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View from the East
Thursday, November 15, 2012

By Al Myatt

Al Myatt

Checking the mail/texts

By Al Myatt
All rights reserved.

View the Mobile Alpha version of this page.

After East Carolina visits Tulane on Saturday, the Pirates will be back in Greenville for a Friday football game with Marshall on the day after Thanksgiving.

Yes, the holiday season is upon us and that means a proliferation of mail. Like Christmas cards.

What if you could discern the contents of envelopes like Carnak the Magnificent, the old character on the Johnny Carson Show?

Or, contemporarily speaking, if you had total access to texts.

You never know. Sometimes you can only imagine.


To: Ruffin McNeill
ECU football coach

Hey, Ruff:

Been watching game tapes.

Hope you bring the team that showed up against Navy, not the one that dusted Houston.

See you soon,
Curtis Johnson
Tulane football


To: Ruffin McNeill

Hey, Coach:

What did you do to get your team turned around in one week from the Navy game to Houston?

You see, we just went to N.C. State and lost 37-6. We go to Notre Dame this week.

Thanks for any suggestions,
Jim Grobe
Wake Forest football


To: Ruffin McNeill

Hey, Ruff:

What's up? Congratulations on becoming bowl eligible.

I should have listened when you tried to talk me out of leaving for Kentucky.

I thought the grass was greener up here. Doggone if it ain't blue grass.

I guess I'll have a blue Christmas without you.

Maybe I'll see you at the coaches convention.

Pat Washington
Kentucky football


To: Shane Carden
ECU quarterback

Hey, Shane:

We've been checking you out.

Your upside is like the Empire State Building — from the bottom floor.

Have you thought about transferring to a BCS school?

Conference USA defensive coordinators

P.S. Feel free to take 'Ta' Cooper and Justin Hardy with you.


To: Lou Holtz
Coaching legend and college football analyst

Hey, Dad:

Just wondering.

Could you check with some of the ESPN brass and see if I could possibly do some games next year?

You know. Just in case.



To: Larry Fedora
UNC football

Hey, Larry:

Saw where Georgia Tech hung 68 points on you guys.

What goes around, comes around.

Elon Nation


To: Larry Fedora

Yeah, Larry:

What Elon said.

— Idaho


To: David Cutcliffe
Duke football

Hey, Coach:

Nice job this season.

I mean that's a really nice job.

See you at the staff Christmas party.

Go Duke,


To: Mack Brown
Texas football

Hey, Mack:

I haven't been a big fan over the years.

But running a play from the wishbone in memory of Darrell Royal to start the Iowa State game? Awesome.

A pitch-back reverse pass for 47 yards. A divine moment.

All right.

Take care,
Al Myatt


To: Santa Claus
North Pole

St. Nick:

I'm asking for a little bit more this year but I've been a real good boy.

Instead of just getting to an NCAA regional, could we host one again? Then could we host a Super Regional?

I feel good about getting to Omaha from our place.

Let me know of any prospects you see on your travels.

Milk and cookies in the usual place.

Billy Godwin
ECU baseball


To: Tom O'Brien
N.C. State football

Hey, Coach:

Sorry about the meltdown after the losses to UNC and Virginia.

Nice win over Wake.

We're behind you. All week.

— Pack Nation


To: T.J. Logan
Northern Guilford football

Hey, T.J.:

Well, the Nighthawks are still rolling, aren't they?

Hey, you know good players can get lost in the numbers game at Chapel Hill.

Give ECU some thought. It's not too late.

4 real, dude.

Your old high school teammate,
Rocco Scarfone
No. 39, ECU


To: Terry Holland

cc: Steve Ballard
ECU chancellor

Hey, guys:

#&*! ^&#%

OK? Got that?

Bah, humbug.

Tracey Kee
Former ECU softball coach


To: Roy Williams
UNC basketball

Hey, Coach:

Thanks for scheduling us.

Maybe y'all could return the trip to Greenville some time.

Just a word of caution. Don't sleep on us. See you Dec. 15.

Your buddy,
Jeff Lebo
ECU basketball

P.S. Football lasts a lot longer here than when I was in college.


To: Pirate Nation

Hey, Guys:

I'll be back next week.

Remember everything I did for you.

Sorry about how that John Thompson thing went down.

Can't believe we're playing you guys on a Friday during the high school playoffs.

Wow. That brings back some memories.

Good thing for Terry that he pushed for an early kickoff.

My best,
Mike Hamrick
Marshall AD


To: Jeff Hammond
Southern Miss AD

Hey, Jeff:

Give me a call, ASAP.

I mean it.

— Jeff Bower


To: Lincoln Riley
ECU offensive coordinator

Hey, Linc:

I'm sending you the diagram for the Gamecock play, my compliments.

We scored on it a bunch of times. You have to sell the flow and it should be there.

Hope you can use it. Maybe against Marshall.

Good luck against those guys,
Steve Logan


And now, back to reality...

After an open date that allowed the players a few days off and gave coaches some time to do some recruiting, East Carolina turned its full attention to preparing for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Tulane with its regular game week routine.

Receiver Justin Hardy and running back Michael Dobson have been getting limited repetitions in practice as they return from ailments. Center Taylor Hudson also has gotten better. Offensive tackle Grant Harner is improving but still may not play this week. Inside linebacker Brandon Williams is another player who has advanced in the recovery process.

"It was definitely beneficial," said ECU coach Ruffin McNeill of the break. " ... We wanted to make sure we caught up on our classroom work, that we took advantage of treatment with our sports medicine and that we continued our lifting with Coach (Jeff) Connors. ... We wanted to stay sharp on the field. We had shorter practices. We got our work done and got off the field so we could accomplish those things."

Tuesday's practice went on despite chilly, rainy conditions but that won't be a problem this week in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

"The ball became slippery at the end, but they went about it in really business-like fashion," McNeill said of Tuesday's workout. "That's one thing about this week — we will have a controlled environment and I'm looking forward to that."

The Superdome has a capacity of 72,000. The Green Wave has averaged 18,759 in attendance for its home games this season, making for a situation comparable to UAB at Legion Field in terms of crowd energy.

McNeill said the Pirates have to concentrate on the task at hand.

"The game versus Tulane is the only important thing right now on our docket," said the ECU coach. "We need to make sure we practice well and have great, great focus. We have to have great, great focus, knowing that we'll catch Tulane's best shot."

The Pirates provide an opportunity for the Green Wave (2-8, 2-4 C-USA) to gain additional credibility under first-year coach Curtis Johnson.

"That's where the coaches and myself, we come into play," McNeill said. "Our leaders have to come into play. We have to realize that we have a great opportunity in front of us to play another game this week. We have to make sure that we're better than the last time out versus Houston. We must play better on all three sides of the ball."

Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin has completed 173 of 271 passes for 2,132 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in seven games. His favorite receiver has been Ryan Grant, who has 53 catches for 947 yards with six scores this season.

"Their defense is similar to Houston's," McNeill said. "They blitz quite a bit. They play man coverage, some zone."

The movie situation

The open date allowed McNeill a chance to get up to speed in some areas unrelated to football.

"I caught up with my shows that I DVR, like 'Last Resort,' and I've been reading, 'Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage' by Chris Wallace," said the Pirates coach. "One of my friends and coaches at Arkansas sent me a book that Tony Dungy is a part of. I caught up with my shows. Most of them deal with drama and action."

The Pirates will take in the new James Bond movie, "Skyfall," on Friday night before playing Tulane.

E-mail Al Myatt

Al Myatt Archives

11/15/2012 12:53 AM


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