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Joined: 10/14/2006 Posts: 779
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'I miss the old ECU football' (long rambling rant ahead)

Let's face it everyone. We are not the same ECU as we use to be. Our coaches aren't the same, our players aren't the same, our fans aren't the same, college football isn't the same.

I'm afraid our best days are behind us. The good news is, most of us were old enough to see them and remember them. Sometimes I wonder if the name Leo Jenkins means anything to this ECU today. I feel the spirit that stood in the face of UNC, NC State, and the Miami's and FSU's of the world is long gone.

Our former coach once said, 'at East Carolina, you go for it every time.. or you don't come to East Carolina, you don't play at East Carolina, and you don't coach at East Carolina with a weak heart!' Our most recent coach drove around in Mercedes and flashed his Rolex and our current coach talks tough, but gives up right before halftime, and whines at the end of the game and ends up looking weak to the whole college football world.

I'm not going to say anything bad about any individual players, most are giving their all and can only do what they are coached to do. But the whole current generation is not the same as former generations (I know I sound like the same ones that said that about my generation!). Not saying one generation is 'better' than another, they're just different. We had certain types of players who were blue collar, dirt under their fingernails, work their tails off, and had no excuses... it just seems different today with the participation trophy, video game, twitter, and social media 'me first' generation (again, I'm generalizing, not pointing fingers to anyone on our team specifically and I know that doesn't apply to every person, we have some GREAT KIDS on this team that I'm excited to see grow).

I really thought after the Tulsa game, we were going to get that chip back. We were intentionally robbed and everyone knew it. I was hoping that would be a turn-around and a defining moment for our program. Where we would see a totally different, more aggressive, more angry, more 'having something to prove' team. Then the past two weeks, I see nothing has changed. I know our team is trying as hard as they can.

I want our team to succeed. I love Holton Ahlers' heart. He's seen the ECU I use to know. I know this is hurting him more than anyone. He's not a perfect QB, and is not exempt from criticism, but I want him to succeed so bad because I know he is a Pirate. I was so excited to have Mike Houston. I thought we were back to the grass roots, hard nosed, chip on the shoulder mentality that got us here to begin with. He's a proven winner everywhere he's been, he's won championships, he talks tough, he talked about restoring the ECU of the 90's... and I bought it hook, like and sinker. I'm not ready to give up on him, but with each passing week, I'm starting to lose a little faith. Last night I lost a lot of faith.

My wife was in the hospital recently and we had a young nurse who was fresh out of ECU. I was watching our first game in the hospital room and she remarked how we're just a terrible football team and how the games were just a social time for her and how her and her friends would leave at halftime because ECU football 'didn't matter' to the students. I was so sad because she didn't know the ECU that I know. She doesn't remember the hurricane game in Raleigh. She doesn't remember Jeff Blake or Marcus Crandell or Ernest Byner. She doesn't know the pride of trouncing NC State in Charlotte when Scott Harley ran all over them in the rain, or beating WVU and Va Tech.

Dowdy Ficken was a magical place for all of us. I don't mean the 'professional' DFS, I mean the one where we could stand against the fence in the end zones and watch the game. The one with the temporary bleachers. The one with the homemade fraternity and sorority signs instead of fancy LED boards with running commercials on them. Where when you hear the air raid siren, it meant something.

I miss the old uniforms with the stripes on them. I miss the helmet stickers and the wide shoulder pads. I miss John C. Moore's 'Where it is a first down.... Pirates!' I miss the old ECU. Our AD wants to have a 'We Believe' campaign to raise money. This ECU is far removed from the 'We Believe' ECU that many of us remember.

And yes, I'm jealous of the Cincinnati's, UCF's, Memphis and Houston's of the world (you know, those teams we USE to beat!). I wonder why we can't get a fresh, young, coach to come in and turn us around in a year or two and give us something to cheer for again. Why do we have to be the one to struggle for over 6 years now with no end in sight?? It doesn't seem right or fair. It seems all the fighting and clawing and climbing we did just to prove ourselves, was all for nothing.

Tomorrow may be better for us Pirates, I hope it will be. Today just feels like a day of mourning for this Pirate. I hate having to have to look forward to playing the 'bad teams' to feel like we have a chance to win! My moods range from anger, to sadness, to apathy, to hope. Maybe in the midst of all of those emotions, one of the most important qualities will arise for me, these coaches and this team, and all of us... that quality is perseverance.

Posted: 11/14/2020 at 3:13PM


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Current Thread:
'I miss the old ECU football' (long rambling rant ahead) -- Pirate_Mike 11/14/2020 3:13PM
  And -- Frogman 11/14/2020 9:14PM
  Hard -- Frogman 11/14/2020 9:59PM
  Absolutely! Pirate heroes, all. ** -- Statman200 11/14/2020 9:37PM
  Pirate Mike, you nailed it!! ** -- mtpirate 11/14/2020 5:46PM
  Mike on target -- Piratedawg 11/14/2020 5:03PM
  I enjoyed the old SOCON days -- Mtn swab 11/14/2020 4:09PM
  Emotions -- ecu77 11/14/2020 8:08PM
  When you start seeing ECU players again in the NFL.. -- razor_one 11/14/2020 6:00PM
  And -- Frogman 11/14/2020 10:18PM
  I think a lot of us have felt the same -- HighRockPirate 11/14/2020 3:48PM
  Pirate Mike -- RaleighPirate1 11/14/2020 3:45PM

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