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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
By Brian Bailey

Ten Hopes for the New Year


The holiday season is a great time for reflection. It is also a time to look forward to a brand new year, to the challenges that 2005 brings with it.

Everybody has a list at this time of the year, so here goes my version of Ten Hopes for the New Year:

     10. A surprisingly good recruiting class for new football coach Skip Holtz. I love the idea of recruiting the in-state student athlete, and if Holtz and company can make inroads in the Tidewater area, good times are sure to return for East Carolina.

      9. A more traditional uniform for the Pirate football team. I have never been a fan of the current helmet logo because I don’t think it shows up well on television or from a distance. Coach Holtz is on record as saying he, too, wants a more traditional look. I know that black is not a true Pirate color, but a splash of black would be very popular with the younger crowd. And if the official colors are royal purple and old gold, let’s see some of that on the ’05 uni.

      8. Let’s have an old-fashioned bonfire to kick off the new football season next year. They used to be very popular with the students and fans that came in on Friday for the weekend. We can use those purple pants and those “highlighter” yellow jerseys from the N.C. State game to keep that fire going.

      7. We need a couple of big home wins for Bill Herrion against some of the nation’s best from Conference USA. Williams Arena features a great atmosphere for basketball when the house is full and the Pirates are playing well.

      6. While we are talking hoops, how about a couple of big wins on the road for this ECU team. This squad historically struggles away from Williams Arena, so maybe ’05 is the year this thing gets turned around.

      5. We need great weather for the Keith LeClair Invitational Tournament in March, which will open the sparkling new baseball stadium at East Carolina. Every time I drive by on Charles Boulevard, I stop and marvel at the new home for Pirate baseball. It is going to be awesome. Also, continued prayers go out to the former Pirate baseball coach. LeClair continues to fight the bravest of fights. If you’re ever having a bad day, take a deep breath and put yourself in Coach LeClair’s shoes. All of a sudden, your problems don’t seem to be so bad, after all.

      4. Let the rumors to the Big East come true. Sure, this isn’t the same Big East with the loss of Virginia Tech and Miami to the ACC. But this is one of the few options out there for the Pirate football program and the rest of the ECU sports in scheduling. Hopefully, ECU will get the football-only invitation first, and then find a home for all of the other sports later on. There are other options for the other sports, but the ideal situation would be to have the same home for all sports.

      3. Employment for all of the former coaches on John Thompson’s staff. Thompson wasn’t successful in his two years, but he and his staff were all good people. The old saying goes that “good things happen to good people,” a positive fate which is deserved by Thompson's assistants. J.T. had a horrible defense at East Carolina, but still Steve Spurrier hired him to coach his defense at South Carolina.

      2. A winning season and a bowl bid for Skip Holtz in his first season at East Carolina. It certainly won’t be easy, but there is nothing like a couple of wins to get the entire town fired up. Eastern North Carolina (the area, not the school, which of course is EAST CAROLINA) is PIRATE FOOTBALL in so many ways, and it would be great to re-energize the area with a winning football campaign.

      1. Finally, health and happiness for Pirate fans near and far. It’s been a great privilege to cover the ECU program for the last twenty years. Here’s hoping that 2005 is a year to remember for Pirates everywhere!

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02/23/2007 01:30:00 AM

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