A Message To The Pirate Nation
Dec. 1, 2011
To The Pirate Nation:
If you ever wondered what the phrase "it's more than a game" means, please take the time to read these exchanges, a message from Marshall Associate AD John Sutherland and an epilogue from Jarrod Call.
My name is Jimmy Wood and I am a proud Pirate alum, class of 2001. I recently took my sons, along with my father-in-law, to the Marshall game in Huntington. Please see below for the amazing events that took place that weekend and continues to take place. I posted a quick note on the website, Hoist the Colours, about our visit and the most amazing things have happened since. With the permission of the Call/Kautz family, I would like to share it with you. Below is an email sent from the associate AD for Marshall concerning this, and it includes the link to the original post and subsequent thread. This is what college athletics is truly about, forging friendships and respectful rivalries. In fact, is looks like the Call/Kautz family may very well make the trip to Greenville next year as my guests for the game and our pre-game tailgate.
I thought you would like to know about this.
Jimmy Wood '01
We do not mind if you want to send it to him. This has gone viral around here as I never expected it to gain this much attention as well. I catch myself reading this throughout the day and smile every time thinking of my grandmother. I sent you an email with a link of my grandfather as well as a link to my grandmother's obituary. I thought you might like to hear about them. Thanks again for everything.
I continue to be amazed. I would like to share this with our AD, Coach Terry Holland, but only with the permission of you and your family. I never intended to draw so much attention to our visit and I'm sure this is still a trying time for your family.
Below is an email that was sent out this morning from our associate AD. I thought you might be interested. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Hey Herd Fans,
Have you recovered?
It was that kind of weekend! I don't know what tasted better; the OT win over Cincinnati, the OT win versus the Pirates, or my wife's sweet potato casserole?
Better go with the sweet potato casserole if I know what's good for me.
Not only did we taste victory in the win over ECU, we re-established the bond between our two schools. Through the courtesy and respect shown to our visitors from Greenville by you, our fans, the following note was posted on a Pirate message board. Please read this and feel proud of your Marshall family:
A Trip I Will Never Forget
That being said, I had a poignant reminder that football is only a game at the end of the day. I decided that my boys really need to see the memorials to the 75, so we go to the fountain and then the cemetery. When we pull up to the cemetery there is actually a burial going on right in front of the memorial. We park a ways away and try to be respectful while deciding to stay or go. The service concludes and the minister walks up to us. I am thinking he is coming to run us off. Instead he tells us that the lady being laid to rest is the wife of the AD who died in the crash. As he is dismissing he sees our flags and thinks it is perfect that someone from ECU is there. He asks us to stay because it would mean a lot to the family. Huh?
We stay and walk up to the memorial. The grandson begins to talk to my father-in-law while a lady walks up to me. She is the daughter who just laid her mom to rest. She THANKS me for coming and talks to me and my sons about the tragedy. She thanked ECU for our tribute at the stadium and wishes us luck. She asks my kids if they play and reminds them to play till the whistle blows. What a classy lady.
I pray God's peace be with her and her family. I may not like C-USA, but I am proud to be conference mates with Marshall. They are ... Marshall.
I can only say "thank you" to Lucianne Call and her family, as she was the daughter who spoke to these folks who came to our town never expecting to be moved by the grace shown to them. At a time of great personal loss, she reached out to others to encourage them.
Today, I spoke with Lucianne and she shared with me something else truly amazing about that day; it just happened to be her mom and dad's wedding anniversary.
The responses to this letter are amazing and can be found by clicking the link below. They are a tribute to not only Lucianne, but to all true Marshall fans that extend that same hospitality to those who come to our town.
Take care and GO HERD!