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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

J.T. just keeps going and going and going


First-year East Carolina football coach John Thompson is still going a mile a minute. The EverReady Bunny has nothing on the coach. Thompsonís battery is still on full.

His message seems to sink in the first time for this Pirate football team. So far, Thompson continues to push the right buttons.

I was even impressed with the way Thompson blessed the first meal for the team. Iíve heard many preachers that didnít have the same compassion when it was their turn to bless the meal.

Thompson has several movie themes that are playing out at camp.

First, heís got the entire squad at a Greenville hotel, and heís selected the roommatesí list. Itís a chapter out of Remember the Titans, a story about the coming together of a team. The Titans faced far greater obstacles, but the theme of teamwork and unity ring clear in both cases.

Thompson opened camp with a scene from the movie Rudy, presenting walk-on wide receiver Richard Hourigan with a scholarship for all of his hard work. The entire team stood and gave Hourigan a standing ovation when Thompson made the presentation.

Finally, at media day, Thompson said that the only controversy during camp was a conversation with Vonta Leach about what movie the team would see. Leach said the players really wanted to see SWAT. The coach chose Seabiscuit and thatís what the team saw. In fact, Coach Thompson is hoping his team has a Seabiscuit moment or two during the upcoming season.

Starting QB still unknown

Coach Thompson also said he might very well play two quarterbacks this season. Thompson made that comment at media day.

I think the coach really wants the most consistent guy to win the position. I donít think either Paul Troth or Desmond Robinson has been all that consistent the times that I have been to practice.

To their credit, though, I have only made it out twice, on the first day and on the first day with pads. The squad is scheduled to scrimmage on Wednesday, and that should go a long way towards naming a starter.

New season for Brian Bailey Show

My first call-in show is set for Monday, August 18th, and it will air on both 98.3 WCZI-FM and on Cable 7 in Greenville. As I reported in a prior column, this year we will be on in prime-time from 8:00-9:00 on Monday nights.

My first guest will be East Carolina strength coach Jim Whitten. I always like to get the strength coach on early, because theyíre the guys that have worked with the team the most during the off-season.

I thank all of you that call during the year for all of your support. Hearing the opinions of others often goes a long way toward allowing someone to see the entire picture.

Speaking of being on the air, Iím already looking forward to the September 1 season opener. Weíll be on the air with the pregame show at 9 a.m.. The game with Cincinnati kicks off at noon, and then Iíll be back to help out with the postgame at about 3:00 p.m.

Since the game happens to be on a Monday, Iíll check back in with my weekly show at 8 p.m. In between, weíll have sportscasts on the television side. That should be some kind of Labor Day!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:25:19 AM

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