Nuggets of Gold
Thursday, August 30, 2007
By Adam Gold
Adam Gold is
program director of the Triangle's "850
the Buzz" and host of "The G-spot with Adam Gold"
mornings from 6-10 a.m.
A MESSAGE TO ADAM GOLD]
[DIG INTO ADAM GOLD'S ARCHIVES]
Coming of age in Greenville
By Adam Gold
All rights reserved.
I remember the first time I invited my parents
over to my apartment. I was in my early 20's, in my own place for the first
time, and it was a big deal to have Mom and Dad come over to my place.
I was a nervous wreck. I wanted everything to be
just right. I wanted the place clean, the neighbors quiet, the dog
well-behaved and dinner done just like Emeril said.
It’s a very big deal in a guy’s life when the
tables are turned. When you reach the point when you can pick up the tab for
dinner – okay, so it’s a bit painful, but you’ll get over it
because it means that you’ve really become an
Now, don’t go making a habit of it because Dad
probably makes a lot more money than you.
You can draw a lot of comparisons between that
aspect of life and the 2007 East Carolina football season. This year, for
the first time in school history, both North Carolina and N.C. State come to
Greenville to visit the little brother. Both schools have made the trip down
east before, the Tar Heels in 2003 when each school was so bad you really
had to hold your nose to watch either team
the Heels won by 11.
Four years earlier, in the waning days of the
Mike O’Cain era, the Pack came to G-Vegas and the Pirates painted it a very
deep shade of purple, sending the Red and White from State back down US-264
with a 23-6 beating.
But, here’s why this is really a big deal. It
isn’t so much because ECU has them both at Dowdy-Ficklen in the same year.
It’s because the Pirates have them both at home in 2007
and they’ve got a chance to win both games.
In fact, it might even be an upset if East
Carolina were to fail to beat the Heels in week two.
There’s a big difference between just playing
the games and having a real shot at winning. And, the fans know it.
We don’t know what kind of season it’s going to
be for Skip Holtz and company. The defense should be very good, but
offensively it’s going to come down to those intangibles that always
determine your fate.
Avoid major injuries and suspensions
if Rob Kass thinks this is directed at him, he
just might be right
and don’t turn the ball over. Do those things
and play good defense and you’ll have a chance to win a lot of games.
What we do know, however, is that ECU football
has been, can be, and will be a happening. The way it was going under Bill
Lewis and Steve Logan in the 1990's is the way it looks like it’s going to
be under Skip Holtz.
When you’re good, and you
sell out your home field, and your building vibrates like it should
September 8 and October 20, it turns a sleepy college town into the place to
be on a Saturday afternoon.
Terry Holland has done a
lot of really good things in his short tenure, but none more important than
the way he’s treated the football schedules. ECU isn’t anyone’s guarantee
game anymore. If you want to play the Pirates, it’s not just going to be a
case where the Bucs load up the bus, drive into your town, take a beating,
pick up a check and drive on back down the road.
If you want the Pirates
on your schedule, you had better be prepared to make your own roadie.
In the next ten years,
aside from the Heels and Pack, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and South
Carolina make several trips to Dowdy-Ficklen. Holland once told me that
because he couldn’t guarantee that the Pirates would be invited to play in
good enough bowl games, he thought it would be a better idea to simply
schedule the equivalent.
You can call it what you
want. You can call it an in-season bowl game where you keep all
okay, most –
of the ticket sales. You can call it a suicidal schedule, because as long as
the Pirates are in Conference USA and playing this type of schedule, they’re
going to have to win at least six and maybe seven conference games to
guarantee themselves a bowl trip.
But, the way I see it,
it’s a sign of respect. It tells the college football world that you’ve
arrived. And, all the proof you need is that the two big brothers can’t hide
at home any longer. They’ve got to come and visit you for a change.
Now, all you’ve got to do
is beat them. And maybe give’em a wedgie before they leave town.
[E-MAIL ADAM GOLD]
[ADAM GOLD ARCHIVES]
09/01/2007 04:24:26 AM