Message Board Mess
by Billy Weaver

The internet message board "geeks" never cease to amaze me!

If you're reading this article on chances are you also, at least occasionally, hop over to Why wouldn't you if you're a true Pirate fan. I have to admit that for me opening some of the posts on "the boneyard" is like opening a Christmas gift from grandma... you just can't wait to rip it open even though you're pretty sure you're not going to like what's inside.

During the 2005 ECU football season I took my fair share of critical hits on the site and to be honest I'm really okay with that. I'm a big boy and to be honest by now negative remarks seem to roll off my back like water on a duck. But when I recently logged on and saw some of the critical remarks written about ECU baseball play-by-play man Josh Spence, it just made me sick.

Factoid writes:
"I do not listen to the games because I do not like the it possible that someone else could be hired who might do a better job? I have no idea. Perhaps a casting call should go out before next season."

Alex writes:
"How about a guy on the verbosity scale, somewhere between Coach O and Billy Weaver?"

The post by "Factoid" produced 18 threads, many of which were in defense of Spence but looking further back into the board there was yet another negative thread. This one was a sarcastic hread started by OmahaDreaming.

OmahaDreaming writes:
"Jeff Charles will do all 3 UAB games next weekend and I am sure that the Joshers insights will be greatly missed...oh what to do....."

The next two out of 34 posts... yes, 34! are classic "Lunatic Fringe" as Steve Logan used to call it.

Pirate25 writes:
"Can we please leave him alone. He is not the best, but the other option is to not have the games at all. Just like Billy Weaver, he is not the best but you'd be even more upset if we couldn't get the games.

Awwwwww, thanks Pirate25. That actually brought a tear to my eye. Must have been the backhand.

Scabbard replies:
"Jeff Charles is no Dizzy Dean either!"

Oh my goodness! I know "Scabbard" didn't go there! He just ripped a guy named North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year, a man that could be the voice of a number of professional teams but instead chose to stay at ECU. And oh yeah, he coined a well known phrase seen on tee-shirts, billboards and ECU merchandise all over the east. You may have actually heard of the phrase "Paint It Purple."

The bottom line is that the ECU baseball team had just lost a third game in a row to Southern Miss on the road and many of these people had no one else to rip after tearing the Pirate baseball team and coaching staff to pieces.

ECU2005 hit the nail on the head with this post:"The deeper we advance, I somehow get more tolerant of his (Josh) missteps. Funny how that works."

Another poster that "gets it" is gvegaspirate.
"I challenge everyone bashing Josh to go up in the booth and give it their best shot! Just be thankful we have someone doing it and we don't have that clown that wanted to go on and on about 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' during the game instead of announcing the game."

I'll take it even one step further. I invite you to talk off the cuff about any ONE subject in the world for three hours straight. Record yourself and play it back. If you speak for entire three hours without saying one stupid remark then you have every right to criticize Josh or anyone else that does play-by-play.

For those of you "True Pirate Fans" that don't sweat the small things I commend you. For the rest of you I look forward to all of your responses on the net.  If nothing else it's entertaining... sometimes.

Billy Weaver