Insights and Observations
Thursday, October 2, 2003
By Henry Hinton
Broadcaster & Owner
of Greenville Cable 7
Ample 'karma' present to
overcome hard times
I’m as depressed as anyone about the Pirates’ 0-5 start
but I decided to accentuate the positive for my column this week. Yes, it
could be a short column. Seriously, there are some things of which Pirate
people should be proud.
I had friends from “the triangle” over for the game
Tuesday night. You know “the triangle.” The home of all things wonderful in
the state of North Carolina. The area from which all blessings (including
state funds) flow.
One of them had never been to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
before. In fact, I’m not sure he had ever been to Greenville before. You
see, he’s a big city lawyer….. a Dookie at that. And guess what? He was
totally impressed with this place.
No, there aren’t any ivy laden walls or huge historic
chapels on campus. There is, however, an amazing atmosphere for college
football, complete with a stadium that sparkles for a night game, a
beautiful new end zone facility which would impress anyone and a club level
unequalled elsewhere in the state of North Carolina.
There is one more thing that you don’t find at most
schools. A passion and a spirit that is hard to match. That is what makes
losing these games so hard on us. We love our football at East Caroina and
we have become accustomed to winning. Most schools have never had a period
of success in a sport like the Pirate program enjoyed for about 10 years in
When you step back and look at this place it is easy to
see why others are impressed. Stepping onto the deck of the Murphy Center
before a game to watch the teams warm up is quite an experience. You get a
perspective from an angle you don’t normally get to enjoy. The giant
scoreboard which features Piratevision is first class and the atmosphere
before and after kickoff is amazing no matter where you are seated.
The temporary endzone seats under the scoreboard and
the beautiful facility at the other end give Dowdy-Ficklen a big time feel.
Just imagine what it will be like a week from Saturday when the Tar Heels
arrive and every seat is taken.
For those of us who have been around a while, the East
Carolina football experience has been quite a journey. Having a national
television audience watching our spirit with a crowd over 33,000 strong on a
Tuesday night is, itself, a statement of our desire and passion. The new
tradition of raising the Jolly Roger, inspired by some rabid fans who have
discussed and pushed for this for years, just adds to an already
Here is some more positive karma for you. The
conference news may not be ALL bad. With all the rumors and speculation
about where everyone will land in this next wave of conference re-alignment,
there is new hope that the Big East may not have passed on ECU…. just yet.
Memphis has received the call that the Pirate program
is hoping it will not receive. The Big East has already eliminated the
Tigers from future expansion consideration. Was the call in response to a
direct proposal or was Memphis being told “thanks but you probably should be
looking in another direction”?
In the last week, there have been rumors in the
northeast that the Big East may still consider moving to 12 teams. This is
probably coming from the NCAA ruling (actually they just clarified a rule
that was already there) that requires conferences to have 12 members to have
a year end championship game.
Additionally, there is renewed belief that the ACC may
go after Boston College again.
This is fueling speculation that ECU may be back in the
mix. Other than great facilities and a strong football tradition, our
university has another strong advantage.... location. Being on the coast
makes the Pirate program a contender.
It now seems a given that Cincinnati and Louisville
will be headed to the Big East. Perhaps the reason ECU has not received the
“thanks but no thanks” call lies in the next round of expansion.
So, take heart. There are still some positive things
out there. And who knows? Maybe there are some football wins in our near
future. Getting one over the Tar Heels would be a good place to start.
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02/23/2007 10:12:14 AM