Take on Pirate Sports
TOM SOUTHERN, ECU '74
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, October 8, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
We've waited a long time...
I joked about it in Chapel Hill on Saturday. It took state
legislation to get the Tar Heels to come to Greenville in the first place.
Now, it may take an Act of Congress to get either team a win this season.
It will be 0-5 East Carolina hosting 0-5 North Carolina at
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It will be a packed house,
perhaps the biggest crowd in college football history to see a game between
two winless teams halfway through the football season.
The Tar Heels have had some success on offense, but they
boast the nation’s worst defense.
The Pirates have had little success on either side of the
football. In fact, whenever the Pirates take one step forward, they tend to
turn around and take at least two or three steps backward.
“Every time that we do something good, we seem to give up a
big play,” said Pirate Coach John Thompson. “We have to become a team that
gets some momentum, and then seizes the opportunity. We are going to get
this thing rolling at some point, we just need some confidence.”
Confidence is the key ingredient that seems to be missing
from both teams.
I was in Chapel Hill for North Carolina’s loss to Virginia
on Saturday. To a man, the Tar Heel players sounded just like the Pirates
during the post game interviews. The same type of frustration that I had
seen at ECU through five games was spilling out of the Tar Heels this past
I say that the team that finds early success on Saturday
will win. Both of these teams have had so much go wrong this year that any
repeat will most likely result in even more frustrations.
The ‘wild card’ between these two teams is Tar Heels'
quarterback Darian Durant. Durant gives the Heels a chance to have success
Look for the Pirates to run several different, controlled
blitzes against Durant, to try and keep him off balance. Durant is dangerous
both as a passer and a runner. If you give him all day, then he’ll pick you
You had better believe that the Heels think they can throw
down the field against East Carolina. But the Pirate players need to put
some bad thoughts into the Tar Heel quarterback’s head.
Durant isn’t all that impressed with the importance of the
“I guess it is some sort of rivalry, at least for them,”
said Durant after the loss to Virginia. “I do think that they don’t like us,
because they (Pirates) think that we are uppity, or something.”
The Tar Heels can score. So far this season, the Pirates
haven’t shown that they can execute and score in the red zone.
I’m convinced that Desmond Robinson will start the game, and
that perhaps James Pinkney may be the first guy off the bench. Look for
Desmond to get the nod, and don’t be surprised if you see a little, old-time
Pirate option football against the Heels.
That may be the Pirates' best hope. To run the football, to
eat up the clock and to keep the game away from Durant.
I thought Coach John Thompson’s line best described the
“They say you can throw out the records when these two play.
I hope that they throw our record a long way away,” he said.
Many have tried to put a positive light on the fact that
both squads are 0-5.
I’ve heard fans calling it the “O-fer Bowl,” the “Toilet
Bowl,” the “Vacuum Cleaner Bowl” (you figure out why), and the “You Can’t
Lose Them All Bowl.”
But if you dig a little deeper, this is exactly why this
game and games like it should be played at the very least every other year.
If the Pirates were playing any other 0-5 team in the
nation, besides Carolina or N.C. State, what kind of crowd could you expect?
The same thing holds true in Chapel Hill. These types of
games are great for both schools, and the entire state of North Carolina.
I am proud of where I work. I’m proud of where I live. And
I’m proud to be an Eastern Carolinian that covers the East Carolina Pirates
for a living.
I can’t wait to welcome the likes of Woody Durham, the
legendary “Voice of the Tar Heels,” and others from UNC to my home.
In fact, most of the Carolina coaching staff already knows
what I’m talking about. Coaches Connors, Huxtable, Webster, and Fleming know
the ins and outs of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium better then John Thompson’s staff
As JT says, throw the records way out of the window.
Saturday should be a day to remember at Dowdy-Ficklen
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville
02/23/2007 01:26:49 AM