ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
By Brian Bailey
GMAC Bowl holding its
cards for now
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It looks like it will be a
wait and see week for the East Carolina football program. The Pirates are
heading to a bowl, but the team’s destination is still up in the air.
It will be either the GMAC
Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, or the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu.
The ball is currently in
Mobile’s court. The GMAC Bowl gets the second pick of the Conference USA
teams. With the teams already lined up for the league's other three bowls,
that leaves Mobile with a choice of the loser of the C-USA championship game
— Central Florida or Tulsa — or East Carolina.
Many believe that Mobile would
welcome UCF with the second pick, which would send ECU to the islands. The
GMAC is obviously interested in East Carolina. If not, the GMAC could have
released ECU to Hawaii, agreeing to take the C-USA title game loser.
The Pirate players seem to
favor a trip to Hawaii. Wouldn’t you?
These two bowls are almost
polar opposites. The Hawaii Bowl is on Dec. 23, just before Christmas. The
GMAC is on Jan. 6, a prelude to the BCS National Championship game the next
The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl was
played on Christmas Day the first two years, and then on Christmas Eve the
last three seasons. Playing the game on the 23rd would give the team the
chance to get back to town before Christmas.
If the team heads to Hawaii,
it would arrive on December 17th. The squad’s week’s worth of activities
would include a visit to Pearl Harbor, a trip to the Hawaiian Waters
Adventure Park and the traditional Hawaiian Luau.
The Hawaiia Bowl kicks off at
8 p.m. Eastern Time on the Dec. 23.
The Pirates would arrive in
Mobile on New Year's Day if the team gets the invitation from the GMAC Bowl.
The team would be welcomed with a southern style shrimp boil at Ladd-Peebles
Bowl week in Mobile features a
bowling challenge, lunch on the famous battleship USS Alabama, and one of
the best parades in the business, the Saturday night Mardis Gras Parade.
Both bowls also feature a
hospital trip, which is always one of the highlights for the coaches and the
players selected for the visit.
Overall, it’s a nice problem
to have. Obviously, more Pirate fans will be able to make the trip to Mobile
I don’t like the date for the
Mobile Bowl. A bowl game should be part of the holiday season, not some
after thought as we gear up for the BCS championship game. Still, the GMAC
Bowl features the involvement of one of the class acts in college football
in Mike Gottfried.
When the folks in Mobile
decided to try and secure a bowl, it was the Port City’s own Gottfried that
was called on to help. Gottfried did just that and became a major player in
the new bowl game.
Conference USA has spots in
six bowl games. Memphis will go to New Orleans, Southern Miss is headed to
Birmingham, and Houston will play in the Texas Bowl.
The UCF-Tulsa winner will
represent C-USA in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis against an opponent from the
The Pirates could know where
they're headed later this week, if the GMAC releases ECU to go to Hawaii.
Most likely, though, the
Pirates won’t find out anything definitive until sometime later in the
afternoon on Saturday.
Regardless of the suspense
about the destination, the Pirates have the satisfaction of knowing they are
going bowling for a second straight season.
It’s Honolulu or Mobile for
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