Insights and Observations
Thursday, April 1, 2004
By Henry Hinton
Broadcaster & Owner
of Greenville Cable 7
Back to the future on
offense... and more
There's plenty to ponder on the East Carolina sports
front: a new wide open offense for next fall; more high school championships
potentially coming to ECU; and a radio icon from the past returning to our
Let’s go spanning the Pirate sports globe.
Back to the future with new
The lightening that ended the scrimmage on Saturday in
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium wasn’t the most electric thing in the air. It was new
offensive coordinator Noah Brindise’s schemes.
From the beginning it was evident that Brindise has
changed the passing strategy for the Pirate offense…. and for the better.
Forget that the drives either ended in interceptions or touchdowns. It was
exciting to see the ball going up the field again.
The “Spurrier influence” was evident. What fans were
treated to on Saturday was an offense more along the lines of what they were
use to seeing prior to the 2003 season. Flair passes and sideline routes
were what ECU utilized for the most part in John Thompson’s first year.
Opening up the game and allowing the quarterbacks to
grow into a more wide open style is the best bet to quickly bring back some
wins to ECU.
Brindise is impressive. His appearance on
The Brian Bailey Show this week
created a lot of excitement among Pirate faithful who want to see ECU move
the ball up the field.
You have another chance to have a look at what Coach
Brindise has in store for the 2004 season tonight in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The final intra-squad game of the year is scheduled for 7 p.m. and is open
to the public.
There is no charge but food and clothing will be
collected for the Greenville Food Bank and the Greenville Community Shelter.
Friend of the Pirates
returns to local radio
In 1996, a national sports talk show host created quite
a stir with ECU fans. Arnie Spanier, a wide open, loud and entertaining host
from what was then the One on One Sports Network became a huge Pirate fan.
Arnie made a prediction that no one else in the country
would have dared to make. He said that East Carolina would go into the
Orange Bowl and defeat the Miami Hurricanes.
People laughed. In fact, his producer Dusty Rhodes bet
Arnie his car that the Pirates would not be able to win at Miami. The gag
became great fun for ECU fans who listened across the country and in
You already know that the Pirates did, indeed, defeat
Miami handily on national television that night, October 19, 1996 by a score
Spanier became such a star in Greenville that he came
to town for the next home game. A post-game live appearance by Arnie at
Professor O’Cool's drew such a huge crowd that the fire marshal nearly shut
the place down.
The university even flew Arnie down to appear in the
team’s season-ticket television commercial the next year.
Well, Arnie is back. After a successful career in talk
radio in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Arnie Spanier has rejoined his old
network, now Sporting News Radio.
Arnie’s nightly program will start airing on Talk 1070
on Monday night, April 5, from 7-10 pm.
From his office in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon,
Spanier told us, “The first thing I asked when I got back here was if I was
going to be on in Greenville? I love that town and I love ECU. I can’t wait
to start talking to the Pirate fans again.”
Well, Arnie, you will get your chance starting Monday
Regionals coming to
As reported in The News and Observer last week there
is, indeed, a chance that ECU will begin hosting more high school regional
action, beginning with football later this year.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has
offered ECU and the City of Greenville a chance to host the Eastern Regional
Championships in several sports starting with the 2004 football season.
Basketball regionals are already hosted in Greenville.
State championship games have been played on college
campuses in recent years, including Greenville Rose’s 4-A title game this
past season at Wake Forest.
The NCHSAA wants to bring some eastern title games to
ECU as part of a new strategy to centralize season-ending regional
At the time state championship games were being
scheduled at UNC-CH, N.C. State and Wake Forest, the executive director of
the NCHSAA, Charlie Adams, was disgruntled with the athletic administration
Adams has made it clear to community leaders and ECU
officials that the problems are in the past and he wants Greenville and East
Carolina to have a shot at future opportunities, maybe even some state
championships in years to come.
The Greenville-Pitt Chamber of Commerce has been the
fund-raising arm for the very successful Eastern Regional basketball
tournament in Minges Coliseum for years. Currently, the Chamber is working
with Greenville city officials and ECU Athletic Department officials to
determine how funding for these new games might be handled.
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The Greenville City Council will discuss the issue and
hear a proposal from the Chamber on Monday night of next week.
If efforts are successful the new agreement would begin
with Dowdy-Ficklen most likely hosting two Eastern Regional football games
at the end of this season.
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02/23/2007 10:13:22 AM