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.





The Bradsher Beat
Saturday, November 30, 2007

By Bethany Bradsher

Time trifles away as men dither

By Bethany Bradsher
All rights reserved.

Allow me to engage in a little gender stereotyping regarding the Christmas and college football bowl seasons, if you will.

Men have absolutely no desire to get a head start on the holiday season. If they have a choice between 50 percent off in November and full price on Christmas Eve, a man will go for the last-minute adrenaline rush every time.

I’ve given up on dropping my husband gift hints from catalogs or the Internet. He prefers to run the two-minute drill — dash out to the mall on the 23rd, bump elbows with all of the other procrastinating husbands and speed home with just enough time for gift wrapping before the final buzzer sounds.

So I’m left to wonder, as the East Carolina football team has spent a full week in bowl purgatory: How would all of this be different if women were in charge of the bowl selection process?

The Pirates would already have their plane tickets booked to either Hawaii or Mobile, and the bowl committee would have sent a packing list suggesting appropriate outfits for the luau on the beach or the low-country shrimp boil. They would know their opponent and they would have logged hours viewing film in preparation for their holiday business trip.

But alas, most bowl and conference officials are men, and apparently part of the thrill is in the anticipation. It certainly doesn’t get much more surreal than capping off your regular season by playing mental Ping-Pong between Southern Alabama and sunny Honolulu.

The only thing that became crystal clear on Thursday was the fact that the decision would definitely wait until after Saturday’s Conference USA Championship between Central Florida and Tulsa. Officials from both the GMAC Bowl and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl said that C-USA officials were working with the bowls and had encouraged them to wait until Sunday morning to move.

On Tuesday, the Toledo Blade reported that the GMAC Bowl committee was on the verge of extending an offer to Bowling Green after a Monday night meeting. It seemed like a done deal three days ago, but the Falcons, like the Pirates, are still waiting.

The GMAC official declined to comment further on his bowl’s scenarios, preferring to stay quiet until the details are revealed. But Jim Donovan, the executive director of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, was quick to roll out a brightly flowered welcome mat to the Pirates if the chips fall into place for them to fill the bowl’s assigned C-USA slot.

“I will say East Carolina is definitely in the mix to come to the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, and we’re actually pretty happy about that,” Donovan said.

According to Donovan, the Liberty Bowl is the only bowl with a priority lock on any C-USA squad. Even though it’s been reported that the GMAC Bowl has the second pick and the Hawaii Bowl the third, he said that the other placements are a result of C-USA and bowl officials working together to determine the best compatibility.

“I prefer to think of it as (the) C-USA office is working with all the bowls to slot the best teams that would work geographically and competitive-wise,” he said. “It sure seems to me like they try to put the best fit into the bowl games, and we’ve been really happy with everybody they’ve sent us.”

The conference also seems to make a concerted effort to send different teams out the Islands each year, he said, so that as many C-USA players as possible can savor the experience.

Talk to Donovan for a few minutes, and you’ll start checking airfares for a trip to his bowl regardless of who’s playing.

“I can guarantee that when your kids get off the airplane and look around, they’ll be hooping and hollering spontaneously,” he said. “We have luaus on the beach, we have a lot of fun. A lot of our games have gone into the fourth quarter, because the weather is so warm and everybody plays well and scores a lot of points.”

I know the arguments for the GMAC Bowl — a better fan base, likely a more competitive opponent than a scoring machine from the WAC. But I’ve never heard anyone extol the glamorous features of Mobile and I doubt I ever will.

After talking to Donovan, I found myself hoping that the Pirates would get to soak up the sun from a place that truly represents a reward for a job well done.

Send an e-mail message to Bethany Bradsher.

Dig into Bethany Bradsher's Bonesville archives.

11/30/2007 01:49:59 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.