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Insights and Observations

Henry's Highlights
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

By Henry Hinton

Group therapy may not be strong enough medicine

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The entire region of North and South Carolina could use a little “pep-me-up.” After a summer of anticipation and high hopes, football fans at every school in the area (yes, even Wake Forest) are scratching their heads and hoping for a turnaround.

Got any Prozac?

It’s too early to start wishing for basketball season, even in Chapel Hill and Durham. What is going on with the state of football around here?

After a disappointing 0-2 start to the East Carolina season, this reporter headed to Charlotte for a football fix on Sunday morning. Surely my Panthers will make me feel better.

Um… so much for that idea.

The great state of North Carolina has never really been able to lay claim to being fertile football ground, but this is ridiculous. In a state that most likely has more basketball national championships than any of the other 49, the closest any of our sister universities have ever gotten to a football Division I championship is the one the former chancellor at N.C. State promised a few years back.

By the way, what ever happened to her?

In an era of chat rooms, talk radio, message boards and blogs, losing can be a real problem for coaches. Have you noticed that?

And another thing, those reporters, particularly the big city newspaper guys, are always looking for a ‘cutting edge’ story. Sometimes they can even help create one.

The News and Observer’s Chip Alexander (same reporter ECU fans grew to love after his comparisons of Pirates and Stanford fans a few years back) got into it a bit with State’s Chuck Amato at Monday’s media luncheon in Raleigh.

Amato more or less stepped in it while searching for an answer to one of Alexander’s pointed questions. The inquiry went something like this: “Should your team be losing to a team like Akron in your seventh year with these great facilities?”

The essence of Amato’s answer was, 'Well, they won their conference last year and they recruit non-qualifiers and my facilities are so new they haven’t helped me any yet.'

Hmmmmmm… Chuck needs a public relations guy.

Who was it that said “never get in an argument with a guy who buys ink by the barrel.”

In Chapel Hill, there is still some hope. Well, okay, not that much. But losing to Virginia Tech ain't so bad, particularly when your new quarterback throws a costly interception. The Rutgers thing? Well, at least it wasn’t Akron.

South of the border, both Clemson and South Carolina are searching for the silver lining in their 0-2 starts.

Steve Spurrier is also searching… for his golf clubs and probably saying “what was I thinking?”

Wake Forest fans are celebrating for the moment but they have to be thinking that having to come from behind on Duke is not the kind of thing to build your early season confidence.

At Duke, they are just happy CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC have some new scandals to report on.

And, of course, here in Greenville, there is an equal mix of concern and excitement about the first home game.

Starting 0-2 is certainly a disappointment, but hope springs eternal considering both games were very close. Got to win the close ones though... starting this Saturday.

ECU is anywhere from a one- to three-point favorite in this game with Memphis. Pirate fans are resilient for the most part and Dowdy-Ficklen will be rocking.

All the preseason experts said the Pirates would be better but, considering the tough schedule, would still have a tough time bettering last year’s 5-6 record.

After two games it is easy to see why they were saying that.

Time for a turnaround. Hopefully it will materialize Saturday night in Greenville.


Pass the Prozac.

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This page updated 04/21/08 07:02 PM.

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