Aug. 16, 2011
These are the best of times. These are the worst of times ... with apologies to Charles Dickens and A Tale of Two Cities.
To the Pirate Nation:
As noted on many occasions, the long-term success of East Carolina Athletics rests squarely on the shoulders of each individual member of the Pirate Nation.
By working together as a team, you have built a game day atmosphere that is the envy of so-called "big time" football schools and created a first-class athletic complex that will serve generations of students and coaches. You have also continued to set new season football ticket sales and attendance records at a time when many of our competitors have seen a decline over the last three years.
These are the best of times as a result of all that has been accomplished. And, these are the worst of times because of the unsettled national landscape, particularly for college football, and the challenges created by a faltering national economy.
At such times, the greatest danger is that we will lose our resolve and the "ALL IN" discipline that has carried us thus far. When times are toughest, we cannot fall upon each other by pointing fingers of blame at coaches or anyone else. We are in this together and I invite you to listen to FDR remind us that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" and to allow Winston Churchill to clearly define what is at stake in what can be disaster or our "finest hour."
The UNDAUNTED web page has been used to provide factual information about East Carolina University and ECU Athletics with selected members of the media and intercollegiate athletics. We wanted to share this data with the Pirate Nation so that you also have this information about what we have accomplished together.
We are asking each of you to help send a consistent message that East Carolina University is a growing and powerful force for positive change, not just in eastern North Carolina, but across North Carolina and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The highly-populated area between Washington DC and Atlanta is fertile ground for college athletics because of minimal professional competition (one team each - NFL, NBA and NHL).
The UNDAUNTED positioning captures the spirit of all Pirates. We are transitioning from the "underdog with a chip on our shoulders" to "champions providing inspiration" with the same hard work and relentless resolve to succeed and accomplish our goals and vision no matter the odds we face.
Former East Carolina Chancellor Leo Jenkins said it best "East Carolina is an example of the American dream ... struggle followed by success, followed by more struggle and more success." We continue to strive and achieve. We continue to follow this path UNDAUNTED!
There is no doubt that our "finest hour" is ahead of us, but it will take uncommon resolve and a steadfast discipline by Pirates everywhere.
We look forward to seeing you in Charlotte September 3, and in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium this fall with 50,000 loud and proud, purple and gold Pirates!
Giving No Quarter!