Reason To Be Thankful

by Chris Stansbury

East Carolina fans have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.  Some of you may be questioning that after Saturday’s loss at Rice. Just keep it in perspective.  Be thankful for the big picture.

At the start of the season, East Carolina’s football team was picked to finish dead last in the East Division of Conference USA.  Now, we still have an outside shot of playing in the conference championship game.  We actually have the tie breaker over both Southern Miss and Marshall, so if the Herd can do what the Pirates did and beat the Golden Eagles on the road, we are in. 

Speaking of So. Miss., I am thankful that the Pirates went down to Hattiesburg and left with a victory.  That’s huge.  As a matter of fact, NO ONE has a victory against So. Miss in Hattiesburg this season, except ECU.  That includes Conference USA West leader Houston (9-3, 7-1 conference) and North Carolina State. 

That takes me to this week’s monster match-up with the Wacky Pack. I am thankful that we are 6-5 with a chance to play for a conference title and go to a bowl game and N.C. State is 3-8 and not the other way around.  However, we really need to go in there and take care of business.  As the coaches say, ECU must go 1-0 this weekend. 

Keeping with the flow, I am thankful for the coaches.  Despite some questionable play calling against Rice, as a group, this has been an extremely well coached, highly disciplined, and for the most part efficient football squad.  The off-field problems are history.  The young guys are excelling in their trial by fire crash course this season.   Then there is the defense. 

WOW! The defense, I believe, has single-handedly won two or three football games this season and they may have to do it again Saturday in Raleigh.  Defensive Coordinator Greg Hudson has done a phenomenal job with getting the most out of this group, injuries and all. 

Finally, I am thankful to be a proud member of the Pirate Nation.  I can listen to Pirate Radio, each and every day, for the latest news on East Carolina.  The ECU football ship is moving in the right direction and I don’t know about you, I am thankful to be on board. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chris Stansbury