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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, November 3, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Team, town primed for the big stage

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest Phil Petty. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250-AM and 930-AM.
Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page


Batten: Ga. recruit brings talent & intangibles
Bailey: Team, town primed for the big stage
BVL Audio: Skip Holtz weekly press luncheon
O'Brien: Pinkney key against Hokies
O'Brien: Harris Poll ballot
BVL: BCS Standings
BVL: This Week's Polls
C-USA Standings, Scores, Schedule, TV
Myatt: Opportune Bucs feast on miscues
Batten: Pirates find the mark on 'big target'
Game Center: ECU 38, Memphis 19
O'Brien: Offense ignites under pressure
Box Score / Statistics
BVL Audio: Replay Skip Holtz post-game
Talk FM: Replay Game Day Countdown
Monroe: Kevin's Keys to the Game

For many in Eastern North Carolina, Thursday will be a football holiday. In fact, many have made plans to make it a long weekend.

I don’t think there will be much business going on for Thursday, unless it’s tailgating or football.

Virginia Tech comes calling for the ESPN special on Thursday. A national audience will get a chance to check out Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and the planned “black out.”

For East Carolina coach Skip Holtz, it’s another in the BCS challenges that this schedule presents each year. It’s a chance to show off his program to an entire nation.

"There is an awful lot of buildup and excitement for this game, venue and atmosphere,” said Holtz. “I think Greenville will come alive a little bit Thursday. We're really excited to not only play Virginia Tech, but to play the team at home, on Thursday night, in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium with a national-television audience."

Coach Holtz knows there will be a buzz. He hopes that buzz continues throughout the night.

Frank Beamer may be wondering which Hokie team shows up. Virginia Tech crushed Marshall, Boston College and Miami. Tech beat Nebraska as well.

The Hokies also bring a two-game losing streak to Greenville with back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
Both of those games offer a bit of a blueprint on how to beat Virginia Tech. Just like in last year’s game in Charlotte, the Pirates have to hang around and fight, and then be ready to make a play late.

North Carolina did just that in Blacksburg last week. The Tar Heels found a way to hang in the game, and then took advantage of a late turnover to pick up their first ACC win of the season.

Holtz knows his team can’t give up the big play. Unfortunately, the Hokies have a tendency to force their opposition to do just that.

"They are a big-play football team,” said Holtz. “They have 44 plays of 20 or more yards. They're very explosive on offense and are averaging over 30.6 points a game.”

The Pirates are sitting pretty in Conference USA’s East Division, and they’ll continue their trek to a big league showdown in Tulsa next week. As for this week, it’s a chance to shine in front of the entire nation. That’s as much as any football program in the country can ask for.

"It's going to be a great challenge for our football program,” Holtz continued. “This team is practicing hard and I think they understand the challenge we have ahead of us. We're really looking forward to having the opportunity to play this game."

Early Christmas present

I had the privilege recently of serving as Master of Ceremonies for the 2nd annual Beau’s Buddies banquet in Greenville.

Beau’s Buddies is a wonderful organization that raises money to help area individuals in their fight against cancer. The organization gets its name from Beau Stanley, a young child who lost his battle with cancer in November of 2007.

Part of my duties as MC involved introducing the different packages available for bid in the live auction.

One of the packages was entitled “Tis the Season,” a package designed to make Christmas very special. The package included a professional tree trimming, a Christmas wreath, poinsettias, stocking stuffers, Christmas candy and cakes, and even some holiday wines and other spirits.

The bid came from the back of the room. I couldn’t see, but I thought I recognized the woman’s voice.

“We’ll take it for one thousand dollars,” said the voice. She added, “It’s for Rock.”

Jennifer Holtz made the winning bid. The wives of the entire ECU coaching staff occupied that table in the back, and were combining their funds to give Rock Roggeman a nice Christmas.

Rock is currently in his own battle with cancer. This Christmas should be a little brighter as Roggeman continues his fight.

What a win-win. Area businesses donated a wonderful package. Beau’s Buddies made a thousand dollars to help cancer victims. Rock Roggeman gets a gift from a classy group of ladies.

It kind of makes you feel like that’s what Christmas is really all about.


E-mail Brian Bailey.

Brian Bailey Archives

11/03/2009 04:21 AM


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