Destiny is a Funny Thing
by Chris Stansbury

One famous mother once told her son, "I believe you make your own destiny.  You're gonna have to figure out what it is on your own."  It was pretty sound advice then, and the same can be said now, for East Carolina's football team. 

Very few people could have predicted the course of the 2007 ECU Pirates, and if you did, I have two words for you:  Las Vegas.

A high, even in defeat against Va. Tech, was followed by a huge in-state victory against the Tar Heels.  Then, a letdown against Southern Miss and a drubbing by West Virginia brought us back to Earth.  Next, three straight wins with 3rd quarter heroics against UCF, two missed FG's at Houston and a score with no time left, plus overtime, at UTEP.  The bounding ball dipped against the Pack and rebounded on homecoming with UAB. 

From all of that, we sit in control of our own destiny to compete for a Conference USA Championship.  Thank you Rice, and, as of Sunday night, Central Florida, for beating Southern Miss.  Now the Pirates have to win three very winnable games, two of which are on the road, but winnable nonetheless. 

It starts with a Memphis team that has four victories, three in the conference.  Let's keep this in perspective, though.  The Tigers' four wins include 1-AA Jacksonville State, Marshall, Rice and Tulane. That's a combined record of 9-23, with five of those wins being Jacksonville State's. 

By the way, Memphis beat Marshall by 3 points, Rice by 3 and Tulane by just one point. 

So, does that mean East Carolina is a lock to play for the conference title?  Absolutely not!!!  In my last 18 years of watching ECU football, I have seen us play very well against a high-caliber opponent and turn right around and play down to a bad team's level. 

There is no reason at all why the same Pirate team that jumped on UAB and kept its foot on the pedal shouldn't do the same in the last three games.

The cop-out can't be motivation against a less-than-stellar team.  How about a chance at a Conference USA Championship?  That should be enough. 

And that quote from the famous mother.  It wasn't exactly the line above that made her famous, but more of the fourteen words that followed. They were "Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get." 

The same could be said about this season's Pirate football team.
Chris Stansbury