Let me set the scene. ECU was in a dogfight with UCF in front of a sold out crowd at Dowdy-Ficklen stadium on an overcast day. The Pirates led 10-7 with 5 minutes to go in the first half when ECU quarterback Patrick Pinkney threw an ill-advised pass that was picked off by the Knights. That's when it happened.
Yes, the boo-birds were out and they directed their verbal assault at the Pirate senior quarterback. One fan sitting 20 rows back on the 50-yard line yelled "Pinkney, you stink! You're terrible, Pinkney!". I was disgusted at what I was hearing as I stood behind the ECU bench. I heard that guy and the several hundred boos loud and clear. So did Pinkney. It happened a second time after Patrick was almost picked off again in the second half. Most fans were respectful but it only takes a few to be heard and they should be ashamed.
I have no problem with a fan driving to Charlotte to boo Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme. He's a professional who has forty-two million reasons to help him block out the noise. But I can't for the life of me understand how a "fan" can boo a student athlete. Especially a student athlete who has never been overly demonstrative or disrespectful. A young man who has done nothing but represent his university with class and dignity. You've never read or ever will read his name on an arrest report. He's a hard-worker who wasn't just at the bottom of the depth chart but beneath it three years ago before working his tail off to earn a shot on the field. Now he can add his name to the short list of Pirates who've been booed by his own fans.
No doubt, Patrick hasn't been as sharp as he or the coaching staff would like but he hasn't been awful and he certainly doesn't deserve to hear his own fans boo him. Do those "Pirate fans" really think the booing will make him play better? Does the guy on the 50-yard line think Patrick is intentionally trying to play poorly? By the way, Patrick completed 27 of 40 passes for 293 yards and a touchdown to help lead the Pirates to the 19-14 win on the day he was booed.
To those who jeered him on Saturday, I say "BOO" to whole lot of you!
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