Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday turns into good Friday

Like John McCain earlier this month, I stand here to concede the 2008 Football Forecast championship to the Senior Staff Writer. Unlike McCain, the Forecast results are official. I trailed the 2008 Champion by two games entering Friday night with only two different picks from the Leader.

In what gave new, personal meaning to the term of the day, "Black Friday," both my picks — SouthWest Edgecombe and Miami — lost and, more importantly, SouthWest's defeat at West Craven means the high school football season is over in The Wilson Daily Times readership area. That means no more games and my one-year reign as Fearless Forecaster Supreme is over.

Moving on to more important things, The Associated Press is reporting today the real Black Friday was a hit — sorta. Preliminary figures from a research firm show that sales are up 3 percent over Black Friday a year ago. In case you didn't know, "Black Friday" is the term given to the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year.

That 3-percent spike is a good thing. We should be going out and buying stuff. If what I read is true and consumer spending accounts for 2/3 of our economy, spending money helps everyone. I know you're thinking that saving money is the smarter thing to do right now but look at it this way. The price of gas in Wilson today is under $1.75 per gallon. Less than two months ago, it was more than $4 a gallon. I'm no economist but the high price of fuel is a major reason our economy hit a tailspin in the last two months. Regardless of the effect the mortgage crisis has had, gasoline — and the price of it — is the lifeblood of our economy. Now it's pretty affordable again and if you're like me, you probably have about $20-25 after filling up the tank that you didn't have back in September.

So folks, do yourself and everyone else a favor. Go out, spend a little money, eat out one more time a week, buy someone you love an extra Christmas present. It might save someone's job and it will certainly help our national and local economy.

Anyway, that's my one non-sports rant of the year. I'm thankful to have a place to do it.

We've got a lot of high school basketball this week but I've got some things up my sleeve for this space in the coming weeks, so please don't be a stranger.

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