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Bowl Season Thoughts and Gripes
by Jonathan Ellerbe

Congratulations to the ECU football team for winning The Hawaii Bowl on December 23rd! The win over Boise State wrapped up another positive season for Skip Holtz and the team. Skip has improved his win total each year in his three seasons at ECU (five, seven and eight wins respectively). Although ECU's non-conference schedule is tough again next year with games against BCS Bowl Teams Virginia Tech and West Virginia and games at Virginia and at NC State, I think expectations in the Pirate Nation WILL BE to win a CUSA Championship and dare I say nine-plus wins next year! In Skip We Trust!

Speaking of the Hawaii Bowl win, wouldn't it be nice if ECU officials took the time to recognize the fact ECU played in and won a bowl game this year with some signage around Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium? In an October 2006 article, I wrote about ECU's Lack of Tradition at their Athletic Facilities. Let's hope this bowl win will spark a rebirth and celebration of ECU's football history and that some signage recognizing the accomplishments of past teams, coaches and players will be proudly displayed where everyone can see them on game days. Let's start with a 2007 Hawaii Bowl Champs sign and work our way backwards!

I love "Credit Card Bowl Week" on ESPN! However, there are TWO things ESPN, "The Worldwide Leader in Sports", CAN DO to make their broadcast of games more enjoyable:

    (1) Please DO NOT interview any more coaches from other teams during any of the live coverage of the game you're broadcasting. It is very disrespectful to the two teams playing, the two coaching staffs coaching and to the television audience to listen to some coach on a telephone feed (or in ECU's case June Jones of Hawaii was live in the broadcast booth during the game) talking about his football program and his upcoming bowl game. Please save all interviews with coaches for pregame, halftime or postgame shows on ESPN!

    (2) Please DO NOT have any current or former players, alumni, celebrities, etc., introduce the starting lineups on offense or defense during the game. It sounds horrible and the television audience usually misses a play in the process. I'm sure ESPN pays announcers a fair wage to point out who the starters, reserves, coaches, and other important people are involved in the game.

And finally, if Rich Rodriguez doesn't pay West Virginia every penny of the four million dollar buyout in his contract, then coach's contracts, not the BCS is the biggest joke in college football.

Cheers to the 2007 Football Season and here's to 2008 being bigger, better and more bizarre.

Happy New Year!

Jonathan Ellerbe