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Bailey's Take on the Pirates

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 9, 2001

By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9


Announcer Needs 'Hooked on Phonics'


Super Bowl of Trash Talking

Everybody tried to downplay the importance of the East Carolina-North Carolina football game. The Pirates have a Conference USA title to contend for while the Heels are in the thick of the ACC title chase, so the explanations went.

But every player on that field for both teams gave every ounce of energy, every bit of emotion to come out victorious.

There was more trash talking on the field then you would find in a thousand pick-up basketball games. This was more then a game. It was a battle for state pride, and both teams desperately wanted to prove something.

I’m not convinced that the better team won. But either way, it was a great game for our state.

UNC P.A. Announcer Fumbles Badly

For all of the class that North Carolina exhibits with its new football facility and with Kenan Stadium you would think that the public address announcer at UNC would at least like to get a couple of names right.

How many times did this guy pronounce David Garrard’s name as GAIR-id, with the emphasis on the first syllable? We all might mispronounce a third stringer’s name, but not the other team’s quarterback.

Garrard went from GAIR-id, to JAIR-id, to Jer-ARD before he finally got it right.

This was an outrage for Pirate fans, and it only got worse.

Greg Lefever’s name was pronounced LA-feecher. Brandon Rainer’s name was pronounced Rain-EER.

East Carolina punter Jarad Preston became “Jer-ROD”. At one point, I really thought he was going to refer to the Pirates as the “PER-OT-TAYS.

A mispronunciation from time to time is fine. But in the future, have enough respect for the opposition to get it right. David Garrard played his high school football less then 8 miles from Kenan Stadium. And in the only college game that he’ll ever play in that close to home, the pronunciation of his name was absolutely butchered.

I’m tempted to send the announcer a pronunciation guide. Better yet, I’ll get David Garrard to autograph it first.

Pirates Need “Go To” Receiver

It’s becoming more and more evident that the Pirates just don’t have a “go-to” receiver. I posed that question to Pirate Coach Steve Logan on Monday.

“We’ve never had that type of receiver,” Coach Logan explained. “At the end of the year, we’ll have four or five players with the same number of receptions. Our offense isn’t designed to count on one player.”

Logan is right. But in the past, the Pirates have had three or four “go-to” receivers. I just don’t think that this crop likes to catch the football over the middle. Nobody ever makes the difficult catch.

The receivers have dropped way too many footballs. Coach Logan hopes that the drops have bottomed out, that this group will only get better. I know that David Garrard is hoping his receivers will start making plays, and soon.

Rimpf Hangs Tough Against Peppers and Freeney

The Pirate players had pretty much put the Carolina loss behind them at Monday’s weekly news conference.

Offensive lineman Brian Rimpf said he was never satisfied with a loss, but that he was pleased that he had hung tough against back to back All-American candidates in Dwight Freeney and Julius Peppers.

Rimpf said he had no idea when he came to East Carolina that he would get a chance to work against such talented players, especially in back to back weeks.

“It was exciting,” said Rimpf. “The offensive line worked really hard, and I’m pleased with our effort, especially with the running game.”

Playing Against Close Friend a Quandary for Logan

Congratulations to Army Coach Todd Berry on his first win of the season last weekend, 28-14 over Conference USA opponent Houston. Coach Berry is truly a class act, and everyone in the East Carolina family wishes him the best of luck with the Black Knights.

Army will try to get a string going when it hosts the Pirates on Saturday.

Winning isn’t easy at Army. Add in the events from our world of late, and it is an even more difficult chore.

Coach Logan says he really doesn’t like playing against a good friend.

“We were fortunate enough to beat them last year,” Logan said. “But I didn’t feel that good about it because I know the pressure that is involved. This is a very difficult profession, and I hate to see any of my good friends lose a game.”

The Pirates will have more talent on the field this week. It’s a great chance to go to 2-0 in the conference.

Looking a bit beyond the clash with the Cadets, the 2003 game with UNC is just around the corner. It will be here before you know it!

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02/23/2007 01:19:36 AM

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