As we know the BC season ticket base is relatively fickle. The big games are always packed, but some lesser opponents keep people at their tailgates or even at home. BC cannot play a murder’s row schedule every year, so how do you increase ticket demand for some of the less desirable games? Easy! You pawn them off on BC parents in town for Parents Weekend.
Although I am cynical about this sort of scheduling, it is brilliant in its execution.
Here is why:
1. Parents don’t care who we play. They are in town to see their kids, see the campus, go out to dinner, and sample the BC experience. They hear about the tailgating. They see BC on TV. Now they get a chance to go to a BC game. They are willing to see any game. So it’s not Notre Dame or Clemson. It’s still BC football. And by playing a patsies, a win is highly likely, which sends them home happy.
2. It also serves as our “good for New England game.” When the postseason restrictions on playing FCS programs (fka DIAA) were eased, Gene introduced the good for New England game. He spun that playing a New England DIAA school helped the regions’ football. Like everyone would be talking about the great BC-UNH rivalry if we just played them once every six years. The reality is that we are just playing fodder like all other programs do now. If every college in New England dropped football, we'd still play a FCS opponent. But the bright side of playing the schools in your backyard is that they will actually buy tickets. If we played North-Central Middle of Nowhere State, their fans wouldn’t come. When we play UMass or Northeastern, the stands are full.
So by increasing demand via BC parents and local fans from other schools, BC has made their annual DIAA game an easy sellout.
If BC were the only school playing this type of game, I’d be disappointed. But we were actually behind the curve. When other schools were playing DIAA programs, we were still filling out home dates with the service academies. (In fact if you look back in the '90s, parents weekend games were often against Temple, Rutgers or Army.) Now patsies are just part of a Parents Weekend tradition like Pops on the Heights. Despite my tone, I am not complaining...I am applauding.