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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, September 27, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

WVU game conjures up emotional memories of '99


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East Carolina opened the 1999 football season with West Virginia on a sun drenched Saturday afternoon in Charlotte.

Little did we know the game would have such a foreshadowing effect on the rest of the season.

It was a hot Saturday afternoon for the Pirates and the Mountaineers. Those who made the trip were very appreciative of the sunshine after a brush with Hurricane Dennis the week before.

The game was an outstanding one for East Carolina. The Pirates opened their season with a victory, then their jubilant fans started making the trip home shortly after the game.

When we left Greenville, Hurricane Dennis was weakening out in the Atlantic. But on the way home we found out that Dennis must have been a Pirate fan, and he was making tracks to the west in the form of a Tropical Storm. In fact, he was pounding Greenville as the Pirates and the Mountaineers were getting set to kick it off from the Queen City.

Brian Meador and I were in WNCT-TV's big, microwave live truck on the trip. Our plan was for me to drive, while Meador edited our game package. We would then head to Greensboro, and send our story back via satellite through fellow CBS affiliate WFMY-TV.

Dennis was as mad as a hornet for missing that East Carolina game. He did make the State game that night, and made life miserable for the Wolfpack in the rain.

We were successful in our trip to Greensboro, but the rest of the night was a scary trip.

Tropical Storm Dennis pounded the entire state, and the wind was literally blowing the big truck all over the place. I really thought we would end up in a ditch at some point, but somehow we made it home.

I’m sure other Pirate fans have memories of that wild trip home as well.

Ten days later, Hurricane Floyd struck and we were into the “Flood of the Century”.

On the heels of the WVU game, the Pirates would win at South Carolina, and then spend a vagabond week in hotels before whipping Miami in Raleigh.

These were great memories.

I still say it was all because Dennis wanted to catch a little Pirate football.

Pirates like Morgantown turf

East Carolina’s coaches and players are looking forward to playing on West Virginia’s “Field Turf”.

It is an artificial playing surface, but it is the premier turf to play on.

“It’s fantastic,” said Pirate Coach Steve Logan. “We have seen it at Army and at Cincinnati. The players really like it. It is so much different then the old stuff.”

Logan continued, “It is field turf, which everyone is a big fan of, especially the players. The last time we were up there, I believe that we had three broken legs on the offensive line by the time we got back on the airplane. So that is a lot less likely to happen. The Astroturf they had was very sticky, it gave very little and if you got hit in the lower leg, you were not coming up. The field turf is just a wonderful product.”

I’ve always thought that the Pirates really look forward to games on the fake grass. Talk about speed. Some of it is mental, that these guys think they are faster on the carpet.

The truth is that if you think something is real, then many times it is, and that thought process should make the Pirates that much quicker this weekend.

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02/23/2007 01:23:18 AM

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