Many ECU alumni are married to a fellow Pirate. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d share the story of Shelby Lane Cook Potter ’14 and Joshua Lee Potter ’12, who met in the Boneyard at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (Remarks edited for clarity).
My husband and I got married May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, NC. We met on the evening of November 19, 2011 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium while ECU was playing against UCF. I came to the game with my roommate with no plan for the evening, and chose a random spot in the Boneyard. Earlier in the day Lee was in Raleigh and made a last-minute decision to drive to Greenville to attend the game with friends. My roommate Calle and I were enjoying the game but could not help but notice a group of obnoxious, loud boys sitting a couple of rows below where we were sitting. We talked about how they looked attractive and we made awkward eye contact. It seemed to be nothing more than some funny boys drawing attention to themselves and we happened to be watching them. At halftime we went to the bathroom and took our belongings with us as though we might be leaving the game. Little did I know, Lee specifically was interested in me and telling his friend that I was attractive. Lee’s friends jokingly said, “you just let her walk away and did not say a thing!”
My roommate and I did return to our seats after the bathroom break and Lee was secretly excited to see me again. When returning to the row where we thought we were sitting, Lee and another friend Carlos were now sitting on this row too. Little by little Lee would scoot closer and closer to me on the bench. During this time, another friend Hannah approached Calle and me. Hannah noticed Lee sitting very close to me. Hannah asked me, “so, who is your friend?” (looking at Lee beside her). I replied “I am not sure who that is.” So after being called out, Lee and I introduced ourselves and started casually talking. I thought Lee was attractive and was a little shy to talk to this guy who was a completely random connection. As the Pirates continued to score points, Lee and I celebrated a Pirate victory. As the conversation was ending and the girls were looking to leave the game, I could feel the awkward vibe that Lee wanted to ask for my number so we would be able to see each other again…and I secretly wanted his as well. Lee’s friend Eric helped him out by saying “Dude, you should totally get her number in case we go downtown tonight,” and with that I gave Lee my number. Lee’s friends told him not to contact me until a couple of days had passed, but he could not resist and texted me the next day.
Needless to say, we are Pirates for life, and Pirate football is the one thing we wouldn’t turn down every fall. Dowdy-Ficklen holds a special place in our heart. We were introduced at our wedding reception with the bridal party to “Purple Haze” of course and ran through a tunnel of bridesmaids and groomsmen. During the reception we HAD to sing the fight song with our fellow Pirates and take a picture. And just as it was the night we met, Calle stood by me as a bridesmaid and Eric and Carlos stood by Lee as groomsmen.