Hearts were broken as North Carolina Central lost a tough battle to Bethune Cookman University last week. For two and a half quarters the game was just as good as we suspected it would be and then a rash of injured players left NCCU without many healthy legs to stand on. Chances for a Mid Eastern Athletic title may have slipped away with that loss but there is still a lot these kids can play for.
First there is not guarantee that Bethune can't have a few injuries to change the complexity of their season to date. They still have to play three very good football teams to finish the season and in this conference any thing can happen.
Secondly this group has had to endure so many obstacles. They were a part of the rebuilding process in a transition from division II to division I football. For many of these guys they were the door mats of beatings that were unbearable to take at the time. In fact you have to wonder how this senior class made it this far without losing their minds and wills to compete at some point.
How teams respond to adversity is usually the measure of medal and nothing would be sweeter than to win a homecoming against a red hot Delaware State team and secure a winning season for the first time in six or seven years. Finding a reason to get excited shouldn't be the case. Finding a reason to be great should be all that is on the mind of these guys this week.
Homecomings are special to everyone involved. They set the tone for the people who are likely to give back to the university. When Eagles far and near roll into O'Kelly Riddick Stadium this weekend their experience will be great regardless of what the team does but winning is the icing on the cake.
There is no real need for anyone to bury the Eagles. Even in defeat last week they never quit. When they were a man or two down, you could still see the fight in the team. I can honestly say that I have never been more proud of those guys. I have seen teams get down and quit, mail it in, but not this NCCU team. These kids have heart and I would go to war with them anytime or anywhere.
Keep the passion alive and keep pushing everything to the limit. Good things are ahead in Durham and the next few weeks are a testiment to what the team is capable of. Finishing 8-3 this year would be a feat in itself. Not many people can say that they saw that coming. I am just glad to have a front seat to the progress.
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!