseball teams all invited to play in their NCAA Championships.
7. Leader in SEC Academic Honor Roll Selections.
8. 59 Student-Athletes earned a 4.0 GPA and 300 Student-Athletes earned a 3.0 GPA.
9. Student-Athletes performed more than 5,000 hours of community service.
10. THANK YOU to the more than 1.16 million fans who attended Gamecock home athletic events last season!

And there was also this line: "What would you add to this list? Tweet it to us @GamecocksOnline."

Since they asked, I would've added Jadeveon Clowney being selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to the list. Perhaps they wanted to highlight team and overall accomplishments first, but that fact would've been on my list considering that's the first time a Gamecock football player has ever been the top draft pick, and it represents how strong our football program has become in that these are the caliber of players we now successfully recruit.

Below is the highlight reel.


I'm even more excited about what the 2014-15 sports seasons will bring... forever to thee!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coming off of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, in which we were all being patriotic Americans (and by that I mean shooting fireworks, cooking on the grill, going to the movies and baseball games, and taking long naps), Carolina Panthers' running back DeAngelo Williams displayed true patriotism. He shared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts Monday that he gave up his business class seat on his flight to a Marine.


On Facebook, DeAngelo added this caption to the photo: "He just doesn't know it yet but he will be sitting in this seat when he boards the plane. I always give up my 1st class seat! #isalutethetroops!"

And on Twitter, he remarked: "I always give up my seat to military if my seat is better! I truly appreciate our troops #flyingtherightway"

His public display of goodwill made the rounds on several national news outlets, pop culture websites, sports blogs, and, of course, Charlotte news, and was lauded by many on the social networking sites. But it was also met with criticism by some on social media who took issue with the NFL star being "showy" about his good deed. Love and hate comes with the territory on the Internet, so...

But the online comments also quickly took an unexpected turn. Many commenters said that DeAngelo had been duped by a faker because the so-called Marine's uniform display broke protocol:

"You don't wear shooting badges while displaying medals in the dress blue alpha uniform. Anyone with that much time in service would know better. Also looks like the silver and bronze star medals are incorrectly placed by precedence."

"I'm gonna be honest here. He looks like a "faker". I'm a Marine and he is wearing his cover indoors. NO MARINE WEARS THEIR COVER INDOORS. Something is fishy DeAngelo Williams, don't give up your seat to him!"

"That is a great thing to do, however, I am a Marine and that man is NOT! He is faking."

Perhaps the Marine in question, who appears to be an elderly man, will come forward to clear the air. Regardless, I hope this doesn't cause others to second-guess their kind gestures to servicemen and women in the future.

It should also be noted that actress Amy Adams made headlines a week earlier for giving up her first-class seat to a soldier. Except in this case, the notable deed was announced on social media by someone else--ESPN's Jemele Hill--who happened to witness the act.



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