In 1999 Hurricane Floyd ravaged eastern North Carolina leaving behind in its wake a path of destruction and misery.
Hurricane Floyd has been called the worst organic disaster to ever hit North Carolina. Lives had been lost, families were up rooted and towns have been left to handle the devastation of a once in each 500 year flood.
One particular eastern North Carolina town hit especially challenging by Hurricane Floyd was Greenville, North Carolina. Greenville is property to East Carolina University and its 26,000 student population.
East Carolina University serves as a vital financial and cultural engine for the region and its people. East Carolina football can also be important to the area since it gives each a economic and emotional boost to these living in eastern North Carolina.
Each the University and its football team even so, have been dealt important blows straight away soon after the storm. The flooding from Hurricane Floyd was so substantial in Greenville, by way of example, that it forced ECU to shut down classes for almost two weeks.
The harm also kept the Pirate Football group from returning household just after their away game the previous week in which they played and beat the USC Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Pirates, who had been scheduled to play the number 9 ranked Miami Hurricanes in Greenville the following weekend, had to move the game to Carter Finely Stadium in Raleigh NC( two hour drive from Greenville), property to the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
On Sept 25, 1999, 46,000 thousand individuals, the vast majority of whom had been ECU fans, packed Carter Finely stadium and watched one particular on the most important football games in East Carolina history. Numerous of your fans who were in attendance that evening had lost their homes, personal belongings and indicates of earnings resulting from the ravages from the storm.
The fans who had traveled to Raleigh to see the Pirates play had traveled to witness more than a football game, they had also traveled to seek out a glint of hope. Time and time once again ECU had beaten teams they were not supposed to beat and now greater than ever the ECU faithful necessary Pirate football to create a unique form of magic on the gridiron.
Magic that could transcend the difficulties they have been experiencing if only to get a few hours on this Saturday evening in September into some thing additional positive than the earlier days storm drama.
People who attended the game in Raleigh and people who watched it on tv had their loyalty rewarded with an improbable 27-23 come from behind Pirate victory. Greater than just a win more than 9th ranked Miami, nevertheless, the game also offered Pirate fans using a promise regarding the future.
A promise to the individuals of eastern North Carolina that if ECU football could over come wonderful odds and emerge in the chaos of Hurricane Floyd as winners, they could at the same time. ECU's victory more than the "Hurricanes" of Miami( Hollywood could not have written a far better script ) symbolized for the battered men and women of eastern North Carolina that rebuilding their lives from the terrible destruction of Floyd could and could be completed.
ECU's win more than Miami also put an exclamation point on an incredibly extended two weeks for the area and culminated in what 1 North Carolina columnist referred to as, "ECU's Gipper Game". In reality nonetheless, East Carolina had been winning Gipper Games for significantly of its football life.
The Pirates had discovered early on that they were capable of competing at a prime amount of collegiate football even when they were consistently battling financial limitations and recruiting at a level that instilled tiny to no worry within the hearts of teams they often did battle with.
FOOTBALL IS More than FOOTBALL AT ECU
Together with the nearly mystical expertise ECU fans had with Pirate football within the right after math of Hurricane Floyd along with the history of ECU football playing the role of David to a person elses Goliath( and winning their good share of these battles) it is fair to create that football at ECU is more than just football.
Even though this really is correct at many schools, there appears to become a symbiotic connection amongst ECU football as well as the area that may be tough to articulate but is palpable and present none the much less. A partnership that not simply permeates throughout the eastern a part of the state but a single that regularly captures the imagination and loyalty in the student body and alumni as well.
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