East Carolina Football has 7 bowl championships, 12 bowl
appearances, over 75 players that have played professional football and
over a dozen players that have been recognized with some sort of
All-America selection. Yet when you go to a home game it is very
hard to find the tradition and history of East Carolina Football
showcased in and around Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
I understand that ECU’s resume is not that of Ohio State or Texas with
National Championships, Conference Championships, Heisman Trophy
Winners, etc., but it’s certainly more rich than teams that just
started football like South Florida and UAB. ECU has been playing
football since 1932 and should be proud of their past teams and players
accomplishments and should honor them all over the stadium for everyone
to see (that being fans, former players, recruits, visitors, television
audiences, ect…). ECU may not be able to be a top 25 team on the
field every year and have overflowing trophy cases with awards and
championships, however they can market themselves as if they were.
Laugh at them on the field all you want now, but at least Duke has
signs around Wallace-Wade showcasing that at one time they played in a
Cotton Bowl and won an ACC Championship or two. Every time North
Carolina State is on television, at some point in the game there is a
close up on Phillip Rivers name showcased on the upper deck of
Carter-Finley and the announcer goes on and on how great he was and
where he is today (starting quarterback with the San Diego
When fans show up at Dowdy-Ficklen, they should not be disappointed or
focus on the fact that ECU has not been to a bowl game or had a winning
season since 2001. Instead fans should be reminded of the Liberty
Bowl & Peach Bowl Championships and former great players such as
Terry Long, Ernest Byner, George Koonce, Robert Jones, Jeff Blake,
David Garrard & Rod Coleman. Fans are smart and won’t forget
the recent dark days of Pirate Football, but when they show up at
Dowdy-Ficklen they should be in a place that makes them feel proud and
a place that reinstates the positive history of ECU Football.
Tradition and history are created on the field but tradition and
history only live on if you preserve and market it to future
generations of the Pirate Nation. Dowdy-Ficklen is just the shell
for Pirate Football, it’s what’s inside it that makes it special.
It’s time to hang some signs, jerseys and names at Dowdy-Ficklen and
celebrate the Pirate Football tradition before we forget.