Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
By Brian Bailey
Months of preparation about
to be gauged
the archive of Monday night's Brian Bailey
Show, with guest Skip Holtz:
Select audio clip
You could almost see the
relief in his expression. Coach Skip Holtz came to his weekly news
conference with a smile on his face. It is finally that time of year. All of
the work now comes down to 11 glorious Saturdays in the fall.
“It’s the season now,” Holtz
proclaimed. “We are finally out of camp and into the season. It’s been a
long eight months, but I can’t wait to watch this team play on Saturday.”
I can’t wait either. Holtz
says he’s been impressed with his defense, but thinks the offense will have
to stay simple to be successful.
“The defense really looks
good,” Holtz continued. “But then when you get back and sit in your chair
you think, could we really just be that bad on offense? You just don’t know
where you are because you really haven’t had a measuring stick, except
against each other.”
Holtz says he’ll be a little
nervous on Saturday. One gets the sense, though, that it's more anticipation
“I’m really excited to get the
chance to stand on the sidelines and watch this team play this week,” Holtz
said. “They have worked extremely hard.”
East Carolina and Duke
combined for just four wins a year ago, and both programs like to think they
are now on the way up.
“We have a challenge this week
with the Duke program,” Holtz said. “I think Coach (Ted) Roof has done a
great job with this program. They are a much improved program when you look
back at where they have been. You look at them and you say that they only
won two games last year, but they missed by a play or two of winning at
least three more.”
Mixed signals, almost
Coach Holtz was my weekly
guest on “The Brian Bailey Show” on Talk 1070AM last night.
Getting the head coach to kick
off game week was a coup in my mind, but it almost didn’t happen.
Coach Holtz wasn’t aware that
my show was Monday night. Holtz already had big plans. It was date night,
and he had promised his lovely wife that he would take her to dinner.
I could tell by the look on
his face that my request had put him in that awful predicament that only a
husband knows. To his credit, though, he asked if we could cut the interview
a little short, so he could still make his date.
Coaches have to be brave, but
that decision took real guts. I smiled with appreciation, and the interview
Of course, I had to bribe the
coach with free baby sitting services the next time the two go out. But, it
was worth getting the coach on my show to kick off game week at East
Holtz was relaxed, and as
always is a great interview. As promised, the coach was on time for his date
and all is well in the Holtz family.
I think I’m still drying out
from the last time East Carolina and Duke hooked up. What a mess that was!
It was a sea of purple and
“rain coat” yellow in the stands at Wallace Wade Stadium on that August
night in 2002.
I don’t think they were
calling for monsoons, but that’s about what we faced, especially in the
While the Pirates turned it
over three times, I had my own set of mishaps. I somehow misplaced a bag
full of tapes and batteries. I had accidentally put the bag in a friend’s
car who worked for a television station in Greensboro. The blue bags were
identical, but what a blunder! The result was that my season didn’t get off
to a good start either. I finally realized where the bag might have been and
retrieved it for the second half, avoiding the disaster of not having second
The Pirates fumbled on the
first play of the season, and before long fell behind 20-0. Duke held off
the Pirate comeback and took a soaking 23-16 victory in the ’02 opener.
Over/under on climatology
We are expecting much better
weather this time for East Carolina and Duke.
According to WNCT-TV 9
meteorologist Phillip Williams, the high temperature should peak out at
about 86 degrees on Saturday.
There should be less humidity
with partly sunny skies.
Of course, I’ve never been
able to figure out which is better, partly sunny or partly cloudy.
Anyway, it should be a great
day for football at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
If you’re thinking about
missing the game because of the holiday weekend, think about this: Saturdays
are special at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and we only get five of these Saturdays
for the 2005 season.
Like Coach Holtz, I can’t wait
to see this team play.
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