ARTICLE OF THE DAY
ECU Travel Nightmares
by Josh Spence
Did you ever have one of
those days when you find yourself asking "what else could go
wrong?" Lately that's been the most common phrase heard on the
road with the East Carolina baseball team. The travel
complications to endure have been ridiculous, and as of Sunday night
they don't appear to be finished.
It all started on the team's first conference series of the year
Tulane, the first plane trip of the year. The Pirates were
scheduled to fly from Raleigh to Tampa, and then connect on a flight to
New Orleans. We arrived in Tampa on schedule, but quickly
received word that there would be a delay. Our plane was coming
from Ft. Lauderdale, but had not been cleared for takeoff due to severe
weather in the area. A one-hour scheduled layover turned into
five. The trouble continued when we arrived to New Orleans.
The bus that showed up to haul the team around reminded me of the one
from the movie "Major League". Much of the team's luggage had to
be put on the floor inside the bus, as the stowaway compartment was too
The coaches quickly made arrangements for a new bus service, however
the next morning the bus showed up two hours late to take the team to
breakfast. A trend was beginning, one thing after the
other. This eventually cost the bus service the price of the
team's pre-prepared breakfast they weren't able to attend, and also the
right to bus them around the rest of the weekend. Arrangements
were made to bring a new bus down, all the way from Hattiesburg,
Keep in mind, when the team is on the road they have a schedule to
attend to that doesn't leave much room for error. The next plane
trip was to Fort Worth, Texas to play the Horned Frogs.
Everything was on schedule on the way down, and seemed to be in order
on the way back. Flying to and from Raleigh always leaves us with
a one and a half hour bus ride on the way home. This usually puts
us in Greenville around 1:30 or 2 in the morning. This time I
remember thinking, wow we are going to be early. Man was I wrong,
our flight made it to Raleigh fine, but apparently the luggage
didn't. We waited another couple of hours for subsequent flights
to come in which had most, but not all of the luggage.
Plane trip three, Louisville, KY. Just this past Thursday the
team was scheduled to meet at Scales field house at 6 AM, to catch an
early flight in Raleigh. The team showed up, but the bus
didn't. Coaches scrambled, considering loading up in several of
ECU's vans to go to Raleigh. Instead, we waited on a different
bus, but of course by the time we arrived in Raleigh we had missed our
flight. This forced the team to split up and take separate
airlines. We all reconvened in Louisville, only to find that the
bus waiting on us was again too small. By the end of the weekend
we had two buses carting us around.
Finally on the way home Sunday night we got on the bus in Raleigh
headed for G-Vegas. That's when we learned that the heat on the bus was
broken, and there was no way to turn it off. It was so hot on the
bus, the players had their shirts off (and some of them their pants)
pressing themselves against the windows to stay as cool as possible.
On the bright side, all of the unfortunate travel problems have given
the team more down time with each other, which seems to have brought
them closer together. After all, nothing brings people closer
than a common goal, or a common enemy.