A Message From Terry Holland

UABSPORTS.COM ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland
ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland

Nov. 14, 2008

The Pirate Nation continues to make Game Day at Dowdy-Ficklen an experience to be respected and envied by one and all. The comments below from a Marshall website are consistent with the observations passed on to us from all visiting team fans and team members. And Marshall takes a lot of pride in the home field advantage it has established over a long time period, posting an impressive record of 115-15 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium since its opening 17 years ago. Those 115 home wins since 1991 are believed to be the most in major college football.

While our marketing and promotions folks can not incorporate every great concept suggested by individual members of the Pirate Nation, the game day changes have been considerable and aggressive over a period of years. The Marshall comments recognize a number of those innovations as being extremely impressive.

As should be expected, the updated PeeDee has drawn a lot of comment. The flesh color will need to change and this will take time to be implemented. The color was taken from the Pirate Head logo which tries to provide a weathered, wind-burnt look. The Pirate Head logo has a small amount of flesh but it does not work with the larger amount of PeeDee's visible flesh.

The smile has received both positive and negative commentary so we will take some time to evaluate it. PeeDee has been planned to take part in an outreach program that encourages the young people of eastern North Carolina to make healthy eating choices and to develop other healthy habits such as exercise and proper dental hygiene.

PeeDee's initial introduction 25 years ago generated a lot of negative commentary but most good Pirates have accepted the overall concept of a mascot designed for younger Pirate fans combined with a real Pirate entering from the Pirate ship with the addition of the Jolly Roger as a battle flag and the No Quarter flag for the final quarter. All these elements seem to provide a balance of a hospitable welcome with an enthusiastically loud atmosphere that creates a bond between the fans of all ages in the stands and players on the field for a great home field advantage.



This athletic department has worked extremely hard to respond to constructive criticism, but for the long term health of this program, we can not and will not be able to respond to demands solicited on web sites to fire a coach, fire a mascot, etc. To do so would take us down a road that will quickly become a short path to chaos. If we wish to succeed, we have no choice but to stand together as one Pirate Nation with thoughtful and constructive discourse on our disagreements as we face the competitive world of intercollegiate athletics.


Comments from Marshall fans who attended the game last weekend:



After attending the ECU game yesterday in Greenville, I witnessed much more than a game. I am attending an EVENT. Example: ECU must have had five or six different traditions established in the pregame and in game time frame. To see 40,000 fans TOTALLY involved with the experience, it is even exciting for a visiting fan like myself. From the tiniest of fans to the senior citizens, it is a pleasure to see such excitement.



I have to agree with you on this. My friends and I discussed this on the drive home today. The fans were extremely into it. People dressed as pirates, people with eye patches, big pirate earrings, etc... Of course the cannon is a great touch as well. I love the fact that they have a former player that is in the NFL come on the screen to get the crowd fired up. They have a 4th quarter tradition. Watching the crowd during "Welcome to the Jungle" was also very cool.



The 4th quarter raising of the "No Quarters" flag is one of the most badass things I have ever witnessed at a college football game.



just to see how the town, fans, students, and everybody else expressed themselves on Saturday.



It was quite amazing. Excellent songs (Purple Haze, Welcome to the Jungle), the band played appropriate songs at appropriate times. Former NFL players telling the crowd to get loud on the big screen. Awesome participation between the crowd and announcer on first downs. And one helluva 4th quarter tradition as they raise the NO QUARTER flag. That crowd was absolutely electric from start to finish, I was both blown away by that experience.



A gal at my work went to the game with her husband and family - she was blown away by the atmosphere and how the fans were into the game.