past decade, there have been many changes in college football.
There’s the BCS, the proliferation of bowl games, the 12th game, and
new conference alignments, just to name a few. Maybe one of the
biggest changes over the last decade is how fans can stay in touch with
their favorite team.
Remember the days of having to wait for the six o’clock news or
the morning paper to get caught up on the world of sports? It
wasn’t long ago that the “traditional” media was the only place to get
information about the Pirates. Sure they still do a good job of
covering the program, but gone are the days of “waiting”.
In an age of 24-7 sports radio stations and cable TV networks, nobody
has to wait to get the information they are looking for. Sure the
traditional media still have a role, but it isn’t what it used to
be. Why? Because much like Vegas, the internet message
board never closes, its open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Internet is another outlet that has changed the way we cover
sports. Pirateradio1250.com for example has been a great way for
us to reach thousands of people a month that may miss our live
programming, but can still visit us here online and read our columns,
or even listen online anywhere in the world!
Online message boards have also become popular over the last
decade. Its always accessible, and it gives the average fan a
place to go, and voice their opinions about the team. As with
anything, message boards have their pros and cons, but nobody can
dispute they have become the new way for fans to stay in touch with the
program. It isn’t always pretty, but the development of the ECU
message board has been an interesting one.
Coby Heath deserves much of the credit for taking ECU fans into the age
of the internet. Many long time Pirates will remember a
newsletter Coby did called “The Skull and Crossbones”. This poop
sheet always had tidbits of info and was an underground fan
favorite. I think I still have a few copies filed away
somewhere! In the mid 90’s, Coby put it online with a site called
crossbones.com. This website also included ECU’s very first
message board for fans. It was quite unique at the time, but over
time, disagreements arose about the management and maintenance of the
message board. Some things on the board seemed to get out of
hand, so a decision was made to start a new board.
Randy Evans was tired of the way things were being done, and decided to
put his money where his mouth was. “A few of us were looking for
a place we could have civil discussions and talk about Pirate
athletics, password protected, and free from dealing with opposing fans
ruining it,” Randy said. The project was funded out of his
pocket, and the tech savvy Randy began a new message board in the late
90’s called BoneyardBanter.com. This was created to give Pirate
fans a choice as to which board they may want to read or even post
on. “It started with about 10 fans looking for that type of
environment and grew from there.”
Randy was on to something. It did not take long for the
“Boneyard” to become a huge hit in the Pirate Nation. “I honestly
have not looked at the numbers in a while, but I know the last time I
looked there were over a million hits per month during football season,
and I expect that number to grow this year,” Randy added.
Part of the appeal to the site was the fact that it is moderated daily,
and no foul language is tolerated. “I am just a fan like everyone
else who happens to run the board. It’s our fans that make the
board what it is, and they dictate the environment. We have
savvy, intelligent, and funny fans. I get comments from of other
schools on what a great board it is. That’s a direct reflection
on the passion and intelligence of the Pirate fans that post.”
Randy likes to stay behind the scenes. He started the site not
for his voice to be heard; but for that of the Pirate Nation. In
fact, as we announce our new partnership today, Randy will join us on
“Live @ 5” this afternoon, but I know being “on the air” is not
something he is looking forward too. This will be his first ever
public interview, but today marks a new day in the joining of radio and
internet, and we felt strongly that Randy should be a part of it.
Starting this season, Pirate Radio 1250 & 930 will partner with
BoneyardBanter.com to make gameday coverage even more fun for all
Pirate fans. During our “Bill Clark Homes 5th Quarter” call-in
show, fans from across the Pirate Nation can call-in as always and be
on the show. The minute the game ends, we’ll be on the air taking
your calls with questions and comments about the game. This
season we will also be creating a new message board on
BoneyardBanter.com called the “5th Quarter”. This will enable
Pirate fans from across the country that want their voices heard to
post a message online, and we’ll be reading many of those messages on
the air during the post game.
We’ll have an on-air personality in charge of monitoring the message
board, and getting them on the radio. During the postgame show,
fans that cannot get thru on the phone, or are just more comfortable
typing instead of talking, can now be a part of the show! Whether
it’s talking about the game, or some crazy phone call, your comments
are welcome online; we just ask that you keep it clean.
“I think it will be another great dimension for fans. The 5th
Quarter board will allow traveling or out of town fans listening online
to get their questions and comments heard in the postgame if they can’t
get through the phone lines. The partnership is just a natural to
help keep fans in tune with things coming up on Pirate Radio and vice
versa, what’s being discussed by fans. It opens things up for a
lot of possibilities that will only benefit Pirate fans,” stated Randy
Evans of BoneyardBanter.com.
We too think this is just the start of what will be a fantastic
partnership for all involved, especially ECU fans! We have many more
things planned for the future, and we believe the merging of the most
popular website with the most popular radio station is a winning
combination. We welcome your feedback, and we look forward to a
new age in keeping fans in touch with the program like never before.