The fact NC State and ECU are the two largest universities in North Carolina, and the proximity of the schools has led to the creation of a somewhat heated rivalry over the years. The rivalry on the gridiron dates back to 1970 when the Wolfpack took down the Pirates 23-6. The rivalry has flourished since then as 2007 even saw the addition of the Victory Barrel trophy. ECU has fared better in the series of late having won the last two matchups between themselves and the hated Wolfpack.
The rivalry between ECU and UNC goes back to 1972 when these two large North Carolina-based state universities first met. One of the unique things about this rivalry is the fact that ECU’s strong showing in the schools’ 1973 matchup led to the creation of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 11-4-1, but the Pirates have won the last two meetings. It’s always a big deal when ECU and UNC meet, so make sure to grab tickets to this matchup if you can.
ECU’s rivalry with UCF is one of the newer ones in college football; however it is quickly becoming a very heated one as the two schools have played in the same conference 2005, first in Conference USA and then starting in 2014 the American Athletic Conference. The Pirates have had the edge on the Knights since the beginning of this rivalry having won the first matchup in 1991 and continue to lead the all-time series to this day with a 9-4 record.
Pirates Tailgate Guide
Tailgating at East Carolina University is a game day must if you want to get the most out your trip to Greenville. Every die hard Pirates fan will be found in the parking lots of Dowdy-Ficklin Stadium grilling, drinking, and getting ready for a great day of Pirates football! You can’t drive down the street in Greenville without seeing some enthusiastic Pirates fans, as everyone goes all out on game day to show off their Pirates pride.
The ECU is located in North Carolina, which means barbecue is also a big component of the excellent tailgate display you’ll find here. The lots around the stadium are chalked full of smokers, and you’ll see several full pig roasts, so come prepared to enjoy some of the best barbecues you’ll find while tailgating at a college football game. If barbecue isn’t your thing though don’t worry as ECU’s proximity to the ocean means there is plenty of seafood to be had as well.
One must do pregame tradition is The Pirate Walk, which takes place before each home game. The Pirate Walk starts at Clark-LeClair Stadium and ends at the team locker room in the Ward Sports Medicine Building and features the football players and cheerleaders walking past hundreds of cheering and adoring fans as the team makes their way to the locker room. If you want to show off your support for the Pirates then make sure to stop by The Pirate Walk.
Join your fellow ECU alumni for an incredible tailgate party. Buccaneer Buffet is the perfect place to tailgate if you’re looking to take part in the festivities but don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up your own tailgate.
Silver, Gold, Blue, Gray, White, and Purple LotsThere are plenty of lots around the stadium here at ECU to tailgate in, so you should have no problem finding a great spot to set up your tailgate. The lots come in a wide variety of price ranges too, so you won’t need to break the bank to have an excellent time while in Greenville.
Buccaneer BuffetJoin your fellow ECU alumni for an incredible tailgate party. Buccaneer Buffet is the perfect place to tailgate if you’re looking to take part in the festivities but don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up your own tailgate.
Pirates Stadium Guide
Despite not being a well-known football institution nationally, ECU provides one of the best gameday experiences in the nation. The fans here are some of the rowdiest, and you’ll find that these rowdy fans create an incredible atmosphere that makes the trip to Greenville, NC well worth your while.
ECU fans brim with passion in pride in their team, which has been especially apparent recently as the team climbs its way up the college football ranks. All Throughout Greenville you’ll see people dressed head to toe in purple and gold on game day, which produces a great atmosphere that translates directly to the atmosphere in the stadium. This strong passion for all things Pirates football creates a great experience for Pirates fans and neutrals, however, if you’re coming to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium as a visiting fan expect to hear some heckling as Pirates pride is on full display here.
The most vocal section at any Pirates game is the “Boneyard.” The “Boneyard” is the nickname of the student section of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, which is often the most raucous part of the entire stadium. Chants and screaming fans will be heard from this section all throughout both the stadium and the game, so if you’re sitting here then come prepared to bring your vocal chords and cheer on the Pirates.
A Pirates game is also filled with plenty of pageantry and tradition, which last the entire game from the Purple Haze intro to the raising of the No Quarter Flag. You’ll no doubt feel that you are at one of the premier college football venues in the American Athletic Conference during your visit to Greenville.
Like any great Pirates themed team ECU has a cannon that they fire off before every home game. The cannon not only fires up the crowd but also strikes fear into the heart of any team making the trip to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The Pirates reveal their “true colors” by lifting up a flag which is a skull and crossbones with a purple captain’s hat and ECU on it before the game. This declares that the Pirates are going to attack their enemy and is a great way for the Pirates to motivate the team and fans before the game.
This classic Jimi Hendrix song is played before every home game as the players enter the field through a cloud of purple smoke. The intro gets everyone excited to cheer on the Pirates throughout the game, which gets things started off on the right foot.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the fans are greeted with the raising of the “No Quarter” flag. The flag is a representation of a pirate battle in which the enemy would not surrender, and thus the Pirates must have no mercy on them. The flag signifies that the Pirates won’t give up in the final quarter and will finish off the opposition to come away with the W.
The lovable mascot of the ECU Pirates can be seen entertaining the crowd at every home game. He is also probably the only Purple Pirate you will ever see in your lifetime, so make sure to take in his antics while at the game.
Cheer for East Car’lina, Cheer for old E.C., We know we’re the finest, Onward to victory! GO PIRATES!!! Cheer for East Car’lina, Cheer on for old E.C., Loyal and Bold, we’re the purple and gold, WE ARE THE PIRATES OF E.C.U.!
ECU Alma Mater
Praise to your name so fair, Dear old East Car’lina, your joys we’ll all share, and your friends we’ll ever be. We pledge our loyalty, and our heart’s devotion, To thee, our Alma Mater, love and praise.
We Know We’re the Finest
We Know We’re the Finest
Onward to Victory, Go Pirates
Onward to Victory,
A unique chant that is done at a Pirates home game, is that after the Pirates convert a first down. The PA announcer says, “First Down” and the Pirates faithful respond by saying, “Pirates, arrrrrggg”.