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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

"Sunshine" to the rescue




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It was reminiscent of the movie "Remember the Titans," and the team’s quarterback Ronnie Bass, nicknamed “Sunshine”.

In the movie, Bass came to Alexandria, VA, as a military kid, moving from Los Angeles just in time for the football season. His long blond locks flowed freely in his brief tryout with the team.

Obviously, Pirate quarterback Paul Troth doesn’t have the hairstyle to go with the film. But Troth did put on an Academy Award performance in the come from behind victory over Houston on Saturday.

In overtime, Troth went back to pass, only to see a Houston defensive player barreling down on him.

Troth ducked under the tackle, and the Houston player went sprawling.

The Pirate quarterback then lofted a pass to Richard Alston, which turned into a Pirate touchdown.

The movie featured a similar play for the Titans.

Sunshine” had just entered the game, and told the line to let the opposition’s best defender come straight in. When he did, “Sunshine” flipped him over and then fired a pass.

The assistant coach then turned to head coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, and said, “We’ve got ourselves a football player.”

You could almost see the Pirate players thinking to themselves, “We’ve got ourselves a quarterback.”

“I think I gained my teammates' respect with that play,” Troth said. “I think they may have lost confidence in me at times, but I think I proved something to them with that play.”

Troth says the guys have made the "Remember the Titans" connection before.

“The guys sometimes call me “Sunshine” because of that movie,” Troth said. “Of course, they call me other things too,” he joked.

In the movie, “Sunshine” was presented with the game ball, after replacing the starting quarterback and leading the team to a win. “Sunshine” then gave credit to the other quarterback, giving him that same game ball.

Like the movie, Paul Troth was quick to point out that another quarterback had a big hand in the win.

“People shouldn’t forget that Desmond Robinson came off the bench and directed that first touchdown drive late in the game, to really get us on the right track,” Troth said. “Desmond played really well, and he really helped our offense get on track."

ECU head coach Steve Logan made particular note of the adversity Troth has met head on in a season during which the young Pirates have constantly labored to shore up a variety of experience and talent issues.

"The thing with Paul this season,” Logan said, “is that he’s faced some tough spots. Our defense has made it very difficult for even a Dan Marino to win. But he’s really coming on, as I thought he would.”

Troth’s performance was the sixth best in school history — a history which includes breakout games by a line of high-profile Logan quarterbacks dating back to Jeff Blake. Troth was 22-33 through the air for 369 yards.

Troth threw seven interceptions in the team’s first two games this year. Since then, he’s averaged just one pick per game, while throwing eight touchdown passes.

In the movie, “Sunshine” led the Titans to a state title.

Pirate fans are hoping that their version of the character continues to come along as the Pirate quarterback, perhaps winning a Conference USA title before he’s done.

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08/05/2007 02:33:11 AM

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