GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) — Fans in the area were ready to watch and cheer on East Carolina University’s football team during Monday’s Military Bowl.
However, with the sudden cancelation Sunday of the game due to COVID-19 cases within Boston College’s team, many fans were left confused and disappointed.
Workers at local sports bars were preparing for Monday’s big football game as ECU was set to play in a bowl game for the first time since the 2014 season. Tie Breakers Bar and Grill in Winterville had planned on having customers come out to support the purple and gold together. Now, the bar and business go on as usual.
“It’s probably more sad for, well all of them, but for the seniors. But there’s always next year and they had a great season. So just keep your heads up and next year’s hopefully gonna be better,” said Laura Bell, general manager and executive chef at Tie Breakers in Winterville.
At Tie Breakers in Greenville, for one fan, a planned road trip to Annapolis, Md., to watch the game in-person now just wound up being a trip to grab lunch at the sports bar. Randy Davis said he went to ECU in the 70s and that once you’re a Pirate, you’re always a Pirate.
“I’m also glad we found out before we got on the road. But it’s really disappointing more or less because the football team needed it and the fans needed it,” Davis said. “It’s been a great thing. It’s been a long long time since we’ve been to the bowl game, so it would have been great for the team and for the fans, too.”
The Greenville bar was full of ECU attire as fans continued to show support for the team in the midst of feeling disappointed. But as disappointed as the fans felt, they were also hopeful for the team’s future.
“Well, I mean, I think the rest of Pirate Nation, I think we’re very disappointed because we fought so hard this year, played very well. I feel bad for the players, but you know in the year of COVID you have to kind of expect it … But we’ll be back again next year,” said Steve Vanheukelom.
Other fans at the bar said they really are just disappointed for ECU’s football team because of how exciting the day was going to be for them.