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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Holiday hustle and bowl bustle collide

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Tune in on the radio or catch the live Internet feed of The Brian Bailey Show with WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director Brian Bailey, each Monday night from 7-8 p.m.

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Getting ready for a bowl is sort of like preparing for Christmas. The stores could be open all night Christmas Eve, and many of us would still be out there looking for a bargain.

Combine the two and it makes for a very busy month of December.

East Carolina will host its Bowl Press Luncheon coming up this Friday. Pirate coach Skip Holtz will address the media in his usual format that comes on Mondays during the regular season.

The Pirates will then put in the game plan for the upcoming Bowl at practice over this coming weekend. East Carolina has tentative workouts set for Saturday through Tuesday.

The team will practice early on Tuesday, Dec. 19th, before flying out of Kinston to Birmingham later that afternoon.

The Pirates will practice for the first time in Alabama on Wednesday morning at Legion Field.

The first official bowl outing for the Pirates comes next Wednesday, with the “Welcome to Birmingham Team Dinner” to be held at the Stardome Comedy Club.

Thursday is the first big day for bowl activities in Birmingham. The Pirates will once again practice early, and then head to the Civil Rights Institute Tour. USF will take the same tour earlier that day.

Thursday night features the “Bowling and BBQ” challenge. I don’t know how well the Pirates bowl as a team, but I like their chances with the BBQ, coming from Eastern North Carolina. I’m not sure how popular the diced pork is in Tampa, Florida.

Friday will feature a trip to the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham for the Pirate mascot and the ECU captains. The “Kickoff Luncheon” is set for the middle of the day. The Pirates will then hold a short walk though later in the afternoon, their final practice before the bowl game.

On game day, the parking lots are scheduled to open at 8 a.m., which is great news for Pirate fans. There is a midmorning pep rally at the stadium, and then the Pirates and Golden Bulls kick off at 12:00 noon Central Time (1:00 p.m. ET.)

The bowl date does make getting to Birmingham and then getting home so close to Christmas a little difficult.

If you can’t make the trip, we at WNCT-TV 9 are planning a live, 30-minute special from Birmingham. I believe the show will air on that Friday night, but I’ll keep you posted.

We’ll also have expanded coverage from Birmingham for

For the first time in 44 years, I’ll miss my family’s Christmas party. As I told them, it’s been a long five years of losing football and I want to be there as much as anyone!

I just home Mom and Dad will still get me a present. On second thought, they’ll understand. Everyone’s happier when the Pirates are a winner.

I look forward to seeing each and every Pirate fan that I can find in Birmingham.

It does feel good to be a part of the college football postseason, doesn’t it!


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04/21/2008 07:07:53 PM


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