Special night connects fans to new
• Event: 11th Annual
Meet the Pirates Night
• Date: Saturday, August 13, 2005
• Time: 6 p.m. (North Gate opens at 5:30 p.m.)
• Location: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
• Cost for Dinner Session:
$10 for adults
$5 for children 12
$5 for ECU students
• Cost for Photo and Autograph Session
Free of charge
6 p.m. – Dinner will be
7 p.m. – Photo and autograph session at
Field in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium
Reservations for the event are required.
To purchase tickets, call (252) 328-4530. Checks may be mailed
to: Meet The Pirates, ECU Sports Marketing, Ward Sports Medicine
Building, Greenville, NC 27858.
In its 11 years of existence, East Carolina’s
unofficial kickoff for the football season has been the Meet the Pirates
event that occurs each summer. It might not be an overstatement to
characterize this year’s event as the most anticipated renewal of the
tradition since it began during the Steve Logan regime.
As much as the affair offers an opportunity
for friends, fans, and family of the program to meet the players, it is also
an opportunity for those players, along with the new coaching staff, the new
athletics director, the new chancellor, and various support staff to meet
the community they serve.
The annual shin-dig, which sprang from an NCAA
rules change more than a decade ago that made it difficult for alumni and
friends of the university to host a dinner with the players, has grown in
participation each year. This time around it is expected that more than 750
meals will be served during the feast portion of the gathering.
“It seems to grow a little bit each year,”
said Craig Curtis, Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing. “And, we seem
to have more and more people come out for the autographs and pictures at the
At the Saturday, Aug. 13 event, Coach Skip
Holtz and his entire ECU football staff will be in attendance along with AD
Terry Holland, Chancellor Steve Ballard — most important of all in the eyes
most fans — the entire active roster for the 2005 football team.
Jeff Charles, the Voice of the Pirates, will
be the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
After a short program and dinner, the event
will move outside — weather permitting — to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, where the
players and coaches will be available for autographs and photos.
And, it is that point, the players mixing with
the community, that gives this event that unique ECU flavor.
“The players really look forward to this each
year,” Curtis said. “It usually comes at a time when they have been in camp
and two-a-days and it is a night that they look forward to as much as the
“From our standpoint, we really make a point
of having the players mingle throughout the crowd and fans. We make sure
that they are scattered throughout the room for dinner. And our players have
made it a point to make sure that everyone there that wants a picture or an
autograph are accommodated.”
Curtis pointed out that most schools have
events like Meet the Pirates but contends that the togetherness of the ECU
community in relation to the team makes it an extra special event each year
for the team and for the Pirate partisans in attendance, large and small.
“The little kids get an unforgettable
experience,” he said. “When they get photographs and autographs, you can see
it in their eyes… how excited they are.”
And it is not just the kids. For many ECU
fans, it is a chance to meet the guys on whom they pin their purple
“It really gets the football juices running
for some of the fans,” Curtis said. “Everyone knows it won’t be long before
the games are here.”
And, along with the fanfare there will be
plenty of opportunities for ECU fans to take care of business like buying
season tickets, signing up for the Pirate Club, purchasing the 2005 ECU
football media guide and buying the latest ECU gear at a special promotional
discount from the ECU Student Stores. All will be available on site at the
event along with free posters and schedule cards.
Reservations for the event are required. To
get tickets, call (252) 328-4530. Checks may be mailed to: Meet The Pirates,
ECU Sports Marketing, Ward Sports Medicine Building, Greenville, NC 27858.
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02/23/2007 02:05:56 PM