ARTICLE OF THE DAY

Why All the White Haters?
by Brian Meador
6/19/07

A man approached me at a gas station in Greenville on Sunday. He had an ECU baseball cap on so I figured he wanted to talk about the Pirate season or just baseball in general. Instead he railed on UNC pitcher Alex White, hoping he would get rocked off the mound against Rice that night. He didn't stop there saying that he hoped White would flop in Chapel Hill and never make it in the majors. What kind of craziness is that? He isn't alone. There is a lot of "White hating" recently that goes beyond competitive ribbing.

If you didn't know, Alex was a standout on the diamonds in Greenville from little league all the way through high school where he led D.H. Conley to a pair of state championships. He's a good kid who's been nothing less than a class act on and off the field since I first covered him in the Greenville City Little League Championship game 7 years ago.

The L.A. Dodgers drafted Alex out of high school but he chose instead to attend UNC and many Pirate die-hards were put off. Maybe they feel being from Greenville makes a kid obligated to attend ECU.

Alex owed nothing to ECU so he shouldn't be hated for choosing to attend UNC. I left the triangle to attend East Carolina University, I hope they don't hate me or wish for my failure.

The Pirate fan at the gas station was also an Atlanta Braves fan. I'll bet if Alex were to one day pitch for the Braves, that guy would be boasting "Alex White is from my hometown!"

Alex represents Greenville baseball and the community every time he steps on the mound. I'm rooting for Alex especially now that he is on the big stage in Omaha. I think most Greenville baseball fans hope Alex succeeds even as a Tar Heel or at the very least at the professional level some day.

Hear me LOUD and CLEAR, I don't think there is anything wrong with a Greenville Pirate fan pulling against the Heels when Alex is on the mound. It does however take a lack of class to derive joy in hoping for his failure.

Brian Meador
brian.meador@witntv.com
(More of Meador's weblogs can be seen on witntv.com)