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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports
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From the Anchor Desk
Friday, December 6, 2002
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By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

End of long, abnormal season looms

 

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©2002 Bonesville.net

This very different football season finally comes to an end tonight.

Yes, this season has been different in so many ways.

It was a season of twelve games, stretched out over parts of five months.

So far, it has been a 4-7 year. You have to wonder how much better 5-7 is then 4-8.

It’s been a season in which both the offense and the defense have struggled. This is a program that has had problems before on defense, but never have both sides of the football put up numbers like this year’s.

It’s a been a year of rumors, of situations in which so many people think they know exactly what’s going to happen in the off season.

I think only one man, Chancellor William Muse, has the answers.

It’s been a year in which the Pirates played only one ranked team, and beat them.

It’s been a year which transformed Pirate recruiting practices overnight because of repercussions from the 'Friday Fiasco.'  It's also been a year in which some high school coaches sent back blank videotapes of potential recruits.

It’s been a year in which the Pirates really struggled out of conference, but actually had a chance to win the Conference USA championship until the end of November — and can actually lay claim to a four-way share of second place by upsetting Cincinnati tonight.

Normally, the football season flies by. In some ways, this season went by quickly. But for too many reasons to mention, this was one long year.

Many have asked if the final result of the ECU-Cincinnati game will have a determining effect on any changes at the school.

At this point, again, the only one who really knows is Dr. Muse.

Get ready, because this could be an interesting month of December.

Game plan for Cincy should resemble strategy that beat TCU

After East Carolina’s upset over Texas Christian, Pirate Coach Steve Logan explained that the blueprint to beat a ranked team was fairly simple.

“You have to be prepared to take one big hit from a good team,” said Logan. “Then you have to come back, and stay in the game and give yourself a chance to win.”

That same blueprint should be followed this week. Already, the game has several similarities to the matchup against the Horned Frogs.

The Pirates are once again an 8-point underdog at home. Cincinnati isn’t ranked, but has played well enough at times to be among the Top 25 teams in the nation.

The Pirates are once again coming into this game after a disappointing loss.

The Bearcats are playing for a bowl bid, while the Pirates will play for pride and momentum going into spring drills.

Here’s hoping the Pirate seniors go out by putting one more in the win column.

'Skinner' now a game-day Dolphin

Former Pirate Leonard Henry has spent most of this year on the practice squad for the Miami Dolphins. Earlier this year I asked him what it meant to be on a practice squad.

“I do everything that the other guys do,” Henry explained. “Except they pack up and play on weekends, and I just sit home and watch. Still, it’s a great experience."

The Dolphins are very much a part of the playoff chase. Leonard needs to make some special teams plays, and maybe he can hang on through the playoffs.

Henry was a seventh-round draft choice of the Dolphins this year out of East Carolina, where he rushed for 3,089 yards and 29 touchdowns on 519 attempts in four seasons. He finished as the school’s second all-time leading rusher.

Henry was waived on September 1 before being signed to the practice squad a day later. But now he's worked his way up to where he wanted to be all along.

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:21:57 AM
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