College football is not just about the trick plays or iconic touchdowns. It’s the full experience. From tailgates to fan chants to the television broadcast, there’s so much to pay attention to during Saturdays in the fall. That even includes sideline reporters.
Back in 1991, the East Carolina Pirates had a dream season. After a season-opening loss to Illinois, the Pirates rattled off 11-straight wins, including defeating in-state rival NC State in the Peach Bowl that year. Under head coach Bill Lewis, they finished the season ranked No. 9 in the country.
One of the most important traditions for ECU football is a cannon. After each touchdown scored at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, they blast off a cannon and it drives fans wild. Sideline reporter Brian Bailey just wasn’t ready for it one day, and it created one of the funniest sports bloopers of all time.
Cannon Scares Sideline Reporter Brian Bailey
For the 1991 ECU Pirates, the home game against the Pittsburgh Panthers is certainly a memorable one. It came down to the wire at Ficklen Memorial Stadium and quarterback Jeff Blake scored a touchdown and the Pirates went for two to seal the 24-23 win.
Everyone was excited. A win over Pitt kept the magical season alive. Brian Bailey was right there to capture the moment.
“The biggest game in Pirate history turned out to be one of the best. The Pirates scored in the final minute, go for two and make it, and beat the Panthers at Ficklen Stadium today.”
The cannon went off right behind Bailey, and he just lost it. His comments were bleeped out, but it’s part of what makes it such a hilarious moment. He wasn’t ready for the loud shot and his reaction has been replayed millions of times.
A couple of decades later, Bailey went back to try to do it again, knowing the cannon would be fired. He still jumped because, you know, it’s a cannon firing at close range, but he finally got his redemption.
Sports bloopers are always great and there’s no doubt Brian Bailey’s is one of the best.
This post was originally published on June 8, 2020.