To Life, Love, and Loot: An ECU Primer
Yes, the title is a reference to the new Captain Morgan’s advertising campaign, and was way too easy. Basically, the thought process went like this: East Carolina. Mascot? Pirate. Pirates? Captain Morgan? /Strikes pose in head. Oh, and Marisa Miller.
Much as we did last year with the Mighty Mustard Buzzards, we here at TRC thought it would be a good idea to educate those of you who might not be familiar with our 2011 opening game opponent, the Pirates of East Carolina University.
First, a little geography. You are all probably familiar with the two directional states of North Carolina and South Carolina. But a little known fact is that the original King’s Charter established three colonies between Virginia and the Penal Colony: North, South and EAST. We quote from the original language of the Charter of 1665:“Know ye, That we, of our further grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, have thought fit to annex the same tract of ground or territory unto the same province of Carolina; and out of the fullness of our royal power and prerogative, we do, for us, our heirs and successors, annex and unite the same to the said province of Carolina. Oh, and we also hereby grant and create a colony called East Carolina, which no one will ever wish to visit, both because of the frequent and repetitive hurricanes, and the nasty-ass barbeque made therein. Also, the people are hideously ill-groomed.”
The colony managed to go unnoticed through both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and was only rediscovered by Thomas Jordan Jarvis, a former Governor of North Carolina. Governor Jarvis was so roundly despised by polite society that he was forced to flee into the eastern wilderness, where he accidently stumbled upon the lost colony. As he was most assuredly drunk, he determined to found a college on the spot, and in 1907 was able to get the General Assembly to agree, provided that he never came back home.
Originally called East Carolina Teachers Training School, the school was tasked in its Charter with training “young men and women,” yet only admitted females for its first twenty years of existence. This is puzzling until you spend a long weekend on the campus, where the local coeds can still teach you a thing or two. Here we note that it is of no small coincidence that the school’s motto is Servire, the Latin form of the English verb “To Serve.”
What with the compliant women and the lower academic standards, ECTTS was long spurned by the more genteel North Carolina University System. But in 1972, the stench of the place grew so odious that the boys in the State Capital decided to take action, incorporating the school and renaming it East Carolina University. By all surprised accounts, ECU has flourished, and is now either the 2nd or the 3rd largest school in the North Carolina system (depending, of course, on whether or not you allow NC State to count their livestock/prostitutes).
As alluded-to above, the ECU mascot is The Pirate, formerly known as “PeeDee the Pirate.” The ECU Administration dropped “PeeDee” when it was discovered that most of the namesake Pee Dee River was actually located in South Carolina. Again, book learning is not their strong suit.
Athletically, ECU benefits from both the higher admission standards and the complete recruiting idiocy of the Research Triangle schools. The Pirates have enjoyed recent marquee victories over teams the rest of us destroy with regularity, but we try not to rain on their earnest little purple-clad parade. The Pirates are led by former somewhere-or-other’s offensive assistant, Ruffin McNeil, who created something of a stir at ECU by installing a fast-break offense and absolutely no defense. He also apparently hit an old gypsy woman with his car sometime last spring, but we try not to comment on weight issues.
One more thing about the ECU Pirates:
They have balls.
Unlike some of their more gentle neighbors (cough) Tarheels (cough), the Pirates will play ANYONE ANYWHERE and will never run from a fight. For this tenacity we salute them, both because it reminds us of ourselves in our pre-SEC days, and because it stands in such marked contrast with their powder-blue clad neighbors.
Oh, and only slightly off-topic: You all get that Jack Sparrow is gay, right? I mean, it’s not a big deal to me–more power to the guy, I say. But I just want to make sure we are all on the same page.