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If you are getting a Christmas present from me this year, you better
hope I have it bought by Thursday.
If not, you’re either out of luck or getting a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
The East Carolina football team will leave on Thursday this week and
begin its bowl week of activities on Friday. It will be a relatively
short trip for a bowl game, with the activities basically surround the
weekend before the Monday kickoff from Tropicana Field in St.
Several fans have told me that the hustle and bustle of Christmas makes
it nearly impossible to make the trip. I certainly understand that
because it seems like Christmas has snuck up on us. I enjoy the season,
but not as much when the Pirates are involved in an early bowl game.
The Pirates will continue practicing this week.
East Carolina will host the media on Wednesday for a pre-bowl luncheon.
The team will then leave for the bowl game on Thursday.
“It’s been good so far,” said Pirate coach Ruffin McNeill. “We have
gotten our young kids a lot of reps and we have gotten a jump on spring
The Pirates may have a couple of things going for them on the
psychological front in this matchup against Ohio.
This is a team desperate to shake off
the regular season finale loss at Marshall. The Thundering Herd
crushed East Carolina on that “black Friday.”
The Pirates also have a chance at a tenth win, something the program has
only done once before. In the 1991 season the Pirates finished 11-1 and
beat North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl.
The program also hasn’t won a bowl game since
the 2007 Hawaii Bowl. You certainly can’t blame these most recent
bowl losses on many of the players on this team. However, Coach McNeill
realizes the pressure is on.
Many times the teams that do the best in bowl games are the teams that
are the hungriest. That should bode well for the guys in purple.
Make that the guys in black, because the Pirates have enjoyed wearing
their new black uniforms this season.
While the game in St. Pete is indoors, several Pirates say they are
still looking forward to some better weather in Florida. Temperatures
each day are expected to be around 80 degrees with very little chance of
“It’s been pretty miserable around there with the weather,” said
quarterback Shane Carden. “I think we are all looking forward to the
I also look forward to it.
The Pirates need to close out their Conference USA era with a win in the
bowl game. That would be a great way to kick-start their entry in the
American Athletic Conference.
We’ll see you at the bowl game, but this Santa has lots to do before he
packs his sled for St. Pete.