ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
By Brian Bailey
Back down to earth
All rights reserved.
WNCT-TV 9 Sports
Director Brian Bailey
interviews East Carolina
quarterback Rob Kass
after the Sheraton Hawaii
Bowl. (Photo: ECU SID)
After the bowl trip of a
lifetime and a great holiday week, it’s finally time for a reality
My first comment to East
Carolina coach Skip Holtz in our half-hour bowl special interview for
WNCT-TV 9 probably summed it up best for me.
I said to Coach Holtz, “I
think we all knew this was going to be a special trip. I just don’t think
any of us knew how special this was going to be.”
Holtz agreed. He had been to
Hawaii before. For most of the rest of the Pirate party, it was a first ever
trip across the Pacific Ocean.
It was truly a once in a
lifetime event. Sure, I may get the chance to go back to Hawaii, but I’ll
probably never get a chance to do it again with so many in the Pirate
That was probably the most
fun. Every time you ventured into the hotel lobby, you saw a staff member or
a player. The smiles told you that they were having the times of their
It was close to a perfect
week. The players enjoyed their downtime, but you could tell by the way they
played the game that they were focused and ready to attend to business in
the actual football game.
Thankfully, Chris Johnson will
be remembered for his record-shattering day for all-purpose yardage, and not
his fumble in the final minute.
Perhaps, though, that added to
the enjoyment. Watching Rob Kass deliver the Pirates down the field and
seeing Ben Hartman boot home another game-winning field goal only added to
the near perfect experience.
There will certainly be other
bowl games in the Pirates' future. However, there will never be anything
that comes close to the experience these players enjoyed at the Sheraton
Each night, both the ECU and
the Boise State players were literally treated like kings.
One media member said that the
national championship should be played there each year. That’s how great the
players and coaches were treated, like teams playing for a national title.
Late that week I did get a
little homesick. I like being near my two children around Christmas, and was
lucky that I was back in Greenville and eating dinner with them early
Christmas Eve night.
A place as tranquil and as
beautiful as Hawaii gets a man thinking.
Reality for me was coming home
to two great children, and a job that I enjoy more with each passing year. I
know how fortunate I am that I get to work so closely with a program like
East Carolina University.
I was very fortunate to get to
cover the Pirates in Hawaii. It was a magical week and one that I know I
will think back on often with the fondest of memories.
Congratulations to Coach Skip
Holtz and his staff on a great football season. It certainly had its ups and
Holtz told his team after the
loss to Virginia Tech on opening day that they belonged on the field with
that Hokies team.
I think there’s a team from
Boise, Idaho, that just might agree!
Here’s looking forward to the
recruiting season, and then football in 2008! The reality is that ’08 should
be another good year, one that should find the Pirates battling for that
elusive Conference USA crown!
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04/21/2008 07:05:24 PM