From the Booth
Monday, September 9, 2002
By Jeff Charles
Voice of the Pirates
It’s 7:00 p.m. Sunday night and you’ve heard this before:
“Okay Pirate fans, it’s time to talk ECU football with Pirate Head Coach
Fans across the state sit patiently, and then with much
anticipation, as the coach gets ready to field questions for the next sixty
minutes on the “Steve Logan Radio Call-In Show” with yours truly as your
Steve is the third football coach I’ve worked with at ECU.
My first year, in 1988, Art Baker was here and we did the show from the Old
Pirate Club Building which now serves as the ticket office.
They tell me in the “old days” the show had a live “studio
audience.” I think that may have been during the Ed Emory era.
Coach Baker was one of the all-time class gentleman coaches.
He enjoyed doing the show and talking with Pirate fans. I think he really
looked forward to it. We never lacked for calls either. All in-coming lines
were lit the entire hour. WDLX at 93.3 FM carried the show and with that
100,000-watt signal they blanketed eastern North Carolina.
After Art’s departure Bill Lewis came on board and we
actually did the show one year on Friday nights. We were struggling for
exposure in those days and WPTF in Raleigh agreed to air the show on Friday
night. That required a real commitment on Bill’s part because it was
obviously the night before the game.
During home Saturdays it wasn’t a real big deal but on road
games we would bring Bill to the stadium and sit in the visitors radio
network booth, using our equipment that we would use the next day to
broadcast the game. We had some interesting experiences in vacant dark press
boxes with locked doors and gates with no one around at 8:00 p.m. on Friday
But again we were so starved for the exposure, and getting
WPTF to carry the show was a big deal, so we made all the necessary
Bill, of course, left after the Peach Bowl victory and went
to Georgia Tech and Coach Logan came on board.
It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve been doing this show now
for eleven years. What has been consistent is the great response by Pirate
fans each week and the incredibly supportive calls we receive. In my humble
opinion, I don’t know where in America you could have a more receptive
cordial audience. I appreciate that every day.
These days we do the show from Cable Seven’s studio and it’s
televised to cable homes in Pitt County and locally on WCZI 98.3 FM and WGPM
94.3 FM. We have another dozen or so stations around the state that carry
it, too, and it’s also available on the Internet.
Coach Logan usually comes straight from his office to the
studio after a day of work on Sunday and I too head to the office Sunday
afternoons to scan the Internet and prepare for the show before going over
to the studio.
When we arrive, usually just fifteen minutes or so before
air time, the technical staff has been in place for about an hour and
hopefully everything will be running smoothly.
Last year we started broadcasting some shows at Logan’s
Roadhouse Restaurant on Greenville Boulevard. It’s a great location to
broadcast the show and we thank Logan’s for stepping up again this year as
the network sponsor.
Over the years some interesting calls have come in. Like the
guy years ago who called himself “Abdul from Durham” and asked coach Lewis,
“Why this win at all costs attitude at East Carolina?” We’ve never heard
from the guy since.
Of course, there was the guy last year who told Coach Logan
he thought the offensive line “was a bunch of fat guys that were out of
shape.” The television audience saw the veins in the coach’s neck, the radio
audience could visualize it.
Ninety-nine percent of the calls are positive and I know
Steve appreciates it. You have to remember no one feels worse after a loss
than the head coach. After all, it’s only his livelihood. So thanks for the
calls, we look forward to hearing from you.
News ‘n notes from Pirate Land
I bet you didn’t know that Pirate defensive tackle
Ja’Waren Blair and Pirate Hall of Famer Carlester Crumpler are related
through marriage. Crump’s new bride Danita is a cousin to Ja’Waren. They
tell me the Blair’s and the Roseboro’s (Danita’s maiden name) go way back
Speaking of Pirate Hall of Famers, Cary Godette is
coaching the defensive line this year at Western Carolina. Cary parted
company with Chuck Amato at North Carolina State last year.
It was great having Earnest Byner on my radio show
Thursday night. He’s a class guy who now works for the Baltimore Ravens.
Earnest has two daughters now at East Carolina.
Click here to listen to Jeff Charles'
'From the Booth' radio program of 09/05/02, which included his interview
with Earnest Byner.]
What goes around comes around. The Wake Forest Sports
Information staff used to be at ECU. Dean Buchan and Joanna Sparkman now
handle Media Relations for Wake Forest. Dean used to work with former
Pirate SID Charles Bloom who’s now in the SEC office, and Joanna with
another ex-ECU SID, Norm Reilly, who’s now at UAB.
Till next time, keep painting ‘em purple.
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