ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
By Brian Bailey
C.J. sets out on trail
blazed by Jones
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The ink has faded a bit,
but I still have the plastic Dallas Cowboys license plate.
The autograph reads, “To
Brian, My favorite sportscaster. Robert Jones #55.”
The Cowboys had selected Jones
with the 24th pick in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft. It was the
highest an East Carolina player had ever been drafted.
Robert Jones would go on to
win three Super Bowl rings with Dallas in the 90’s. He had a ten-year career
in the NFL. It all started on that draft day in April of '92.
Fast forward (and with Chris
Johnson I mean that literally) to 2008. Again, it’s the 24th pick of the
first round. The Tennessee Titans needed speed and picked up the guy who
shattered records at the NFL combine.
Johnson met the local
Nashville media on Sunday. He told them that he hopes to contribute right
“It’s really exciting just
looking at last year and all the things that (Minnesota Vikings running
back) Adrian Peterson did,” said Johnson. "Going to the Pro Bowl, Rookie of
the Year, those type things. It made all rookies these days feel good about
coming in here trying to play and just trying to get on the field, just
trying to win a Super Bowl.”
Johnson was asked about his
“I’ve never gotten ran down,”
he said smiling. “I was the fastest guy at the combine, but I know coming to
this level that every year it’s the fastest guy at the combine. So it’s a
lot of speed at the next level. I know you going from college running 4.9's
and 5.0 flats to the NFL where they are running 4.5's and 4.6's.
"Everybody has speed at this
level. You can’t just get the ball and try to take it outside, you have to
stick with the play.”
Sticking with the play was
Johnson’s problem early in his career. Once C.J. decided to run north and
south, hitting the holes and not going for the home run on every run, he
became a star.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher told
the NFL Network that the Titans had their sights set on Johnson all along.
“We had a sense that Chris
would be there,” said Fisher. “We really like what we saw. He’s a very fast
player who can catch and run. We’re really excited to get him in here.”
For the second straight year,
the East Carolina baseball team hosted a Challenger League game at Clark-LeClair
It was another big hit.
The Challenger League is a
part of Little League Baseball. The players are all special needs children,
ranging in age from 6-18.
The league split up into two
teams of about 25 players each. Each player had his or her game uniform on,
giving it the feel of a true all-star game.
There were A’s, Cubs, Tigers
and even Pirates. The Pirates were in black and gold of the major league
(Story continues below
The ECU Pirates served as
buddies. Each player had his own buddy, to help field ground balls or to
help in running the bases.
Pirate senior Corey Kemp
recalled his experience from last year.
“My buddy was in a wheel
chair,” said Kemp. “ He wouldn’t hear, he couldn’t really speak or
communicate. I helped him hit. He hadn’t really made any noise the entire
time, but when we hit the ball, he yelled really loud. His Mom started
crying as we ran around the bases. I got choked up. I’m the kind of guy that
thinks he’s not going to cry, but it was a real softening moment for me. It
made it all worthwhile.”
(Story continues below
Pirate Coach Billy Godwin
hopes the tradition will continue.
“This is a great day for
everyone involved,” he said. “Our players get as much out of it as the
participants do. We’re thrilled to have these players on our field,
playing a great game!”
The Challenger League plays
its games on Saturday mornings, beginning at 9:30AM at the Sarah Vaughn
Field of Dreams at the Elm Street Little League Park. If you’re out one
Saturday morning, come by and see some great baseball!
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04/29/2008 03:01:40 AM