ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
By Brian Bailey
Super Bowl rooting
All rights reserved.
in on the radio or catch the live stream of
The Brian Bailey Show with WNCT-TV 9 Sports
Director Brian Bailey, each Monday night
from 7-8 p.m. ...
Select Live Stream...
Unbeaten New England and
the upstart New York Giants are Super Bowl bound.
There are some interesting
“Super Bowl ties” to East Carolina and the region.
Former East Carolina Pirate
Guy Whimper of Havelock is headed to the Super Bowl.
Whimper has played a nice
backup role for the Giants this season, and now he and the G-Men are headed
to Arizona for Super Bowl XLII.
Earlier this year NBC analyst
John Madden had high praise for Whimper, singling him out with the
telestrator with several compliments.
The Giants also feature an ECU
Hall of Famer on the team’s medical staff.
Ronnie Barnes has been a
member of the Giants organization since 1976. He was named head trainer in
1980 and then was promoted to the position of Vice President of Medical
Services with the Giants in 2003.
One of the most respected
trainers in the NFL, Barnes has compiled an impressive dossier of
accomplishments since joining the Giants as a student intern. He was elected
to the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in June, 1999. In
2002, he was voted the Athletic Trainer of the Year by NFL physicians.
Barnes became involved with
the East Carolina football team as a student-trainer in the early '70's. He
was the first African-American graduate of the Sports Medicine Department at
ECU. He has since been elected to the East Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame
and been named a winner of the Outstanding Alumni Award
East Carolina honored Barnes
in 2002 by opening the Ronnie Barnes African-American Resource Center at
Joyner Library. The center collects books, software, journals and other
media featuring African-Americans in eastern North Carolina and the
The Giants offensive
coordinator, Kevin Gilbride, spent two seasons at East Carolina. Gilbride
was the club’s passing game coordinator in 1987, and served as offensive
coordinator in 1988 under Art Baker.
Gilbride has a great
personality and always made everyone around him feel comfortable during his
stay in Greenville. He was an absolute gem to work with.
Gilbride was also a head coach
in San Diego. He worked under Giants head coach Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville
in the mid 90’s.
Finally, though he wasn’t a
Pirate, New York backup quarterback Anthony Wright has eastern North
Carolina connections. Wright was a star at South Carolina after a stellar
high school career at West Craven High School in Vanceboro.
Nothing comes easy for hoops
Mack McCarthy and the Pirates
almost found a way to sweep their pair of home games this past week.
East Carolina came from 8
points down to beat Marshall on Wednesday night.
The squad then came from a 29-7 deficit out of the gate to take the lead
late before falling to Central Florida 71-66.
The Pirates got off to a
horrendous start against the Knights.
Coach Mack agreed.
“I’ve never seen anything like
it. We were trying, but literally everything we did turned out bad,” said
Last season, this would have
turned into a 50-point loss for sure.
This year, the Pirate
hoopsters dug down deep and put on a great effort to get back into the game.
Had it not been for a
“Superman” type effort from UCF's Jermaine Taylor, the Pirates might have
gotten this one.
Before Saturday night, I
didn’t think there was really a player in Conference USA that could start
for now No. 1 Memphis. Now, I think Coach John Calipari just might find a
slot for Taylor.
Taylor scored 32 points on
11-18 shooting from the field. He was a man among boys down low.
Still, this Pirate team
battled, scratching and clawing until the bitter end. It was a loss, but
many left Williams Arena Saturday night feeling good about a squad that
just wouldn’t quit. There are no moral victories, though, and a loss is
still a loss for this team.
The challenge now is to find
success on the road. That’s tough for any basketball team, but especially
difficult for a squad as young as this East Carolina team.
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville
04/21/2008 07:04:13 PM