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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
By Brian Bailey

Credit ESPN for correct decision

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

I’d be the first to say that the folks at ESPN are in the business of sports to make a buck.

Some, though, are saying that ESPN is exploiting the tragedy at Virginia Tech by broadcasting the network’s popular “GameDay” program from Blacksburg for the East Carolina-Tech game.

I think ESPN will help add importance to what will be an emotional day for many in Blacksburg. In fact, the boys on the GameDay show may add a little levity to a pregame atmosphere that will otherwise rightfully be focused on respect and reverence.

The tragic murders on the Virginia Tech campus truly made us all Hokies in a way. The tragedy touched us all. Everyone had a different connection to Blacksburg.

I remember getting a call that horrible day from my brother. My first cousin’s son was on the Tech campus, visiting the school with many from his high school. When the school went into lockdown, the young man was rushed to a basement in a building near where the shootings took place. He later told his Dad that he heard the shots.

I can only imagine the pain the families that lost loved ones in the massacre continue to feel on a daily basis.

We all know just how emotional the ECU-Virginia Tech game is going to be. That’s why I think ESPN made the right decision.

Several fan blogs on the Internet certainly don’t agree.

Many feel that ESPN is taking advantage of the situation. They say that the Virginia Tech-ECU game doesn’t really warrant an appearance from “GameDay.”

On paper, the game probably doesn’t deserve that type of status.

There is an argument though. Tech is nationally ranked in every preseason poll that I’ve seen. East Carolina is coming off of a bowl trip. The Pirates even feature the son of ESPN analyst and legendary coach Lou Holtz. Skip Holtz is considered by many as one of the up and comers in the college football world.

Still, Skip’s Pirates will be as much as a three-touchdown underdog in Blacksburg that first Saturday in September.

ESPN’s “GameDay” should be in Blacksburg on September 1st. The world deserves to share in the Hokie spirit in the first major sporting event on campus since the tragedy.

Opening day in college football is always a special time. Time seems to stand still during July and August. Once September hits, the season tends to fly by. By the time the blur is over, it’s Thanksgiving and the regular season is winding down.

The opener gives us a chance to inhale, and then get set for the ride. The Pirates will be on a national stage for that opener against Virginia Tech.

Here’s looking forward to an opening game that will feature much more then football.

I’m sure it will be a game we’ll never forget.


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07/03/2007 03:31:10 AM


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