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Bailey's Take on the Pirates
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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 18, 2001

By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

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Official Colors for Saturday's Game:
Purple & Gold and Red, White & Blue

©2001 Bonesville.net

College football is expected to return this weekend, but everyone has to wonder just what kind of atmosphere to expect.

East Carolina officials were scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to discuss their security plans for this weekend. Early indications are that fans will be asked to come to the stadium early, and bring patience.

Sports have, at times in our history, served as a great rallying point for our country. For the Pirates, think back to the flood and the win over Miami.

Many had said the game shouldn’t have been played. As neighbors struggled to bounce back from the floods, the Pirates were set to play Miami. The game was moved to Raleigh, where the magical night unfolded.

I remember standing on the sidelines in the first half, wondering, myself, if the game should have been played. The Pirates didn’t play very well in the first half, and I really didn’t think the guys were mentally into the game.

We couldn’t blame them. They had spent their week in Columbia, South Carolina, watching the footage of the devastating floods on news reports. They knew things were bad, but they could never dream just how bad things were in Eastern Carolina.

The second half belonged to the Pirates. In the end it was a celebration of many communities in the East, pulling together for the Pirates.

Many in the stands had lost businesses and property. But for just a few minutes, all of that wasn’t important.

The Pirates had helped pull together a community desperate for something to cheer for.

The win over Miami, for what it meant to all of us, ranks right up there with the Pirate’s win over N.C. State in the Peach Bowl as one of the greatest wins in the school’s history.

Now, let’s hope East Carolina and other schools around the country can help us move forward.

Pirates Not Worried About Security

Pirate Coach Steve Logan says his team had a good week of practice, taking advantage of the “off” week.

Logan did say that he would have liked to play last week’s game, but not after what happened in the terrorists attacks.

“I selfishly wanted to play, just to keep the two games in domes together,” Logan explained. “Obviously, with the attacks, that wasn’t possible. I’m still on the side, though, that we need to get out and play and soon.”

Logan also said he wasn’t concerned with security at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. “I’m not worried about playing on Saturday,” Logan explained. “ I guess there is always a nut somewhere, but I don’t think that will be a concern when we get set to play on Saturday.”

The Pirate players also seem to be ready to get back to the business of games.

“I don’t think I’ll be concerned with our crowd,” said Pirate Linebacker Greg LeFever. “I don’t think security will be a problem. I’m just looking forward to getting out and playing again. It’s seemed like a long time since the Tulane game.”

Tribe Ranked 19th in Division I-AA

Every year, when a college football coaching job opens up, the name Jimmye Laycock seems to surface.

Laycock has been a candidate at East Carolina on a couple of occasions. His name was mentioned on each occasion when Bill Lewis and Steve Logan were named as the Pirate head coach.

Laycock has served as the William & Mary coach for the past 21 years, compiling a record of 140-96-2. His record against East Carolina is 1-4, but over the years the Tribe has had some success against the Pirates.

Overall, William & Mary has just four wins in sixteen meetings with East Carolina. But three of those wins came in Greenville.

The Pirates and the Tribe are old rivals from the Southern Conference. The two schools are three hours apart; thus it was an easy drive for either group of fans and the rivalry was quite heated at times.

William & Mary is currently ranked 19th in Division I-AA.

Pirates Look to Take Care of Business

The overall feeling in the Pirate camp on Monday was that of cautious confidence.

This is a Pirate team that feels like it needs to come out on Saturday, and take care of business from the opening snap. Obviously, though, this is one of those no-win deals.

The Pirates have much more to lose, than to win. But this is a very mature football team that remembers what happened in the Wake Forest game.

If the Pirates take the Tribe lightly, then it will be a long day at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

But most likely, it will be similar to the Tulane game, when the Pirates did take care of business, and picked up a win.

Patriotism to the Forefront

It is a privilege to write this column, to watch Pirate football, to work at WNCT-TV 9. Sure, it’s something that I take for granted for the most part.

That all changed on September 11, 2001. This black weekend for Sports gave us all a chance to be with our families, to go back and realize what is really important.

It’s a privilege to be a part of the Pirate family in just a small way. It will be a privilege to watch the Pirates this weekend.

Red, white and blue will join purple and gold as the official colors for East Carolina fans this weekend.

Life will never be the same, but hopefully, we can all rally together and bounce back. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

We all will never forget, and move on with respect to the dead, the injured and the missing.

It will be different on Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, but hopefully it will be the start of a new beginning.

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:19:30 AM
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