NEWS, NOTES & COMMENTARY
The Bradsher Beat
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
By Bethany Bradsher
Logan, Garrard win another one
Former coach and his QB,
authors of key chapters in
Pirate gridiron lore, capture ECU athletics' ultimate honor
All rights reserved.
View the Mobile Alpha version of this page.
Note from the Editor: This
article has been updated to correct a mistake
in the date of the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremonies
and to add other details related to this year's Hall of Fame class.
For years, I have deferred to
those in the Pirate Nation with far more seniority than me, mindful of the
fact that there are legions of East Carolina fans with decades of purple and
gold history under their belts.
But something is happening in
coming weeks that makes me feel qualified to climb into my rocking chair and
wax a little nostalgic — Pirate football icons Steve Logan and David Garrard
are part of a five-member class elected for induction into the ECU Athletics
Hall of Fame. The others are Amanda Duffy (soccer), Michelle Ward (softball)
and John Williamson (baseball).
The HOF ceremonies are
scheduled for the weekend of the Houston game on Nov. 3, though Logan and
Garrard are not expected to be in attendance due to conflicts.
An August release from ECU athletics
indicated that the pair will be enshrined at a later data.
In my estimation, Logan and
Garrard are certainly as worthy as any who have passed through Pirate
country, but I have always considered Hall of Fame selection as something
that comes decades after one’s glory years. It seems like only a year or two
ago when I was hanging out at the Ward Center, enjoying the free spread that
ECU used to offer to attract sportswriters, listening to Logan and Garrard
break down some of the gridiron program's greatest triumphs.
I moved to Greenville in
August of 1999 with a miniscule slice of East Carolina knowledge. But even
before we had unpacked all of our boxes, I had two news outlets hire me to
provide Pirate football coverage — so I started cramming.
The Pirates hit the ground
running that fall, forcing me to do the same. Less than three weeks after I
arrived, they knocked off West Virginia, followed by Duke. A month after my
move, my initiation to Eastern North Carolina intensified considerably when
Hurricane Floyd hit and led to the most catastrophic flooding in the
From a football standpoint,
Floyd’s destruction meant that the Pirates had to stay in Columbia — where
they had just dispatched the Gamecocks for their third straight victory — to
train for their next game, which was scheduled as a home contest against
Miami. Suddenly I was writing stories about ECU for news outlets in South
Carolina, all before I had even learned Thing One about the 1991 Peach Bowl.
Through that exciting autumn —
peaking with ECU’s improbable win over Miami at Carter-Finley Stadium and a
national ranking — I would have been hopelessly lost without the knowledge
and nuance provided by Steve Logan. I had covered the NFL for two seasons
and had experience interviewing several other collegiate coaches, but I had
never encountered a coach with the rapier wit and the depth of football
knowledge I discovered at Logan’s Monday press conferences.
True confession: It can be
hard for women to learn enough about football to cover the game with
excellence. Other than a memorable evening as a middle linebacker for my
high school Powder Puff team in 1986, I had never set foot on a football
field prior to becoming a sportswriter, so my understanding of the sport had
to come from outside sources.
I am grateful to Logan for
accelerating that process and for refusing to settle for the same old
coachspeak. I would frequently come home and play my recording of his
remarks for my husband, wanting to relive either his dry humor or his
astute football observations. Every time Logan has found his way to a radio
show I rejoice, because we need more of his brand of candid perspective in
At those same press
conferences, after we were treated to a series of Loganisms, the media would
gather around David Garrard at a round table to hear his insights about the
upcoming game. Later I interviewed key players who were visibly nervous
about talking to reporters; in a few cases the athletes making the greatest
contribution on the field were so uncomfortable that they struggled to put
together a lucid response to our questions.
Garrard was the complete
opposite. Always humble and never seeking the spotlight, he nonetheless
showed maturity and generosity during interviews, whether his previous
outing had been triumphant or troubling. He was only a sophomore that
season, but his potential for leadership seemed boundless even then.
With clutch performances like
the comeback from a 20-3 deficit against Miami that day in Raleigh, it came
as no surprise to me when Garrard went on to turn heads in the NFL as a
quarterback, and I was even less shocked at his generous service to the
communities where he played. Of course, the end of Garrard’s story is still
unwritten, but I have no concerns whatsoever about his potential to keep
inspiring in football or any other realm of life.
East Carolina is a school that
cherishes its heritage, and even though Logan and Garrard still seem like
yesterday’s headlines, I am grateful that they will take their proper place
in the Pirate legacy this weekend. I am grateful to both of them for
pursuing excellence during their ECU careers and teaching me such valuable
lessons along the way.
E-mail Bethany Bradsher
Bethany Bradsher Archives
10/11/2012 02:11 AM