NEWS, NOTES &
The Bradsher Beat
Friday, January 4, 2008
By Bethany Bradsher
Pirates inspire new
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Somewhere between writing revolutionary
pamphlets and inventing bifocals, the great Benjamin Franklin found time to
say this about our annual passage from one year to the next:
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with
your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”
I am, of course, not a man, but the rest of that
thought resonates with me. And to that end, I will, whenever possible,
strive for harmony with the Pirate Nation in 2008, and when my writing
illuminates vices I will try to do battle with them. And so, with the
objective of the next new year finding me a better columnist, I will apply
myself to the following:
••• To attend at least
one East Carolina women’s basketball game this season. I already made this
promise once — last March when the Lady Pirates were making history en route
to their Conference USA Championship. Junior standout Jasmine Young
graciously still gives me quotes despite the fact that I have yet to darken
the Minges door during one of her contests. In ’08, I promise to be there.
••• To tread lightly
around the topic of Pirate fan behavior. When I interviewed former ECU
offensive lineman Eric Graham in October for what I thought was a
lighthearted look at homecoming through the lens of an ex-jock, it turned
out I was actually handling some incendiary emotions.
To all who were offended:
Neither Graham nor I intended to slam the Pirate faithful, and I do not
consider even the majority of Dowdy-Ficklen denizens to be drunken, loud or
uber-opinionated. But is there any stadium in America that doesn’t harbor a
few fans like that?
••• To teach my children
to embrace science and history through the lens of a fascinating event like
the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck excavation. I’ve been in this business
for 16 years, and I’m hard pressed to think of an assignment I’ve enjoyed
more than putting together an extensive QAR piece for Bonesville Magazine.
As I interviewed the
major players in the discovery, excavation and preservation of the ship and
its artifacts, I discovered that I really am interested in subjects like
chemistry, marine science and archaeology — pursuits that didn’t always hold
my attention inside a classroom. Even though it prompted a pretty bad case
of seasickness, I would hitch a ride on that salvage ship again anytime I’m
offered the opportunity.
••• To hold fast to this
memory: The joy of two six-year-old boys watching ECU triumph in the Hawaii
Bowl on Dec. 23. We let my son Benjamin and his friend Carter stay up to
watch the Pirates. The unbridled enthusiasm of the boys, often punctuated by
kicking, punching and wrestling during commercials, made even a non-trip to
Honolulu seem insignificant.
Did it rank as the most
momentous Pirate victory in history? I can’t find it in me to designate it
above the 1992 Peach Bowl or the 1999 Miami game. But two things will stay
with me from that win: the pounding feet of the boys as they ran down the
stairs to announce to my daughters (who were asleep) that ECU had won, and
the unprecedented way that, for a short while, East Carolina seemed to own
the nation’s fickle sports spotlight.
So, bring on 366 new
days for me to observe the comings and goings of Piratedom. This ECU
nation is a land that’s rich with unique personalities, singular
commitments to excellence and the potential for glimmers like the Hawaii
Bowl to become more commonplace.
I resolve this: I’ll try
not to miss any of the bright spots.
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01/04/2008 01:03:47 AM