Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of 1,000's and 1,000's of Pirate fans. Call 252.637.2944 for flexible options & rates.





Nuggets of Gold
Thursday, October 9, 2008
By Adam Gold
Adam Gold is program director of the Triangle's "850 the Buzz" and host of "The G-spot with Adam Gold."


Keep your eyes on the prize

By Adam Gold
All rights reserved.

“Give me liberty, or give me death!” — Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

Those words were credited with bringing Virginia’s troops into the Revolutionary War. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both there, at the St. John’s Church in Richmond when Henry’s impassioned speech rallied the Virginia House of Burgesses and brought a response of, “To arms! To arms!”

Never mind that Henry really stole the line from a play, Cato: A Tragedy, in which Cato uses the “liberty or death” decree in his decision to commit suicide rather than live under the tyrannical rule of Julius Caesar.

In a way, it’s a bit eerie that the season resumes for the East Carolina Pirates in Virginia, just down the road a piece from the Richmond church that was witness to a major event in American history.

And, who knows, it could be Patrick’s great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson, Leonard Henry, who could be rallying East Carolina’s football team with the exact same words. Because, no matter how great the team's start was, no matter how impressive the wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia happened to be, the goal should have always been the Liberty Bowl.

Regardless of the euphoria that overtook Greenville following the 2-0 start, it was always a long shot to go 13-0, which is what it would have taken to bust into the BCS party. And, that’s assuming the Pirates were going to be capable of winning in Raleigh (um, no), Charlottesville, Orlando, Birmingham and Hattiesburg, and beat Tulsa for the conference title.

Think about it, no matter how bad you think N.C. State and Virginia are this season, to think that ECU was going to waltz into Carter-Finley and Scott Stadiums and cruise to victory is the height of hubris.

Add to that, the trips to UAB, where the Pirates have yet to win in three trips, and Southern Miss, long the thorn in ECU’s cleat, and the odds against perfection were real.

Now, consider the nature of college football – the sport in which USC could lose at home to Stanford and Michigan could lose to Appalachian State in Ann Arbor, and you can sense the recipe for unfulfilled fantasies.

It’s as hard as Organic Chemistry to go undefeated in college football. Even those teams with realistic chances at appearing in BCS games are less inclined than ever to negotiate the season unbeaten. It’s just too tough.

The loss to State in Raleigh may have shattered a few dreams but it didn’t ruin the season. In fact, even the shockingly poor play and the subsequent loss to Houston haven’t changed anything. The Pirates are still in control of their own fate in Conference USA.

Regardless of the outcome at Virginia, if ECU can win its remaining conference games, then it will play for the conference championship. It’s really that simple.

Not as simple is figuring out why Norman Whitley and Jonathan Williams have fewer combined carries than Brandon Simmons despite seeming to be more productive.

At State, it seemed a bit arrogant on the part of the play-calling to think that the Pirates could just line it up and smash their way into the Wolfpack’s end zone. It was the right decision to eschew the field goal, with a 4-point lead, midway through the fourth quarter. The execution and imagination were just lacking.

As for what happened in front of the fourth largest crowd in Dowdy-Ficklen history a week later…

If at all possible, let’s try and forget each of the 621yards of offense the Cougars laid on ECU. Once again, it doesn’t mean a thing because the original goal should not have changed. For a team that has never won Conference USA, nor played in the league’s championship game – and which in each of the past two seasons inexplicably lost a game down the stretch that left many shaking their heads – the aim all along was to end the season at the Liberty Bowl.

As Patrick Henry’s good friend and drinking buddy, Thomas Paine said, that’s just Common Sense.

Note: My condolences to the family of Scotty Wayne, the Southern Guilford senior with the promising future as a Pirate football player, who was killed in a Saturday morning car accident on Interstate 85 in Davidson County.


10/09/2008 03:27:11 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.