Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
By Brian Bailey
Thank God, It's September!
ORDER ONLINE NOW!
• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact
• INSIDE PIRATE FOOTBALL
• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again
• HIGH HOPES FOR HOOPS
• STEVE BALLARD:
New Leader Takes Charge
• SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door
• KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams
• BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate
I don’t know about you, but I always feel especially giddy when the
calendar changes to September.
There is just something about this month that I truly love. The
temperatures start to fall, the days get shorter, and then there’s that game
that takes up so much time on our weekends.
Football is like no other sport. It is a social animal. It brings people
together in so many different ways.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a lazy summer afternoon of baseball. I love
the excitement of watching my teams fall one by one out of the NCAA
But football season is my pick of the litter.
It all kicks off for the Pirates on Saturday in Morgantown.
Clifford was a big red dog.
The Pirates are big purple dogs against 10th ranked West Virginia. East
Carolina is as much as a 28-point underdog against the Mountaineers.
Many of us have studied the numbers all summer long. The early line had
West Virginia favored by 27 points. The latest line finds the Pirates as a
Coach John Thompson said he had no idea.
“Wow,” the coach said Tuesday at the Pirate’s first news conference of
the 2004 season. “Wow! Who are the odds makers? I guess if you look at last
year and this year and compare them. I didn’t know that. I don’t pay any
attention to that. That’s a lot of points. I’ll be sure to tell my team this
afternoon. That’s a surprise to me.”
The Pirate players seem to have a chip on their shoulder as we kick off
the 2004 season. This team is better with that chip in place.
“People are going to think what they are going to think,” said Marvin
Townes. “All of the magazines and all of that stuff don’t mean anything. We
don’t care about that. All we care about is focusing. We have to focus and
execute and we’ll be fine.”
Backfield in motion
East Carolina is one of only three Division I-A teams that return two
1,000-yard rushers in 2004. Marvin Townes ran for 1,128 yards last season,
while Art Brown ran for 1,029 in 2002. Brown sat out last year with a knee
With that much talent in the backfield, one has to wonder if there will
be enough footballs to go around.
“We are going to be a force this year,” said Townes. “There are enough
balls to go around, because we aren’t selfish people. We understand what
it’s about. It’s not about me or Art, it’s about the team and the bottom
line is, we have to win.”
The other two schools with thousand yard bookends in the backfield are
Minnesota and Auburn.
Marion Barber and Lawrence Maroney lead the Golden Gophers. Ronnie Brown
and Carnell Williams make up the Tiger’s thousand-yard backfield.
Still No Love for ECU?
Conference USA counted up the votes, and Louisville’s win over then 4th
ranked Florida State goes down as the top moment in the history of the
The Cardinals win over the ‘Noles was a great moment, but I once again
maintain that it pales in comparison to the “Hurricane Game,” when the
Pirates rallied from 20 points down in the second half to beat then 9th
ranked Miami 27-23. The game was moved from Greenville to Raleigh's
Carter-Finley Stadium because of the flooding in Eastern North Carolina.
The emotion of the “Hurricane Game” certainly outweighs the difference in
beating a 4th ranked team and beating a 9th ranked team, doesn’t it!
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02/23/2007 01:29:40 AM