Monday, October 12, 2009

Gossip boy

In an effort not to cause a stir, I inadvertently did. Over the weekend I heard some stuff I would term as "gossip" regarding the staff and posted it on EagleOutsider. Here is what I wrote and why I wrote it on the message board instead of the blog.
When I put this stuff on the blog some readers accuse me of having an antiSpaz agenda. This is gossipy so I will leave it at the nexus. Take it for what it is worth...

The coordinators don't have the autonomy their boss portrayed in the media and it is causing some issues. Also, there is some descension among the staff on how we approached VT. Seems our head coach considered it a loss before we stepped on the field and our staffers were disappointed to say the least, especially those who remember beating VT the past two years.

I don't know how you can get to the next level when your head coach doesn't believe it is possible. I know it is only six games, but I think TOB with a mustache is the best we can hope for at this point.

Should I have posted it at all? Perhaps not. But I did anyway. Then on the EO boards and I guess on the Eagle Action boards (I don't have premium access to Rivals therefore I don't know what was written about my note or me) I was taken to task and said I am not "inside" at BC and don't break news. Let me clarify a few things...

This blog is not about breaking news. It is purely an outlet for me to talk about BC sports. See the subhead up above: "A Boston College sports blog capturing the highs and lows of being a BC fan living 1,000 miles from Chestnut Hill." In different times and different business models maybe this would be more of a full service BC news outlet and community, but for now it remains a one man shop and my hobby. I appreciate all the support and interaction but at the end of the day, this is a simple blog about my passion for BC sports. If I stumble across real news, I will post it. But because of my geography and fulltime occupation, breaking news is not really an option for me.

As for being "inside," "proJags, "proTuggle" and "antiSpaz" it is all just labeling. I remain first and foremost pro BC, but that doesn't mean I am always going to agree with everything BC does or anyone associated with BC does. I have a five year track record here and think I've been pretty fair and candid. Read the archives and judge for yourself. As for being inside...believe it if you like but there is a whisper network of BC folks who trade gossip. Some are donors, some are BC employees, some are students, some are past players, some are BC parents, some are bloggers, message board posters, etc. From that network stuff leaks. Assume that most of the leaks have agendas and the leakers (like me) are being used in one form or another. This piece of gossip I just leaked certainly has an antiSpaz agenda. Take it for what it is worth. But also know that most staffs in college football have these sort of blowups during the course of a season (see Clemson). Because of this blog I often find myself in the middle of some of this stuff. I try to be discreet in what I post and what I try to rebut. Once again I ask you to review the archives if you want to see my track record. I try to avoid the Jags topic in general. I clearly liked him but he is gone and not coming back. That chapter of BC football is over. I am not antiSpaz. I thought he was the wrong choice but desperately want him to succeed. I don't go the these games to watch us lose. Everything is better when we win. My dream post would be to say how wrong I was about Spaz after we win the ACC Championship Game. That said, when he makes mistakes I will call him on it. As for "proTuggle"...I've never been particularly passionate about any of these guys. I dislike yoyoing the QBs and have said that Shinskie is our best chance to beat NC State and still deserves to start.

Forgive any rambling here or for wasting your time. Let's hope we run the table and all this stuff becomes meaningless.


Joe Bags said...

This blog is awesome and a must-read everyday. To hell with the merrymen who "took you to task."

EL MIZ said...

one of the best posts i've read here. i love this blog, ppl who expect to be anything more than that (a blog), need to lower their expectations. for what it is (a blog), its hands down the best BC one on the web and one of the best college sports ones out there. keep up the good work, i'll continue to support the site and ATL.

Danny Boy said...

Unsubstantiated or not, this makes sense. I've been trying to figure out the type of play calling I saw on Saturday. I now know where I saw the coaching philosophy; it came from Mystery Alaska. It was a coach trying not to be embarassed. It was a coach playing conservatively in the hopes of keeping it close.

I saw a coach on Saturday who had a staff not get their team in a position to excel. I know Shinskie and Marscoveta are new. Davis and Crane were new at this point last year, however our staff found ways to have each player play to his abilities.

Lane stadium is a REAL tough place to play, especially against the #5 team in the country. But when we realize that our QB is a little jumpy, not making reads, and sailing his passes maybe we should find a way to settle him down. Instead of calling 15 yard outs that require precise timing, pinpoint accuracy, and commitment to the ball, give him quick outs, bubble screens, slants and the like. When we realize that the opposing defense is loading the box and blowing up every run play, how about we call some screens, counters or draws to slow them down a little bit. I don't think its a good sign when any football watching fan can identify these approaches but our coaching staff cannot.

We had inexperienced QB's last year. I think most people would agree that we have better tallent under center this year (not to mention better talent who is accustomed to performing in hostile environments). What has changed? Our running backs are more experienced, our receivers are more experienced and more athletic, our line is more experienced. Its our coaching staff that is new.

I firmly believe that Jags deserved to be fired for what he did. After Spaz was selected, I wanted nothing but the best for him, his assistants, and the athletes. My loyalty is not to QB's, coaches, or AD's. My loyalty is to the Maroon and Gold. If someone, anyone, is not holding up there end of the bargain, I expect him to be held accountable.

BCDisco said...

This rumor perfectly reflects what I said in the comments under the "Second Viewing" post. Jags made the team and the fans really believe that BC would win.

And I am not a Jags apologist. When he was fired, I supported Gene. He was right to hire Jags and he was right to fire him (see Tampa Bay Bucs).

I wasn't crazy about the Spaz hire, but I also didn't believe he would be the second coming of TOB. We are seeing more evidence that he is.

We need a coach who truly believes that BC is the best place to play football and go to school. And we need a staff who will help him realize that goal.

DS said...

yo ATL, just wanted to let you know that your blog rules and that it's so much fun reading it.

i think this is my 3rd year of following you nearly every day. reading everything you've written about bc basketball and football have been a pleasure.

i didnt even go to bc, but i love college sports, and you've made me a bc lover. watching matt and ryan and tyrese rice and all these other guys over the years has been that much more fun because of your work

so thank you. keep it up.

Unknown said...

Keep up the great work, ATL. You are a great ambassador for BC and your blog is a must-read for any BC fan and even us "semi-fans" who sometimes question the coaching staff.


America said...

The thing is this sounds like it is your opinion which is fine. If you actually "heard" this it is another thing all together. However I question if you really heard it. You live in Atlanta, how or whom did you hear it from? I think if this is really going on then perhaps more action should be taken. But if it just your opinion I can see why people would be mad.

apbc12 said...

Vinny, he specifically references that this info is floating around the "whisper network." One need not live in Boston to hear news/gossip about the football team. You don't live in Atlanta; how do you know what ATL writes? Well, thankfully, we've had the internet for about 20 years, and telephones for about 150. Why the hell would ATL just make this stuff up?

ATL_eagle said...

Vinny; not my opinion. I live in Atlanta but I talk to plenty of people around BC and I believe what they told me about the coordinators.

Unknown said...

This blog is money - I check it everyday.

I agree with what you said about Spaz - TOB with a mustache. The offense play calling against V Tech was right out of Dana Bible's playbook.

So many BC fans are complacent with 8-7 wins a season and they are just "happy to be there" I think BC can and should be winning ACC titles regularly because of the weak state of ACC football, so I am not excited to hear that Spaz may have chalked the game up to an L before the whistle. At least Jags and Logan took chances and shook things up. Spaz plays not to lose like his boy TOB.

Keep on doing what you do Bill and dust the haters off like dandruff. No need to apologize for that post. You e been on the money more often than not.

Claver2010 said...

I never understood the merrymen who say since you (or I) am anti-Spaz implies we are anti-BC and want BC to lose. Is it okay for us not to accept the decisions of GDF and when our beliefs play out on the field to point out that our beliefs turned to reality?

As I said in the comments of the WF second game watch, he's TOB 2.0. Play not to lose, go conservative, have the excuse machine rolling. As ATL said above, Jags isn't coming back, but look at the picture of him waiting to get on the field at Clemson. That is one of the toughest environments in football, we are on a two game losing streak and are playing for a chance to go to teh ACC-CG and he's there as confident (and cocky) as could be with his team behind him. I like Spaz, I really do, as a DC. It seems as if him being HC has sapped all of his enthusiasm. When the camera is on him on the sideline it looks like someone just shot his dog.

ATL don't let these merrymen dictate what you post on your blog.

Unknown said...

Blog on, BlogBoy!

Brablc said...

Keep up the good work with the blog!

America said...

Love to know who is in the "whisper network." I wonder if this chatter was started by a certain QB coach that may think the Head Coaching job should be his.

I don't know. Seems strange to me. I'm not saying I don't believe it, I just haven't heard it.

Hopefully it's just talk though and nothing real. We'll see I'm sure.

downtown_resident said...

ATL, love the blog and appreciate your hard work.

But I do have to wonder about something-- last year, at the low point of the season (following the Clemson loss), you rightly preached patience as the fanbase started turning on Jags and Logan, saying we needed to wait to see how everything turned out that season. Those turned out to be prophetic words as BC rattled off four straight wins and won the division.

In light of some of your recent statements, I can't help but wonder why are you not willing to afford Spaz-- in his first season, no less-- the same patience that you suggested Jags should receive?

Unknown said...

I read this blog everyday. I am 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles and this is the only real connection I have to BC sports since there is no east coast reporting over here. I appreciate your stories, insight, and commentary on both things sports and academic. Keep up the good work.

I took my wife to the BC/FSU game two weeks ago. She's not much of a football fan but she wanted to go to the game. In the third quarter, she says to me, (BC) "they're going to run up the middle." Correct. "They're going to do it again." Correct. "Why don't they pass the ball? Everyone in the stadium knows that Harris guy is going to run up the middle again."

What happened to hiking from the shotgun and passing to the running back breaking for the flat? I would rather have Haden or Harris 1 on 1 on the outside instead of heading into a wall of defenders. Matt Ryan would do that which much success and these RBs could be better than those in the past.

I am frustrated and could keep writing but I will let you do the blogging. Don't let anyone stop you from doing what you're doing because atleagle is a great thing.

Unknown said...

Vinny - i would actually prefer Ryan Day as OC or HC over Tranquil and Spaz.

I think Ryan Day has great training under Chip Kelly, knows how to recruit, and would be more aggressive and shake things up for BC, for the better. Sometimes it's better to bet on an unknown commodity than stick with the conservative TOB Devil You KNow Mold with Spaz.

I loved Jags, but I agreed with GDF when he fired him. But I also think GDF compromised potential greatness because Spaz had put in his time and he knew Spaz would be a lifer.

I love BC and I live and die with them every Saturday, but I totally think GDF dropped the ball by hiring Spaz, and showed no backbone by doing so.

almost_paul said...

Spaz as HC is like hooking up with a long time friend. We had a good thing going with Spaz at DC, but GDF spoiled it because he was feeling depressed and wanted some comfort from old, loyal Spaz. Now those casual conversations about defense are awkward because nobody knows if they're going to sleep toget, er, talk about recruiting and game management.

Keep up the good work, ATL.

mod34b said...

ATL -- You do a fine job and have created a great environment for discussion of opinions about BC sports. For that you deserve -- and have -- our gratitude.

But you seem to be hung up on whether or not you are "fair" or preceived as being fair. I think that what bothers you is a larger question: are you a journalist or a blogger?

Here is one pithy thought on the difference between the two:

"there is only one fundamental difference: A journalist reports the facts as they are where a blogger talks about it from their point of view.

journalist = fact based
blogger = opinion based"

You are a blogger and you should be opinionated. You should let down the veil of objective fairness and just acknowledge that you are not purporting to relate facts so others can form opinions, but you are marshalling selective facts to support your own opinions while acknolwedging that others have their own opinions as well.

You're a blogger and doing a great job as a blogger. You need not aspire to journalistic standards for objectivity and completness of factual reporting (not that any sports journalistic ever did such a thing!)

And you also are something of a mini-Drudge for BC sports. I very much appreciate your linking and highlighting of articles about BC sports on your blog. Without your efforts, I would never have seen half of these articles.

Last, thank God this blog is not like EO...That blog is just a horrible collection of noise.

As I've said, your tone and content have creted a very nice environment here. And let me disagree with one of your sttements: "It is purely an outlet for me to talk about BC sports." You left us out. Through years of solid work, you created a community, so it is no longer "purely an outlet" for you -- its now about us! Let's keep it going for you and for us, your opinionated readers and co-bloggers!

ATL_eagle said...

Downtown Resident: that is a fair question. My first response is probably because I really like Jags and Logan. I don't want to give the impression we were fishing buddies and exchanging Christmas presents, but I had spoken to both of them on a few occasions. Even though my time at BC overlapped with Spaz's start and I've been at a few functions that he also attended, I have never had a one on one conversation with him and he probably couldn't pick me out of a crowd. Plus I think the style of how we lost those games and the circumstances are a little different. Jags had his stinkers, but I never felt he laid down for anyone. And Jags, for all his faults, believed he was going to win every game he took the field. Based on what happened this week, I don't know I can say the same for Spaz and that bothers me. Plus the whole "bad hand" that Spaz is playing up to the media is very TOBish. Did we have a rough offseason? Sure, but don't go making excuses. As I said, I want Spaz to win. I just don't like how the four ACC games have played out. We were disorganized against Clemson. We nearly gave away Wake and FSU and we never showed up against VT and made things worse by throwing the second teamers to the wolves in the second quarter. I am trying to be patient and think Spaz will have us ready for NC State, but I don't feel great about the direction the program is heading. I don't want a return to the TOB years.

ATL_eagle said...

mod34b: I am not a journalist. I am a blogger. I wear my bias on my sleeve. I guess the fairness thing touches a nerve because I've never said a coach needs to be fired and despite my passion and stupidity at times, I try to be careful with what I write and say. I don't want to be on here every day saying Spaz sucks or have even be perceived that way. As for the commentors, I appreciate everyone of you and love the community that has been built up around it. But I've purposely don't touch or police the comments. They are pretty organic. I don't really deserve credit for it or what you guys do.

Brooklyneagle said...

Atl, I discovered your blog about two years ago. (I had no idea there were others as passionate -- my family would call that an understatement -- about BC and its teams as I am.) Since then, I've been checking your site at least once a day, location and the demands of life permitting. Posting today for the first time to join others in applauding you for your intelligent, balanced, insightful, and knowledgeable efforts.

Among the keys to success, coaching is decisive (followed at a distance by recruiting). I would love to be wrong -- and the wronger, the better -- but we may well be headed back to mediocrity (or worse) under the current regime. In the first instance, I blame our AD. Others have spoken at length about this, so I will leave it there.

On your reporting of the rumors of dissension, I am torn. On the one hand, your and our obligation is to tell the truth as we see it -- in the hope that, sooner or later, it will bring the needed corrections. On the other, once loosed, rumors of dissension -- as you note, some degree of dissension is natural, normal -- can snowball out of control into a self-fulfilling prophesy on a grand scale. All to the disadvantage, at least in the near term, of the team we support. A real dilemma, as your own comments reflect.

Henning12 said...

Wrong or Right, Spaz and Gene must go.

We have gone from the "Heights" to the lows. The ship is sinking...who will steer it?

We need to do something. Write letters to Gene?

mod34b said...

henning.. the sky is not falling.

in fact the sun will come out tomorrow and BC will continue to excel....

Don't buy into the doom-and-gloom!

Unknown said...

ATL, your blog is the best and I read it almost every day (although b/c of the carnage this weekend I had to avoid it for a few days along w/ any other sports publications).

Thank you - it may be your "hobby" but it means a lot to many many BC fans and brings me many hours of enjoyment! Keep up the great work.

Now lets go win the next 4 ACC games and get back to Tampa and switch up the story line from the past two years and be the team who gets revenge for a regular season loss (instead of the other way around).


Unknown said...

Eagle in Atlanta,

Thank you for your blog. Keep doing what you do. We are lucky that you have the time, energy and passion to have this site. Please don't change a thing.


CT said...

Hmm, not good.

My question: if ATL had not leaked what he had heard, would any of this come out by other means? Just curious.

I wish I was in the whisper network. Ha, cool.

More importantly, I wonder, if true, what specifically was done and/or said by the HC to send this message?

Spaz doesn't call plays, correct? He doesn't call defenses, correct?

Did he instruct the coordinators to approach this game differently?

Just wondering.

I said before the VTech game that BC had to be unorthodox in their approach and throw deep more often, run quick screens, draws, reverses...essentially try to confuse the VTech defense--and slow them down--as much as they would try to confuse us. Like a good poker player, vary their play.

Those are simpler to accomplish than a 15 yd out to the wide side of the field facing a blitz.

I'm curious if something happened in gameplanning that motivated someone to start the whispering.

Needless to say, HUGE HUGE game against the 'pack this weekend. Let's get our home mojo on.

CT said...

Oops, when I wrote, "I said before the VTech game that BC..." I meant to say, "I would like to see BC be unorthodox..." and mix it up. Came out wrong. Sorry.

Jeff said...

I'm rooting for Spaz but after the comments during the Clemson game and the coaching decisions in the VTech game, I'm done apologizing for him.

You're not a BC administrator or coach atl, I see nothing wrong with your blogging or your message board post. Very tame compared to most posters on that board. =)

Jay said...

Keep it up ATL. Don't let the merry men get you down.

Eddierock said...

This blog is the best. All the naysayers can start their own blog. I will keep reading yours.

Jamie M said...

ATL - Been a while since I've posted but I echo many of the thoughts here - this blog is the best source of BC insight anywhere. furthermore, the muppets on eagleaction can't agree on whether water is wet or dry and instantly make everything personal, so it's good you're not wasting your life reading the banter of the idiots.

keep it up dude and go eagles!