GREENVILLE It would be interesting in
economic terms to know the total value of East Carolina's 33-27 overtime
win over N.C. State on Saturday. What would be the difference in dollars
across the board if the game's last pass had wound up in the arms of a
white-clad Wolfpack receiver rather than those of true freshman safety
Damon Magazu of ECU?
were money as they say, clutch when it counted. After State had erased a
21-0 ECU lead to go ahead 27-24, the Pirates revived for a tying field
goal by Mike Barbour from 31 yards with 1:04 left in regulation.
Dominique Davis got the winning score
in appropriate fashion on a 1-yard sneak as ECU had the ball first in
"I just kept moving until I got in,"
said the ECU quarterback.
The Pirates persevered in a game they
possibly could have turned into a rout but for their own mistakes. Two
ECU fumbles easily accounted for a 14-point swing but the bottom line
was a huge win not in margin perhaps but to the victors went
The Dowdy Student Stores on campus and
the University Book Exchange downtown will sell more Pirate caps and
T-shirts going forward. More people will show up for the Marshall game
next week. That's more programs sold, more concessions and more business
for grocery stores as fans buy supplies for tailgating. Hotel business
increases. More people will join the Pirate Club and they will be
inclined to renew their season tickets for next year when North Carolina
will get the full blown Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium experience.
More gas will be pumped to get folks to
the game. More people will buy newspapers today to read about the
Pirates. Bonesville gets more hits after an ECU win than a loss. More
people will tune in to the Ruffin McNeill coach's show on television
Then you consider the impact on
recruits who saw first hand the drama of ECU football against their most
frequent Atlantic Coast Conference rival. Coach Ruffin McNeill rates the
home football atmosphere at rowdy Dowdy second to none.
There were more potential college
players watching on TV who witnessed the emerging legitimacy of the
Pirates' program against a BCS team that had ascended into the Top 25
earlier this season.
There will likely be more Pirate fans
in church today, giving thanks and/or asserting their bragging rights.
Scripture says the Lord loves a cheerful giver and it's hard to imagine
when ECU faithful would be in a better mood.
Dwayne Harris didn't hurt his stock
with the pro scouts as he accounted for 260 total yards in receptions
and returns. That's more potential money for him next year in terms of
his NFL stock. Davis also had some impressive numbers as well as he
completed 37 of 53 passes for 376 yards with two touchdowns and no
ECU's win has financial implications in
a multitude of trickle down economic models. Some may be more like
gushing revenue streams, given the regional magnitude of a State-ECU
game. Sports are generally an all or nothing proposition. There was
little in the way of a runner-up prize for the Wolfpack. It was just a
loss to be quickly written off as preparations begin for a Thursday
night matchup with Florida State in Raleigh on Oct. 28.
Perhaps it was fitting that Magazu, the
son of Dave Magazu, the Carolina Panthers offensive line coach, jumped
the revised route of State receiver Jarvis Williams and picked off
Russell Wilson's final fling to the end zone at the goal line. It was
fitting in the sense that someone with blood connections to the level
where they perform for pay would make the deciding play.
Magazu is just half a season removed
from Providence High in Charlotte. His closing pick was certainly
provident for ECU.
Success begets success. The Pirates
have more confidence as they refocus on the Thundering Herd. They can
expect to attract better recruits with the ability to repeat the cycle.
ECU could possibly position itself for a better postseason bowl based on
its outcome with NCSU. That's money, too, although the Pirates were
scheduled to shift their attention to Conference USA 24 hours after
dispatching the Pack. The Liberty Bowl is probably the extent of ECU's
reach within league bowl ties. Television takes note of successful teams
and that has financial implications as well.
If any Big East representatives were
watching with an eye to expansion, they would have to like what they saw
in purple. The Big East is BCS and that's where the big bucks are.
The outcome of every game has potential
economic impact. The largest crowd in stadium history, 50,410, and the
intensity of emotions in the rivalry with State served to up the ante on
Saturday. The Pirates went all in and the booty was quite a haul. Like
the economies of two opposing nations, ECU currency had significantly
strengthened against the Wolfpack dollar at the close of business on