ARTICLE OF THE DAY
 
Calling All Pirate Fans

by Chris Stansbury
10/10/06


Attention Pirate Fans!!! The big games are NOT over. Yes, we played well against West Virginia. Yes, we beat Virginia. And we finish the year with N.C. State. Those are not the big games.
 
This week, Defending Conference USA Champion Tulsa brings its 4-1 record into Dowdy Ficklen Stadium and looks to go 2-0 in Conference USA. The East Carolina coaching staff is looking at Tulsa as a big game, but I don’t think Pirate fans feel the same way. You won’t hear me say this very often, but the Pirate Nation is wrong.
 
I do understand that playing and even beating teams from the A-C-C and Big East are tremendous accomplishments for a program like East Carolina. A national TV audience. And the fans showed up and made noise and stayed until the end of the game. That’s all great, but it shouldn’t stop there.
 
It’s no secret the Pirate Nation wants to jump to a bigger conference. But you have to dance with the date that brought you. We are a member of Conference USA. The Purple and Gold want to turn the heads of big wigs in BCS conferences, well, win Conference USA.
 
Right now, ECU is a small fish in a small pond. But, hey we are growing. Skip Holtz and his staff are producing better players, better game plans and producing better results. However, to get to the big pond, we have to eat all the fish in our small pond first. Okay, I beat that analogy to death. You get my point.
 
Tulsa is the first of six straight Conference USA games. If you ask me, Tulsa is the biggest game East Carolina has to play. A defending conference champ looking to repeat and move up to a bigger pond.
 
The Pirate Nation can make a difference. We have seen it in the first three home games. But the season won’t be judged on our non-conference schedule. Other conferences want to know how you did in your conference and what kind of fan support do you have.
 
Calling All Pirate Fans. Let’s show up in full force Saturday afternoon against Tulsa and show them Pirate Pride. Show them noise. Show them we want a piece of the pie they are eating. Let’s show Tulsa, Conference USA and then the whole country what kind of power the Pirate Nation holds in its arsenal. I will be there. Will you?

Chris Stansbury