Several gems in this article, so make sure to read the whole thing. The following is really interesting:
“We play them in ’10, ’13, and ’16, and we haven’t scheduled any further out than that,” said (Lee) Fowler. “We had more games over those six years and I think Skip (Holtz) and Terry (Holland) got together and said, ‘We’ve got to make sure we can win and do some things properly’, so I think they wanted to back off every other year or every year, home and away”
There are a few FACTS that you should know:
(1) Chuck Amato did NOT like the series with ECU and did NOT want to play the games. Early in Amato’s tenure, Fowler’s insistence of scheduling ECU was a source of contention between the two.
(2) Tom O’Brien also does NOT like playing the game with ECU.
Regardless of your personal perspective of the value/importance of scheduling football games with ECU, this stuff is damn good/funny. I don’t think Fowler is savy enough to understand what he is saying or doing; but those of us who have experienced this rivalry since the 1980s can’t help but love to see NC State turn the political tides on ECU and make a big deal out of this situation (as Fowler describes it).
We could talk about the reasons for this all day long…and surely have done so in old entries. But, I don’t have time to type it all today.
The late, great Jim Valvano terminated NC State’s scheduling of East Carolina after Pirate fans tore down goal posts and the playing surface at Carter-Finley in the ugly incident of 1987; AFTER NC State’s athletics administration had publicly warned ECU and Pirate fans after two consecutive years of minor vandalisms to the stadium.
Regardless of the obvious justification that it was no longer prudent for NC State to host East Carolina, ECU fans took the opportunity to turn the action into a publicity battle claiming that ‘NC State was scared to play ECU’. Those of you who have a long-term perspective built on actual personal experiences in the late 1980s and 1990s remember that ECU took this a step forward with a public campaign built around how the Pirates weren’t scared of anyone and would “Play anyone…anywhere…anytime.”
You need to look no further than East Carolina’s avoidance of scheduling a series with Appalachian State in recent years to see how their old mantra hasn’t held true for a long time. In addition to the excitement on the field, such a series would be a major boon to the economies of both Eastern and Western North Carolina. The Pirates’ decision to deprive the public of this fanastically compelling series with ASU – and the North Carolina State Legislature’s avoidance of the the topic – has been very disappointing. But, it is now consistent with Lee Fowler’s public statement that ECU is scared to play NC State on an annual basis.
Oh, the irony.
God I hope Fowler INTENDS to piss off the ECU people and knows what he is doing. If not, I wouldn’t be surprised for Terry Holland and Skip Holtz to publicly call his bluff on some of this.
“I think, truthfully, we expect to beat East Carolina on a year-in year-out basis,” Fowler told WRAL. “To us, it wouldn’t be that big an upset.”