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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, August 1, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Don't look now but today is August 1st


Things are about to get very busy around the East Carolina campus. The football team will report, though many of the players have been in town all summer. The conditioning tests will be taken and then before you know it, we are into the football season.

I am anxious to get started. Greenville and eastern North Carolina just canít get enough news about Pirate football. However, things have been slow of late as the summer continues on.

Iím looking forward to working with Coach John Thompson in his first year. He is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. Iíve heard some fans wonder aloud if the coach will act this same way if the team gets off to a bad start.

I say heíll be even more enthusiastic, but Iím certainly not predicting a slow start. Sure, the schedule is difficult, but thatís the challenge this year. This is a program that needs to take the advice of Al Davis with the Raiders. Davis is known for saying, ďJust win, baby.Ē

Cincinnati will be a difficult assignment on the holiday weekend. But truthfully, Cincy wonít have a raucous crowd to deal with. Former Coach Steve Logan would often talk about creating your own enthusiasm on the road. That may be the case when the Pirates visit the Bearcats.

Iím really looking forward to the West Virginia game that next Saturday. I saw the Mountaineers against Virginia in the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte last year. The Cavaliers made the Mountaineers look silly in the blowout. West Virginia, though, has some great talent, and will bring a good football team to Greenville.

That first month is packed with five games. Next up is the road assignment at Miami. This will be difficult, but Pirate fans know that it certainly wonít be an impossible assignment. No question, though, the ĎCanes are the best team on the Pirate schedule.

Then itís back on the road to play at Wake Forest. The Deacs always give the Pirates fits, and this, too, will be a difficult assignment.

Finally in the first month, itís the Tuesday night home game with Houston.

Iím on record as saying that I wish all of the games were on the traditional football Saturdays. However, the entire town gets a buzz going through it on these special TV game nights. People take off work early, or donít go in at all to get ready for the prime time exposure.

Of these first five games, one has to think that the Pirates' best chance for a win will come against the Cougars in week five.

Does that mean weíre predicting a 1-4 start. Certainly not!

The Pirates could very easily steal one in Cincinnati on Labor Day. West Virginia would then walk the plank in front of a hostile, sellout crowd in week 2.

Back to back wins would make for a nice, national story for ECU and Miami. Regardless of that outcome, the team would then travel to Winston-Salem with another big batch of Pirate fans on hand, before coming back home for the Houston game.

Things really heat up in week six, with North Carolina making a first ever appearance at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

OK, so Iím getting ahead of myselfÖ.

Meet the Pirates Night

Donít forget that the ninth annual Meet the Pirates Night, East Carolina's preseason football fan fest, is set for Saturday, August 16th at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Pirate football fans are invited to bring the whole family for a catered meal and get to know the 2003 ECU football team. Players and coaches will be seated among fans in a relaxed dinner setting.

Meet the Pirates will return to the north (upper deck) side of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Entrance at Gate 7 will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner starting at 7 p.m. Meal tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Advance reservations are required.

Seating is limited and reservations will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 8, at 12 noon on a first-come, first-served basis.

For ticket ordering information for the 2003 Meet the Pirates Night, call (252) 328-4530. Checks may be mailed to: Meet the Pirates, ECU Sports Marketing, Ward Sports Medicine Building, Greenville, NC 27858.

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02/23/2007 01:25:17 AM

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