Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
By Brian Bailey

Thompson goes head-to-head with adversity



East Carolina football coach John Thompson says he’s not interested in the distractions that come with a struggling football program.

He says he’s not feeling the heat, but he alluded to an imaginary hooks-and-ladders emergency as an example of a rallying point for his club.

“It’s like dealing with a fire,” Thompson said. “If you’re trying to get others out of that fire, you have to know you’re going to get burned. We have to have that mentality, that you’ve got to sacrifice to succeed.”

Army comes to town riding a two-game winning streak. The Black Knights have won as many games in two weeks as the Pirates have in two years. But put that into the context of Army's 19-game string of futility leading up to its Oct. 9 win over Cincinnati and this shakes out to be a match up of two teams desperate for success on the gridiron.

The stats don’t paint a pretty picture for East Carolina. Army averages 193 yards per game on the ground, which is 21st best in the nation. The Pirates are 113th in the nation in rushing defense and 116th in scoring defense.

Army racked up 48 points against Cincinnati and 42 in its victory the following week over South Florida. The Pirates are giving up 41 points per game.

For ECU, there is a silver lining as far as the stats analysis goes. Army is dead last in the nation in total defense, 116th in passing defense and 110th in rushing defense.

Somebody break out a new case of light bulbs for the scoreboard, because this one could feature all kinds of scoring. It may be a case of the Pirate offense trying to keep pace.

“It all starts with the run,” said Thompson. “We have to find a way to stop the run. We’ve got to get eleven guys on the same page on defense.”

Thompson, like most of the Pirate Nation, is obviously frustrated with a team that had an extra week to prepare for Southern Mississippi, only to go out and trail 35-0 at halftime before losing 51-10.

Thompson, though, continues with the same tune.

“We are just going to keep working as hard as we possibly can work,” Thompson said. “I know I’ve said it before, but that’s all we can do. We know we are on the right track. I know we are going to get this thing done.”

I asked Thompson if this job was more difficult then he thought it would be when he was hired.

“It is more difficult,” Thompson said. “But it is what it is, and we just have to keep at it. We will turn this thing around.”

Thrill time for LeClair

I wrote former ECU baseball coach Keith LeClair a congratulatory e-mail about his Red Sox beating the Yankees last week. I told Coach LeClair that I was rooting for his Red Sox to end the “Curse of the Bambino,” so next year the Cubs could finally get past their “Goat Curse” and win a World Series.

I thought of LeClair often when I watched Curt Schilling win Game 2 of the World Series, as he pitched with that dislocated tendon in his ankle.

As cameras got a shot of the blood soaking through the sock, viewers got a good look at what Schilling had written on his cleat.

The shoe read, “K”, ALS, which stands for Strike Out ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It's the same malady that afflicts LeClair, forcing him to step down as ECU's baseball coach after the 2002 season.

Schilling has his own foundation, Curt’s Pitch for ALS, and over the last 13 years he and his wife Shoda have donated and helped raise over five million dollars for the ALS Association.

A courageous Curt Schilling is the story of baseball’s post season to date. But even that courage pails in comparison to what Keith LeClair and his family go through on a daily basis.

After Boston's 4-1 triumph Tuesday night in St. Louis, Coach LeClair’s Red Sox are but one win away from that World Series title that has eluded them since 1918. Here’s hoping the Sox can come through for the coach!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:29:48 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.